This project has been in the works for over a year now and I’m thrilled to announce that it’s finally come to fruition. Owen has published his first book – Mom’s Mental Illness – on Amazon and it’s now available for purchase! We hired a professional illustrator to bring his words to life and couldn’t be more proud of how it came out.
I’ve always been open with my kids about the fact that I live with bipolar disorder. It wasn’t until they saw it first hand did they really grasp what it meant.
In the fall of 2017, when Owen was 9 and Vivian was 7, they witnessed me experiencing the beginning of a manic episode. This was a week after my Co-Founder has suddenly passed away from a heart attack, and the weight of the loss affected me deeply. The floods of hurricane Harvey were all over the news and in the past when I’ve lost control of my mind due to mania then psychosis, whatever is top of mind tends to take over my brain.
Ben and I had tried to get ahead of the psychosis by seeing my psychiatrist that day. She prescribed an antipsychotic and sleep aid, but the mania gave way to psychosis before I could take the first dose. Ben and I were getting the kids ready for bed early when things started unraveling. My mind was telling me the floods in Houston were taking place at our house and we needed to get to higher ground. I yelled to the kids to run to our bedroom and get on our bed because I thought it could be a raft. I held up the “OK” symbol with my hand, telling them, “It’s going to be okay!” Needless to say, they were very scared at seeing their mom behaving so strangely.
I’ll let you read the rest of the story in Owen’s book, as I hope you’ll pick up a copy. And if you do, we’d greatly appreciate it if you’d write a short review as that will help the book gain traction with Amazon ranking.
What began as an assignment in his 7th grade English class turned into an incredible story that we hope will help other families out there to know that it’s important to talk about mental illness as a family, early and often.