I’ve had a rough life growing up in circumstances beyond any child’s control. My young adult life was even rougher, this time from my own bad choices. Along the way, I did realize that this round, I had a choice and could create my reality. Since then, I worked hard and made many sacrifices to break old patterns of pain and suffering. And yes my path of life smoothed out greatly for the longest time. Fast forward 10 years and now, Life itself, has swiftly thrown an unexpected boomerang my way to remind me that I am not the one in full control. This here was a totally unforeseen twist in my life. I had no idea, no indications that two of my sons, who grew up healthy and seemed NORMAL during their childhood, were to be diagnosed with Mental Illness in their late teens (17 yrs young) just before adulthood!
Both sons had psychotic episodes this year and were diagnosed with Schizoaffective because they also have a coexisting mood disorder along with the Schizophrenia positive symptoms of psychosis. I am new to all of this but Im learning all I can to help them. I just learned that there are two kinds of Schizoaffective disorder; Schizoaffective Depressive and Schizoaffective Bipolar. It seems I was chosen to have one of each!
Initially, the news slapped me straight into a catatonic shock. Then, once I came up for air, I felt my shattering in a million different ways as I began to worry excessively about their futures, about the cruel judgment they’d encounter along the way from our cruel cruel world who will sting then with the stigma.
I could feel myself going under, slipping into a brief depression. I prayed, then I reached inside for my deep seeded Faith which had saved me many times. Since then, I have been taking it day by day and processing this through my mind and heart slowly. I can’t loose it now, they need me now, more than ever.
The other day, as I replayed a few of my past difficult circumstances that I thought I’d never survive through my mind and thought about all those dark rough roads I crawled down in my past…..I kept silently chanting to myself; ‘Perhaps I was made for such a time as this’, This has become my daily Mantra. (to keep my own sanity).
My 23 yr son, Joey has been diagnosed and suffering with schizophrenia and depression for about (8) years now. But he was just diagnosed last year. I was told that because he was diagnosed so late, the degree of his mental illness is severe and debilitating. He was unable to complete high school and He has never held a job. Joey, he needs assisted living and care. I choose to be the one to be there for him, with him 24/7 to ensure that he is safe and cared for with Love. Joey is non violent to others, yet he is threat to himself. His prognosis is permanent. We are still in the process of finding the right combination of meds to give him some relief.
My 17 yr. son, Noah was diagnosed (5) weeks ago Schizoaffective BiPolar with Anxiety disorder. Since his diagnosis, I have been educating myself online more about mental illness.
I now realize that Noah was prodome for just a little over a year. I feel that he is worse off than his brother Joey because he is displaying aggressive and violent behavior towards others during his Manic episodes which have gotten him into much trouble with the law for the first time ever in his life.
However, it was this very trouble that has forced Noah to get the diagnosis and help that I have been trying to get for him since November 2017 when he had his very first undeniable paranoid psychotic episode.
Initially Noah was reluctant to take any kind of meds. But He finally agreed to try Abilify two weeks ago and so far I think he feels good. I see a new calmness in his body. His mind is still hallucinating but hopefully that subsides soon. He will be 18 years old in (3) weeks. I pray that he continues to take his medication. Noah is pretty independent and a highly intelligent young man. I am going to be heavily involved in promoting his therapy and treatment for as long as he will allow me to be.
In a strange way, I feel like all my personal trials and tribulations have prepared me for this. Although nothing this life changing can ever be prepped for.