It’s been a week since Daylight Savings Time has ended, and I am just starting to feel like I’ve adjusted. I don’t know what I like better – driving to work in the dark and coming home just as it’s getting dark at night, like it was during the end of Daylight Savings, or driving to work just after sunrise and coming home in the pitch black. The evenings dark so early do make me want to stay in more. I think it’s the dark, and not the chill. Fall is definitely here in the Midwest.

If my mood changes in the fall, it’s easy to see how Tim’s mood would change too. Although with Tim, it’s a cycle, usually through some intense mania, then depression. In RTC, he’s seeing some of his peers go through the cycle as well, and he has mentioned it when we talk to him. I don’t know if he recognizes that they are experiencing some of the same feelings that he does, but he does see that they are having a “rough day,” as he calls it.

I can’t remember if I mentioned this already – I think I did but I am too lazy to read back through my last few posts, ha ha – but we have decided not to have Tim home for Thanksgiving. Alex really wants to have friends over to celebrate his 19th birthday and since he’s had maybe 1 teenage birthday without a tense incident with Tim, we decided that he deserves to have a drama-free weekend. I’m still conflicted over this decision – what kind of parent doesn’t want their kid home for a holiday? – even though my mom understands and has given me permission to let myself off the hook, saying that we deserve a stree-free holiday. I worry though – there is a sizeable percentage of kids at the RTC that are wards of the state, or who have family a long distance away, and don’t have the contact with their families that Tim does with us. I know it is reassuring to Tim that we visit him several times a month and talk on the phone a few times a week, and I worry that he will feel abandoned if he doesn’t come home for the holiday.

Anyway….it’s a nice here in Illinois today – amazingly, nearly 70 degrees. I think I’ll get out and soak up some of this warmth and sunlight before it’s dark and cold for the season. I hope you can get out too – fresh air and sunlight have great mood-lifting properties.

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  • Adelaide Dupont November 9, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    I hope Alex has a drama-free weekend for his birthday. Glad your Mum gets it.

    Hope you can visit Tim before Christmas and after Thanksgiving.

  • Jules November 13, 2009 at 2:45 am

    I wish you posted more; I really enjoy your blog 🙂

  • Chrisa November 13, 2009 at 2:45 am

    Thanks – I will try to post more!

  • Megan Kimmel November 16, 2009 at 3:45 am

    Well, Howdy Chrisa!

    I just read your entire blog in one sitting!
    What a wild ride you and your family have been through. There are so many moments in your writing where you take a moment to reflect and seem to say, "THIS is our life?!" in disbelief/exasperation. I can relate strongly to those moments of almost mourning for dashed dreams. I think those moments are necessary to move from the despair of "THIS is my life?!" to the acceptance "this IS my life." Which you always come to a few paragraphs later. That is more than many can do, move from disbelief and grieving to acceptance. but then you go a step farther! You go from the disbelief and grieving- "THIS is my life?!" to the acceptance – "this IS my life." to the self empowerment- "this is MY life!" and you own your experiences, openly sharing them with the world. I get stuck in the disbelief/despair state so your ability to keep moving towards self- empowerment is an inspiring one!

    I will never try to give you advice about Tim, because I am not a mental health worker or a parent, and the issues Tim and I struggle with are very different. But I would be more than happy to listen (read) and to remind you that you are not alone, and to validate your struggle if that is okay.

    I do have a suggestion for YOU though! I'm sure you have gotten this many many times- and if this isn't your style feel free to blatantly tell me so, but do you do any mindfulness/ meditation? Although it is hard work to do quiet mindfulness, to put time aside for yourself, to not get caught up in distracting thoughts, i have found it (as well as science to have found it!) to have huge benefits on mood. I have a few mindfulness exercises I particuarly like if you're ever interested. and if not, that is completely okay too!

    Megan Kimmel

  • Chrisa November 16, 2009 at 3:46 am

    Megan, that is a good suggestion – thanks for mentioning it. Tim does use guided imagery at times, which helps him do that, but it's difficult when he's slipping into full-blown psychosis, as you can imagine. The voices won't let him be quiet. But he does like it and it does help him relax.

    Hope to see you at chat!

  • Megan Kimmel November 16, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    Thrilled to hear Tim has given imagery a go, but we had a miscommunication. I was asking do YOU do it? You as in Chrisa. Not you as in "have you tried it as a treatment for tim?" but as "Have you, Chrisa Hickey ever tried sitting down and doing some mindfulness yourself?" i was talking about stress relief for you, not stress relief for Tim. It can't be easy being such an incredible mom!