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.

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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…

Stormy weather

The weather in my part of the world has been messed up lately.  Two weeks ago it was sweltering hot, spaghetti straps and flip-flops weather.  A week ago people were wearing boots and winter jackets.  Today it started off windy, humid and threatening to rain.  Then it poured, like a monsoon. And then, sun!  Sun and *cool*.  Like the weather gods just can’t make up their fucking mind.

And, neither can I.  I am in a constant self-assessment mode it seems. Mostly I hover around feeling ok, but just ok.  Often I feel a non-specific anxiety.  Very often I feel bored and unmotivated, but if I push myself, I can get stuff done.  Sometimes, but just sometimes, I feel happy.  I am happiest at the end of a work week, happiest when I am shuffling the kids off to their dad’s for their week with him (yes it does make me feel guilty to be glad they are leaving), happiest when I don’t have anything pressing on my that I have to do.

I’m better, but not quite there.

I have decided that I hate the Seroquel and am pretty much going to insist I go off of it when I go back to the pdoc in a couple of weeks.  I have gained 15 lb on it.  It makes getting up in the morning impossible.  I mentioned switching to Wellbutrin (which I’ve been on before) as an adjunct to the Effexor instead of the bleeping Seroquel, and she wasn’t against it.  We agreed though to try cutting the Seroquel in half first.  Well, I did that and I am as groggy as ever in the morning, and my appetite is still carb-craving ravenous.  I. hate. Seroquel.  And that’s that.

Anyhow, I’m not giving up until then.  I’m going to try in the meanwhile to cut out as many carbs as I can and get in some more exercise.  I’m not going to drink during the week- aside from the temptation to self-medicate, it’s just too many damn calories.  I’m going to make sure I get enough sleep and pack healthy lunches for work.

Which is why on this cool, rainy Sunday evening I am on my porch, sipping a Bloody Caesar.  I love the promise of Mondays and new beginnings.

In other news…

This week will be challenging.  I am going from working 3 days a week right up to a full 5.  I was offered a job with a different organization in my building in addition to the one I already have, doing much the same thing. I am excited yet scared at the same time.  It will be intense the weeks I have the kids, like this one.  Less so when I am not.  It has been 14 years since I worked full-time, egads.  Since before I had kids.

This is what the real world is though.  Jobs and kids and problems and little bits of joy in there when you can grab them.  I am going to try, try hard to make this, all of this, work.  I owe it to myself.