Donovan Gardner – Why Family Support Was Important to Me

Family support made the difference for Donovan Gardner.  (Photo by Rod McBride)

Family support made the difference for Donovan Gardner. (Photo by Rod McBride)

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m nothing without GOD, so I stay in church and let the Word lead me.  My family is my backbone. Without family support, I can’t stand.

My Dad Had Problems, But Loved Me

First, my dad gave me vision, and believed. I cry to myself as I write this, not because I’m weak, but because I write from the heart, and my dad was part of my heart.   Always love, no matter what anyone else thinks, he was a good man.  But they say he was sick, maybe with bipolar.  He medicated himself with drugs.

It took a long time for me to admit that.  But now I’m a man, and my dad was a man, and men make mistakes, no matter how great.

They said he had bipolar and went undiagnosed.  Sometimes. when you don’t admit you have a problem, no one can help you.   I hope my dad admitted it to someone or the Lord.   He lives on through me, because my dream was his dream, and I won?t stop till I make it happen.

Love forever, GOD.  Watch out for him.

Mom Was Key to My Family Support

My mom is my heart and strength. She’s the strongest woman I know. She took two hard-headed boys, and moved by herself, with faith and hope, against everyone saying it wouldn’t work.  She fixed it so it did work to make a better way for me and my brother. She succeeded.

She will be blessed, and she has my love forever.  She loved my dad, but he was sick, and it’s hard loving someone who’s sick.

I know, because the love was passed on to me when I got sick.  Sad faces and court cases. put in different hospital places, she fought and fought, and got in face after face, signed paper after paper, spent dollar after dollar, visiting me in jail and in the hospital.

Sometimes I cussed her out and said things I didn’t mean.  I’m sorry, Mom, for everything.

I write this, to show growth.   The sickness has made me a living witness to the illness.  Love forever.   Bipolar is not the end, but a new beginning.

My mom and I are closer, and growing in the Lord, with a new look on the world.  Things are happening,  I’m on disability, and that helps her.  She takes the money and does things for me.  At one time I didn’t understand, but now I do.

They say people with bipolar are bad with money (impulsive), but I?m doing better. I can make it, but can’t keep it. They say money is not the root of all evil, but the love of money is.

I Want to Become My Brother

My brother is the man I hope to become, but we are so different.

He’s a warrior, and I’m a solider.  He will go to war and work hard, no tears, just fight.  But he gets the job done.  I know a different side to him:   love, compassion, caring, go-getter, a person that will make a way out when you can’t see through the night.

He says they pick us out to fail, but watch us make our way as we fight through the night to see daylight to take success.

I’m a solider, thinking and planning, hustling, laced with fighting, dreaming, always trying to do better, funny, but fueled with anger. Argumentative, but I use it for combat.  Talkative, but I use it to hustle.  The hustle is non-stop.  It’s one thing to talk about a hustle, but another thing to do a hustle.  It’s mind over matter.  Once you learn that, you are on your hustle.

My brother and I are on our hustle.

Family Support from Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins

The rest of my family, lmy aunts, uncles and cousins, are there too to give me family support.  They are very close to me.  They had my back in my time of need.  Support will take you through the storm. Family support will be around when the sun comes up, and the night falls.

I’m there for them too.

When my mom, my brother, and I came to Kansas, they took us under their wings, and we began to fly together. When I fell victim to the illness, they were there giving me vision that it was not that bad, in and out of hospitals, medicated and not medicated, from sick to ill.  Family support never wavered.

They taught me to glance in the right direction. Now I see the light at the end of the tunnel, not only to make a bundle, but to find grace and a place where I can rest in peace, with peace of mind, with the Lord, to follow God’s word. and stay medicated.

I see heaven, but it’s not my time.  The people need me on earth to share my vision of how medication helped me, and the love of my family, Thank you.

Is your family supportive?  What does family support mean to you?

Donovan “Big 10” Gardner, of Kansas City,recently released his newest book, From Sick to Ill: Mind of a Manic. Gardner said that his purpose of writing this book was to kill the stigma about mental illness.
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2 comments to Donovan Gardner – Why Family Support Was Important to Me

  • Brooke Leonard

    I really enjoyed reading this article. Donovan seemed to me to write from his heart. He was very fortunate to have such love and support from his family, not everyone is as lucky. He speaks about his illness and what hlped him get a handle on it; love, family, his faith and meds. Not everyone walks the same path to wellness but the most imposrtant thing is that we get to that ultimate goal…wellness. I look forward to reading Donovan’s book.

  • Brenda adams

    Speaking out breaks the stigma we face in the community. society ? Wiell thats a job for God and superman! Thank ypu,Donovan, for your compassion and courage to sjare