Author of books and articles on support and experiences of living with a mentally ill family member. My aim in blogging is to let others see how a loving family, with a father and husband who is able to give unconditional love, can help the family cope. Many call me the blogging grandma.'
Will I ever have a girlfriend? I am so depressed, unable to even extend the hand of friendship. The social worker tells me the benefits of socializing rather than sitting alone at home listening to music. It’s lonely, yes, but better than having to face people at work. But, maybe she’s right. When I have the guts to talk about my mental illness, will people stand by me? One of their feelings on this subject is probably fear … you know what I mean? Can a person who has not been mentally challenged really understand me – understand what I feel, what I do, how I pass the time? And, if I ever have a serious relationship with a woman, when will it be the right time to tell my her that I am not well … that sometimes I have good periods, but most of the time my meds don’t help banish the voices that clamor and vie with one another to get my attention. Will she love me when she finds out? All I want out of life is an interesting job, a woman to love, and peace of mind.
Unfortunately, my son Doron, never lived to see that day. We found many poems and a great deal of writing in his notebook after he died. That was many years ago. I wrote an honest account of our story in my book entitled ‘David’s Story by Jill Sadowsky’ which can be found on the Amazon Kindle Store or on Smash Words.
I woke up feeling so down, so desperate from wondering how we would ever overcome even some of the hurdles thrown at us by schizophrenia. So I went for a walk which didn’t help. I drove down to the beach and listened to the waves crashing against the rocks, but there was no solace there either. Eventually, I drove home slowly and when I arrived, picked up the book I’d wanted to read for a long time, found a quiet corner in our garden and started reading.
This is what was written under the title on the first page:
‘I opened a book and in I strode.Now everyone can find me.I’ve left my chair, my house, my road, my town, and my world behind me.I’m wearing the cloak, I’ve slipped on the ring,I’ve swallowed the magic potion.I’ve fought with a dragon, dined with a king and dived in a bottomless ocean.I opened a book and made some friends.I shared their tears and laughter. I followed their road with its bumps and bends to the happily ever after.I finished my book and out I came, the cloak can no longer hide me.My chair and my house are just the same,But, I have a book inside me.’
My name is NOTMentally ill. Some people called my son Mentally ill, Crazy or Cuckoo. We always called him by his name, Doron.
Why can’t people call a mental illness by its name? We don’t say; ‘She has a bad case of physical illness,’ now do we? No. we might say; ‘She has a bad case of the flu,’ or, ‘she is ill with diabetes.’ How about calling a spade a spade and using the word schizophrenia, depression or bipolar illness?
STIGMA spreads fear. STIGMA spreads misinformation.STIGMA labels people and perpetuates stereotypes.
We need education instead of discrimination. YES, psychiatric hospitals are still manifestations of discrimination. Should we get rid of them? Should we get rid of some of them – or all of them? No. we need them but they should be hospitals like any other. We need to make STIGMA visible. Due to the digital age we live in, young people can share their personal stories on various social media very easily which can be meaningful. I heard a person with a mental illness once say:
Somewhere Over the Rainbow was once my favorite song but, my dreams of that life are now in the past … so, instead of dreaming of a life over the rainbow, I’ve learned to enjoythe rainbows in my life. Once, while paging through a book, I came across something written by Emily Dickinson which continues to pop into my mind, so, on the spur of the moment, I decided to follow her advice. I think her meaningful words were what started me on my blogging career – blogs about people in trouble that reach many troubled souls in countries far and wide; people in REAL trouble, people whose countries mightbe at war and who don’t have access to mental health information who need to know that somewhere, someone cares about them sufficiently to read their heartbreaking pleas and give them the benefit of the knowledge I gained while living with my son’s paranoid schizophrenia for so many years. I make quite sure that every one of them know that I am only a mother and a grandmother – a blogging grandmother in fact, and NOT a psychiatric professional who speaks openly about my experiences with mental illness in my own family.
‘If I can stop one heart from breaking I shall not live in vain. If I can ease one life the aching, or cool one pain, or help one fainting robin Into his nest again, I shall not live in vain.’
by Emily Dickinson
Click on the link below and listen to Somewhere Over the Rainbow, a lovely way to start the day.
No matter how bad you feel, don’t ever allow anyone to behave toward you in a superior fashion by showing disrespect. By doing so, instead of gaining that person’s respect, you will lose it and we are all worthy of respect. Yes, every single person on earth. Never – ever – let anyone show disrespect to you. This applies to people with mental illnesses as well as those with other disabilities. We are all human beings with feelings.
WE MUST KEEP EVERYONE SAFE FROM MALICE AND ABUSE.
We are all unique people with interests, talents and knowledge and those who are different feel exactly like the rest of us. They might do things differently but they can achieve the same results. The way we behave, demonstrates our respect toward those individuals.
Nobody likes to be pitied, do they?
Don’t wait for the perfect moment. Take the moment and make it perfect. Make the rest of your life the best of your life – now. Don’t wait.
Can one person make a difference? Yes, I think it’s possible, especially after reading the story behind ‘The Daffodil Principle.’One woman, her two hands and one daffodil bulb at a time, did this! Every year, in the San Bernadino Mountain Range in Southern California, 5 acres of beautiful daffodils burst into bloom. This daffodil garden was planted by one person, one bulb at a time over a period of 35 years. This woman, due to her determination, made a HUGE difference; an amazing contribution to the quality of life in her area, adding to the beauty of the place.
Click on the link to see the daffodil field and read the story;