A note from a former colleague changes my life, and hers.
Alone at my kitchen table trying to launch this huge project, sometimes I get overwhelmed and discouraged.
Last week I received a note from a woman I used to work with. Rachel was feeling alone, overwhelmed and discouraged too. Just when I was losing my steam for @Wit’s End, Rachel’s note flooded me with every reason I needed to sally forth.
Thank you Rachel, for inspiring me.
I’m not sure if you remember me but we used to work together. Today as I am scrolling through my LinkedIn feed, I see your face next to two words that scream at me- Child and Mental Illness. I think what does she know about having a child with mental illness? What could she possibly know about the financial hardships, the pain, the sleepless nights, the doctors, the explosions, the life of a single mother walking around on eggshells as to not create anymore conflict or disruption in her chaotic secret life as the mother of a child with mental illness??
After reading and crying (sobbing at my desk) tears of anger and happiness (that someone else gets it, is going through it and talking about it) through your words, I realize WOW! You actually do completely understand it, all of it! Who would have thought that someone I perceived as so differently from myself is and has been dealing with the same challenges?
My youngest son was diagnosed bi polar a couple of years ago. We have been seeing a psychiatrist since he was 8 years old. We have a lot more bad days then good days. He has been hospitalized more times than I can count, arrested at least 10 times, I have lost jobs and taken leaves because I needed to attend his 3 day a week outpatient programs that were hours away from my office.
His father has been zero help, until recently not even acknowledging that he had a mental illness. Blaming our son’s behavior on my poor parenting techniques, lack of discipline and lack of time with him. In the Hispanic community mental health is not recognized as a health problem at all but again a lack of discipline in the home. Or caused by my divorce. That’s my favorite one.
I am so tired, physically, mentally, financially and no one understands.
I’m going to cut this short for now-because I am at work (my worst fear is not having health insurance for my adult son, or having to change Drs again) but I would love to talk more, I really enjoyed reading your blogs, I think this is an amazing organization and I would love to help, participate, join-even if only for my own sanity and to learn more about resources or maybe help create some?
Thank you for sharing-its great to know I am not alone. I admire you stepping out of your comfort zone and talking about this.
Update on Rachel. I asked her permission to use her note in my blog, expecting her to want to remain anonymous. This was her response.
“I am ok with going public. Privacy only makes people feel alone and if anything I’ve learned from our conversations- I am very much not alone. I have learned so much just in the last two days! I appreciate you more than you know.”
In honor of Rachel and all the other moms — I will continue to make @Wit’s End my life’s work.