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Mental Illness in the Family

Randye Kaye
When mental illness meets recovery, does community matter? You bet it does. I just returned from a meeting with my son's new support team. This meeting was demanded by the the Wicked Witch (me, in this case), who was upset with the way the transition was handled from group home to supervised independent housing.  In the space of two weeks, I've seen signs that Ben is lost, lonely, unmotivated, forgetful, swinging from depressed to hyper, and probably not taking his meds when he can get away with it. Schizophrenia still looms underneath all the progress he's made. Back and forth went the conversation, over and over again. me: Where was the support for Ben's transition from 24/7 supervision to independent living?
Randye Kaye
A message comes to me via social media, along with an invitation to connect. It simply says, "My 27 year old child has schizophrenia, but will not get treatment." Oh boy, can I relate to that. Unfortunately, this is a major dilemma facing all of us who deal with mental illness in our families. Parenting is always about the precarious balance between stepping in to help, and letting go to allow learning from experience. From a child's first steps to his or her first relationship, car,  job, apartment...when to give advice? When to help? When to step back and watch them sink or swim?
Randye Kaye
Ten years ago, if you'd asked me where I thought I might be in 2011, the last thing I'd have said is "I plan to be a writer." Yet, here I am: blogging for HealthyPlace.com, and about to be a published author. When I go to Amazon.com and search for my book (which, I must admit, I do at least 5 times a week, just to make sure it's not a dream), I'm still amazed to find myself with an "author's page" and a biography on Wikipedia. Oh, I'd hoped to be a "wiki girl", but I'd thought it might be because of my work as an actress, radio personality, voice talent or singer. Life is funny that way. You make your plans, and sometimes you follow them. Sometimes, too, the universe sends you elsewhere, like a stream cutting through the forest. It goes where it needs to go.