Monday, January 14, 2013
I have been cleaning up a storm today!! My little brother is coming to stay with me for a week, so I'm getting ready for it. He has pet allergies, so I've got to make it as clean as possible, so his allergies don't get too aggravated. It's always nice to have a clean house, so I'm going to be doing a little deep cleaning for personal reasons as well. I've dusted and scrubbed and vacuumed and mopped and laundered. I'll be happy once I'm done!
My little brother is 21 years old and has 11 days, I think, until his college classes start up. He's had some issues with school. He is incredibly smart, smarter than me, but he has OCD and social anxiety, among other issues. Half way through his senior year of high school he decided he didn't want to be on medication and went off of it without telling anyone. His grades went down, but not too badly. Then he went to college. He'd always had my parents there to help keep him on track when he was feeling overwhelmed. When he went to college, he didn't really know how to deal with being on his own, being responsible for himself and trying to juggle social and academic life and he failed. He failed most of his courses his first year. It was so out of character for him, that I knew it was because of him going off medication. Now I don't believe medication is the answer for every little problem, but I do believe that some people really do need to be on medication and he is one of those people. It was a long road of convincing him and the rest of my family that he needed therapy to try and work through some of his social issues and his OCD and he needed to get back on medication. I kept pushing when everyone else felt like giving up on him and finally he started seeing a therapist and got back on medication. The upcoming semester will be his third semester back at school. He hasn't gone back full time, yet, but he's working up to it. He had straight A's last semester, overall I think he's had all A's and one B. He's been living at home going to a community college.
The next hurdle is for him to get a job. He had a job once and after a week, he drove to work, sat in his car and just couldn't go in. The job was at a large, busy gas station and they had him working by himself and it was just too much, too fast for him given his disorders and the fact that he wasn't on medication at the time. He has been dragging his feet on getting a job, I believe because he's afraid of failing again. The same fear he had, but overcame, about signing up for college courses. So I'm planning to work with him on applying for on campus jobs and see if we can find a few others for him to apply to.
He also wants to go back to the college he failed out of, potentially in the fall. I want him to get started on getting that ball rolling, so he's not overwhelmed by waiting until the last minute. Unfortunately, he isn't great at planning for the future and my mom is no help at all. When he originally went to college they waited too long to sign up for financial aid, so he missed out on grants and loans whose deadlines had passed. So as an additional step, I'm going to make sure we know the application deadlines and the financial aid deadlines. One of the concerns of him going back are financial, so if I can help him make a plan so that he can get as many grants and scholarships as possible then I think it'll make the transition of going back a little easier. I just want him to get back out on his own and start to live the successful, normal life that I know he's capable of. He may have more hurdles than the average person, every social situation is like this puzzle he can't seem to figure out, but he's great with me. He's funny, up on current events and sports, and I know the more he succeeds the more confident he'll become and the more he'll learn to be himself when he meets new people.
Anyway, I'm very excited to have him here for a week. I'll be helping him a little, but I'm going to make him help me with a few things as well. I still need to bring 10 bags of stuff to Goodwill, so I figure he can help me lug that stuff over. Plus, we can do a little shopping and see if we can find some cheap books (we're both big readers) and maybe a few other things I want to see if I can find inexpensively. Also, I have a trunk that I want to refinish and put feet on (I use it as a coffee table and I want it raised a little). I'm going to take full advantage of having a second set of hands. Aside from that stuff I'm just looking forward to watching some movies, playing some games, showing him around town a little and getting some good one on one time. It should be a great week!!