And…in other news…

I had an appointment with my pdoc the other day.  The last time I’d seen her I was in high stress, high parenting crisis mode.  We talked about supports, therapy, etc.  And she asked to see me in a month.

I’m not in crisis anymore–I don’t even think I’m depressed.  But, there’s an annoying low-level of anxiety that flares up in certain contexts, like work (where I’m working in a no-win, understaffed situation which management barely gives lip service too), and of course, when my daughter isn’t doing well.  It is said that you’re only as happy as your least happy child when you’re a parent, and I think that rings true.

It is awful to say, but she does trigger me.  It triggers anxiety and guilt and even despair at times.  At the end of it all, it exhausts me and it takes all my effort to just get the basics done.

So pdoc and I discussed this.  I used to have so much motivation.  I was the one who Got Things Done.  That feels like a lifetime ago.  It’s weird because in my head I feel that there are things I want to do, but then there’s a break in the circuit of actually getting started.

Which…all means that I walked out of her office with a prescription for Wellbutrin.  I’ve been on it before.  It helped.  I know all about dopamine and what it does (woohoo!  let’s PARTY!) and I hope it gives me some motivation back, because fuck knows I have a lot to do in the next while.

Detachment, Depletion, and Subjugation

(How’s that for a light and fluffy title?)

There’s a certain conversation I’ve had with many of the professionals involved in my daughter’s care.  She has struggles, of course.  Right now, school and studying are front and centre as we head into exam time.

While she’s extremely bright (like over 95th percentile bright in her psych ed testing) she struggles with the typical things that many people with ASD and/or ADHD struggle with- executive functioning, organization, working through things slowly and methodically, dealing with frustration when things aren’t easy.  It drives her nuts when I say this, but she really does have the potential to do so well.  She interprets this as pressure.

Thing is, she doesn’t because, at the end of the day, she really doesn’t care.  I have to cajole and humour and convince.  She resists.  Then we devolve into yelling, frustration on both ends, and when it’s really bad, tears.  The bottom line, as her psychologist Dr. B has told me so many times…is that I can’t make her care.  It will happen when she wants it to happen. She will reap both the rewards and the consequences of her actions.

Dr. B is always quick to remind me as well that she’s not just a kid with ASD,  she is a typical, defiant almost-15 year old girl and well who is wont to disagree with her parents at every possible opportunity.  Like it is for sport.  Because that’s what almost-15 year olds do.

Better to let her fail now, and understand what that means now, rather than later, Dr B tells me.  My head knows this is right.  But it goes against what I want for her as my child.  I want my child to be happy, successful, capable, fulfilled.

Then I catch myself–all those sentences up there begin with I.  It’s all about me.  This is where I wonder if I am projecting.  If I want her success to be my definition of success.  Then I think about her holding down a job, having to pay bills, meeting her basic needs–and I start to get anxious. And then between the two of us, our collective anxiety spirals up and up until one or both of us has a meltdown of some kind.  This is never pretty.

So the only thing I can realistically counsel myself to do is detach, detach, detach.  Caring while not investing my very being into it, letting her lead her own way, with positive, gentle support and guidance from me in the background.  Remembering that my job is to create a healthy environment to facilitate her own good decision making, give her the right tools–and then remembering that it is up to her at the end of it all to pick up those tools and use them.

***

Too much focus and anxiety over her well-being also has done me harm. It has been a rough two years.  Ex-h’s drama did a number on me, then realizing that he is a narcissist has totally reframed how I deal with him now, and what our relationship was about.  It took me a long time to figure out the latter, and I’m still stunned (and a bit disappointed in myself) that it took me that long to figure him out.

It is time for me to step back and engage in some serious self-care.  I’ve been good at it at various points in my life, but at some point something has always derailed me.  I can’t afford to let that happen any more.  I can’t subjugate my needs to the changing tides of others.

Tomorrow June 1, is day one.  I am going to start by doing something good for me every single day.  I don’t know what it’ll be, big or small, but I have to feel like I am enriching myself in some way.

I’m also starting a new meds tweak – my pdoc has added Wellbutrin.  She thinks it might help with my lack of energy and motivation.  I sure hope so. I am tired of being tired, always being in a rush but walking through mud at the same time.

Wish me luck, oh internets…

Peeking up the rabbit hole

It is 2:00 p.m. and I have gotten more done that I think I have in weeks.  I dropped off G’s lunch at work that he’d forgotten at home, got my tires torqued, did a small Costco run, made a good lunch for myself with yummy leftovers, emptied and refilled the dishwasher. Still not feeling joyous (am I expecting too much only 12 days into the new meds?  Probably…) and not even happy…but I am managing.  I want to do better than manage though, of course, and NOW.  Of course hypocritical me just posted a comment on someone else’s blog about being compassionate and gentle with oneself when struggling.  

I am loathe to jinx myself, but I am hoping this means that something in this jumble of neurotransmitters is changing for the better.  I remember the last big depression and anxiety episode I went through in 2008 it kind of worked this way- first the searing anxiety left, and then, weeks and a couple of meds adjustments later, the clouds of depression lifted as well.  

I also had the best orgasm I’ve had in eons over the weekend.  I wonder if that is the Lexapro exiting and the Effexor entering the scenario?  

I am going to push myself a little bit and try to cross a couple of things off my list that have been weighing on me and that I have been avoiding.  Avoidance just increases my anxiety so I am trying to look at this as not just tackling a long-neglected to-do, but self-care too.  Keeping things simple is always a good strategy for me, and getting rid of those things I have been avoiding makes my life simpler.

 

 

Day 5

This is my fifth day on Effexor (75 mg) and Seroquel (50 mg).  Not sure how I am feeling.  I was definitely down today, more on the anxious side.  I ended up taking 1 mg Ativan, so I am feeling more level and functional now.  I know I am anxious when I really can’t concentrate, feel like I am suffocating wherever I am, and break out into a sweat.  The A definitely helps with that.

I keep telling myself I need to be patient.  Let this new mix work.  I am back in the system now and have a regular psychiatrist after waiting for months, and this is a good thing.  Celebrate!  At least I am under someone’s care now who seems confident of what she is doing, as opposed to my GP who didn’t understand my mix of meds.

I don’t want to think about depression and anxiety 24 hrs a day, really!

So.  I got my new tires on.  Victory!  Did a small Costco run and stocked up on a few basics.  I have a reasonable healthy (but easy) dinner on the go – butter chicken (ok, from a jar!) and steamed rice. Hey, the kids will eat it without complaint.  The house isn’t in ideal condition, but it isn’t a disaster, either.  Baby steps.

In the meanwhile, I am going to try a bit of self-help and list three things I am grateful for, today and every day.

Here goes:

1.  My guy G – I know I am loved

2.  Having an income

3.  My home – cozy and safe