My youngest daughter remains mentally ill, but thanks to her medications she is now stable; or at least she has been for the last month or so. In fact, she is doing the best she has ever done since she was in middle school, about five years ago. We are also blessed with the fact that she is med-compliant and not only takes her medication without complaint or resistance, reminds us to give it to her. She clearly understands her need for her medications.
That her mental illness (bipolar disorder) has been stabilized does not mean that she is entirely well. She requires far more parenting than a nineteen-year-old should, ranging from taking care of her meals for her, to even fulfilling her desire to be “tucked in” at bedtime. She is an odd mixture of being physically and legally an adult, while remaining emotionally at about the place a fourteen or sometimes even a twelve-year-old would be.
This makes caring for her very difficult. There are times she will make poor choices, and she’ll insist as she does so, “I’m an adult, I can do what I want.” Which, of course, is certainly true. And often, what she chooses to do lacks wisdom and results in her repeatedly getting hurt as her naiveté gets taken advantage of over and over again.
All I can do is hope that if her mental illness remains under control and stabilized, without that distraction, perhaps she’ll begin to become mature and her adulthood will be more than just in name only. But the other thing that my wife and I do is take everything a day at a time. Today has been a good day. For this we give thanks. Tomorrow is another day.