Saturday, June 21, 2014

We Are All About To Trade Places

I have made the decision this morning to choose to believe Thomas is stable again. I'm doing this because of what I wrote yesterday and because I have been going back over my past blog postings and I can now see how very very sick Thomas has been in the past. Last year he was classic schizophrenia, refusing meds, refusing he was sick, insisting that he liked his delusions and hallucinations and full of other quirks that he doesn't have now. That place that he was in and that I was in also, was hell and I had forgotten just how much it was.

I look at today and over the past couple of weeks and I see a healthier child. Granted he has those pesky delusions but they're kind of starting to blend in to the landscape of schizophrenia. I am left with all of the "why's" of this illness and will probably always hang on to those. I'm not sure any of us will ever let that go. When you see your loved one suffering it seems to me to be natural to ask "why".

When my dad has his stroke almost 3 years ago my family's life shifted. We coined it "the new normal" and tried to go on. Then Thomas got sick and that became "the new normal" and then my dad got worse and had to have a serious brain surgery and adjusting our lives to the aftermath of that became "the new normal". It's always going to be about adjusting to the "new normal" and frankly, after the last couple of years I'm not really sure anymore what "normal" is. Maybe it's ALL normal and I am the ABnormal one thinking it should be any different than just what it is in the moment.
As one of my ways of coping through the pain of the last couple of years, I have always tried to look to other's lives (on the news for example) who were suffering in some Godforsaken way. It made me reassess my life and my pain and often I came away with something to the effect of, "My stuff is NOTHING compared to theirs so I really oughta just suck it up and stop complaining." Speaking to that though, I had a therapist once who told me I was minimizing the horror of my life (this was long before Thomas got sick and involved my childhood and teen years) and he said that my pain was just as valid as the pain of others because it was happening to me. It may be different circumstances but how it affected me was just as genuine and painful to me as their situations were to them. I never let go of his words and have since told others the same thing when they minimized their pain. We are ALL hurting and struggling and FIGHTING our way back from something. Just because I have a leg and you don't or just because I don't have an arm and you do doesn't make what we have to deal with emotionally too much different.

I guess my point in all of what I am saying here is that this is life. We are all here to live it, to love and support each other through it, to be there for each other when times get rough, to celebrate with each other when things are good and to appreciate each other's journey's as unique and as personal tests of resolve for each and every one of us. My sister and I have a joke. Between us we share 3 seriously mentally ill children and it always seems that when one kid is sick the others are ok and so on and so forth. I will text her and tell her that Thomas is struggling and she will text back that it was my turn because her kids are okay right now. My sister and I are the example for the entire world as far as I am concerned. Yin and yang right?

I know this has been a post of fragments in some ways but these are the things I was thinking and feeling today in the face of my decision to believe Thomas is stable again. He and I are okay today. You may not be, but if life has taught me anything, we are all about to trade places. Let's just be there for each other when that shift occurs.

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