It isn’t easy, loving someone with schizophrenia.
Well, let me rephrase: Loving is easy. Loving is in our soul.
Liking? Sometimes much harder.
Caring for? Protecting? Supporting? Very very hard.
Families who have not abandoned their loved ones with schizophrenia (and many, unsupported and at the ends of their ropes, feel they have no other choice) are left holding so many loose ends it’s easy to feel hopelessly tangled up all the time. And that’s on a good day. On a bad day? We live in fear.
We fear – for our loved one’s life, sometimes for our own lives. And it often feels like there is nowhere to turn.
As for us – well, as of this writing, we’re still one of the lucky families. After eight hospitalizations, after seven years in a group home, after homelessness and arrests, our son Ben is back home with us and stable on medication. Well, for today at least. We take it a day at a time, and each day we get that passes without major crisis feels like a gift – a gift that could get ripped away at any time.
I often speak to groups about the Four Pillars of Recovery Success that have enabled Ben to rebuild his life after his periods of psychiatric care: Treatment, Purpose, Structure and Love. Yep: he has a job right now, and a free place to live (with us), and a social life. Yay. I know what a miracle that is. But, as I’ve written before, that success is precarious. If one of those pillars should crack, we could be back at Ground Zero in the blink of an eye.
Still one of my most popular posts, here and on HealthyPlace.com , is this one:
Though six years have passed since I wrote it, it still gets comments. And in those comments I am reminded of the deep, mournful, and sometimes terrifying challenges families – and parents specifically – face when schizophrenia moves in. Continue reading Schizophrenia and the Family: Exhausted, Broke, Helpless and Blamed