Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Where Do We Go From Here?

I read all of your comments this morning on yesterday's post and I appreciated them so much. You had a lot of good thoughts on the subject and some could even relate. I am glad I didn't yell at him and hopefully those days are far behind me now but I still find myself in one of the weirdest places for me about this illness.

We went and saw Dr. N. yesterday... and Thomas spent a good amount of time with him. Before going up there Thomas reported that he felt no depression whatsoever so I figured I'd leave the good doctor and Thomas to sort through whatever else there is. When I got called in there Dr. N. asked me if I had any concerns about Thomas and I brought up the depression he felt about work. His suggestion for Thomas was that he find a new job. He also drew two parallel lines and said that in between them is normal depression and normal lack of enthusiasm and then he pointed above the top line and he said that what was there was a depression or lack of enthusiasm that was not good. He said to some degree Thomas falls there but he wasn't going to worry about it right then. I thought to myself, "If Dr. N. doesn't see a problem then I guess I need to let it go."

Here's the thing though. Thomas lit up about the whole "getting a new job" idea and Dr. N. and Thomas talked about him finding something that he is passionate about. There are two things about that that catch me. First is the word "passion". I haven't really seen true and lasting passion in Thomas in...well...ever really so finding something he's passionate about seems like a tall order. Second, and I voiced this to Dr. N., it's one thing to SAY he's going to get a new job but it's a whole other thing for him to actually go out and do it, especially since he will be on his own to do it this time. Last time he had the backing of the job rehab program but he's no longer eligible for that so all of the preparation, application getting and filling out, and interviewing will be done on his own. I just don't see that happening. I asked Thomas afterwards if he could go and look for a job on his own and he said, "I think so." Sadly though I personally think he can't...and won't.

I guess the other thing too is that where he is now, they know that he has schizophrenia and they are more than generous with their allowances for his unreliability. They hired him out of a disability program and I think they have to keep him on no matter what since he's considered disabled and they'd set themselves up for a lawsuit if they fired him. I just can't see how Thomas will be fortunate enough to find another employer that is so caring and flexible.

Now, I know Thomas is bored at work. He stocks and faces shelves for 5 hour shifts up to 4 days a week. I'd be bored too. He has asked to be trained elsewhere in the store and they have refused that request and I'm gathering it's because if they put him in a position such as a cashier and he calls in sick or leaves early then they are left with no one to help the customers. I think I'd feel the same way they do about that. If they won't train him anywhere new though then what does that mean for his future at that job? Honestly I think he really doesn't have one unless somehow he becomes a stellar employee and does that for an extended period of time.

So, I don't know. I don't know where Thomas goes from here. He doesn't like his job now and each shift lately is harder and harder for him to complete. I thought with "stability" came all of the things considered to be stable and in this case, that being that he can go to work, stay at work, and find some semblance of joy in what he's doing--at the very least being happy about the bigger paycheck he receives. Alas, stability seems like a shift into a new phase of this illness and not an actual "getting healthier" thing. I had such high hopes for Thomas once the paranoia went away and yet somehow I find him still bogged down in the low lying fog of schizophrenia.

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