Thursday, January 28, 2016

#ItTakesATeam


Do you ever think about the people you rely on?
You know, the people that you think of right away to call, text, or write as soon as something is going on in your life?
Every one has a group, a circle, a TEAM of people around them that loves them, supports them, laughs with them, and cries with them.
But what if you feel alone. 
You don't know who is on your team.
You are going through something so big, so monstrous that you can't really think about it, much less share it with someone else.
THAT is when you need a team behind you the most.  

When we found out that our tall one was dealing with such a heavy issue, something we as his parents couldn't even put our brains around, we felt like we were in an isolation tower. 
We didn't understand what was going on, HE didn't know what was going on, and we had no idea how to help him.
The word? 
Schizophrenia.
WHAT?
WHAT IS THAT?
WHY DOES MY SON HAVE TO BATTLE IT?
HOW DO WE HELP HIM?


The first thing we did was education ourselves.  

Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe, and disabiling brain disorder that has affected people throughout history.  People with the disorder may hear voices others don't hear  or see people that others don't see.

Then we cried. For days. Months even.
As we cried, we made sure that he was safe.
He was never alone.
We talked to him.
His coaches continually checked on him.
They texted him.
They came over to see him.

We got him in an amazing program, that included a therapist, a psychiatrist, and education for him and us.

He started medication.
He started seeing his therapist and doctor weekly.
It took time.
Months even.
Slowly, he started to come back to us.

He has a long way to go.
It's an every day battle.
He's learning to be courageous, to fight, to not be afraid to be who he is, to be honest with himself and others, and he's learning to not be ashamed.

He's learning that there are things he HAS to do, and others he doesn't.  He's learning limits.  He's learning that he will always have worth, that he will always achieve his goals, and that his dreams are always attainable.  

He's also learning about his team.  The valuable adults in his life that go to bat for him daily.  The team of people that have his back, that get creative, that rejoice in his successes and go back to the drawing boards when he backslides.

He has two parents who ADORE him and believe in him.
He has a basketball coaching staff that have stepped up, and seen his value as a person, and are teaching him the value of himself and his team.
He has a school team of educators that are supportive, give attainable goals, and are patient when he struggles.  They hear us and him and plan his schedules accordingly.
He has a therapist that is the coolest guy ever, and a psychiatrist that is always keeping tabs on his medications to make sure they are adequate.
He has a church leader that visits him, encourages him, and reminds him that God loves him and is mindful of him always.

That is the very inner circle, the daily circle of teammates that help lift our boy up.  This team is how he has come out of his shell, come out of his personal hell, and found some successes.  He has so much more to go, but he is seeing successes that he hasn't seen in years.  Without his team, we would never be where we are now.  

Everyone needs a team.  Who's on your team?  #ItTakesATeam



Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Doubt




DOUBT.

Doubt is a thief.  
Doubt makes you question, makes you afraid.
Doubt takes away ability.
Doubt can ruin a life.

When dealing with mental illness, your own brain is a robber.
Your own brain puts doubt in your head.
Your own brain is making you doubt yourself.
When your own brain is making you doubt yourself, you become paralyzed.

You are supposed to go to school.
You are supposed to go to practice.
You are supposed to go to work.
You can't, because you doubt yourself.

Your brain says you can't.
Your brain says you're not good enough.
Your brain says you're weak.
Your brain says you're worthless.

Eventually you can't even hear those around you telling you that you can.
You can't hear the words I love you.
You can't hear anything but doubt and you can't feel anything but fear.
You can't see any of your victories.

It's a daily struggle.
The voice can whisper, the voice can shout.
It's always there.
Doubt is a liar, and a thief.



Mental Health is real. It's serious. We all need to be aware.  It's all around us.  It's our mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, friends.  It's silent.  But we all need to talk about it.  Share your stories.  And know #ItTakesATeam


Our son battles mental illness daily.  Last week he triumphed.  This week doubt is stealing his ability.  Every day his team reminds him of their love, gives him small goals, and praises him.  It's one of the hardest battles he will face in his life.  But he is not alone.  And he is not ashamed to share his story.  
And we are so proud of our tall one and his courageous battle.  




Thursday, January 14, 2016

Three Things Thursday/ January 14

 Dear Life,

I love Kristine from The Foley Fam Unedited and when I saw she was doing this fun linkup I decided I wanted to participate!  So here it goes.....I am going to talk about three things on my mind today:


1.
These days getting a smile from this sweet boy is not so easy.  He has been battling a huge battle: debilitating anxiety, depression, and psychosis 
Psychosis is a serious mental disorder characterized by thinking and emotions that are so impaired, that they indicate that the person experiencing them has lost contact with reality. People who are psychotic have false thoughts (delusions) and/or see or hear things that are not there (hallucinations). These are referred to as “positive” symptoms; “negative” symptoms like loss of motivation and social withdrawal can also occur.
This has caused our boy huge amounts of stress, and the inability to do the things he should be enjoying and participating in.  Even his very favorite thing, basketball, has been impaired.  It has been a horrible thing to watch, as we are helpless to do much but love him and encourage him.  We are incredibly proud of him.  He fights this battle daily.  It's the hardest thing I have ever witnessed. Going to watch basketball games with him is our way of getting him out and trying to encourage him.  This photo was last night, watching our varsity basketball team playing a game.  Does anyone else have had to deal with this horrible mental illness?  Wishing I could snap my fingers and make it go away.  






2.

Our little princess has officially been ours for exactly 2 years!!  I can't believe it's already been that long.  When she came home, she was weeks from her fourth birthday, and she weighed all of 20 pounds.  Now she weighs 35 pounds and has almost grown out of her 5T clothes!  It's been amazing to watch her growth.  She is so more alert and aware.  She plays with her toys and purposefully will touch our arms or hands.  Her smiles melt us....they are like rays straight from heaven.  We are so blessed to have in our family!




3. 

These two are training for the running portion of the Challenged Athletes Foundation triathalon in October.  Kumaka is the actual "runner" and Kalani will be his helper.  They run everyday and are enjoying spending this time together.  Yesterday they ran 2.8 miles in 22 minutes!!! So proud of them and their hard work.  The Triathalon is a fundraiser for CAF.  Their mission is:  
Established in 1997, the Challenged Athletes Foundation recognizes the athletic greatness inherent in all people with physical challenges and supports their athletic endeavors by providing unparalleled sports opportunities that lead to success in sports — and in life.


Kumaka has been so blessed by this organization and we are so very proud that he wants to help raise money and give back! Look for more from #TeamRockinWheelies throughout the year!