Monday, April 13, 2015

Goodbye Ocean, Hello Real Life

As I type this we are on the road home. This trip can easily be summed up as therapeutic for us all. I've seen some genuine joy in Thomas and virtually no signs of psychosis. I can never really know where his mind really is but I have not heard anything that concerns me in comments he makes. As we return home and back to real life it will be a trial by fire to some degree because I'll be home just 2 days before leaving again for four days. Thomas has expressed some concern for his mental health when it comes to me being gone but I pray he will sail through it.

As I type this, my fears about dying have subsided and I feel almost whole again. Just like I hope Thomas stays well I hope the same for me. The conference sounds like it's going to be one of the best experiences of my life. Just being on my own, totally alone, will be an experience for me that I haven't had in a long time. The last time I stayed alone away from home was when Thomas was hospitalized the second time. THAT was no vacation and my takeaway from it was the tragic diagnosis of schizophrenia in my young son. My hope is that my takeaway from this trip is a lot of useful knowledge and a change in my thinking. I also hope to meet many people from many walks of life. The conference guests are from all areas of online health advocacy from schizophrenia to oncology to HIV/Aids and so on. One thing we will all have in common is that we are caregivers. I look forward to learning how others cope in their various caregiving situations. I suspect we all suffer the same anguish but also the same triumphs. I will share with you all the experiences of others that I can. I know that I can say for myself that I feel isolated as a caregiver for someone with schizophrenia because, well, it's schizophrenia, we're kind of an isolated bunch in that schizophrenia is a mental illness as well as a physical ailment. I feel like there are far fewer of us in the world than say, cancer caregivers for example. The more prominent the illness the more resources there are out there for caregivers and sufferers alike. Perhaps I'll learn from others some way to be better at what I do and perhaps how to provide resources for others in our same situation.

We'll, my cell service is spotty so I feel like I need to get this posted before I lose it all to the ether. Real life awaits my family just 8 hours from now. Here's hoping this trip has strengthened us for the future.

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