N continues to do well. We've had a handful of conversations about suicide since the first of the year. I've begun to realize those conversations are sometimes a cry for help, but honestly, often they are a manipulation. Either way, he needs to talk. So, whenever he starts talking that way (regardless of his motivation), I make sure that I listen and listen and listen. We've encouraged him to shun even thinking about suicide by singing a song or saying a scripture or whatever it takes. We're teaching him that dwelling on the idea of suicide can fill him with despair instead of faith and hope. We don't want him to pretend that those thoughts aren't there, but teach him instead how to deal with them productively and realistically.
His blessing (that I mentioned in the last post) was very special and filled us all with a lot of hope. We've tried to steer him towards thinking of the future and the plan that God has for him. I am sure that there will be hard times ahead. But every day that passes feels like he is less defined by his illness and despair and is turning toward hope instead.
Real life is still sometimes hard. He wants so desperately to be independent and to be an adult. Yet, sometimes he makes decision that make me wonder what he is thinking (I think this is just the 15 year old boy in him). He still struggles with grades, loves to hang out with friends, and doesn't like to do chores. Sometimes he surprises me - like today when I came home late, I found him home, already doing his homework, and being so polite. He's such a good kid and I'm so grateful to have normal days like this.