Today is Daniel's first day back to school as a freshman at a new school. He was nervous when I dropped him off but said he would be okay. As I drove off, I felt the stress and the nervous feeling fall upon me. I know he is 15 years old and no longer in elementary school but I know how it goes. It doesn't matter how old he gets, any type of change affects everything.
When he was first diagnosed, no one explained to me what I should expect from that day forward. NO ONE sat with me and said that it would be a roller coaster ride. My son's situation isn't as bad as others but it has been rough. He is currently in a good place but I understand that it can change from one day to the next. The sad thing is that I don't know what's next. How do we ever find out? You don't find out till it's happening. Expect the unexpected.
It took me time to figure things out. I watched his every move to try to determine whether something was going on with him. I logged everything to keep track of how often symptoms occurred. Now he just tells me how he feels. This shows we've made progress. I monitor his eating habits and make sure he is well hydrated and takes his medication as directed. Back then, I explained to him what every medication was for and what types of side effects he could have from them. I educated him as I educated myself. We learned coping skills and managed to figure out triggers. As his mother, I was his #1 trigger. I had to learn more patience and learn how to approach the situation without letting it escalate. I use to take everything he said personal but I had to remind myself that he was ill and didn't mean it. He has therapy sessions weekly and visits his psychiatrist once a month for medication management and lab work for his lithium levels. I wish that he didn't have to be on the medications he is on but without them we would be back to square one and the hospitalizations would start up again. His therapy sessions help him during times of stress. He's able to express himself and his therapist has been a great mentor. I don't know what we will be doing once he is no longer able to continue care with him. Becoming an adult in three years scares me. It's a whole new type of roller coaster ride but I remain hopeful for him.
Hope is one thing I refuse to give up on. My son has taught me how to be strong and I have faith that one day he will be able to manage his life with little help from me. I was once told by a parent that her daughter's psychiatrist told her that there was no hope for her daughter. I refuse to believe hope doesn't exist for those worse than my son. There is hope for everyone.
September 10, 2014, is World Suicide Prevention Day.
Let's remember those we have lost.
If you know someone that is struggling and has thoughts of suicide. Please reach out to them and get them the help they need.
Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 and check out www.save.com.
Remember your loved ones on our Remembrance wall. Contact me if you're interested in having their photo added to our wall.
Have a great weekend!!
What a week!!! I went to the Texas Suicide Prevention Symposium in San Marcos and I heard this awesome story from a suicide survivor named Kevin Hines. He has published a book called Crack, Not Broken. This man's story was very uplifting and very powerful. I suggest you look him up or read his book. He is the perfect example that hope does exist..There is HOPE guys!!
I was a panelist for the Speak Your Mind Texas community conversation on teen and young adult mental health and substance abuse. It was a great experience and my first time being a part of panel. The turn out was great and I invited Daniel to attend with me. Believe it or not he actually participated at our table and openly spoke about his experience with his own mental health. He was even acknowledged by the facilitator and was given a round of applause by all the participants. I know for a fact that it made his night. He was also invited to speak about his experience with CPS and he said he would once he was ready to speak to a large group. For participating on the panel, I was interviewed by a local news channel KSAT 12 and made the 10 o'clock news and the next day I was also interviewed by Elise from Time Warner Cable news. Daniel was also interviewed by the local newspaper. Overall it was a great week.
Daniel is preparing himself for the first day back to school. He's nervous and he's been struggling a little but he is managing it. The best thing about it is that he has continued to inform me and it helps to know where he is at. In approximately 38 days, Daniel will have his first anniversary. One year without any hospitalizations. After 20+ hospitalizations how can we not acknowledge such a great accomplishment. Don't get me wrong there were moments of uncertainty but we made it. Yet again, NEVER GIVE UP ON HOPE.
To all my parents that follow our page. Please don't give up hope. If you see your child (Young or Old) struggling with something. Always ask "Are you okay?" "How are you?" "How can I help?" anything that will let them know you care. Kevin Hines said he stood crying on the Golden Gate Bridge. People walked passed him and no one asked him if he was okay. In fact a lady asked him to take pictures of her with her camera but didn't ask him if he was okay. He was visibly distraught. He said had anyone just asked once, he wouldn't have jumped. Imagine how that one moment could have prevented him from trying to commit suicide but no one appeared to care. Let's make a change and ask questions. Let's start saving lives instead of passing them up.
If you happen to be in San Antonio, Texas on August 13th. Please join us in the conversation of mental health. I will be on the panel representing NAMI San Antonio as the family perspective. See the attached picture for more information.
I'm a mother with an agenda to save her son from the grips of his mental illness and stop stigma so that those who suffer in silence can seek help without fearing the worse. Join me on this roller coaster ride..you're no longer alone.