It’s icy cold here. I’ve stopped bragging that since I’m Canadian, I’m used to this kind of weather. This kind of weather sucks. I no longer have the 40 below wardrobe thanks to the effects of currently living in a more moderate climate. I got rid of the unfashionable Eddie Bauer stuff years ago. Our small apartment is driving me cabin crazy! The only way to make a small apartment bigger is for the people who live there to stay in their rooms or go outside. This works okay for Alex, our middle son. He’s got a new job that requires that he arrive at 8 a.m., so he’s long gone by the time I get up. He gets home usually around 9 p.m. after socializing with his friends.
This leaves Chris. Ian and I are at work all day, and Chris is alone much of the day, which is not a good thing. Combine that with the wickedly cold weather and self isolation is paranoid-provoking. He sees his psychiatrist, and his occupational therapist, and his voice teacher, but that’s kind of “it” in terms of a reason to go out the door during the day. Luckily, he’s got a roaring nightlife, for the first time in years, with his various musical commitments. And, a friend of his from first year university (imagine staying in touch with a classmate when you left university after only one year!) has moved here.
Believe me, Chris is mentally stable and I expect him to stay that way. He is a different person in so many ways that the collapsed shell of himself that he was when he had his full blown psychotic episode that landed him in the hospital eight years ago. Would I say he is symptom free? No. The more he stays indoors by himself, the more his mind races. He still has trouble knowing what he’s supposed to do in a room. He lingers, he hesitates, he stands in the threshold of a room, undecided about what to do next. Here is a more descriptive example. Ian and I are in the kitchen making dinner and talking about our day. Ian notices that Chris has appeared in the hallway, and is standing facing the kitchen directly, but not saying anything to Ian or me. I’ve tried to explain to Chris that there is a purpose to being or transitioning through a room. We enter to sit down and read a book, or to shake hands with a guest, or whatever. The point is, Chris, either get into the kitchen and talk (How’s your day, is always a good opener), or go off and do something else, but don’t just stand there.
The good news is that the occupational therapist, under some pressure from Ian and me, has hooked Chris up with an employment counselor. Chris has filled out a vocational aptitude test for her, called the “Jackson” something or something. Chris pointed out that all these tests seems to have the name “Jackson” associated with them. I immediately thought of Jackson Triggs, but then remembered that Jackson Triggs is a brand name for my beloved red wine. The Jackson test is kind of bizarre. It has multiple questions that, I kid you not, go something like this.
Would you prefer to raise turkeys?
Draw a blood sample?
That’s all for now. Stay warm.