As I prepare to write this post, I find myself second-guessing the decision to start this blog. I remember what it felt like about 13 months ago when it all started. I was alone. I was scared. I really didn’t understand what in the world was happening, to be honest. I can remember the emotions and in writing this out, I can feel them again… in my throat, in my chest and down into my stomach. I (we) HAVE to share our stories.
The idea for this blog came from a conversation that my daughter and I had as we left a National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) support group meeting last fall. The support group was for those suffering from serious mental illness. The meeting was uncomfortable and sad. Most of those in attendance were grief-stricken parents grappling with their new normal. I could relate. That was me a year earlier. As we were driving home, she questioned why this had happened to her – why did God choose this for her – what was the purpose? I asked her if she thought sharing her story would help others? It was an interesting thought… an opportunity for her to share her art and writing talent in the hopes of helping others.
What if I share from a mom or a parents perspective? What if her sister shared from a sibling perspective? What if through sharing, we can connect with others and create a community – a safe place – for people to come together? What if we have guest bloggers that want to share their stories? What if, what if, what if… we went on and on about our ideas. So, here we are!
My daughter was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 2018.
Schizophrenia is a brain disease. It is typical for it to occur during the final growth spurt, therefore occurs in young adults between the ages of 17-25. There are negative symptoms and positive symptoms. Someone suffering from this serious mental illness can exhibit symptoms similar to ODC, anxiety, and autism. If you are on the Autism Spectrum, you have an increased chance of having schizophrenia. We know now that the severe (I mean SEVERE) anxiety that led her to being awake for nearly 72 hours. In our case, it also resulted in an eating disorder called Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID). Within a very short period of time, she lost over 25 lbs.
It changed all of us forever.
I love more deeply, I don’t take little things for granted, I’m very aware that things can change quickly in life. I do not sweat the small stuff. I look at people and life through a different lens. My purpose in life changed.
Some situations that we share may make you feel uncomfortable. It’s ok. Promise. Sometimes you’ll laugh. That’s how we have gotten through the past 18 months.
Some may read this blog and pass judgment. They may read it and think that we shouldn’t be sharing our stories. That’s ok, too. This blog isn’t for you.
This blog is to connect people, to bring awareness, and to provide hope to others. You can connect further on Facebook by searching The Hope Finders Society.
Until next time,