Sunday, August 03, 2014

A Call For Action (Help For Thomas)

Okay guys, I need your collective brain power to help me with something concerning Thomas. Here's the thing:

Last night at work Thomas had THE WORST panic attack that he has had in a long while. When I picked him up he admitted that the reason he had the attack was because he was basically trying to muster courage to quit his job right then and t...here. The problem was that the more he thought about doing it and the more he thought about the consequences, the more panicked he got.

When he came home he took a lorazepam and calmed down and then asked me to come talk to him. What he said is that he doesn't want to work anymore. He wants out of his job. Not only that, he feels hopeless about his situation and life and he said he was considering leaving here and going somewhere else. He wants out of this house and understandably out from under me and his dad and he wants to go someplace new and see something wildly different than what he knows now here in our little city. I talked to him about some ideas of what he could do but explained to him that wherever he goes he is completely in charge of his life which includes his meds and eating right and getting enough sleep along with a few other things. I am not an adventuresome spirit myself. If I were him (and I was a 19 year old girl at one point--obviously) I would be scared to go anywhere. In fact, when my time came to leave the nest I went about 4 towns over and went to college but never left home completely.

He, on the other hand, thinks he wants out of here and to go far away and to somewhere strange and different. He's pulling on the reins and fueled by his hopelessness about his life so he's willing to do anything.

Now, I want this for him so bad. He's relatively stable and is now just a 19 year old kid like every other 19 year old kid who wants out of their small town and wants to see the world. I want this for him and gave him a couple ideas but I'm worried about him taking his meds. The rest of it I think it would be good for him to go out and make a thousand mistakes and triumph when he solves them. I think he needs to try and fail and try again and become something more than just a 19 year old kid with schizophrenia who hates his illness and wants to be free.

This is where I need you guys. I need suggestions for places he could go. I suggested Outward Bound to him which is an (average) 21 day trip into the wilderness where he would learn survival and navigation skills to name a couple things. It would be structured and, I think, relatively safe and stable for him to do that. I also tossed out the idea of going to live with his aunt and biological dad and their family and he seemed to like that idea though I personally have a few reservations about that. But guys, I need you now. Does anyone know of any programs he can get into that would let him see the world or even just the U.S.? Is there something out there for stable but mentally ill young people where they learn independence and/or see the world so-to-speak? I need ideas. I don't want there to be any limits set as far as ideas go with, of course, at least taking into consideration his illness and the meds thing. Whatever you've got though, I want to hear.

So, please, help me brainstorm this for Thomas. He's young, he's pretty stable and he WANTS OUT. Where can he go?

I look forward to your answers.
Thanks guys!!!

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