I didn’t know. I couldn’t understand.

My adult child’s mind. Filled with wild ideas, not possible.

Not sleeping. Impulsive. Brought to the hospital.

Why? What could I hope for?

For me, sadness. Trying to help.

The world, full of danger.

Scared for my child. What could I do?

I needed help. How?

I found others. Similar experiences.

They grieved the loss of someone no longer the same.

They hurt. They cared.

I learned about expectations. How do I let go?

I found helpers. Some wonderful. Others not so great.

What can I do when my adult child does not take her medications?

I reel with her manic episodes and hospitalizations.

How do I get through?

Learning about advocacy.

Teaching and supporting others.

Speaking about mental illness. I find my voice.

I write the stories. I do what I can. I am getting through.

Help makes a difference.

Psychiatrists, nurses, social workers, case managers.

Housing subsidy, social security disability, recovery programs.

Living independently with support. Right now, stability for my child. I am grateful.

I see hope. I see recovery.

My adult child, resilient. Choosing her life experiences.

The future, uncertain.

For me, uncertainty, but also acceptance.

Marjorie A. Schaffer

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