The bad news is that my sweet son,now almost 26, has been struggling with very serious mental health issues for many years now. His diagnosis has shifted from depression to bi-polar to schizo-affective disorder. He's had multiple hospitalizations after psychotic episodes. After the year from hell, he's been in a very wonderful residential program for several months, and is stable. It's hard to know how well he'll do when he transitions out of that program in January, and I can't say I'm terrifically optimistic.
My daughter, 20, has struggled horribly with all of this, and has her own issues, but on the surface is doing well. She's in college, working hard, focused and independent. But she's totally traumatized by her brother and the impact his problems have had on our family. Being anywhere around him distresses her to the point that she can't be at home, although he's very anxious to heal his relationship with her. Figuring out the holidays this year is brutal. She's also been devastated over the past five or six years with the losses of close friends - 3 suicides, 2 deaths by car accidents, 4 close friends with serious psychiatric hospitalizations. She's hurting terribly, and feels that most of our energy has been focused on her brother.
Despite all this, I'm not in terrible shape. I'm taking good care of myself. Have a job I enjoy (mostly :-/) and make sure to spend good time with friends and in supportive places. But...I'm completely heartbroken to see my children so damaged. My son continues to be loving and sweet (when he's not psychotic...), and my daughter, despite being angry and moody (bp??), calls me every day to chat. This business of life ain't easy, is it??
I think of all my friends here often, and am glad for the support we were able to give each other. Be well, one and all! (And Fitzi, if you see this, I was in your area last week, and thought of you!)