You may have wondered why I am not quite like other moms. I get tired easily and haven’t always been there to play. I haven’t taken you as many places. I don’t know what else, but I apologize
When you were very young, I had a psychotic break. That is when you lose touch with reality. I was thinking strange thoughts, seeing things , hearing voices of people I know, who weren’t there.
It seemed like it came out of the blue. I was keeping to myself and not saying much. I was going to work and your father was with us at home, but no one seemed to notice. People at work asked if I was okay and why I was sad, but that was it.
It wasn’t until Aunt Kim called on the phone. You know she is a nurse practitioner. She recognized that I wasn’t making sense and told Dad I needed to see a special kind of doctor. The doctor is called a psychiatrist. He prescribes me medication.
I went to the hospital for a short time. Leila I know you were worried when I was gone. I am sorry for about that. I want you to have a better understanding so you won’t have to worry if I go to the hospital again.
I have a mental illness. You may be familiar with other words people use, like “crazy”. I am not crazy, but I need medication for my brain to work right. Now, I don’t have those strange thoughts or voices.
I thought I would answer questions, as you asked, but you didn’t ask much. Leila, one day you helped me make a poster for a NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) class. You asked why “I” was making it and I told you because I had a mental illness. You just said “I didn’t know that” and went back to playing. That was years ago. I don’t know if you remember.
And, you recently made me a friendship bracelet that says DBSA (Depression Bipolar Support Alliance). I thought you might ask something when I asked for that, but you forgot what letters I asked for. I love my DSBA bracelet
Jonah, I know you are well aware of my medication. I take you to the pharmacy sometimes. I don’t want you to have to worry that I am physically ill. I recently tried to explain to you, but I fumbled my words, and you didn’t want to hear any more.
I do want to say how proud I am of both of you. Leila, you are so smart, talented and pretty. Jonah, you are so athletic, funny and hard working. I always worried that I wouldn’t give you enough. That somehow having a mentally ill parent would affect you, but you are the greatest kids.
If you have questions, please ask. I know you can imagine things worse than the truth. Jonah, remember when I wore sunglasses inside and you worried I was going blind? I want to be honest with you. I don’t want to announce it to the world, but I don’t want to keep my illness a secret from you.