I have been asked on many occasions why I tell my story. People ask whether one person can really make a difference. They ask why I share all this in a blog on the internet, why I have written essays, short stories as well as two books on the subject of mental illness in my family. They ask why I don’t give any medical information but, as I am neither a doctor nor a psychiatrist, the only information I can share is that from a mother’s point of view; a mother who lost her son, the way I lost our Doron to paranoid schizophrenia. I woke up to find schizophrenia lurking in corners, I ate dinner with schizophrenia and the last thought that flitted through my mind at night, was how to cure schizophrenia. My son, Doron liked it even less. It took over his whole being. The paranoia was the worst part of it all as he truly believed that demons were at play, that his every move was being followed by cameras and microphones that he was sure we had ‘planted’ in our home to track his every move and then pass it on to the military, who were after him.
Am I a survivor? I think so yet all I wanted was to be able to live a life like the other people I knew; and not pour all my efforts into simply trying to survive schizophrenia. I strove to keep my family together. My late husband had the ability to give us all unconditional love, and together, with the exception of our son, we managed to overcome every challenge thrown at us. Today, our daughters are happily married wives and mothers, both with professions. I am so very proud of them both; of the way they have managed to cope with adversity of all kinds in our once happy and healthy home.
I tell my story to make it more difficult for people to shut their eyes as well as their hearts to all the mental illness around them. And it is everywere.
I tell my story in order to gain empathy for all the unfortunates out there who are suffering from one kind of mental illness or another.
I tell my story to show these individuals that they are n ot alone.
I tell my story to convince people with a mental illness that with the correct treatment, their conditions can be improved.
I tell my story to gain support for them all, because, if they hae the backing of their families and communities, they have the chance to live lives with purpose, surrounded by love. Nobody can live without love. Remember that please.
If more of us spoke out about mental illness, maybe, just maybe, more people out there would listen believe or even act on our behalf.
BUT, few politicians believe that devoting more time to the issue of mental illness wiill gain them extra votes.
I tell my story, the story of one family, my family, the story of millions of families living with a mentally ill relative anywhere from Alaska to Africa.
And last but not least, I tell my story in the hope that one day, there will be no stigma associated with mental illness.
CAN ONE PERSON REALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE? I think that one person can raise awareness; one person can touch the lives of the people around them. But, measured against the vastness of the planet, these acts may seem insignificant. But, to the people whose lives have been touched, the significance can become truly profound as I have discovered from the amount of people who follow my blog from so many countries, others on social media, and more who have listened to talks I have given. Others have read my work and commented.