Chris rang me today from his mobile to say he had, on the spur of the moment, gone to a Giacometti exhibition. He sounded very much alive. There is something exciting going on with Chris that has been building slowly for months. It is in the way he engages with others, even in the way he watches television. His voice has suddenly taken on an enthusiasm and conveys a purpose. He occasionally expresses boredom, which is a hopeful sign.
Last night I was struck by the fact that he stayed up to watch a television show, alone. While this sounds mundane, for an observant mother it is anything but. He has approached pleasure in the past with a sense of duty or out of respect for someone else. Last night he was doing what he wanted to do, on his own terms.
This building up of the personality is a long, arduous process. There are times, like with a mental breakdown, when the personality, however fragile it was, seems to completely disappear under layers of apathy.