Friday, November 04, 2005

Looking Better

First, I want to apologize for my profane post yesterday, but it goes to my frame of mind at the time. Today I feel OK. The slide that started yesterday seems to have stopped. That's good news, I did NOT like where that was heading.

I left work on time yesterday. I should have stayed late to catch up, but my frame of mind just didn't allow it. I went home, resisted yelling at the family for the house being a mess, and my girls, bless their 7 and 10 year old hearts, read me like a book. They said they would get things cleaned up, and they did. We left them with our 17 year old son, and the wife and I went to a NAMI meeting. That was the best thing I could have done.

NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness is a great organization, and we have a local chapter with a support group that meets monthly. This was our second meeting. They have separate groups for "consumers" and for "supporters". The wife and I sat in the "supporters" group, as our main goal is to know how to deal with our son. I really didn't think I would get much out of it personally, but the stories from others, and the interaction with others, let me know I'm not alone. It was very comforting, both as a "consumer" and a "supporter".

One poor lady came, and sat quietly. I'd guess she was in her mid seventies. She sat through the support session, and when asked if she'd like to introduce herself, reluctantly did so. They make it clear that participation is completely voluntary, but they are friendly enough that everyone participates. This lady finally opened up a bit. We find out she has a forty something son that is so mean he drove her out of her house. He lives in her house, she lives in an apartment. She can't talk to him, as she says he's too mean. Her hands were shaking, and her voice was shaking, she was obviously at the end of her rope, and didn't know where and how to proceed. She got some good information from others there on getting him disability from social security so he can get his own place to live. I think she was so overwhelmed, however, that it didn't sink in. Poor lady is spending these years living in fear and misery. But that's the mystery of the mental health system - how many people are living in misery because they can't navigate the system?