“There was a reason we did a transition plan,” I thought to myself as I searched through files and documents on my laptop the other day.
Though not completely off track, four months after transitioning home, we were starting to see some old patterns of behavior pop up in Chloe and our family that were reminiscent of before she went to Utah. I was glad to find the transition plan, which we developed during the month prior to her coming home.
One thing we learned during Chloe’s treatment, from some other families who had graduated the program, was not to be surprised if there was a bit of a relapse after she returned home. It can be difficult to stay the course and old habits are hard to break.
Plus, it’s not unusual for teenagers to start pulling away from their parents and express independence. And at nearly 18, Chloe is going through the ebb and flow of wanting to be an adult but not completely wanting the responsibility. Plus, with having spent two-and-a-half years of her teenage life without much socializing, she’s ready to “catch up” on what she’s missed while living in Utah.
So, after one adopted then readopted dog, two new bunnies, a truck, hitting a barn door, a trip to California for a show with her horse and trailer, a totaled truck after running into a tree (no one was hurt and the horse had already been safely delivered back to her stall), denting mom’s car on a telephone poll, two jobs and another (small) car later, Jeff and I pulled the family into the therapist’s office with that transition plan to get back on track.
Fortunately, the session went really well. We are all very committed to our family and staying on track with our values. I knew her returning home was going to be busy and maybe a bit rocky, but it’s been a downright whirlwind!
I’m so proud of how far Chloe has come and our family’s determination to maintain communication and make things work. We know that the challenges that come with mental health will ALWAYS need to be managed, just like life.