The game of Schizophrenia Recovery Chutes and Ladders (or Snakes and Ladders, for you Brits) continues.
In the past few weeks, Ben has climbed some ladders, made some progress. Yesterday’s family visit was full of simple pleasures again:
- a car ride that was full of conversation, not the torture of awkward silence and small talk
- Ben and a friends watched a movie in our living room and actually made it through the whole thing
- We talked about his future, his feelings, his sobriety journey (now counting again, 15 days)
- Ben was less defensive, more forthcoming
- I brought up my concerns about his current med (Haldol) and my wish that someday he might try Clozaril again so as to avoid the side effects (tardive dyskinesia, mainly) of the Haldol – and Ben seemed to listen. (not agree, but he did listen)
These days are miracles. These days give me hope, though I’ve learned not to predict beyond a good day.
I don’t predict. But I can hope.
- I can hope that Ben will continue to value his sobriety and the meetings that help him.
- I can hope that the side effects of the Haldol are not permanent.
- I can hope that he can again be a part of family celebrations.
- I can hope that, perhaps, one day, he will gain insight into his illness and serve as an inspiration to others.
- I can hope that he will, again, be able to work, to have friends, to feel purpose and joy.
- I can hope for a cure for schizophrenia.
Hope is not foolishness. Hope is a celebration.
If I’m wrong, at least I’ll have had a day of seeing my son’s smile again, or actually enjoying talking with him, of seeing that he might be able to get some of his life back.
And that I can’t do it for him. All I can do is love him (always), set limits (whenever I have to), and do the behind-the-scenes advocacy that is necessary to keep him afloat.
(where are his social security benefits? Does he have money to pay his rent? Can he work again someday? Where? How? Are there activities he can participate in right now, to give him the structure and purpose he lost when he lost his job due to Covid and then turned to smoking weed instead? ….the list goes on. We orchestrate behind the scenes.)
A good day. I’ll take it.