Friday, May 16, 2014

A Different Kind Of War

It's been a while since I have written because something terrible happened within my immediate family but I'm finally back because I wanted to give you an update on how Thomas is doing.

It's been so cool, as his mom, to see the light of stability remain lit in him. He has a few hiccups every now and then but for the most part he is doing well. A few times in the last week he has announced that he's going out with friends and has gone to many different places including, his favorite, Airsoft wars which basically amounts to everyone shooting each other with BB's. At first this thought horrified me but when Thomas came home after a couple of these wars, I could see that he had survived them with only a few battle wounds (small red marks on his arms and back) but more than anything he's been happy and having fun. Normally I would lose my mind over kids shooting each other with BB's but Thomas and I have been through so much lately that it seems like a few BB's are nothing compared to the war against schizophrenia that we've been fighting for a couple of years.

These kids that Thomas hangs out with are some of the greatest kids that could ever exist in Thomas' life. Now that Thomas is well they have picked right up where they left off a year ago and they have included Thomas in all of the fun. Without questions or complaints they make the drive from clear across town to our house to pick up Thomas to bring him to the "battlefield". They give him no grief about him not having a driver's license either. As a result of all of this, Thomas now has a social life that both his therapist and I literally applaud every time he announces that he's going out. After all of the darkness of the negative symptoms, the lack of social interaction, every time he goes out into the world is something to be cheered about, at least until it becomes a way of life again.

In therapy the focus has been shifted to working on psychosocial rehabilitation. Now that there are no hallucinations or delusions or paranoia, what we have left to do is to reintegrate him into society which now includes Thomas branching out to speak to people in public and attempt to start conversations or at the very least, at work, greet people and ask them if he can help them. His biggest worry, or what I now like to call hiccups, is that people look at him strangely or think he is "weird". His therapist is working to teach Thomas how to judge a situation and people's reactions and make sense of them so that he can confidently engage with them.

Apart from that his other hiccup is the re-emergence of his oddball statements about things. These types of things I now see were, in the past, clues to the hold that schizophrenia had on him and now that he's engaging with the family more and talking more, these sorts of things are coming out again. What he says are always hard to reiterate to people because they're "rabbit hole" kinds of statements where you hear them and they're judgments of something just left of center and you're left going, "huh?" None of them are really of importance but they show that his brain isn't like a "normal" brain. I have come to accept these statements as endearing and they make me happy and make me love him more. I think it's because it's been so long since he's really talked at all and to have "the old Thomas" back makes me beyond happy.

So here we are, proof that life does get better, that stability is possible and that there is hope for the future. In the middle of all of the pain and grief of him being very sick, I had no hope at all. I was so mired down in the next 24 hours in front of me and the certainty that it'll be yet another day of him locked in his room, him complaining of side effects of meds, him severely anxious about going to work, that I couldn't see the light. Here we are though, in the light, and so help me God we are basking in it like crazy right now.

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