Today is another disappointment. Zack quit his part-time job at Ingles.
Yet I must stop and remind myself of the thousands of times this child has amazed me. Astounded me. Delighted me. His zest for life, his determination, his never give up spirit. Loving him has made me into a much better person. A kinder, more generous, more understanding, more tolerant and accepting person.
I guess the disappointment comes from wanting to know he could do this, manage the work, hold down a job. The disappointment is not with him.
He looked and tried so hard to get a job, wanted a job, then amazingly GOT this job. IT was perfect in every way. The drive was close to home, one he could navigate alone. They were not asking him to run a register, which we know he would not be able to do, due to his extreme anxiety and slow processing speed. He was simply getting buggies in, stocking shelves and bagging groceries.
How easy is that ??
For teenager with so many strikes against him we knew finding a job would be hard since he is limited in what he can do, what he can “handle” emotionally and cognitively. So, when he got this job we were thrilled and excited. So was he.
It started out well. Really well. He was working about 20-3o hrs per week, but at night, getting off most days at 10pm, which put him home around 11 pm. This was NOT good. At all. You see, Zack requires a whooooole lot of sleep. If he does not get it, well, it is not good for any of us. He usually gets to bed around 9, very early for a 17 year old. So these late nights really messed his sleep/wake pattern up and he quickly began to go down hill emotionally. For most people with mood disorders, mental illness, sleep or the lack of can play a huge factor in their stability.
About 2 weeks ago he was scheduled to work, he was in a “mood”, had been battling some depression and huge anxiety. Well, I drove him to work that day, and he would not get out of the car. Sat there, sat there, sat there. Would not, COULD not get out and go in. He said his thoughts were really racing because he knew he needed to go work, but he was afraid. He was paralyzed with the fear and anxiety.
So, I, as always, am left to go in, find the manager and explain why Zack could not work today. Thankfully, they were kind and understanding. The agreed to “work with” Zack and limit his shifts to only 2 a week since school was starting. GREAT !!! Surely he can handle that.
No he can’t. Today being Saturday, he is scheduled to work tomorrow and already his anxiety is working on him. He simply could not face going in. So, we made the decision for him to go ahead and resign, the best thing since they need dependable, willing workers.
Which leaves me with my thoughts of this??????
If my son, who is 17, and yes, heavily weighed down by complicated, sometimes debilitating mental illness, if he can’t maintain a simple job, two days a week of pushing buggies and bagging groceries then will he ever be able to work?
My answer to this question, again, is NO. I don’t believe he will be able to work for someone else, on their schedule. Which is the purpose of creating the Good Boy Roy business. And knowing this, makes me more determined to make it work. It must work. It must be successful. It must be something he can support himself with later, working on his time when he is capable. Supporting himself with what he loves, drawing.
It has to work. Has to
So he wont end up living homeless under a bridge somewhere if and when my husband and I are no longer here to care for him. So he wont be dependant upon welfare and other people. So he can live his life, his dreams, on his time.
Such is the ramblings of a mom loving and raising a child with mental illness.
The fears. The worry. The hopes. The dreams. The love. Knowledge is power.