Thursday, May 29, 2008

My painful realization for the day

As much as I might hope and plan, he's not ready for work yet.

He's been doing so well, and he's so determined to get back to where he used to be. But he's still "blowing off" his appointments with his therapist, and the Jobs Program lady, too. My rational self goes "how on earth could you or anyone expect him to be able to hold down a job for more than a few days if he can't even get up for an appointment?"

And I can fend those thoughts off by telling them, "Yeah, but if it was something on a regular schedule, something predictable, he could do it, probably."

And then today.

He and Jim went and got a bunch of firewood from the woods behind our house. Since it's looking like propane is going to be extremely pricey, the more firewood we can come up with now, the better. And since we have the wood at no cost, we might as well make use of it. Some of the logs were just massive, from a huge old tree that got struck by lightning, it was almost 4 feet in diameter....very sad that it had to die after what I would presume to be a very long, lightning-free life....but...so the wood came back up to our yard, and it was basically impossible to split with an axe. Not to mention that we didn't want to aggravate DH's back problem, if it has any physical sources whatsoever. "Luckily", we have an old wood splitter. Two years ago, DH was able to get it going, and split all of our wood without straining at all. It was fun to use it. Last year, he didn't get any firewood for us at all, he was too sick. We relied on what was left from the year before, and now every last log of that is gone. The splitter didn't even get dusted off.

So, he set out to get the wood splitter started. He worked on it yesterday, and then today he went and got some advice from a small engines guy in town, and it still won't start. And that has sent him into a tailspin. His voice is thick again, like it was before Lithium. He keeps saying "I've GOT to fix it", "I've GOT to fix it", and when I told him he didn't have to fix it tonite, he got even more depressed. I suggested that he go to sleep and wake up with a "fresh brain" to figure out the problem. I reminded him that creativity and problem-solving don't work well when you're frustrated. All he kept saying was "I've GOT to fix it." And the more he talked about it to me, the more depressed he got. He started telling me things like "I don't know anything." "I don't know why I even tried this, what was I thinking? I'm so stupid." And he wouldn't go to bed, and all he wanted to do was wallow in the fact that the job turned out to be harder than he expected, and he's having a tough time figuring out the problem.

It's sad, but this has caused me to get "straight" with my self and admit that he really isn't ready for work. If he was to get a job right now, all it would take was one day (or a few) like this, and he'd either quit or be fired, and the self-fulfilling prophecy would start over. It's suddenly very clear to me. He's better, but not better "enough". It's tough to admit.


perphila said...

I have been asking the same question to myself about my husband. He hasn't worked a regular job in over two years now. He has had part time jobs that were a few hours a week. I volunteer more than he worked and one of those jobs I did all the planning for him he just had to show up with what I gave him. He still isn't working but living on the disability but that is going to end in July. He has never reapplied for SS disability. I am scared to death of what we will do then. I had hoped I would be more stable myself with a half decent job by now. What concerns me as well is his obsession with college. His first few months he was flunking and changed all his classes to something easier. In January he said he was studying to become a teacher. He told his family he would be through with school this coming December. That is completely unrealistic. I know when he is manic and really up about something he can do well. I think that is what has been sustaining him so far in school. At the moment it is what he wants to do so he's doing it. To the extreme of neglecting other aspects of his life. You would think that it could show he can be able to work. However, if there is any dissatisfaction with school it may all crumble. If he isn't able to graduate as he has planned it will be a huge blow to him and knowing his pattern he would fall apart and give up. That was what happened with his job. If he went back to work if he had any conflicts I think he would just quit again. He stayed as long as he did at his old job because he said he needed to take care of his family. That obviously is no longer a concern for him so what would be his motivation to work? Even when he had the motivation he still couldn't bring himself to go. I need to let go and let him sink or swim. I need to find a way to take of my family all by myself. It is going to be a long and scary struggle. I just wish he didn't drag us down with him. If he is stable as he is claiming he should be able to get a good paying job like before. The fact he hasn't speaks volumes to me about his capacity. I should have understood that all along but the time he seems ok make me think he should be able to work. I should know better since he isn't even taking his meds. I forget. It is understandable you should feel optimistic seeing the changes for the better in DH. It will still take time. The hard part is wondering how long especially when youhave already been waiting for so long already.