I saw my psychiatrist and therapist yesterday as well. The news was more encouraging than I realized. There is some evidence that with Dialectical therapy (Over cognitive which is the standard [DBT if you want to google it]) combined with meds and an acceptance of the disorder about 60-70% of the time BPD can go into a form of remission. It can be triggered again and there is still no set course of treatment universally accepted...but it gave me hope.
I have applied for disability. That is really hard. My father instilled a strong work ethic in me. In the professional world, in spite of some inter-personal issues, I was never absent much. The good news is both treatment providers feel like my case can be reviewed year to year, which gives me hope. Sometimes hope is all we have. There are a few things I haven't been able to pursue over time. They could also potentially lead to employment. Everyone agreed that it would have to really be the right job, ideally with someone who knows me as sharing my diagnosis would be crucial in "managing" me.
Yesterday afternoon our in-home therapist arrived. She was here to meet with my 18 year old son who has Asbergers, severe ADD and Tourette's and my 11 year old who has PTSD. My family pretty much covers the spectrum. My wife suffers from severe, recurrent depression and we just assign any outstanding diagnosis' to the 5 year old. I sat through both kids intakes. My daughter really connected with our therapist. My son's intake was tough. Our relationship has always been strained. His first 6 years in school all his problems were relayed to us as behavioral. By 6th grade we had a new principal who agreed to an evaluation. That was when his issues were discovered.
He and I haven't really shared many interests. Between him never asserting his needs and my own issues along with caring for his 2 younger sisters and time can go by pretty quick between Dad/Son activities. Part of the things I must face are the ways I have treated my kids. I struggle with guilt over not providing a yearly family vacation. Something my father provided for us. We used to have a family game night but as I re-entered the work force it stopped, though Friday evening it begins again! The one thing Joey and I did share was a love for fishing. We haven't gone in a few years and that is a goal of mine to change. I imagine my son will be with us awhile as he is not ready to support himself and is struggling his Senior year.
When I have had previous periods of unemployment my family has thrived. I have more energy and attention. I am better equipped to support them. It doesn't pay well though :-( As I approach disability I need to really work hard on getting better. No one thinks working is the right thing for me and that is hard to hear. But this is going to take time. Yesterday for example, I was in for an xray and a guy came in after me and moved his slip ahead of mine. I got so angry I wanted to tear his head off (Verbally not physically). I was really fuming. Again, an over reaction to an appropriate time to be mad. The consequence to my family for me to walk out of another job would be disastrous.
So as I approach this time of treatment, recovery and generally patching MJ (Me) back together how can I best support my family. And then it hit me. It's not about game night. It's not about vacation. It's about supporting my wife and kids emotional needs. Combined with some support I have received on Twitter it was a good day. I realize that we (The more serious mental health diagnosis') Must stick together. We will all have good day's and bad ones. It's OK to need some help. Whether that is through friends, family, online friends or professional help (Hopefully several of those). I have some of each. Friends, its ok to need each other...we can be each others Brothers Keeper and most of all know that you are not alone.