A success story

Those of us who struggle with Mental Illness know how difficult it is to even get out of bed sometimes.  We treasure the little victories, as well as the big ones.

Even simple things like showering sometimes become a huge task.  Feeding ourselves.  Getting groceries.  Finishing school.  Landing a job.  Keeping a job.  That’s just a small sample of things that most people take for granted but that requires a major effort from our part.  Effort that let us both physically and emotionally exhausted.

It is easy for us to become discouraged.  To lose hope.  To not see the light at the end of the tunnel.

But every now and then -and more and more as time goes by, we read about stories like this.

Neil Marshall was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia when he was 21.   He had to drop out of a computer science degree at the University of Waterloo.  Now at 33,  he just defended his Master’s thesis in Mathematical education at Brock University. Continue reading

Father’s Day Musings

Father’s Day

um…. yeah. I guess it was just a matter of time I wrote something about Father’s Day. Or fathers, for that matter. it only makes sense that I do it on Father’s Day, I suppose… I didnt’ think I could ever write about my father until today.

My father was murdered a long time ago. However, I lost him even long before that. I wasn’t even 7 years old when it happened.

I was awoken in the middle of the night by my mother’s screams. Opened my bedroom door only to find a trail of blood along the hallway. My mother’s.

After that night, my father was dead to me. The tragedy of it all is that my father actually loved me very much. I was his little girl and I know now he suffered much because I could never love him back. I never hated him but I could never love him either.

Years went by and I eventually went to Med School. There I learned that my father suffered from Delusional Jealousy, a disorder usually associated with Schizophrenia. The fact that he was an alcoholic and a gambler didn’t help either. Knowing that helped me cope with it in a way. You see, my father never had a chance to a normal life. Not even a ghost of a chance.  And because of that, neither did my mother or my sister or me.

My mother, because she was murdered by him.

Me and my sister, because we have to live with that.

And my father, well, he had to pay dearly for something that wasn’t even entirely his fault. Maybe, had he had access to a good health system that would have diagnosed him and offered him treatment and support, just maybe, my mother would be alive and me and my sister would have a family.

As a physician in Colombia, I saw many things, most of them bad and more than a few quite horrible. I have to say that in general, Colombian men don’t make good fathers (with some exceptions, of course. Some of my friends had/have good fathers, and most of MY friends turned out to be excellent fathers too).

Here in Canada, I’ve seen both. I’d like to believe that most fathers here are good. Stories like this one are certainly heart-warming. But then, there are some others that make my heart weep.

Children are precious. They all deserve a great father and a great mother. They all deserve to have a safe environment where they can grow and develop and in time become great parents too should they choose to have children of their own.

If you’re a father, try you best to be a good one. Not perfect. Just a good father. And if you need help, for crying out loud, don’t hesitate to ask. Your children will thank you (and love you more) for it.