Five Weeks

I spent a total of just under five weeks in a hospital.

My premise in writing Left of the Dial was to dramatize “everything after” I recovered: that quick treatment resulted in a better life for me.

I’m confident when I write that going in and out of a hospital every year for decades is no way to live your life. It breaks my heart to read about a person whose fate was to be chronically ill between periods of brief lucidity.

It breaks my heart that for too many individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia they don’t have a better life until only after they’ve experienced ongoing hell for years and years.

Stopping hell before it starts: I’m all for this.

I’m all for passing into law the multiple mental health reform bills floating around in the Senate and House of Representatives in Washington, D.C.

Hope without hell is my motto.

It goes without saying that better mental healthcare comprised of better treatment of individuals with mental illnesses should be the norm not the exception.

I’ve stopped reading another woman’s blog because it breaks my heart to read it. I would rather have an ordinary life with no accomplishments and have a clear mind than to be near-brilliantly talented and go into the hospital every year.

There has to be a better way. For individuals who must go into hospitals every year there has to be better treatment.

To have a better chance of not going into a hospital you can contact NAMI and join a Peer-to-Peer education course where you create a Relapse Prevention Plan.

It breaks my heart that some people will be besieged with symptoms forever. It breaks my heart that family members’ hands have been tied in trying to get their loved ones the mental health help they need.

It breaks my heart when people diagnosed with schizophrenia revolve in and out of the hospital for decades.

We need change and we need it now.

Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and athlete.

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