Not that it is that fun to be a loved one of a person with mental illness, but of course it is so much worse for person themself. Ache is still not well, nor talking to us, but we do know more about things that have happened lately. Some parts I'm not comfortable discussing publicly but some are less identifying. Last weeks have been tough for him. Some better days, lots of bad days and couple spirals out of control, one rather bad one. However it starts to seem that it may be just his old problems acting up instead of onset of something new and extra, which is good. Apparently also some mixed substance abuse 'helped' him to really spiral out of control, though he was clearly delusional and out of it even before he got that bright idea. But despite that; this is not about bad choices, not doing the right things, not working hard for recovery. Nope. It is just his illness acting up and there is very little he can do about it. And what he can, he has certainly tried his best to do. There was a triggering factor for this, but again, when he starts to talk with us again, there is no way I could look him into an eye and tell him, he should had handled it somehow better or differently. Okay, if we would want, we could do that. Go on and on how he should have recognize the situation and asked help, but in reality he didn't have much chance of that. Or how do you think it would go, if you would go to your boss and tell that you have no proof, but you feel that this one co-worker doesn't like you and is sabotaging you, when all the evidence suggests that only one screwing up out there is you? Or he could had told a therapist, maybe even did, but that would likely had been taken as paranoid. And someone so fragile as Ache that kind of tension, being afraid of going to work at morning, always double checking himself and others, not being able to be sure if it was that other person or himself - well, it is a trigger one can not expect him to deal with even the actual 'pranks' were small enough to be 'pranks' if there would had been just one or even five of them. And considering they even lived together couple months before summer break, he couldn't really feel safe at his own home either. We have talked before with Ache a lot about his issues not being any more odd or special than having a knee problem would be. That too needs treatment, rehab, keeping it in mind in every day choices and that too can reinjure or act up in any time and just because. That his issues are not any more shameful or wrong than bad knee would be. But there is one big difference, when bad knee may end your career and causes you pain and heartache and chronic disability, it doesn't wreck havoc in all areas of your life, like episode of mental illness can do. It is just not his profession and livelihood that are in stake, it is his relationships to people he loves, his reputation, everything. I have also been thinking my friend who passed away last winter. Her struggle with her illness and how totally unbearable her life turned into. How she lost everything she had hold dear because of he illness. She did make some bad choices, but without walking in her shoes there is no way of knowing if she actually had any real choice at those times. It is easy to say that there is right and wrong and that one does know the difference. But does one? And even if they do, is there the possibility to choose differently? Or my dad and his Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). It is easy to judge his choices, but did he really have any? Differences between Ache and him are in how deep the damage goes. Ache has healthy parts of personality left. Parts that damage has not touched, I think my dad has not. With all that damage and scarring, does he really have had an opportunity to make choices or have those things I have considered his choices been only options available for him? Recently also a son of an acquaintance has again been hospitalised after some really nasty situations. He has schizophrenia and really does everything right. Takes his medications despite side effects, tries to live very structured and stress free life. Eat well. But even that is not enough despite how restrictive life style it is. When the illness raises it's head, it does. Nothing can be done. I start to see that Ache is sharing that same path. His prognosis is little better, especially now that it again seems like this last spiral was not manic psychosis, psychotic depression, reactive psychosis nor onset of schizophrenia, but this is not about his choices or hard work. It just is and there is only so much he can do to it. And that really sucks.