Our son triggered his illness using marijuana during his teen years. He did not know he had a genetic vulnerability to THC and it triggered bi-polar and schizophrenia. He had his first psychotic break going into his senior year in high school, that was in 2008. We have been on this journey with him now for 12 years. We are thrilled that he has now gained the most traction he has ever had in his battle. We will be celebrating 3 years without a relapse. Before that, he would relapse about every 2 years and even more frequently. His journey has been life threatening multiple times and he came very close to suicide (either intentionally or unintentionally) three times.
While we had to grieve the son we used to have, we have learned to love and appreciate our new son. He is my hero and we cherish every moment we have with him as we never know when it will be our last. We have learned a lot on this journey, and I am sharing some of my journal with you. I do want to respect his privacy, but I hope that our journey give strength to others. The laws need to change. Thank you for what you are doing.
September 11, 2012- Relapse
Watching our son slip away and succumb to the darkness of the valley of the shadow of insanity is terrifying for us, just think how much more terrifying it is for him. Like Charlie in Flowers for Algernon, during the last 18 months he has had the opportunity to realize his great potential, his gifts and talents only for them to be stolen away again. Those who love him struggle to keep him from falling over the cliff- gripping tighter as inch by inch he keeps slipping. Our heals digging into the ground plowing a trench as the weight of the illness pulls him further over the cliff toward the valley. His eyes have lost their brightness as he struggles to make meaning of what is happening to him. Our hands are burned by the rope as it slips a little more each day, our arms are cramped; our hearts are breaking.
Lord give us strength today to hang on, help our son to know he can trust us, his doctor and the medications. We pray that our voice, the doctor’s voice and his dream of graduating from college will be a bright light in the darkness, like a foothold to give him strength to pull himself back to reality. In Jesus name, Amen.
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