Wednesday, January 13, 2010

ROUTINE IS JUST ONE PART OF RECOVERYWhen it comes to mental illness, we start to understand that recovery is not a destination, rather, it is a constant management and understanding of symptoms. My brother continues to amaze me in his efforts to improve on himself. Though it was difficult for him to do, he did go to the local animal shelter in search of  volunteer position. He was afraid that the interviewer would inquire about his volunteering interest since he had a college degree. These uncomfortable situations continue to harp on his conscience. But, as his family, we are there to support and encourage him so that he can see he can live up to his potential. 

To those who are not aware what it is like to live with schizophrenia, I want to point out that your intelligence is NOT affected by the illness in any way. My brother is still much sharper than most and has a memory I am still baffled by. In his case, his symptoms can prevent him from feeling comfortable in social/stressful situations. This can be very problematic when trying to hold a 9-5 job. To the average person, this may be hard to comprehend but it is why I try to educate others. Empathy towards this chronic illness will reduce stigma. It is also important to point out that no case of schizophrenia is the same and there are many who are quite functional. 

In closing, I wanted to say that I am very proud of my brother and hope that being around animals will be comforting to him since he is so good with them. It may seem like a small accomplishment to some but to a family who has seen their son and brother deal with absolute debilitation, it is a monumental step in the right direction. Good luck Josh, we will always be here to support you:)


  1. I love dogs! I hope your brother enjoys his new position. Nice, comforting, reassuring post, it really made me feel good that you pointed out some of the good qualities about your brother and how schizophrenia does not affect everybody the same way. The more we educate, the less stigma will be out there! Oh, yeah and happy pregnancy!

  2. Your comment that schizophrenia does not hurt intellegance is not entirely true. Schizophrenia does act on ones cogntive abilites. Forunatley for us we live in an age where medicine helps repaire some of these cogntive ablilites. Most of these medicine came out in the fities and the even better ones didn't come out until the ninties! I can tell that my cogntive have been comprimised. My brain has always been selective. So anyway, somehow my brain knows that I no longer need my math skills being a writer! I can't do half the math problems I used to. It's o.k. though, because my brain is right I don't need it. I also think it's awesome that your brother is voluntering. With animals too! That's awesome. I have choosen a life of volunteering and it's rewarding. Some people I met wonder why I don't have a job, but the ones that really matter come to understand why it's better for me. Best of luck to your brother. E - mail me sometime, I miss you.

  3. Animals can be extremely comforting during any illness, and I hope your brother finds some happiness in spending time with them, and being responsible for their care. I have two cats now, and I love them both and wouldn't know how to live without them now. I find that work of any kind seems to help me manage life better than I was able to when I was not working. I hope this structure and routine is useful for your brother.

    I'm glad you continue to keep up this wonderful blog!

  4. I agree with your comment on intelligence not being affected with this son started talking sentences before he was a year old and has a brilliant mind...however he's not as confident as he used to be before all the meds..being on medication seems to alter his self confidence....maybe being labeled schizophrenic tends to affect him also...i'm just so grateful to have him healthy and alive...last year was a year full of uncertainty....he's been back on his meds for about 5 months now..which is great...but the meds have caused him to gain weight rapidly...
    So happy to hear your brother is doing well...