Always Our Good Boy

Avi was always our good boy. The reports we always received about him expanded the heart and filled it with pride. Avi always had to be the best boy in the class and get the highest grades. With hindsight, we should have  been alerted to the  problem but we were too busy enjoying all the joy. In elementary school, too, he was at the top. We had no doubt that he would go to a high school.

And then, the principal called us in for a talk. He claimed that for Avi’s sensitive personality, a yeshiva with warm, personal attention would be better than a huge, bustling yeshiva. He was very definite but we knew better, so we thought. We felt that Avi could manage in a bigger place, too, and that, on the contrary, he would flourish there. So we sent Avi to the Yeshiva that we’d wanted from the start.

At the beginning of December, we sensed that something was awry with Avi. In Tevet, we were worried, and in January, we got a call from the Yeshiva office to come urgently to take Avi home because he wasn’t feeling well. When I came, I found him in his room, staring at the ceiling. He was apathetic and hardly communicated. I took him directly to the family doctor. He referred us for some tests, but claimed that Avi appeared to be physically healthy and he was concerned that he was experiencing a mental health crisis.

The days that followed were too hard to bear. We didn’t know where to turn and how to help our precious young man who was wilting before our very eyes. He lay in bed and refused to go out even for prayers.

He barely ate anything and refused to shower or go for a walk. Nothing interested him.  The smell in his vicinity was unbearable and the entire family was traumatized by the sounds and sights that emanated from his room.

We needed help desperately but how can we ask? We are the parents of a top student, aren’t we? We advise  others less fortunate than us- those unfortunate people with problems? It can’t be that we have become them! it was so hard but our son, our dear son. we can’t let pride – that great destroyer of lives – get in the way of helping him. Then we remembered some bits and pieces we had heard about Ezer Mizion having  a Mental Health Department. 100% confidential.  Should we? But… Well, we did.

Of course, it wasn’t simple. there was much trial and error. The staff held our hand throughout the ordeal.Their sensitivity was amazing. Avi received the right therapy and we received the emotional support that was so vital.

During the last eight months, Avi’s functioning has improved tremendously thank G-d and he recently started learning in a yeshiva near the house, with a small number of boys. He gets warm, personal attention there and has already integrated into the social circle and resumed a schedule of three study sessions a day.

I feel that Ezer Mizion saved Avi, me, and, actually, the entire family

Avi’s father

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