Just a Mother Sharing How Autism & Mental Illness has Imapcted our Family

A Time To Breathe


“Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for.”
~Maya Angelou


It feels as if an eternity has passed since I’ve been able to share good news, but for the first time in a long time things are looking better for my son.

Last week my son’s doctor stopped the lithium as it was having the opposite effect on him. Instead of helping him to remain calm, he had become angry and lost his inhibition. He started making bizarre and inappropriate comments to people and in places he would have felt to shy or to anxiety ridden to have even uttered a word prior to the medication.

His new doctor suggested we put my son back on abilfy but with an added medication. He felt the reason the abilfy had been ineffective in the past was because it was causing him to have severe restlessness and anxiety. He suggested adding a beta-blocker and so far, we’ve had great success.

After months of non-stop meltdowns and hostility we have finally had a week of peace. Instead of waking up to screaming and insults, I wake up to a smiling face.

Instead of being perpetually insulted, I actually received my first apology from my son for hurting my feelings in about three years. I feel as though I finally have my child back and it has been amazing.

There was a time there, that I didn’t think either my son or I were going to make it another day with our sanity intact. I was at the end of my rope with few outside supports. My son was at the end of his rope and on the brink of facing serious consequences for his behaviors that he had no control over. It seemed our situation was hopeless and I was having difficulty visualizing a positive outcome.

I’m so glad I never gave up. Even if this is a “medication honeymoon,” having my child come into reality and be a compassionate and caring human being if only for a short time is a miracle in itself. After all the insurmountable stress we’ve all endured the last months, this is a beautiful gift and I’m going to savor every moment of it.

I needed respite. I needed a breather. I needed just enough time to emotionally recuperate from the stress and pull myself back together so I could be an effective parent and a loving parent once again. Thankfully, I’m now managing to receive that break.

I’m confident now that there is hope and that my son will continue to make progress. I know now that my child is still there underneath the illness and that’s all the inspiration I need to continue the fight against his malady and for improved supports for others who are suffering.

The impact of the last several months has taken a toll on my family. A toll that unfortunately my partner and I may not recover from. I believe there are some people who are not built to withstand so much chaos and turmoil in their lives and I understand that. What we’ve been through as a family these last years could have broken the strongest of us.

Bowing out gracefully is not an option for me. I have a child who needs me and I don’t intend on giving up on him any time soon. Our journey is far from over and I know there will be future struggles, but for now, I’m just going to take a moment to breath.


“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” 
― Maya Angelou

Author: angeliamarie44

This blog was created to share our experiences and the impact of mental illness and Autism. I believe in the importance of erasing the stigma of mental illness and for that to happen, families such as mine need to speak out, advocate, and provide the real story of what we endure daily. That includes, the struggles and the successes of our daily life and interactions with the health care system, schools, police, and society in general. Mental illness, just like cancer, diabetes, or even the flu is a medical illness and it's past time that we treat it as such. I feel our societies failure to provide treatment and support services for mentally ill individuals and denying hospital care to the mentally ill is setting a separate and unequal standard in our country that the mentally ill are somehow less deserving of medical care and being treated with the same dignity and quality care that any other person facing a medical crisis has the right too. They too have a right to a successful life free from pain and without proper care and understanding their illness could have life threatening consequences. As a mother with a child who has struggled for years with mental illness and Autism, I feel it is my path in life to raise awareness so that we might create the much needed change in this country and end the discrimination facing the millions of mentally ill. "Mental illness is an equal-opportunity illness. Every one of us is impacted by mental illness. One in five adults are dealing with this illness, and many are not seeking help because the stigma prevents that." ~Margaret Larson

2 thoughts on “A Time To Breathe

  1. I sincerely hope that this is more than just “medication honeymoon”. Stay strong for yourself and your beautiful boy.

  2. Hello, I just wanted to tell you that I had to close my old blog “Panic Yesterday” which you kindly followed. If you would like to follow or just visit my new blog, please click on the link http://cecilia1964.wordpress.com/
    I wich you a nice day!

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