What do you like doing with your day? Do you have a full time job? What does your sz family member do while you are away?
How I spend my day with J- Then and now
I was a 14 going on 15 when I moved in with my then 25 year old brother. He had his own section 8 housing, and a part time job as building maintenance, and was sliding into a very deep patch of negative symptoms.
Back then, I got up before him and then spent a long time trying to get him out of bed and dressed so he could go to his job. I’d make a small breakfast and pack him a lunch and try and wake him up. Sometimes I’d even call my Mom to stop by so she could work with him while I went on to school.
Sometimes he would get dressed and drive himself to work. Sometimes Mom would have to drive him to his job, and when he was done in four or five hours, Dad would drive J home on the class break.
By the time I got home, my brother J would be back in his jammies sitting in bed looking at the newspaper. Then I would make him an early dinner. Sometimes he wasn’t up for having me around, so then I would go out and hang out with friends. If my brother was having a panic attack or something else going on, he wanted me where he could see me. I would sit with him and do my homework.
Due to the heavy punch from his meds, he would fall asleep pretty early so I had the place to myself for long time. Friends could be over as long as they were quiet or we we’re right outside. Sometimes he would use all his strength and come swim with me after school. He would be so tired after he’d fall asleep right away and stay that way until morning. I would do the dishes and some laundry and gather the bills for Mom and Dad to help with.
Then the big med Change for him and the school and job change for me. His meds were drastically changed and he was offered a better job with flex-time. I started college and got my job as a lifeguard.
J is up before me, and usually having his coffee by the time I get up. I make him a quick breakfast and he takes his meds. I go on to open the pool. The night before, J takes his bath and shaves and sets out his stuff for work or school. I get home midmorning around 9 a.m. and J usually leaves for work then. I work a split shift. I do my homework and get to clean up a bit and go back to work or I go on to school
For J, after work, he usually goes swimming and he’ll come home with me after my afternoon lessons. He goes to the same school at the same time I do on mon and wed nights. So we’ll go get something to eat after class.
Saturday he comes to my pool with me and does his laps while I teach Saturday morning swim lessons. Then he takes the Aqua fit class that I teach. He’ll hang out at the pool for the last hour of my shift and then we go home.
Sunday we’re both off and that is Sunday Adventure Day. I love my Sundays with my big brother. I try and find odd things to do in the city. We have weird shops and the UW campus always has a student art show or a dance crew or “A Bach in the park” or something going on.
J has told me that he’s not fond of being in the apartment alone too long so he’ll go for more walks now that it’s warmer and he’ll go to the library more. He also goes to his Sz support group and his doc and his therapy session with out me, more often.
My big brother has gone through an amazing transformation over that past two and a half years. He doesn’t need me like he used to. He’s pretty amazing with all he does and how out and about he forces himself to be. There will be as he says, some glitches. But they are so rare now and usually panic triggered. When he calms down he’ll get himself back on track.
Hope I didn’t bore anyone or get too long. That is what I do with my days with J. It’s not much I admit, but it’s pretty amazing from my point of view. I am very grateful for the ability to spend these good years with him. Nearly every day I’m in awe of how much has changed for him in such a short amount of time. It’s only been 18 months.
Thank you for letting me post
No, that is wonderful! I loved it! I’m sorry I probably should have said this is helping me with my book as well as with myself.
First off I want to see what it is going to be like for C.
Second off the wife in my book gets a lot of days off and I was wondering what she did all day.
My Mom is really the only full time care giver I have ever had (my Dad has a full time job but she is a stay at home mom) and I was also curious to see what she does with her day.
My Mom and Dad are BOTH teachers. My Mom has taught High school math and science for years. She is a very logical and science oriented person.
My Dad teaches Middle school history and art. He has also taught music at the elementary school programs. He’s more laid back.
When my brother J was getting ill and FINALLY correctly diagnosed at 17, our Mom didn’t waste any time. She treated this illness like any other illness, there has to be a biological element. So she was fast acting like she always is. There was no question in mind that there would be meds, therapy, doctors ASAP.
My brother Surprised J was also fighting other co-morbid problems that would derail his progress sometimes. But he’s been doing amazingly well lately and is working so hard to stay healthy. I’m proud of everything my family has done and I’m also so very proud of how hard my brother has worked. I feel very lucky to have my big brother and best friend back.
I don’t work but try to do some voluntary work. Looking to get some voluntary work on the go. A homeless hostel maybe or maybe with the mentally ill.
I am retired and spend my day doing whatever I want to do. My daughter who has a mental illness lives within walking distance from me. She, her two children and her husband I see daily. I am still involved in my daughter’s life as a support person. I try to walk 3-5 miles a day and I also have a hobby that keeps me busy. When my daughter first became ill I didn’t realize how angry I became and it lasted for years. I felt ripped off, cheated and utterly grief stricken that my daughter had to suffer so much. I no longer feel that horrible anger and have accepted whatever comes my way. It’s a good place to be in.
My Saturdays are usually the same. I do laundry in the morning and listen to the Met opera in the afternoon.
I like to have a plan for the day. Week days it’s mostly the gym and a little help with household chores and errands. Not a lot, but I used to spend my days doing NOTHING.
I go to school full-time. So my days are spent going to school, studying and doing homework. Also, when it is warmer out, I like to play tennis or go for a walk. Other than that, I play on the internet.
Hi kidsiste. I love your story and how you spend your day and what a great support you’ve been for your brother as well as your mother and father. They are very lucky to have you. You are an amazing human being.