Greetings from Sedona! It’s been raining and giving us some gorgeous skies and cool breezes. A welcome respite from the 110 plus degrees down in Phoenix.
I spoke with John a couple of times today as well as his case manager twice. He sounded much better to me and his CM said he did much better in the program today…whew! We are all hoping his new meds are kicking in. The good thing is that he has many people caring about him and working with him toward his improvement/ stabilization now. Far more than he had a year ago when he fell straight through the cracks.
I received a concerned note today about John’s “right to privacy” and my writing about him on my blog so thought I’d address it here.
John and my father know I’m blogging about him and our family. My Dad reads the blog daily and is proud of the writing I’m doing. I’ve read various submissions out loud to John and we’ve had meaningful talks about many things through this process.
John’s case manager also reads here and has praised me for writing and helping educate others about mental illness and advocacy. I’m hoping this blog has far reaching effects for others in our same predicaments who will find solace and less isolation through these sharings. I believe my intentions are to find connection and support as well as some kind of global education on these complex issues.
I also don’t share every single gritty detail of what goes on with John. I just write from my heart and my heart is always right there with him. I will never abandon my brother and I strive every single day to help pull him in to life and I hope that comes across clearly. It’s an act of bravery I think for anyone to tell their story and his story is entwined with mine since I’ve become his primary support person for over a year now.
It was also expressed a concern that John may be “losing his rights”. Yes I am meeting with a mental health attorney to guide me in ways to best PROTECT my dear brother.
For example my father is always concerned with him having his car keys and access when he is in an acute episode as hes been these last weeks. John has disappeared twice in his car for weeks on end in a state of acute psychosis. You can only imagine what that did to all of us. Police were involved and Missing Persons reports filed. He is lucky to be alive from these incidents. The last one was the impetus for me to intervene and move him to AZ to be close to me. I knew that decision would change my life forever but it was my only option and I’ve never regretted it. One day I will write that miracle filled story. It will lift you up as it did me.
Our family unfortunately knows all too well the tragedy that can lie at the end of a Missing Persons Report so I’m sure we are more sensitive than most. John can be a serious danger to himself at times.
I’ve never had other than his best interests at the forefront of my mind. I think most readers can see and feel that. I know everyone close to us knows this.
As his illness has exacerbated recently his case manager started talking to me about things like court ordered hospitalizations for John’s own SAFETY. He encouraged me to get legal advice as did our family’s financial planner to draw up wills for both of us.
He said to me just yesterday “if you should pre-decease John there needs to be a plan for his care and money distributed to him and who will manage that”. These are gritty realities of dealing with disabled people which need to be addressed.
I intend to seek this professional advice to find out exactly what we need in this complex situation and to protect John as best I can from his illness which has in the past steered him in very unsafe situations. I can’t be monitoring him every minute so we need to explore all options.
I’m just here to tell my story primarily. I walk this path right along side my brother. It has consumed me for over a year and we are just getting started together. Thank God we have each other.
I know my love and concern for my dear brother shines from every pore of my being and if that’s not seen then that just isn’t my concern. Lord knows the relief I’ve gotten from writing and the support and encouragement from the vast majority of readers commenting here and privately has been worth it’s weight in platinum.
I’m going to keep writing and sharing our stories, all the ups and downs as best I can and hope to be some kind of lighthouse in the dark not only for myself but for anyone else who may need it.
And that’s the best I can do.