“Mom, I sometimes I thought I’d never actually have a pleasant day with Ben again. Today was so great!”
Exactly my sentiments, honey.
Families of those with Schizophrenia know: “normal” days are miraculous. And we treasure. Every. Single. One. Because, well, we might not get more of the same. no guarantees.
Blog followers here know that we’ve had quite a few, um, adjustments to make re Ben in 2020-21. From full-time employment to hospitalization, to back in group home care…and now, addiction to contend with. It has been a tough year for us, sure — but so much worse for Ben, especially now that he is “well” enough to realize that his life has gotten so messed up.
He has lost so much.
Stupid Schizophrenia. Thief of lives. Robber of relationship. Obstacle to useful employment. And so much more.
And yet. There is hope – and moments to treasure again. Grateful, grateful for:
Ben, 25 days clean now. (his addiction is marijuana). One day at a time. He is going to meetings. Fingers crossed. But – wow – it is so different when he isn’t stoned.
Two days in a row of family fun – yes, fun! Ben is on Haldol now – not my favorite, as I fear the permanent side effects, but Ben seems happier on it. Letting go of control…as best I can. It’s his life. But I must say that things are better than expected, even though Haldol doesn’t do much for the “negative symptoms” of his brain illness.
But – some miracles in the past few days, on family visits:
He went swimming! He used to love it so much as a boy, but for some reason hasn’t gone in the pool for five years (I suspect some sort of psychosis belief that kept him away, but I’ll never know for sure) -it was always, “Maybe next tiem” – but he went swimming with his young nieces and nephew, and actually played with them. Played!
We did a family trip to the local Aquarium and Ben was actually helpful – the kids adore him, and he was present and involved. And – during lunch, he turned to his sister (as the kids were doing their “I-haven’t-been-to-a-restaurant-since-Covid- and-forgot-how to-behave” routine) and said, “wow, sis, you have your hands full, don’t you?”
If you have a relative with SZ, you know what a miracle this is.
Yeah, he’s trembling a bit, and I fear the presence of tardive dyskinesia – a possibly permanent side effect of the med Ben is on.
But all we have is today, and what is, is.
So I’ll take the miracle of having made some more good memories with my son. Grateful And always hopeful, and ever watchful.