The phone calls last fifteen minutes, the last week or two they have consisted of trying to get him to understand it is not his fault. This illness creeps on you in a way you cannot notice and before you can comprehend, you’re overcome by these scary thoughts and these people after you won’t stop.
My nights have consisted of research. This is the only place I can truly speak my thoughts on it, so I thank you all and do hope you let me know if my writing is too much, or just in the way of real information.
The pain and the fear this has instilled in my bones is living and real. My loved ones say to be careful and to not be too close to my brother. I refuse to listen because this is a reason that more is not accomplished. They brush it off as attention seeking, craziness, even pure drug abuse. But when the attention was given, health was lasting, and drugs weren’t a thought, they have no words just a reality ahead and most tend to run from anything that grabs you and holds you responsible to someone who fell hard into their own mind and are trapped. I wont run.
"Bria, do you honestly think I am hallucinating? How can I hallucinate that all the streetlights go out while I’m walking down the road at night?’’ I put the phone on mute and cry hard to let it out before responding. I think back to all the aching worry and car rides around the neighborhood to find him. Alone. Scared, in the dark fearing “they” were coming.
I explain that I’m hear and I won’t ever lie, that I won’t ever stop loving him. I will always be the light, even when the street lights go out, I will carry him home. I change the subject to a lighter topic and this time we laugh. We laugh the way we always did, he tells me how the inmates around him are all angry on the phone like he usually is. He says he likes it this way better and we laugh more. We laugh at this illness because we know we are stronger. I laugh so hard I forget that this stupid illness was ever a problem and start to question myself.
Did I build this up? Is he really okay and I’ve been overreacting?
Fifteen minutes is up and he asks if he can call right back, of course he can.
We spend the next fifteen minutes laughing again.
He called back later last night…darker. With ideas of Obama, ISIS, the redskins changing their name and it all comes back. But this time, i challenged myself. I didn’t cry after. I did not scream till i lost my voice. I remembered the laughing. i challenged to find the beauty in the moments. The beauty in him saying he loved me so much, when he couldn’t a few days ago.
I will not run, I will not fear, I will stand close to you, even in the darkness of the streets when the lights go out, let “them” come because I will be here with this flashlight ready to show you that day will come. When the day comes, you will hear truth that “they” don’t exist. I will do this everyday. We will find a cure and we will never, ever give up. We will laugh in the face of schizophrenia and call it no more.