Monday, October 19, 2009

Someone once said that time and hope are all you can depend on when mental illness touches your family. That person could not have been more insightful. This past weekend was quite eventful for my family. One, my brother was finally released from the hospital (after a seven month stay). Second, I surprised my family with the news that my husband and I are expecting  our first baby. What made the announcement even more meaningful was the fact that my brother was there to hear it. And finally, Josh met his niece for the very first time.
I know now that part of Josh's improvement occurred shortly after his return home from the hospital. He could not WAIT to be out of that confined institution. I understand how spending most of your young adulthood in a mental hospital can actually hinder recovery. If anything, I hope Josh realizes that working on recovery will keep him out of that place. 

Upon his release, Josh finally shaved his beard and cut his hair. Two things he refused to do while in the hospital. I think that was his way of regaining control since everyone was telling him what to do and when to do it. Now that he is home, it is like we have the old Josh back. He was able to hold his niece for the very first time. It's hard to believe that months ago, when he became an uncle, he did not believe we were his family members or that he had a niece. It is amazing how you have to force yourself to ignore these delusions. I still remember when my sister was still pregnant and we came to town to attend a family meeting. He looked at us with a blank stare and said he was not our brother and in no way would her baby be related to him. Of course, it was hard to hold back the tears at that moment but not because he hurt our feelings, rather, we realized how strong of a hold this illness had on our brother. 

Me, Joshua, Whitney and our niece Arden, my mom made Arden's hat, sweater and booties:)

Joshua is the most sensitive, kind and loyal person I have ever known. I am not surprised that this illness continues to take advantage of him. I hope that in the future he will think of the time he first held his niece in his arms. Maybe that moment will give him strength to fight this illness and choose recovery. After all, it is up to him and only him. We are simply here to help guide his way, nothing more nothing less. 


  1. Wonderful!!!....Your news is so inspiring....It's so Good to hear Joshua is out of that dreaded (but sometimes very needed) Hospital...Congrads to You, Joshua and your Family!!

    Jake is back home and is taking his meds...He is also a Sensitive, Wonderful and Kind Soul...We are taking one day at a time..sometimes a few days attack all at once but we are making it thru the mire....

    Jake's Mom....

  2. ACDesign,

    I am very excited for you and your family about this wonderful news!


  3. Welcome home Josh. Thank you, Amber. I just watched your Gaining Insight Exhibit. My daughter was diagnosed with Schizo-Affective Disorder 9 years ago. I am beginning the "coming out" process on her behalf. She can't at the moment... meds still not quite right, symptoms and stigma keeping her in isolation... BUT we are encouraged by such as you... Your exhibit helped her a lot and gave her hope..
    I started a blog after watching "Minds on the Edge"... If anyone is interested in visiting... you can find it here:

    Thank you... Good Luck... Hang tough Josh, you're not alone.

  4. Thank you for visiting my blog Amber, and your kind words. No, I have not seen your documentary. I found your site via a link posted on the blog "the devil and the schizophrenic"... Not sure if it's correct to post a link to that here, so didn't... If you don't know of it, it's on wordpress...

  5. Great news for Josh and your family, Amber! I am glad to see that he has been able to get back into the rest of the world outside hospital walls, and experience some positive events such as a visit with his neice and the news of your child-to-be. I hope that his condition continues to improve and that your family's support will help him as he gets used to living independently again.

    Congratulations on your pregnancy. You must be very happy, and I'm happy for you!