Today, my new book launched and hit the best sellers list immediately. Mental Illness: Consequences When the Brain Misfires, includes the excruciating struggle of my mom and me trying to help her through a depression I never understood marked by the hallucinations (or did she simply see what others did not?) schizophrenia.
What my mom saw terrified her and her reactions terrified me.
You see, I had to write this book because if I had known what I now know (hindsight–why does it come later?) maybe I would have seen the symptoms that she, like so many elderly people and their doctors, miss. As well as she ate, all the good water she drank and the miles of walking she did every day, all that healthy life style failed to keep her mind well functioning.
My mom was an amazing lady and strong female who cared for us – my brother, me and her mom – in a time when women working outside the home just was not the thing to do.
Hey, she had no choice. My dad died young. She always did what she had to do.
My mom ran all three of her boss’s businesses. She took out personal loans–did you get that? My mom took out personal loans to cover payroll when insufficient income hit the company. She needed her job and she made sure it didn’t disappear.
She worked ALL the time – never getting sick and never taking a vacation. Seriously – she did what she had to do.
Fortunately, my older brother arranged for her to take a vacation. Only all of us knew she would never agree to miss work. So, my brother and her boss plotted for us (my brother and me) to trick her into getting in the car with us and we actually kidnapped her. He had packed a suitcase for her as well as for each of us and hid them in the trunk of the car – out of sight.
When my mom realized she had been fooled she got hysterical! She did not believe us – that my brother had made arrangements for us to go away for 10 days.
Despite her long work hours, I remember my mom coming to my every event and every concert. I was a musician back then. And when she retired (took a lot of convincing to get her to retire) and moved south to live near my family – she was always available for everything my kids did and to help me with anything I needed.
Hey, I was lucky enough to grow up before television was big. My family used to gather around the piano and sing. My mom and I used to sing when riding in the car.
Hmm. That is where my daughter got it! We could not take her in the car during her first few years unless we sang the entire trip! NO kidding!
My mom would have been 99 today – had she not needed to leave. Seeing the pain she lived with as no one correctly diagnosed what was wrong with her – and knowing her emotional state, I really did understand why she needed to go.
In the book I go into detail, great detail, of my mom’s situation as well as very real practical information to reverse and to the prevent mental illnesses so common today.
Even now, thirteen years after she transitioned, my mom continues to smile on all of us. She comes when my kids or me need her.
Hers was a life well lived that touched everyone she ever met. I sure do miss her. Even when I clearly sense her presence, it just isn’t the same as her physical touch.
Know what I mean?