Thursday, June 10, 2010

All Quiet on the Western Front

It's been a good while since I've written.  It just may be that life has been so normal lately.  I have been reveling in the mundane.  Ah, routine, regular life.  People don't realize how blessed that is.  I've been trying to pay attention to those mundane little miracles that surround me lately.

I sit on the board of directors for a local mental health organization.  Last night, I went to a meeting in the Department of Mental Health building.  I got off the elevator, and shuddered as I looked toward the room where I sat through more than one commitment hearing for JSB.  Just a little flash jab traumatic memory that made me wince.  I was so grateful to be attending a constructive and uplifting meeting and not a "We are going to cut your heart out now and stomp on it for a while, Mrs. Bell" commitment hearing for my son.

I was most grateful that JSB remains at the hospital with Western in it's name.  And it is all quiet there.  His commitment has just been extended another month, so we have until July.  That will make a full six months in the hospital for him.  Not to mention the two commitments before this last year.

He is doing so much better and for that I am grateful and immensely thankful.  I wish that I could say that there was no residue of schizophrenia left in him and that he has made a full and complete recovery.  Sadly, our nemesis schizophrenia loosens its grip, but does not let go.  I am so proud of JSB for hanging in there and working the program.  I cannot imagine what it is like for him.  It just occurred to me that I avoid thinking about that.  It's pretty unbearable when I really look at him with empathy and try to imagine his life and his sense of loss. 

The plan is that he will move into a transitional apartment in a small town about 90 miles from here.  A tiny apartment with privacy, a clubhouse with supportive programs and peers to help people integrate back into the community, and, I hope, receive a new lease on life. The tiny, ordinary apartment bursting with hope.  Hope for recovery and the portal to a life with dignity, depth, and meaning.

Thanks for your support, friendship and prayers for JSB and the rest of us.  It's been a difficult and treacherous road -  not unlike the unordinary and body-wrenching roads in Liberia.
It is so nice to know that we don't have to go it alone.  This torment of mental illness has been accompanied by an unlikely accomplice.  Grace.  Over and over again.  And I have learned to so adore the miraculous ordinary.

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