I know many readers are curious to know how my father is doing. I have to admit that like everything else in life, there are ups and downs but I’m still glad that he’s doing better. I recorded some of our conversations and wanted to share one with you. Up until now, a lot of what has been shared in this blog have been my own personal experiences of seeing my father go through life as a homeless person. I was able to get permission from him to share this one, so people can have a more intimate understanding of the kind of progress a person can make when on treatment.
He mentions that we all have problems… we all issues in life to resolve. Everybody does something wrong in their life. He is right. Part of the human experience is to suffer and struggle. I am amazed to see his progress in such a short amount of time. I can imagine how many others who are mentally ill have thought the same thing about taking medication. Why do I need this? If I feel better, why do I have to keep taking it?
As a society we seem to attribute mental illness as a sign of weakness and deficiency. There is something gravely wrong with this line of thinking. I recently had lunch with a former co-worker and shared with her the changes that have occurred in both my father’s life and my own. I half-heartedly told her that I probably needed counseling as much as my father did when all of this was happening. It’s true. I did. And I still do. Trying to come to terms with the emotional and mental stress and trauma of the past is not easy. We relive it in cycles, sometimes unconsciously. At the same time we want to be “stronger than that.” Not wanting the assistance because out of stubborn determination we don’t want to accept that there might actually be something wrong. I’ve definitely been there.
But when I recall all of the hardships and suffering that he and I both shared (separately and together) in the past years… including my own childhood… I recognize that I have come this far because I had the good counseling from close friends, family, therapists, teachers, colleagues, and people who simply cared. It’s nobody’s responsibility to “fix” us, but it’s definitely our responsibility to each take control of our road to recoveries. And for some, like in the instance of my father, there needs to be some overriding authority to make sure they have he opportunity to make decisions with mental clarity.
Thanks for continuing to read, to care, to share… I’m never really sure who reads this, or what will come of it in the future. Hopefully it’s all good.