Seven listeners share their stories of SMI (Serious Mental Illness) in a loved one - and, in one case, in themselves.
This episode grew out of a facebook post. We had so many volunteers to share their powerful stories that we may do more episodes like this, if you find it valuable and moving. I know we did.
Judith Smith's Support group info:
Look Again podcast:
Mindy and her book: https://mindygreiling.com/
Randye and her book: https://benbehindhisvoices.com/
Miriam and her book: https://www.miriam-feldman.com/
I’d like to share some of my manual that I’ve created along the way:
· Learn how to distinguish healthy language, judgement and behaviors from unhealthy or unsafe ones
· Listen between the lines-try to understand what’s really being communicated-even when it seems so illogical
· Clarify what is acceptable and what isn’t, for you, in your life.
· Create a ‘board of directors’ for yourself…who will you turn to for various aspects of managing your loved one’s condition.
I now engage only with the healthy parts in conversation especially if it starts to escalate. Ignore the unhealthy.
I provide what I can to keep my family member safe, fed, housed, etc.-- When I’m too burned out, I allow myself to say, sorry I’m not able to do that now. I can do it later, tomorrow, etc.
I’ve reclaimed my home and decide when I can interact with him and when I cannot. Keep limits clear, factual rather than punitive, and make logical sense, rather than a knee jerk reaction to frustration.
FInd ways to connect and love in the face of adversity, unfounded anger and blame
Randye Kaye - was a morning Radio Personality bringing humor to CT families when her own son was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Now she is still a Broadcaster, Actress, Voice Talent, Speaker, and Author (Ben Behind his Voices, Happier Made Simple)
Miriam Feldman - is an artist, writer, and the mother of an adult son with schizophrenia. Her book, He Came in With It chronicles her family's story and was released to rave reviews on July 21st, 2020.
Mindy Greiling - Mindy Greiling was a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives for twenty years. She helped found the nation's first state mental health caucus, which successfully lobbied for a significant increase in Minnesota's mental health funding Her acclaimed memoir is Fix What You Can.