Thoughts & Thanks

On this Thanksgiving I am sad; I am thankful …

Ben, my 13 year-old is currently at a psychiatric hospital on the tail end of a medication change.  My 11 year-old is at a Wilderness Treatment Program, he is struggling with having a brother with mental illness.  Instead of running a turkey trot with the kids and watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, I find myself fighting back tears and avoiding all the happy family posts on Facebook.

Earlier in the week Ben saw me crying. Without missing a beat he said “mom, you should be happy, not sad.  Jack and I are getting the help we need.”   A very wise young man.

A dear friend recently reminded me that being strong does not mean denying yourself of feeling sad, angry, and exhausted.  Instead, inner strength is acknowledging those real feelings and when ready, letting them go with purpose and intent.

I am sad that the boys are not home playing with Legos and complaining about getting dressed for Thanksgiving dinner.  I am angry that their lives are not easier and that our family has been consumed by mental illness.  And I am exhausted from making the most loving, yet gut wrenching decisions for the kids.

I am also very aware of the blessings that come with loving children who struggle with mental illness.

I am thankful we have the resources to provide our kids with opportunities to be the best version of themselves.

I am thankful for my husband and grateful that this journey has strengthen our relationship.

I am thankful Ben is aware of his mental health and has the words to ask for help.

I am thankful Jack is part of a nurturing learning community surrounded by teachers and friends who care about him.

I am thankful for the dedicated professionals who work with and comfort the kids struggling with mental illness 24/7.

And I am thankful for our loving and patient family and friends.

On this Thanksgiving I am sad; I am thankful …





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