Pay it Forward

Life never seems to go according to plan does it? But in a way, that is a good thing. Sometimes upsetting the applecart sets us off on a journey that we could never have envisioned for ourselves. I had plans for my retirement. Becoming a caregiver put those plans on the back burner. But look … Continued

About Bonita O'Neill

Bonnie O'Neill is a 67-year-old retired elementary school teacher from Ontario. At the age of 60, she began a seven-year journey - caring for her 26-year-old son who had just been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. This blog documents that journey. She loves to knit and finds that living with someone with schizophrenia is a lot like knitting. Sometimes your work is wonderful, sometimes it unravels, sometimes it gets tangled and sometimes you just want to chuck it.


A New Year – A New Reason to Hope

A new year has started and with a new year, we make resolutions to change, to improve. We set goals for ourselves. This quote from Lao Tzu has inspired me this January: “If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are … Continued

About Bonita O'Neill

Bonnie O'Neill is a 67-year-old retired elementary school teacher from Ontario. At the age of 60, she began a seven-year journey - caring for her 26-year-old son who had just been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. This blog documents that journey. She loves to knit and finds that living with someone with schizophrenia is a lot like knitting. Sometimes your work is wonderful, sometimes it unravels, sometimes it gets tangled and sometimes you just want to chuck it.


Newfound Independence

I recently moved. I moved because my son now has his own place and is independent once more.  I no longer have to care for him as a caregiver, but can be there for him just as a mother. In a move, there are a lot of things that get jettisoned.  But one thing that … Continued

About Bonita O'Neill

Bonnie O'Neill is a 67-year-old retired elementary school teacher from Ontario. At the age of 60, she began a seven-year journey - caring for her 26-year-old son who had just been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. This blog documents that journey. She loves to knit and finds that living with someone with schizophrenia is a lot like knitting. Sometimes your work is wonderful, sometimes it unravels, sometimes it gets tangled and sometimes you just want to chuck it.


Don’t Forget You

We face a lot of stress from people who don’t get what we are going through as caregivers, don’t we? The holidays are coming, and no matter how you celebrate, along with them comes stress. Like I said in a previous post, I try to be “an ocean of calm” for those around me, but … Continued

About Bonita O'Neill

Bonnie O'Neill is a 67-year-old retired elementary school teacher from Ontario. At the age of 60, she began a seven-year journey - caring for her 26-year-old son who had just been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. This blog documents that journey. She loves to knit and finds that living with someone with schizophrenia is a lot like knitting. Sometimes your work is wonderful, sometimes it unravels, sometimes it gets tangled and sometimes you just want to chuck it.


Clear Your Clutter

As caregivers, we are guilty of spending very little time on ourselves. Thanks to the CMHA and Service Ontario’s Housing Support program, my son, after seven years, has been able to find a place of his own and once more live independently. I realized that it was time for me too, to move on. I … Continued

About Bonita O'Neill

Bonnie O'Neill is a 67-year-old retired elementary school teacher from Ontario. At the age of 60, she began a seven-year journey - caring for her 26-year-old son who had just been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. This blog documents that journey. She loves to knit and finds that living with someone with schizophrenia is a lot like knitting. Sometimes your work is wonderful, sometimes it unravels, sometimes it gets tangled and sometimes you just want to chuck it.


Life is a Journey

The CMHA near where I live has a Family Support Group that meets once a month called Journeying Together. Caregivers are all on a journey – the journey in search of recovery for our loved ones. You are all at different places on it. Some  of you are just starting out and are going to … Continued

About Bonita O'Neill

Bonnie O'Neill is a 67-year-old retired elementary school teacher from Ontario. At the age of 60, she began a seven-year journey - caring for her 26-year-old son who had just been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. This blog documents that journey. She loves to knit and finds that living with someone with schizophrenia is a lot like knitting. Sometimes your work is wonderful, sometimes it unravels, sometimes it gets tangled and sometimes you just want to chuck it.


The Disability Tax Credit

When I applied for the Disability Tax Credit for my son, I was denied. This is Revenue Canada’s criteria for receiving a disability tax credit: “To be eligible for the disability tax credit (DTC), a person’s impairment must be prolonged and their ability to perform the mental functions necessary for everyday life must be markedly restricted. … Continued

About Bonita O'Neill

Bonnie O'Neill is a 67-year-old retired elementary school teacher from Ontario. At the age of 60, she began a seven-year journey - caring for her 26-year-old son who had just been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. This blog documents that journey. She loves to knit and finds that living with someone with schizophrenia is a lot like knitting. Sometimes your work is wonderful, sometimes it unravels, sometimes it gets tangled and sometimes you just want to chuck it.


Caregivers – Tell Your Story Too

Do you ever think that as a caregiver, you are living in an alternate reality? That the world is going on around you but you feel entirely disconnected from it?  You live from day-to-day dealing with the ups and downs and highs and lows of your loved one’s journey through mental illness and it seems … Continued

About Bonita O'Neill

Bonnie O'Neill is a 67-year-old retired elementary school teacher from Ontario. At the age of 60, she began a seven-year journey - caring for her 26-year-old son who had just been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. This blog documents that journey. She loves to knit and finds that living with someone with schizophrenia is a lot like knitting. Sometimes your work is wonderful, sometimes it unravels, sometimes it gets tangled and sometimes you just want to chuck it.


Catch 22

Have you read the book Catch 22? In it the main character is trying to prove he is crazy so he can get discharged from the army. The catch 22 being, you have to be crazy to go to war. Well, dealing with government agencies to get help for the mentally ill can be like … Continued

About Bonita O'Neill

Bonnie O'Neill is a 67-year-old retired elementary school teacher from Ontario. At the age of 60, she began a seven-year journey - caring for her 26-year-old son who had just been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. This blog documents that journey. She loves to knit and finds that living with someone with schizophrenia is a lot like knitting. Sometimes your work is wonderful, sometimes it unravels, sometimes it gets tangled and sometimes you just want to chuck it.


What have you done for yourself this month?

Speaking as someone who cares for someone with a mental illness, we face a lot of criticism from people who don’t “get” what we’re going through as caregivers, don’t we? I remember sitting down shortly after Christmas one year to enjoy a glass of wine with my landlady. After the usual “how did your Christmas … Continued

About Bonita O'Neill

Bonnie O'Neill is a 67-year-old retired elementary school teacher from Ontario. At the age of 60, she began a seven-year journey - caring for her 26-year-old son who had just been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. This blog documents that journey. She loves to knit and finds that living with someone with schizophrenia is a lot like knitting. Sometimes your work is wonderful, sometimes it unravels, sometimes it gets tangled and sometimes you just want to chuck it.


Schizophrenic Stitches

I am a caregiver. I am also a knitter. The more complicated the pattern the better. The more unusual the yarn, the better. It seems to me that living with someone with schizophrenia is a lot like knitting. Sometimes, your work is great. Sometimes it unravels. Sometimes it gets knots in it and doesn’t move … Continued

About Bonita O'Neill

Bonnie O'Neill is a 67-year-old retired elementary school teacher from Ontario. At the age of 60, she began a seven-year journey - caring for her 26-year-old son who had just been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. This blog documents that journey. She loves to knit and finds that living with someone with schizophrenia is a lot like knitting. Sometimes your work is wonderful, sometimes it unravels, sometimes it gets tangled and sometimes you just want to chuck it.