In John 10:10 Jesus promises His followers abundant life. This blog is about my life as His follower.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

There are some things you just can’t fix

Sometimes you’ll see the words “My crazy Life!” but you never really know crazy until you’ve entered the world of a schizophrenic.

Because I’ve worked for years as an administrator of psych facilities, and because I have a paranoid schizophrenic sister, I notice people who are schizophrenic. I don’t just assume they are homeless bums or difficult people in the video store; I see what’s really going on.

Just the other day I was in a small neighborhood video store and a lady and her boyfriend came in. As the lady started getting upset at her boyfriend and the store clerk she became loud and abrasive. When the lady left the clerk heaved a sigh of relief; boy had that lady been a real b_ _ _ _! Since I sort of know the clerk from prior visits I talked with her and explained that the lady was schizophrenic and was not really in control.

Mental illness really is just that – an illness. People can not help that they have this disease and they truly suffer from it. Even now days with the oh so much better anti psychotic medications, the drugs still have lots of side affects and many choose not to take them. The problem with refusing to take medication is that it leaves these people with delusional thinking. Their delusions torment their lives and make them extremely difficult at times to be around. Frequently they also hear voices in their heads. Interestingly enough, I’ve never met someone with positive voices in their heads or positive delusions that enhance their lives.

I could be one of those, what my 13 & 14 year old sons call “emo people”. I could tend toward being a depressed kind of person. I “work” if you will, really hard to avoid that. I seek to think on the good things in life, enjoy those things that bring me pleasure, and to constantly be thankful to God for all the ways He’s blessed me. I consciously seek out seeing the hand of God in my life each day and all the blessings that are mine. I am a grateful person who enjoys life.

But life is not this tidy box that I sometimes try to make it. Not everything has a clear cut answer or is fix-able.

Schizophrenia is one of those things I can not fix. My heart aches for my sister. She is someone who chooses not to take medication and in fact, due to her paranoia, she thinks it’s all of “us” who cause the problems. She receives a small disability check each month that she’s certain is because she has some “physical problems and can’t work”. Sometimes I won’t know her where-abouts for weeks on end and then, when I do, I’ll wish I didn’t. My mom has no boundaries and doesn’t handle the situation appropriately/effectively – yet how do you handle such a situation “appropriately”?! I feel guilty to admit this (so I’m doing it on the world wide web – go figure) but I’ve kind of removed myself from my family in general for a lot of reasons (it’s way beyond the typical dysfunctional family; on a scale of 1 – 10 for dysfunctionality my family would score 11!). I call my mom once or twice a week to visit and make sure she’s OK. At least once every other month I go visit at her house with whomever is there and enjoy them in that exact moment. But I work real hard to not get sucked into all their stuff because I can never make it better and it always makes me anxious/angry/frustrated/sad.

Over on the left side here I've got the verses from Lamentations 3:20-30 printed. This is the thought process that I cling to in a world that I can't always understand.

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