I am not just a pretty face haha! The fact that I am alive shows my steely strength and determination and will in the face of this devastating disease. I have been in depressions so severe that I have contemplated, but thankfully NEVER, attempted suicide. My brother didn’t make it. My sweet, beautiful, innocent, sensitive baby brother, it seems like a dream when we had him with us. Unfortunately he refused to stay on his medication, until he went into a depression so severe that he ended his life. I have never said this so plainly to anyone, but he walked into the rapids of Niagara Falls and he was gone. I have not visited the Falls since June, 1991, which is when he took his life. It was a devastating, annihilating event in all our lives. My mother never recovered from it. How could she, after losing a son she absolutely doted on? We lost him, he was only 26 years old. He left us two beautiful children though, and for that I am thankful. The summer of 1991 was the hardest time of my family’s life. He was only 18 when he started having mood issues. None of us knew what was happening at that time, we didn’t even know what bipolar disorder was. After a while his illness became more severe and my parents took him to a psychiatrist. He was put on lithium and other meds but he refused to take them, saying instead that he would control his own brain. We all tried to convince him that in the face of this illness, no one can control their brain. But he was adamant. After many hospitalizations, during one of which, he even escaped from the hospital, he eventually took his own life. We were devastated, his children were left fatherless. That was when my illness came to the forefront. A textbook case, when one family member gets sick, and because of the stress of the situation, other family members also start exhibiting symptoms of the same illness. However, I have always taken my medication, perhaps because of my background in Biology and my understanding of how neurons and neurotransmitters work. I wish so much that I could have helped my sweet, lovely brother. The toll of this illness is sometimes almost too much to bear.
Beautiful flowers for my beloved brother.