“In Zen, there is an old saying: The obstacle is the path. Know that a whole and happy life is not free of obstacles.
Quite the contrary, a whole and happy life is riddled with obstacles—
they simply become the very stepping–stones that help lift us to a new perspective.
It is not what happens to us in this life that shapes us; it is how we choose to respond to what happens to us.”
Dennis Merritt Jones – The Art of Being, 101 Ways to Practice Purpose in your life
Welcome to my journey of survival through my son’s mental illness. My story is about a very special young man who’s positive energy embraces him, he laughs at personal obstacles and smiles at his accomplishments. His brilliant mind and profound thoughts take him beyond typical thinking habits into a vast universe of unlimited possibilities. Like all of us, he lives in the arena of the symphony of life: play, work, joy, challenges — all normal activities a person would typically witness.
However, for my son, a normal day is making it to the next without being diverted onto a path of hallucinations, delusions, thoughts of suicide to escape misery…a psychotic break down.
When a loved one passes away, there is time for grieving and there is closure. When a loved one becomes a victim with mental illness it is like death; everything you once knew about this person vanishes and all that is left is a shell with its insides eaten up like cancer. There is no closure because this person is a living, breathing human being. The feelings of loss, grief and emptiness become an eternity of sadness. That is if you want to stay on this path.
Mental illness is an invisible neurobiological disease that can, and will, affect anyone at any age. It does not discriminate. But I believe with determination and hard work, changes do happen and getting to the light at the end of the tunnel is possible. I know this, I am there.
I am single and a mother of two exceptional children, both adults now. Their loving nature has always encouraged me to see optimism through joyful moments and difficult challenges.
It has been several years since my son’s initial psychotic break. Throughout his life he has been challenged by complications most would think of as suffering or payback of some sort, but he has always overcome them with a strength that lives within his beautiful spirit. The most challenging of all hardships he will endure for the rest of his life is the diagnosis of Schizoaffective Disorder at age 17.
Through it all, my son is thankful for being who he is. He has always had a positive outlook at his personal challenges and humbleness when accomplishing his goals. His high energy contributes to a strong drive to learn and understand just about anything. He has a brilliant mind with an IQ that goes past the charts (if that means anything to anyone). His logical/philosophical thoughts about life take him beyond typical thinking habits into a vast universe of unlimited possibilities.
You are invited to come with me through my journey through my son’s illness that began in late spring, 2004…
´*.¸.*´♥ Peace & Light