Friday, August 30, 2013

Where We Find Ourselves Today

On this, the last day of Thomas' vocational rehab program, I find myself anxious about what the future holds for him.

He went from the stress of high school and the hospitalization at the end and then to graduation and then fought to get to feeling better and finally he got this job through vocational rehab. He's struggled and still does with his schizophrenia but
he's stayed working and it has been that job that has given him purpose and direction.

Now, today, with a heavy heart he is going to his last day. He's expressed sadness, which is huge for him to acknowledge his emotions and label them correctly, and he feels lost because he doesn't know what he's going to do with his days. He's been scrambling for days to figure out ways to stay a part of the program and for all intents and purposes they are booting him from the nest today and are sending him into his future, their work with him done.

In over a year and really, in the last few months there have been losses both to his psychological health and to his life as he has always known it being a student (wake up, eat breakfast, go to school, go to friend's houses, come home and eat dinner, do homework, watch TV, shower, go to bed), and this day will prove to be a pretty significant loss too.

I was brought into his therapy again yesterday and I could see that his therapist was shoring up the production, giving Thomas coping skills, and giving me, well, coping skills too a little bit. He asked questions of Thomas about how his illness manifests for him, like when something happens does he jump to scary conclusions like:

Mom is late getting home. I think she has been kidnapped by aliens.

as opposed to

Mom is late getting home. I think she got tied up in traffic.

We all came to realize that when he is in the throws of his illness that the conclusions he comes to tend to land on the more scary or sensationalistic side.

We set up a knowledge base of things like I mentioned just above, among other things, of what to expect in the coming months and I believe that even the good doctor, who is Thomas' greatest champion and most positive, can see that we are all preparing for the worst in the next few months. We figure if we can know Thomas' base behaviors, that whatever gets thrown our direction from him we will be able to help him cope.

It is the dawning of a new day, a new era for Thomas. I've often thought about how this is the time in a young man's (or young woman's) life where if they're going to develop schizophrenia then this is the time. It seems cruel that for the average person this time of change into adult hood is exciting and the future looks so shiny bright but for our loved ones just now developing the illness or who have fought it since they were young, this is a time of trepidation for what is to come.

That is precisely where Thomas and I find ourselves today.

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