There but for the Grace of...

Old 12-14-2018, 05:56 AM
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Hears The Voice
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There but for the Grace of...

You can fill in the blank however you want.
Higher Power.
Rational Mind

I am having one of those extreme gratitude spells, and I thought I would try to relate the story that led me to it.

My brother has Downs Syndrome. He has been an over-achiever his entire life. He was the first person with DS to graduate from our hometown high school. He lived on his own for decades, supporting himself with a job at the same grocery store for 28 years. It was not until recent times that people with DS lived to age 50+, so there isn't a lot of literature on how that goes. So far it looks like it goes toward dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

Last year he started slipping. He began having delusions. The medication he went on made it impossible to work. He retired early and moved in with our sister in Florida. Things went well for about a year. Then they started experimenting with different meds to try to minimize the side effects. Last Tuesday he disappeared for 5 hours. Said he wanted to look at mobile homes. (?) Wednesday morning he handed his keys and cell phone to sister and announced he was going to Jacksonville to get married. (That's 4 hours away and we don't know anyone there. Neither does he.) Sister blocked the door, he started throwing punches, the police were called, and he was Baker-acted (taken into custody by the State ) for his own safety. I flew to Florida the next day.

We visited him every day. It's a real eye-opener to sit in a room with 20-or-so folks who have been Baker-acted. Many have been self-medicating with alcohol and/or drugs. A few are there because they are so deep into their addiction it is indistinguishable from mental illness. It is not a happy place. You can't have belts or shoelaces. The food is all soft so it does not need cutting. There is nearly always someone somewhere shouting at their invisible demons. Visitors are rare - we were often the only visitors and the visiting hours are quite limited. You get the sense most of their families have given up.

They started my brother on a new medication and 6 days later he was released. He is calm and pleasant, best he's been in over a year. We are looking forward to a good holiday season with him. I will say a little prayer to Saint Abilify that he keeps working his miracles.

I don't think I'll ever get over the shock of that state-run mental institution, though. It was a stunning reminder that addiction can lead you to places like that. Places that look to me even worse than death. So I am filled with gratitude that with your help I was able to overcome my addiction. My AV was whispering to me in the airport yesterday on my way home. I just smiled. Not today you sunnuvabeach. Not ever.

I hope everyone has a great Holiday Season!
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Old 12-14-2018, 06:01 AM
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Wow. My local grocery has a man with Downs who has worked there for many years, at least 20. Now I'm wondering if it's your brother. I haven't seen this man for a while, but I don't think it's been a year...

Anyway...May your brother and family continue to have peace.

And yeah, I was teetering on going nuts myself. So. So grateful to be out of that crazy state of mind of alcohol induced insanity. It happened so gradually for me and then seemingly out of nowhere I was doing stuff that was dangerous.

Thanks for the reminder/reality check.
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Old 12-14-2018, 06:06 AM
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Great post.

Booze is legal but fries the brain and if catches the world at the fringes.

That is why it is legal. It only destroys a small percentage of people.

We here have a great chance to not become the fringe percentage.

I am with you all the way every day!

This place saved my good life.

Prayers for your brother, you, and your family.

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Old 12-14-2018, 12:04 PM
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Hats off to your brother for holding down a job for 28 years straight. Few people can manage that. I'm really glad these new meds are making a positive difference. All the best to him, your sister and yourself.
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Old 12-14-2018, 05:26 PM
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I hope the new meds for your brother work out Nons, and I'm really glad he's out of a place like that.

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Old 12-14-2018, 07:43 PM
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Praise be to St Abi
Really glad to hear your brother is being helped , and that he has such good siblings.
God bless, and I hope you can appreciate the import of that from a freethinker
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Old 12-14-2018, 08:41 PM
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i was one who used to scoff so at this gratitude thing.
i have seen differently.
good to see you.
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