(Photo Credit: drawingsomeone.com)
As I have read your responses to Sherry Hunter's post, I am struck by the tragic stories so many of you tell. To some degree I have been off of the front lines since Thomas is doing relatively okay and I have somewhat forgotten what it's like to be in the middle of a crisis where I'm running him to the hospital or scared about whether or not a medication will work to take away active psychosis. I have read that a couple of you have even lost your children to death and my heart breaks as I read your stories because it seems so unfair that this illness took your children from you and the final blow came when the illness made it impossible for your children to live anymore. So many of you are caught in an almost constant crisis and either they have worn you down or you are quickly reaching your breaking point. What I can offer you is this:
I have been where you are. Thomas has been in many crises over the years since his diagnosis and if you read back over my blog through the last couple of years you will see that I have been where you are now. I know many of you will have to fight this unrelenting fight for a long time and you might not see much peace but I also know that for some of you, it will get better. So many times I was certain that this was the end for Thomas, that he would spend the rest of his life fighting serious psychosis and yet somehow here we are today and I am able to breathe a little bit, let go of some of the grief and as a caregiver, live a life that actually includes time for myself. Part of that has been that I have had the luxury of being able to kind of just walk away and take a break but that wouldn't have been possible without my seeing enough of a change in Thomas that I felt safe to take that break. I know, in the back of my mind, that this respite is fleeting but for now I am taking it all in and allowing myself to breathe a little bit before the next round.
The truth of the matter is, though, there are things about Thomas that are concerning that I haven't written about here. I don't write because I am busy finding excuses for the things I see and somehow, in some distorted way, I feel like if I don't write about it then it won't be real. It is a function of denial on my part and selfishly, for my own sanity, I am remaining in that denial for a while longer because as you all know, jumping back into the fight is fraught with fear and exhaustion and feelings of defeat.
Apart from that, I mostly just want to tell you all that I am reading your stories that you have shared on Sherry's post and elsewhere and I am with you all, praying for you, hoping with you for things to get better and standing beside you in spirit as you wake to a new day with a new round of worries. I am here and we are all here for each other. The best I can offer you during these times is simply this:
YOU ARE NOT ALONE!