“I need people to see mental illness from a place of love.”
Emily Robinson’s mom has suffered from schizophrenia since she was in her early 20s. “She went off her meds because she was pregnant with me,” Emily shared with Upworthy. “One day, she got really sick and wandered off in the snow. They found her, and gave her medicine and I was born the next day.”
Their days have always been and always will be a struggle. Emily wants the world to see that her mom is so much more than her mental illness. “She’s just a really good person. She’s a really good mom. She puts cards in the mail, and she calls and tells me she loves me and that she’s proud of me,” Emily said.
To raise awareness and start the conversation about mental illness, Emily started a video project called, “You Are in This World.” The film gives a first-hand account of the raw and emotional stresses that her mom endures everyday. Emily documents the relationship between her and her mom, featuring the good, the bad and everything in between.
On her blog, Emily writes, “I wanted to begin to tell her story of a lifetime struggle with schizophrenia. I wanted to share how beautiful of a person she is. I wanted to show how painful her life has been but how strong she still remains. I wanted her to have a voice and be seen. I want her life to go on record as being important.”
The video starts with Emily’s mom speaking directly to the camera and expressing her immense love for her granddaughters. We see her fighting raging tremors and overwhelming bouts of confusion, as she has what would typically be just a normal conversation with her daughter.
Each clip shows a different aspect of her mother’s life, and captures the reality of how difficult it is. Everything from dozens of pill bottles on the counter, to her inability to control her emotions or body tremors, Emily’s mom is a living example of what schizophrenia is.
“The chaos inside your mind would be enough to make anyone feel abused inside their own body,” Emily says of the constant negativity and voices that circle her mother’s thoughts. She wants people to understand that “when someone is behaving that way, they are so sick that they are a victim of their own illness.”
She goes on to express her hope in what people take away from the project, saying, “I want people to see like, look! This is my mom. There is a real person in there who belongs to someone, who’s loved by someone and who loves other people, just like we all do as humans.”
Together they’re showing the world what it’s like to live with schizophrenia. Emily says the response to the video has been enormous. Her mom is glad her story is being shared and having such a positive impact.
To continue learning about Cindy’s journey, check out the newest vlog from Emily Robinson here, and follow You Are In This World on Facebook.