Monday, March 16, 2015

Support for Morgan

Many of you may have heard about an incident that happened in Wisconsin regarding two girls stabbing a third girl in the woods, due to a fear of a fictional character called “Slender Man”.  

What you may not know is that one of the children being prosecuted for this crime is Morgan Geyser, a 12-year old girl diagnosed with childhood onset schizophrenia. 

Last Friday, the judge presiding over this case determined that this child will be prosecuted for first degree attempted homicide in adult court.  As you can imagine, her family and lawyer don’t believe a child with a brain disorder should be prosecuted as an adult.  

There will be a hearing in June before this judge to argue moving the case to juvenile court.  Her family feels that letters addressed to the court from other parents of children with mental illnesses – particularly schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, and bipolar disorder – that discuss the challenges and issues our children endure with these illnesses, may help convince the judge that the case belongs in juvenile court.

If you would like to write a letter on Morgan's behalf, please address your letter to The Honorable Judge Michael O. Boren, the judge in this case.

Please be courteous, tell your story, and please try to keep your letter to two typed pages or less. 
Morgan’s lawyer has advised her parents to collect the letters, so when your letter is complete, please mail it to:

Support for Morgan Geyser
PO Box 865
Waukesha, WI 53187-0865

If you have any questions, please email me and I  will get back to you as soon as possible.  Thank you.

Friday, March 6, 2015

A Long December

I'm sorry it's been so long since I've posted.  Winter is long and cold here in Chicago, and frankly, I am, as much as I hate to admit it, I am prone to seasonal depression which makes me pretty much hide out, eat, binge watch Netflix, and shun bearing my soul to, well, anyone. But I stepped on the scale about seven weeks ago and started to bawl.  I've never weighed this much in my life.  Ever.  I literally weigh twice as much as I did when Tom and I got married nearly 25 years ago.  I know how it happened.  It was years of giving myself permission to self-medicate with food.  I could literally eat 4,000-5,000 calories a day and nearly never move.  I got a Fitbit in early December and if I broke 2,000 steps a day it was a miracle.

After I stopped crying I decided that I can't blame it on Tim anymore, or what we went through in 2013, or Wonderboy's recent decision to distance himself from us.  Tim is who he is, and the ups and downs of his stability are never going to get a whole hell of a lot better than they are now. 2013 happened, and it's over.  Wonderboy will, I pray, decide that having parents in his life is better than not having them. I can either eat myself to death over all that, or I can accept what I cannot change and stop pretending.  So, I joined the gym at work.  I'm lucky that there is one in the building and it is pretty cheap as gym memberships go, and it has a lot of different equipment and personal trainers at a reasonable rate.  My first day at the gym was Wednesday, January 28, 2015.  I walked 2 miles an hour on the treadmill for 25 minutes. Not even a half mile.  I grimaced, showered, and went to my desk.  I made it 5,000 steps that day.

This morning I walked 3.2 miles on the treadmill in 63 minutes. It's 1:15 PM and I've walked over 11,000 steps already, on target for my current daily average of 12,000. I weigh ten pounds less than I did on January 28th.  And my mood is a hell of a lot better, even though the temperature when my day started was -5 Fahrenheit.  I'm seeing my shrink next Thursday, and I think I'm ready to cut back on my antidepressant.

Yeah - it's great I'm moving and losing weight.  I've got a shitload of weight to lose, so I'll be doing this for the better part of the next two years, before I figure out the routine I need to stick to in order to maintain weight loss.  But I'm most happy about the unexpected benefit of lifting my mood; really, really, lifting it.  I'm making myself hit the gym five days a week because, well, it's March folks, and Tim hasn't made it through a March without being in the hospital or residential since he was 10.

I hate the smell of hospitals in winter.  

I feel like I've been stuck in the long, dark, cold December for a long time.  But I do have reason to believe 2015 will be better than the years past.  I refuse to accept anything less, for the first time in a really, really long time.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Advocacy One Day, But Not The Next

On his blog today, Pete Earley posted a recap of a speech DJ Jaffe gave at the New York State NAMI conference earlier this year.  DJ Jaffe and his mentor, Dr. Fuller Torrey, are two of the most outspoken advocates for AOT legislation in the country.

I have blogged before about my feelings on what Mr. Jaffe advocates for.  He draws a very clear distinction between what he considers, "the most severely mentally ill," and others with mental illness.  I do not.  There's a thin line between stability and instability and I don't see the point in making a distinction between the two, because a person on one side of the line today can easily be on the other tomorrow.

So, here's the thing, Dj Jaffe: