Today I am thinking about Birthdays? Why? Because my youngest son officially becomes an adult today. Blake is 18. We have had a few rough years, he and I. This birthday was one I was afraid might never come. I was always afraid he would become a statistic, that he might hurt himself. Blake has bi-polar disorder, and for many years when he was younger, he was out of control. People with mental illness are more prone to hurting themselves or others. Medication was our savior.
I believe when a person is sick that there is medicine to make it better, then you should take it. But because his problem was ADHD and bi-polar disorder, many people thought medicine was bad. Just the opposite is true. Having the proper medicine gave Blake the chance to grow up, and to learn to control himself. I think many people over look mental illness as a real disease, and think taking meds is a sign of weakness. I took all kinds of flack for giving him medication and putting him in the hospital when needed. I spent years fight teachers and special education problems that were not a good fit for him. Those were rough years.
Now he chooses not to take medicine, but he also hasn’t had a manic episode in a very long time. He still has more energy than five people. He talks faster than most people think (he got that from me), but he is not the same person he was a few years ago. He has also learned a lot about self-control and his illness.
What he is going to do with himself in the future I don’t know. But we made it this far, and he seems to be headed in a good direction. It’s been a long hard road, and probably it will be again. We are family and we will get through it.