I spent Christmas with my brother and family. Normally they go to my sister-in-law's parents but this year she was too close to her due date to fly, so they stayed home. It was really nice to spend time with them, and to spend Christmas with a 3-year old.
How did my brother become so normal? And I mean that in a good way- I actually think that he is a really extraordinary person. But of me and my cousins, he is the only one "making it"- living the life with a wife and kids and house and now a car and high powered job. Plus he has hiked the entire Appalachian Trail, served in the Peace Corps, lived and worked overseas in several very dangerous countries. Oh yes, and he has run several marathons.
I think my brother has a combination of a strong will yet resilience and adaptability. The strong will sometimes got him into conflict growing up- but due to his resilience and adaptability it didn't seem to hurt him long term. And his strong will has definitely been an asset in accomplishing what he has.
My niece seems to have his strong will at times- but mostly she is just amazing and delightful. She has such an imagination. And- she will do the same activity over and over again (with shrieks of delight), reminding me of how we need repetition to learn- and relearn (for my stroke patients).
It is amazing how advanced her language it. How is it that she was born just 3 years ago, and is talking so well now? And how could people have every thought that Skinner was right about language learning or development- that it is all reward and reinforcement? There has to be something preprogrammed into the brain, guiding language development. But this goes back to my graduate school days in research psychology- when I wanted to have two cats, one named Skinner and one named Chomsky. If I ever have cats again- they are all going to be named after scientists. That is what I decided.
The next time I go to visit I will have 2 nieces. That will be really exciting.
I'm still on the higher Zyprexa. I think that, when things are good, 5mg is okay. But things aren't good all that much. I have more resilience on 7.5mg. Maybe after I finish the DBT group I will have enough stability that I can try going down on it again. I really don't want to hit 50 on the higher dose- it is post-menopausal women who have the greatest chance of getting tardive dyskinesia. But at least until I finish the group, I will take the higher dose. I need some stability in my life.