Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Quest for Batteries…

“Do you need anything?” dad asked last night during our medication ritual.

I had noticed when dad handed me my medications that there were eleven pills.  I looked closely and there was an extra 3mg Risperdal.  I didn’t say anything and just took them with one gulp of Wal-Mart grape juice.  I figured the extra anti-psychotic would do me good and would help me sleep well for the night. 

I pointed at the eight home theater remote controls on my coffee table and said, “I really could use some batteries for all of these.”

“Come on,” dad said. “Let’s get in the car and drive to Kroger.”

Dad and I wandered around Kroger looking for batteries.  If mom was along, she would have been asking complete strangers where the batteries are kept.  Thankfully, dad is like me and we would rather just wander and look.  Cooler, less socially anxious inducing heads prevailed. 

“Blu-Ray discs,” I said wantonly as we passed near the magazine rack.

“Pick you out a movie,” dad said. “Get you something you will enjoy.”

I tend to enjoy war themed movies and picked out a recent one that got decent reviews.

“What kind of treat do you and your mother usually get Maggie?” dad then asked. 

“Beef jerky,” I replied. “But it’s expensive.”

“How expensive?” dad asked.

“About ten dollars expensive!”

“Oh hell,” dad replied. “Let’s live high on the hog tonight. Let’s get the Mag dawg something good to eat!”

We finally found the batteries and I sheepishly reached for a package of twenty Duracell AA batteries.

“Too expensive?” I turned to dad and asked with a wince.

“Ah shit,” dad said throwing caution to the wind. “Get you enough batteries to last you awhile.”

I really had a good time shopping with my father last night.  I had a little tinge of anxiety during the experience as Kroger was very busy for a Saturday night.  Lot’s of people were shopping.   The hardest part was waiting in the 20 items or less line that had grown very long.  I was so relieved when we arrived back at the safety of dad’s car and I could relax as he drove. 

On the drive home, dad and I talked about I learning to live a normal life.

“I need help, a mentor, to do so,” I told him. “It is normal for me for my life to be chaotic and in disarray.  It always has been.”

“You’re my project,” dad said as he laughed and smiled. “We are just going to keep trying till we get things right.  Don’t ever give up!”

I smiled as we turned into my driveway.  I kept thinking of that often said line in AA about all us alcoholics being a work in progress.  My life is a far cry better life than it was just a few years ago.  There are setbacks and tumultuous times, but we seem to learn and grow from them.  Long gone are the days were we all struggled against the current and now go with the flow that can be my mentally interesting days.  We go to the doctor, get medications, sedate me, and we all rest.   There is no screaming or hollering as in the old days – the accusations that I must be doing something wrong to cause my mental illness.   I think dad is finally coming to terms that I and mom’s mental illnesses are actually a disease and not a defect in character.  

9 comments:

forsythia said...

Amen to the last line in this post. Keep on with your work-in-progress. That's what we all are and that's what we all need to keep doing. I happen to find my inspiration at church. I realize that church is not for everyone. But it works for me. Gotta run.

Lena said...

Yes, we are all growing and learning all of the time.

I think the mentor idea is a great one. Around here there are mentor programs to help socially anxious individuals.

You dad was really trying last night to be more flexible. Gotta love that.

Have a great day and enjoy your home theater!

justLacey said...

Andrew you are no different in that you have set backs and tumultuous times. We all have them and they are difficult. You have made so many strides even with the setbacks. I am so proud of you and your accomplishments. Just keep on moving in the right direction. It will get easier in time.

justLacey said...

Wish Mom a happy Mother's Day from me.

Joy Heather said...

I am so glad things are good and getting better between you and your Dad,I agree with the other commentors,we all have bad days,times when we just cant cope. I am only just starting to feel 'normal-ISH' after a few very bad weeks...your all set up now with your big battery pack..so you can spend a relaxing time with your Music and Blue rays, is there really a HUGE difference in the quality of pictures with Blue Ray??
Have a good rest..Hugs ti you & Maggie...Joy

Joy Heather said...

I am so glad things are good and getting better between you and your Dad,I agree with the other commentors,we all have bad days,times when we just cant cope. I am only just starting to feel 'normal-ISH' after a few very bad weeks...your all set up now with your big battery pack..so you can spend a relaxing time with your Music and Blue rays, is there really a HUGE difference in the quality of pictures with Blue Ray??
Have a good rest..Hugs ti you & Maggie...Joy

This IS The Fun Part! said...

Sounds like dad is really trying to be a part of your ever improving life! I think it's wonderful!

You're doing a great job!

Love,
Grannie

mary said...

At the Kroger near where I live, the batteries are kept at the end of the cleaning supply aisle.

Tokyo Biker Mommy said...

That was a really beautiful post about something completely mundane (shopping trip to the store). I almost choked up to read the way your father was being considerate of you and your needs/wants. HE is a work in progress as much as you are. :)