After my trip to the conference and my trip to the ocean previous to that, I feel like I have been gone a long time. I think that sense of being gone obviously comes from the fact that I have literally been gone but I also feel like, in an unexplainable way, I have been gone from Thomas. I am thankful that for the most part he made it through me being gone to the conference but coming home has somehow started a new season of sorts. The feeling is ethereal so I don't quite know how to describe it but let me tell you what happened.
Yesterday I had an appointment with my own psychiatrist. Her office is 40 miles out of my town. I had asked Thomas the night before if he wanted to go and ultimately he decided not to go. So, I went and got my mom and she and I went up there. When we came back home I spent some time at her house eating snacks and talking. A ways into the talk I realized that I hadn't checked in with Thomas. I did and he said he was doing okay so I stayed a little longer before coming home. When I came home I told Thomas that Grandma was on her way over to pick me up and take me shopping with her and he asked me how long I'd be gone. I told him that it would be less than an hour and he asked me if when I got back, could I take him to the bank. I told him that of course I would and I headed out the door once again. As it turns out I was gone 2 hours and by the time I got home Thomas was obviously disturbed by something. We got in the car to go to the bank and we had a talk.
I asked him how he was doing and he said he felt "kind of depressed." I told him that I bet he felt a little sad that I had been gone for 4 days and then no sooner did I get home then I disappeared for another day. I said that that must have been a bummer for him. He said a sad, "yeah", and I reached over and put my hand on his leg and he grabbed my hand and held it. How could I have been so insensitive not thinking how my being gone for yet another day might affect him? He sounded so down and I felt terrible.
When we got home from the bank I sat down to watch some shows on the DVR and all of a sudden I stopped and looked at him over at his table playing on his computer. His hair was sticking out in 20 different directions and it was filthy. He looked downtrodden and depressed. I got his attention (he had headphones on and was doing things on his laptop) and I asked him if he had showered since we had come back from the ocean. He looked a little embarrassed and said that he hadn't. That meant he'd gone over a week without a shower! I asked him why he hadn't showered in a week and he said he "just didn't feel like it" and that he "was depressed". I gently told him that this was a sign of his illness, the inability to have the drive to take care of himself and he sadly agreed with me. I said,
"You know kiddo, this is a warning sign that your illness is taking over and you need to be aware of that. I'm worried that things are backsliding. Can you promise me that tomorrow you'll wake up and shower first thing?"
He said he would and I will see today if he does.
This is the season that I'm talking about, though. Somehow I've been gone from him, disconnected and blind to what's really going on. I have been so wrapped up in my own life and my own stress that I have stopped keeping an eye on him. Suddenly, now, like when the leaves change color in the fall, I am now seeing a tree with it's leaves lying below its branches on the ground. He had told me he was doing okay but the truth is, he hasn't been.
So, today I will make a concerted effort to be home with him and perhaps find something to do with him. We have a few shows on the DVR that he and I like to watch together and maybe I'll pop some popcorn and have some quality time with him. I've been gone a long time and while it wasn't like he got stable again and then fell apart again, I was under the impression that things were better than they are. He is still unstable and he's struggling.
I am home now for the forseeable future and I will keep an eye on him again and make sure that I am here for him as much as I can be. I think I have missed him as much as he has missed me and it's time for us to reconnect and begin working back to a place of stability together.
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