Friday, May 01, 2015
Happy Two Year Anniversary!!!!
The story really begins at the end of October 2012. Thomas was in his second hospitalization and I was fighting to keep him in there. But his 18th birthday was just days away and he believed there was nothing wrong with him and he hated the hospital so he planned to check himself out on his 18th birthday. There was nothing I could do about it short of getting a judge involved and I just couldn't do that.
I sat in a quiet room with a doctor and two other mental health workers and they told me solemnly that Thomas had acute paranoid schizophrenia and that his prognosis was bleak. As they called Thomas in for a family meeting, I choked back tears so that he couldn't see me crying. My heart was completely shattered and I didn't know what to do. Thomas and I left the hospital the night of October 31st, 2012 and drove home. On the ride home we talked about schizophrenia and what it meant for his future and his listened intently, saying very little.
I spent the next few months in denial, unable to accept his diagnosis fully and while I bought every book on the subject that I could find, I couldn't bring myself to read a single one of them. Knowing that my boy was now diagnosed with a serious mental illness was just too much to bear.
Then New Years Day 2013 arrived and I decided it was time to get my act together and begin doing some research. Thomas was even sicker now having been released from the hospital on meds that weren't working. I knew that I had to jump into action if I was going to help my boy. I made many decisions that day but one of the most important ones was that I was going to start a blog about schizophrenia. I knew full well the stigma surrounding this illness and my plans were to change that somehow, hopefully through my writing.
Then came May 1st, 2013, the beginning of Mental Health Awareness Month and I decided that day, that month was going to be the month I would begin to speak out about schizophrenia. I was terrified. I didn't know what to say or how to start but I started. I started because the world needed something like this and I was determined to make this come to fruition.
I was met with a lot of negativity when I began my blog. People told me it couldn't be done, that no one would listen but I decided that if I could get just one person, maybe 20 people to listen then I would be happy. As the days turned into months, my blog slowly grew. I began to open up more, speaking the truth about my feelings of what it's like to be a caregiver for someone with schizophrenia and I began to tell Thomas's story (through my eyes) too. The response was overwhelming and it wasn't long before I had a following that thrilled me. It was just a few hundred people but each and every one of those people mattered. I loved every one of them for being here and was grateful for their presence. Their presence meant that people cared and that we all stood on common ground, we were making an effort to change the perception of schizophrenia.
Now, here I am today. May 1st, 2015. It's been two years since I started my mission and I now have 5,778 followers of my blog and the number grows every day. I am thrilled to death that my blog has become the success that it has and first and foremost I owe it all to all of you for being a part of it, for getting my work out there to the world, and to giving me confidence and strength to continue to do what I do every day.
Today is my two year anniversary and I couldn't be more happy or more proud of what my blog and I have become.
Thank you everyone for your support. You mean the world to me!
Written by Melanie Jimenez
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