I can totally understand.
When my brother lived with me, he struggled with very similar problems.
He (unintentionally) broke a new phone I had bought for him, refused to get repairs done (to be paid by me); refused my help to maintain his car, then expected me to pay for repairs that wouldn’t have been necessary; smoked weed in the apartment, risking getting me evicted and piling on stress for me; failed to take meds as prescribed, complained that it wasn’t working and refused to let me track dosing; the list goes on.
All excused by him as things being too stressful, or being too tired to care at the time.
It was frustrating for myself and for him.
And these things didn’t fix themselves when we made plans for him to move out. He did make a superficial effort to correct his behavior when I did insist that he get his own place, presumably to underline that he wanted to stay and would make those changes permanent.
But after about a year of consistent negative and self-destructive behavior, I knew he needed a change and that I wasn’t helping him.
Even after he moved out, he struggled with normal tasks for a long time.
Like many people with SzA, he felt like weed and video games (or similar distraction) were a solution. While it would be apparent to anyone else that locking himself away from society and hoping his problems would fade away with time would be foolish, he tried anyway.
Living on his own, he was devoid of excuses that relied upon family, or external sources of stress and dismay.
Thankfully, he took a critical look at his lifestyle and how it effected his disorder and his overall quality of life. He eventually realized that his method of distracting himself from his emotions and needs was not healthy, nor sustainable. That his disorder would continue to undermine his happiness until he addressed it directly.
Currently, it seems likely to me (given statistics) that he will eventually stop taking his meds as prescribed and that he will suffer delusions and paychosis again. Likely in the coming 6 months or so.
But for now, he talks about reality rather than philosophy. He leans on his doctors and his group therapy, trusting that they are the platform to reach his goals of independence and happiness.
I talk to him like I do anyone else. Encouraging the daily grind, offer help with things he complains about, and also encouraging him to trust that the path he is on is a good one.
I’m certain that he will struggle again in the future. Even now, every day is filled with challenges and uncertainty.
But I have a mantra:
“All you have to do is give a shit and honestly try. As long as you do that, I’m with you 100%.”
Meaning, It’s easy to tell when you give a shit and try because what is important to you starts becoming easy to figure out. You start being able to ask for a hand with things and actually seeing results. You notice that you start feeling better about the future and days start becoming a meaningful series of events, rather than a muddled blur of time.
Sure as heck, you’ve personally been doing all of that. It’s easy to tell because you know what’s eating you up, what the causes of your frustrations are, and what you want to do about it.
But your DX’d needs to do the same.
They might foolishly believe that weed (as a distraction fron emotions) and TV or videogames (as a distraction from reality) help. But they only delay the inevitable. The inevitable being their happiness and peace of mind.
They are going to gain some feeling of contentment and positivity toward the future. They by all rights deserve to. But they are absolutely capable of delaying and undermining it, too.
It’s hard to watch someone do that to themself. Especially when they have all the tools and resources they need.
No doubt, their feelings of frustration and stress are totally legitimate. They know all of these things, just like we do. But they need help realizing that they deserve a better lifestyle than just coping and dealing.
Sometimes convincing themself that they are valuable, worthy people who deserve good things is the most challenging thing. They don’t realize that they’ve sacrificed their own self-respect and are putting themself in quarantine voluntarily at home.
Funny, for all their fear of involuntary commitment, if we let them live however they want, that’s the lifestyle they choose first…