Ben has a friend. A real friend. They actually socialize. Last night, “the boys” were up until 2 am playing a video game, and I am about to drive them both to school so they can take their finals. They studied. They care about their grades. They talk about life, philosophy, favorite foods and TV shows, and just plain old everyday stuff.
This – as you may already know – seems like a miracle.
It’s as though Ben is finally getting to have his adolescence back – the years that schizophrenia stole, slowly and then nearly completely, until he began to stabilize with the right schizophrenia treatment – and then begin to rebuild.
Bust Stigma to Help Nurture Relationships
Certainly the symptoms of schizophrenia created the biggest obstacle. But the stigma that comes with mental illness came in a close second – and still does.
That’s why this new friendship – and, happily, a few others like it – is so miraculous. Ben, after years of hiding his illness, is finally finding some friends who know who he is. Not all know as much as others, but every small step toward acceptance can inspire others.