On Saturday, Toots and I participated in the NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) walk at Jones Beach on Long Island. About 20 staff, 3 girls, and 2 parents walked as the Children’s Hospital team. Lots of staff, consumers, and family members from many agencies, lots of enthusiasm, and free lunch at the end. It would have been fun….had it not rained in torrents during a good part of the walk. I had picked up disposable ponchos at the dollar store the day before, but Toots didn’t want to wear one. Well, I took advantage of one, and the others were used also…..the plastic covering helped somewhat, though I still got pretty soaked, and Toots got very soaked. But we finished the entire walk, all 5K. Went all the way to the turnaround spot and walked back. I can’t even recall when I last walked so far.
When it was over, I needed hot coffee and some food that wasn’t a hot dog. Toots and I went to a diner, and had a good talk over our meal. I think her new medication may be helping her focus her thoughts and plan for the future. She actually sounded realistic in her thinking (although I remain skeptical that she will be able to handle a post-secondary program). Toots definitely wants to stay in school and graduate (with Mom cheering inwardly at hearing this!). She doesn’t want to just get a GED, because “you can’t get any kind of a job with that.”
Toots also talked some more about getting an apartment, either by herself or with another person. She asked how much government funding would be available for her. I told her no one could predict that at this point (pending the results of the election). But I am so pleased that she is at least considering her options in a rational way, rather than just fastening on the goal of being a rock star.
Maybe we are seeing some actual progress. Maybe, just maybe, she is maturing.