Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Mind Games: From Left To Write Book Club - January First by Michael Schofield
Ed and I remark often that Connor and Helen have the whole world in front of them. He and I are lucky to have stable jobs, we have stable housing, they've never missed a meal because food wasn't available. My kids have everything going for them. Most of all, they have a community of people who understand them and who care if they are OK.
The book January First, details several years of living with a child who is severely schizophrenic, only to run into an enormous problem of realizing that no matter how much a parent cares, if there's not a community behind that caring to help figure out answers, it might not be enough. In Jani's case, the child in the book, not even the professionals in institutions can figure it out. It takes a long time to find Jani the community she needs to get her the help she needs to start treating her schizophrenia. It's mind-boggling sad to think about all the hours of her life that could've been made better if a diagnosis and better drugs had come sooner.
But even without the community, Jani had (and still has) something extremely important. She has parents who didn't give up - even though their daughter has no insurance policy against the future. In fact, she is almost guaranteed to face continued struggle.
And I think that someday when my own children are giving me a lot of trouble, I need to remember that giving up just isn't going to make things better, so I might as well give this parenting gig everything I have.
As a member of the From Left to Write book club, I received a free copy of this book. I loved it. I'm sending it to a childhood friend of mine who treats chronically mentally ill adults, including adults with schizophrenia.