My blog's barely out there on the internet and already I'm getting questions. "You're emphasis seems to be on mothers and grandmothers. What about me?"
A man asks, "What about Dads?" A woman asks, "What about sisters and daughters who help their siblings or parents cope with mental illness? Can we be included in your discussions?"
The answer is "Of Course." Configurations we call family are infinite -- mother/father/children, single mother/children, single father/children, mother/mother/children, father/father/children, step-moms/step-dads/step-children, foster moms/foster dads/foster children, grandmothers/grandfathers/grandchildren, etc. Dedicated family and friends who love and support someone with a serious mental illness can be described as a universe.
The key word here, for me, is "dedicated." I'm not including folks who might be abusive and a contributing factor in someone's mental illness. We know not all parents/caregivers are perfect, good, or even close. But there are many of us, in spite of our own weaknesses and faults, who hang in there for the long haul. We try the best we can to support someone we love who has bipolar disorder or schizoaffective disorder or schizophrenia or OCD or borderline personality disorder or anxiety disorder. And on and on...
I can work only from my own experience which is being a single mother of a son with bipolar disorder. I'm not a dad or sister or daughter. I can't write those stories but I hope others of you will. We have to talk openly about mental illness until it's part of our common discourse and is more understood, accepted, and supported.
So, back to your questions, "What about me?" "What about Dads?" My blog's welcome mat is out. It's tall and wide. I don't care if you're a one-eyed, one-horned, flying purple people eater. If you have a story to tell about mental illness and you're trying to support someone you love, or if you have a mental illness yourself, then please step up and share your story here. Either click on Comments below. Or go to the Support page and send longer comments/stories in the box provided.
The power of this site will be in our collective stories, not just in my story.
Hope you're having a good week.