I've been getting a lot of questions lately regarding Sandy Hook and whether I consider that there is a mental health crisis in this country. Of course it's hard to get help, especially when our loved ones aren't even cognizant of their mental illness. It seems like the system is set up to let the illness run rampant - not protecting Pat's rights to his own life, but protecting schizophrenia's right to consume him. It's a reality that we live with every day. So when something like Sandy Hook occurs I have to two reactions: 1) What does this have to do with schizophrenia? and 2) Welcome to the discussion, maybe you'd like to help us advocates get something done. Don't run out of steam. Don't let a couple gun laws make you forget. Call up your loval NAMI and see what you can do to advocate for mental health.
I've been working on a memoir the last few months and the last draft is almost complete. Sifting through time and picking out the most memorable, most poignant moments from my life and Pat's gave me a great deal of perspective. So often it seems like nothing has changed. Pat's still not leaving the house, he hasn't recovered occupationally or socially, and he still won't agree to any incremental changes that might include seeing a therapist once a week or even going to get his own groceries. Eventually you start to feel like everything is static and pessimistic. Breaking it down to each season, each year, I can see how far we've come. There were times when things were better, but there's no reason to imagine we can't have better times again. I think about how many times Pat has surprised us and remind myself that it can happen again.