Excerpt from Book: Forgotten Passenger

Prologue:  What if…


    What if we could walk in this world, knowing that many folks are trying to function as best as


they can?  There are not enough  psychiatric hospitals in Michigan, not enough in


the  USA, and not enough  in the world.  Mental Illness is real.  It’s so real and prevalent we


want to deny it .But what if instead of denying it and/or thinking it’s the worst thing out there, we


saw it instead as a something  to steward, something  coming from the heavenly Father, the


Creator of the universe?  IT IS THAT.  And those who are given it (mental illness) are the


stewards of it; those who are the parents and legal guardians and the consumers themselves


are in a sense, stewards.  


    What is a steward?  In Pride and Prejudice, the steward was in charge of the estate, to make


an accounting of it, preserve it, and multiply it.  What if we saw ourselves in a like manner?  


Rather than be afraid and embarrassed, we accept it, embrace it, and face it head on?  We


glean insights and pass those on to others. We would see that not only is the best care given,


but we would choose to learn from the consumer so that insight and wisdom could be


gleaned and multiplied many times over.      


    What if we shed some of our judgmental attitudes and gave folks the benefit of the doubt and


encouraged him/her to just “be” , within the bounds of good morals? What if we encouraged


him/her to write the book or journal, to paint the art – however abstract or non realistic we may


think, to make music, to make pottery even if it’s not “perfect”, to sing new songs?


I’m not purporting chaos, but rather to foster an environment where one can make a piece of


art, a piece of pottery or sing a new song.  If someone with a mental illness, for example, was in


pottery class and he attended every class except when sick once or twice, did every written


assignment (none were ever returned with a grade, mind you, in the case I am familiar with), did


every pottery assignment and end up with a D, is that really legitimate? Maybe the strict criteria


should be forgotten for a moment.  Let the person peacefully and calmly try and create.  We


may be surprised at what comes out/is made.  If it’s a speech, forget the strict time limit.  If it’s


cooking, buy the ingredients even if we think they may not go together.  




HAVE BEEN WIRED TO MISFIRE.  If we stigmatize and blame the person, we are in


essence BLAMING GOD.  God made this person in HIS image and


HE DOES NOT MAKE MISTAKES. As author, Stephanie Hubach says, “Disability is a normal


part of life in an abnormal world.” He may have made this person with bipolar or schizophrenia


to help you, dear reader, yes you, the sibling or parent, friend or teacher to suck it up and grow


in character.  Did you ever consider that?  Like me, I thought I knew what love was, but I realize


it was a shallow and bare bones love.  It wasn’t until my family member was diagnosed that


flesh grew on the bareboned love and more of  hesed love developed.


    Mental Illness is a goldmine for figuring out how to really live.  The Proverbs is pertinent to


those with mental illness.  In fact, living with mental illness as a consumer or family member


makes the Proverbs come alive.  You see, Mental Illness helps us understand the Creator


God better.  Mental Illness is in a sense, an unseen disability (compared to a palsy or bodily


deformity, eg.) and it stretches us in ways we never thought possible; we grow in ways we


never thought possible.  If we see it as coming from God, as something to steward, this may


help us change our perspective.