Wednesday, September 2, 2009

There are days when I just can't bring myself to think about my brother because it is too painful. Josh has been in a state hospital since February 2009. In the past, my family would cherish the fleeting moments of recovery or mental stability which existed between involuntary hospital stays. For the past seven months, my brother passed the time by roaming the white hospital halls, smeared in fingerprints and dirt. He paces to the rhythm of a psychosis that he can't seem to shake. He will not acknowledge his newborn niece, though his mind will not allow him to. I want to blame someone so I blame the mental health system. But they are only doing their jobs to carry out rules and regulations. As a family member, you feel like everyone who is "doing their job" looks right through you as they ignore your hunger to fix things. So, our hands remain tied, very tightly. How can I enjoy my career success, my life or even sunshine when someone I love is repeatedly choked by his own mind. I am haunted by the sensitive little boy who could never predict or deserve a future like this. My brother may be a victim of circumstance but he will forever live in my work, my mind and all that I do. Please get better Josh!


  1. Josh is lucky to have a sister who is as concerned, caring, and insightful as you, Amber. Many people are not so lucky, and they are roaming those hospital halls alone - without a family who truly cares or understands their illness. I understand your frustration, and more than anything I wish there was a cure for this illness - for your brother, and for all the rest of us. Maybe someday......For now, maybe you can find some solace in knowing that you are doing all you can to affect change in the area of mental health awareness, and that will help your brother as well as many other people.

  2. Jennifer & Amanda,

    Thank you so much for your support:) It makes me sad to think that there are too many people who do not have a supportive family or ones that are just fed up. This illness in not a walk in the park but I choose to learn from it so I do not become discouraged or cynical. I too, wish for a cure. When I see little children, I think, who will grow up to develop this illness. Like, they have no idea what is in store. It is a sad thing to think about, but I hope that my work will provide them the dignity and respect that they need.

  3. I am so sorry to hear about your bother. I spent some time in a mental hospital. they said I had borderling personality and other stuff. I had been raped, abused and shamed - through faith my life has turned around. Praying for you and your brother. Sarah

  4. Hi AC,

    I will pray for Josh and I do hope he comes out of the hospital soon.

    Anosognosia, or the lack of awareness that you have an illness, is one of the toughest symptoms of schizophrenia to combat. I hope some day Josh when he comes out of the hospital can make peace with the diagnosis and comes to understand that he can have a life of joy and happiness even though he has schizophrenia.

    Forgive me for implying Josh could possibly not be aware of his illness. Maybe he does know, and the reality is too painful to admit even to himself.

    Again I believe Josh can have a good recovery too. I am sorry to see you suffer.


  5. I am a very relgious person, Amber, and i didn't present myself that way to you. I didn't want you to think I was a bible tumper. However, reading other people comments, I just want you to know that I too pray for your brother. A very special lady told me (no I didn't hear the Virgin! this is a real lady) said that I have gift to pray for all other mentally ill people! I know what people with the disease truly need in prayer because I am living through it. Anyway, I am storming Heaven with prayers for Josh!
    Peace in the middle East,

  6. Thank you all:)

    Chris, Yes, I am afraid Josh is exhibiting that horrifying symptom called anosognosia. It is so painful to think that a symptom of this illness holds someone back from reaching recovery. However, I do have faith that all of this is part of his journey. I just have to learn patience. You all give me hope that he will find his peace someday:)