My son is bipolar, tough words to write because of the looming negative stereo type of responses I have received over the years. He is not only bipolar he also suffers from PTSD, which makes all things worse. Before he was diagnosed life was a nightmare of “why are you acting this way?” He would get in trouble and my family was less than supportive about it. The “all you are doing is enabling him,” sentence got on my last nerve, he is my child. Of course the big family secret was that bipolar was running rampant through our gene pool, information I would have loved to have so much earlier in my life. But I didn’t get to know.
What I know now is that my family secret is a lot of families secret, not to mention our beautiful children that went to war and have come back so broken and afflicted with mental illness themselves. Frankly none of us are fully able to handle this on our own. The words, It takes a village, is so much more than a buzz phrase, it is the truth. For the last 2 weeks I have been plagued with interior feelings of overwhelming sadness and red-hot anger and yesterday I tried to call my son and he didn’t answer my call or call back, then I knew. It wasn’t me at all, my boy was in trouble, I write this and my eyes fill with tears because I should have known something was up.
He had started talking of wanting to be more responsible so I could go and try to start my life again. We both know none of us can live someone elses’ life for them, we really can’t control another human. We can only lead, with our words, with our love and with our support. I hear the agony in his voice when I finally get him on the phone and it breaks my heart. He ran out of his medicine 2 weeks ago and we were all on a count down and he couldn’t reach out. So the other shoe drops and the fall out of a 2 week blow out spills onto me and my daughter and I would say his wife too, if she was emotionally even sitting in her body anymore.
There are no easy answers to this issue. There is no guarantee of long-term help when medicines that work for a while then stop. There is no running away or sending it away, God gave us this challenge as God has done to so many others. Chances are you know somebody who is suffering with some kind of brain disorder. What we can do is maintain a deep and personal relationship with the one suffering and their family. Most importantly maintaining our spiritual practice and closeness to the creator who gave us this responsibility. We all have heard God does not give us anything we can’t handle, though we certainly would like to argue that point. We can surround our loved one with the white light of consciousness, when can encourage them to take good care of their body, by eating right, getting rest which is like asking a child to sit still for 3 hours, not even close to real but sometimes it sinks in. And most importantly we can encourage each other.
So my hat is off to you, if you are like me and my daughter holding a family together. My hat is off to you who stand next to your loved when others say step away. My hat is off to every parent who had wished health for their child and watched as it was drained due to an accident, birth, or fricking war. My hat is off to those who work with the ones trying so hard to make sense of such a difficult situation that often has no end date. My hat is off to my daughter who does this job with me when she certainly doesn’t have to. I love you so much!!!
My hat is off to us all!