The room was full of family members and support givers needing the chance to vent, to encourage and be encouraged, to hear from fellow travelers about life with mental illness.

Bi-polar, depression, alcoholism, personality disorder, undiagnosed lethargy, schizophrenia.

A bunch still hoping against hope. A couple of them needing to hear that they had gone far enough, and no longer needed to accept the designation of “bad guy” and “source of all the problems”.

One commented that it could be “such a xxxxxx ferris wheel”.

The senior attendees were an older couple with long-time experience in advocacy for the mentally ill. One adult son chronically depressed; the other diagnosed with schizophrenia, but showing wonderful signs of integration with the community.

My daughter and I were present, and significantly helped by the conversation, both formal and informal. I will say no more, respecting confidences.


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