@slw If I remember correctly, your son is fairly young isn’t he? I can understand so well, wanting him to not isolate and wanting him to get out and be involved in anything. I still want that for my son. What I have learned from all these years with my son is that you can’t successfully force it. Maybe the hospital can to some degree, but is he really connected to the programs there or is he just following instructions from strangers?
When my son was much younger and before he got more stabilized as he is now…he just slept, walked around the apartment building and smoked, ate, and watched TV. Then he started to write, nonsense mostly, then lists…then eventually he ventured out to AA meetings, not so much because he had an alcohol problem because he did not, but because he said he could relate to the people there and he liked hearing their stories, he rarely participated, just sat in the back and listened. Then he started going places with me, more often, we got the gym, once in awhile he goes alone but rarely. about 18 months ago he suddenly refused to go to anymore AA meetings…no rhyme or reason…he said he thought he went enough times. He had some friends there, he doesn’t realize that, I know they were friends because when he had his seizures and was hospitalized, they all showed up in his room to see how he was. None of this really matters to him, he doesn’t see them or call them.
I still hope one day he will go back again for the socialization. All he does today is go places with me…and rarely alone…very rarely. He is 33. I really wish he could meet a friend that he could be close with, I just don’t think that matters much to him, or if it does he is unwilling or unable to do what it takes to make that happen. If I were no longer in the picture he would likely go the way of my sister and stay alone and to himself unless he were forced to go out to get food or medicine or see the doctor if he could even keep that up alone.
I wish and wish for him like all of the moms here do for their kids…we only want the best and we never want to give up or settle…that is understandable. The biggest thing I have learned caring for my son is that I cannot expect my wishes and hopes and dreams for my son to be his wishes, hopes and dreams…it is just not going to happen and that doesn’t mean he is unhappy with the meager activities he does manage. We were taking our usual walk today and I asked out of the blue, “Are you happy?” and my son said, “yeah, sure!” You could never tell by his expression but I decided he said he is happy so I am going to choose to believe he is.
He doesn’t want my vision of happiness he wants his own…even tho’ it seems like no vision at all. What I see is he wants everything uncomplicated, very simple, low stress and easy to accomplish…and he is happy. So I let it be…I tend to myself and keep hoping he stumbles into another social situation he will want to stick with for awhile…all of my suggestions I make fall on deaf ears and make him feel stress so I keep them at a minimum.
I wish I could offer a viable solution but I think just trying to keep him on track with his meds and his personal hygiene, eating habits, and potential exercise is probably the most important things and then maybe having regular times that you and he can do something together like take a walk or exercise or go to the library or whatever you can share easily…it takes a good long while for these kids to acclimate to these medicine protocols, they can go up and down and back and forth for many months or even a couple of years…a long while before their brains settle down enough for them to have a unique thought of their own that is not part of a delusion.
I guess my best advice would be “patience mom” and remember that your dreams for your son may need to be shelved (at least for awhile) because his dreams may be different and not at all what you planned for and exist on a very different time table… Not to give up entirely, but to let things unfold more slowly and for lack of a better phrase, more organically…trust me I know how excruciating it is to do this but it results in more peace for both of you and that is important too…it is radical acceptance of what is and of what isn’t.
Sorry so wordy tonight, this really struck a chord in me because I feel so much the same-so often, I just don’t worry about it anymore at least not so much, but then my son just turned 33…I’ve been at this a long time.
Hugs my friend.