I just dropped Chris off at the airport. He is spending a long week-end with former university friends in a large city. We went through the list – passport, plane ticket, phone numbers, medications, NADH energy pill. He squeezed everything into one carry-on bag and was totally prepared. He was demonstrating that he is again the well-organized person that he used to be. In other circumstances, I wouldn’t be the least bit worried. After all, Chris is twenty-five. However, he is a twenty-five year old who has not managed to do all the stuff that his friends have been taking for granted for several years now. He will be staying in a youth hostel for part of the time.
However, he needed a break from the boredom of not having not enough to do and having no friends of his own age around. One of the hardest things about this is that friends move away. A couple of friends fell away during his recent relapse. I am grateful for the ones who still keep in touch.
I am hoping that a change of scenery will give Chris fresh insight and imbue him, even just a bit, with a sense of direction. He is working, very slowly, with an occupational therapist who is helping him to discern where his talents and strengths are. There is a lot more to schizophrenia than just the absence of psychosis. You might think, great, he’s not psychotic, he seems reasonably intelligent, so why isn’t he back at university, or working hard a job or whatever?
The answer is, I just don’t know. He is more than capable of holding down a job, if his volunteer work is any indication. When Ian and I tried pushing him back to university last year, we got relapse. Ian and I are no longer pushing. We are simply waiting.