Monday, October 15, 2012

Rituals and Obsessive Compulsions

We had a pretty good weekend.  I did get a little alarmed Friday night during a conversation with Mike.  He had been looking forward to Ron coming to his house Saturday to watch the OU/Texas game but he told me Friday that Ron couldn't come.  I asked why and he replied, "Because it will interfere with my bedtime routine."

Now, the game started at 11:00 am so I was having trouble understanding what the conflict was.  Mike proceeded to give me a lengthy and detailed account of his routine.  Most of which didn't make a lick of sense.  So my alarm bells started ringing loud.  So I reminded him that the game started at 11:00 am and he doesn't go to bed until 9:00 pm.  Plenty of time for his ritual.  

Finally he said Ron could come over and that I should tell his psychiatrist about his rituals. 

After I had time to think about the situation a while I decided that I have to learn that normal for me isn't the same as Mike's normal.  I have to stop trying to "fix" him and determine only if his actions are a danger to himself or others.  That's when I need to sound the alarm bells. 

So on Saturday we discussed the whole routine.  He told me how he gets up in the morning and blesses everything on his kitchen table (salt & pepper shakers, etc) before he takes his pills which he must count 7 times because 7 is a lucky number.  Then he says his guardian prayer for me 3 times because I was the third child and I'm important to him.

I listened to all this kind of wide eyed but realized this is normal in his world.  I just told him that routines and schedules are very helpful as long as we control them and they don't control us.  I suggested he try to be flexible so that he won't miss out on fun things like Ron watching a game with him.  The weekend proceeded and all was well.

I just realize I still have much to learn about schizophrenia and mental illness.  It's just hard sometimes to know when something is a potential crisis or just his normal.  

89 comments:

Olga said...

It seems he does have reasons-3 prayers for you because you are the third child-as elusive as they may be to the rest of us.

marciamayo said...

Dani, you don't need a grandchild. You have Mike.

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