Should I Force My Older Teen to Eat Dinner With the Family?

I was quite upset last evening, as in sad, angry, frustrated, and confused, when my sixteen year old daughter called an hour before dinner and said she wanted to go out to dinner with friends. I said no and when she started complaining , I responded with a martyr’s response of “Do what you want.” So, she did, and I fumed the rest of the night. 

When she came home and I tried to talk to her, she was cold and distant and that made me even more irritated with her.  I told my husband and younger child in a impulsive, angry comment that she was being a bitch, and this really upset my other child, understandably so. I immediately regretted saying it and felt horrible for hurting my younger one. I apologized profusely and, of course, started in with the self-hate inside my own mind. 

My husband asked if he thought it was the topamax cessation that was effecting my temper since I had this type of reaction when I started it way back when. I don’t think it is that. 

I think I’m just missing my daughter, who is hardly ever home now that she is driving. I think I have a hard time with last minute changes.  I think I am frustrated when I have food cooked for her that goes to waste because she doesn’t come home to eat it. I think I am trying desperately to keep as much family time intact as I can, and eating dinner as a family is something that has always contributed to that. 

So now I am struggling with the idea of requiring that she be home for dinner with us five nights a week or letting it go on as is and learning to accept it as part of her growing up. 

Last year she was at a different school with no friends and in the midst of a severe depression. Now, she has friends to spend time with and life is going really well for her. I have to take that into consideration, too, and not keep her from too many social opportunities.

Is there anyone out there with older children that have experienced this whole letting go- holding on struggle?  Am I being selfish in wanting her to be home for dinners or is it in the best interest of the family as a whole?  Is it unreasonable to make her eat with us?

An End to Hypomania and Meds

I’ve been sleeping well for almost a week now, through the night and some during the day – a sure sign my hypomania has passed. I am even dreading the Stitch Fix box I have coming that I was ready and willing to buy all of even though I bought the whole thing last month, which is a lot of money. 

I am not as silly or flighty or agitated. I’m more tired than I’d like to be and hope I don’t start getting depressed, especially when summer break starts and I have no more alone time like I do now with the kids in school all day.

My youngest one makes a lot of demands on me and it wears me out fast. Then I get irritated at her.  Then I feel guilty for getting irritated at her.  Then I feel trapped in this cycle and the depression sets in.  I’ll have to pray about this and ponder a way out of this pattern that seems to occur each summer.

I have to take it easy and slow throughout the day with lots of breaks, but she wants to be on the go, go, go. I feel guilty that I can’t be one of those moms. Guilty enough that I’ll push myself and try to be sometimes, only to end up sick and in tears from being overwhelmed, and worst of all full of self-hate because I have failed.

Maybe she can help me problem solve some ways to do stuff without me being the one who has to do it all with her. The problem is most, if not all, of her friends parents work and I don’t, so I end up being the activity driver and supervisor.

She is old enough to go to the neighborhood pool alone with friends this year, so that will help. However, if she’s anything like my other ones, once they became old enough to go without an adult, they were no longer really interested in going. Sigh.

I am down to one topamax a day. After Wednesday I will be off of it totally. So far, I haven’t noticed anything different about my migraines or mood from coming off of it. I am thankful for that.  I am so excited to be able to cut out one of my medicines since I am on so many. 

It makes me want to try to wean off of another one. Maybe the propranolol, which I may do if I get the Botox for migraines and that works. I’ll need my nuerologist’s help to wean off that because I only have 80mg capsules (can’t cut them into smaller doses.)

The other one I may try because I am not sure if I need it any more is the resperidal. Is anyone else on this?  At what dose and what are you on it for?  

I’ve been on it for so long that I forget why my doctor started me on it. I want to say bedtime anxiety since I take it several hours before bed so it can kick in by bedtime and help me fall asleep, but I can’t be sure. Since starting the resperidal, two other medications have been added that knock me out at night, so I am hoping I can get by without the resperidal.

But, I can’t come off two medicines at the same time. So, I’ll have to decide after I’m off the topamax for a little bit. I’m leaning toward the resperidal since I can do it on my own, although with summer coming, and its potential stresses as I described above, maybe that is not a good idea. Ugh!  I can’t decide. 

Guess I should talk to my psychiatrist about it. She’s so resistant to decreasing my meds though, because I still have a lot of anxiety and my moods still cycle.  So, yes, I kind of want to do it behind her back and then say, “Hey, look, I got off of a med and I am fine.” I feel like it would be disrespectful to do it without her collaboration, though.  She’s been my doctor for ten years and we are really close. 

I guess that’s about all. I did the dishes and folded some laundry today.  The bathrooms need to be cleaned, but I just can’t gather the motivation to do them. Maybe tomorrow.

I Can’t Keep My Mouth Shut

One of the things I have trouble with when I am hypomanic is blurting things out without thinking about them.  Like I’ll be at dinner with people I don’t know very well and I’ll say, “Ha, look at that guy sitting over there with his butt crack hanging out of his pants.” I mean, what am I in fifth grade?  How immature can I be?  How embarrassing can it get?

And opinions…don’t get me started on opinions. When I am hypomanic I can’t seem to keep my opinions to myself. I told my husband, about a particular situation tonight, that I wouldn’t put my two cents in unless the other parties involved brought the topic up first.

Well, we weren’t there barely ten minutes and I brought it up! Practically against my own will!  I swear I didn’t want to.  I heard the words coming out of my mouth as my brain was screaming at me, “Don’t say it!  Don’t say it!” Do you know how maddening that is?

Then the follow up to all of these scenarios is being at home, replaying everything you said and did one million times over, again and again, in your mind; agonizing at the fact that you probably made a complete ass out of yourself even though your husband swears you didn’t and that everyone just thought you were “really funny.”

Even my younger kids get to see the craziness of hypo-me, laughing at inappropriate times or often uncontrollably at things that are a little bit funny, but not THAT funny. Or laughing at my own jokes way too hard.

I used to think these things were harmless. Now, I’m not so sure. I’m kind of sick of being odd.

Current Mood and Botox for Migraine

Waking up between 4 and 5am every morning is not fun. I’m averaging 3 hours less sleep than normal a day. Still quite agitated throughout the day. Extra energy, racing thoughts, hard to relax, spending too much money.  Hypomania, I guess.

I’m tapering off the topamax starting tonight per my nuerologist’s instructions. Not sure if it really helps anyway and figure it isn’t the best for my kidneys. Hoping it doesn’t increase migraine frequency or negatively affect my mood. 

He wants me to try Botox for migraine treatment prevenitive.  I only get a few migraines a month now and everything I am reading says Botox is for people who get 15 or more migraines a month. 

Have you had Botox for migraine treatment?  Did it help?

Hypomania Arrives

Each spring a bit of hypomania hits me. Not sure if it’s the warmer temps, the histamines, the increased sunlight, daytime hours, or what, but it happens.  It’s there. 

It’s not a problem per se.  Except in some small ways, like:

– I feel agitated often
– I become obsessed with creative projects and ignore my family, and become extremely irritated if they interrupt me
– I wake up after five hours of sleep, which greatly increases my risk of getting migraines
– I have racing thoughts
– I can’t take my afternoon nap and meditation is next to impossible, which makes me feel tense
– I over spend
– I have no impulse control when it comes to my mouth (jokes, giving opinions, inappropriate laughing, etc.)

Maybe these are not such small things.

This usually lasts until the kids get out of school for summer break.  Then I either

1) return to baseline/stable or 2) become depressed, because like the old saying goes: “What goes up must come down.”

An End to Self-Bashing

I’m doing a self-improvement book study with a friend and one of the things I’ve identified that I need to work on is to cut down on the negative thoughts and comments I have about myself. 

We were talking today and I mentioned that one of the ways I continue to put myself down is to wish I was a better mom and wife for my family. She said that I am a great mom and wife. I replied that they deserved better than what I am capable of giving. 

We talked some more, and some unique perspectives were placed into my mind by her and by a higher wisdom that I find comes from being totally honest and vulnerable with someone about your fears and feelings.

First, I have decided that I give one hundred percent of myself to my family everyday. What that looks like may change day to day depending on my physical and mental health, but I never give up, slack off or not care about being there and doing for them. This is something I can feel really great about, and I do!

Second, while I may think they deserve better than what I can give, who’s to say that is what would be best for them. Obviously, God gave me to them, so who am I to question His plan. 

As long as I am trying my best, and continue to work on improving myself physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally, I can hold my head high.  And I will!

Lastly, I’ve come to realize that I often doubt myself and become anxiety ridden when I try to feel good about myself unless I get validation from others that they think I am “good” too.  The problem is that I am not assertive in asking for that validation. I merely assume others think the worst of me and then go on to put myself down as well. 

My friend said the best way to deal with this is to simply ask for validation so I can get the negative chatter out of my head.

So, for example, if I have a depressive day and can’t get out of bed, instead of assuming my husband wishes he was married to someone without mental illness, I will simply ask him, “Do you still want to be married to me even though I have a mental illness?”  I know he’ll say, yes, but the validation will stop the negative nagging thoughts in my head. 

I feel good about the progress I am making in this area. I’m tired of having low self-esteem. I want to feel good about myself. I want to show love and compassion to others as well as myself. I want to experience peace and joy as much as possible. Calm and serenity.  

I believe this all comes from within. The more I can resolve the inner conflict I have going on with myself the more comfort and ease I will feel.

I believe there is a goodness so strong inside all of us that abhors any self-destructive thought or behavior pattern so much so that it fights against it until we become uncomfortable enough to do something about it. 

I am glad I have finally reached a point to feel compelled to do something about it. I hope I can stick with it and make some permanant changes. 

Another Out of Town Trip

These trips kill me. I’ve been super busy catching up on projects I have to do when I get back from the trip that when I am finally done, it’s like a big let down and I crash. Now what?  I am left feeling exhausted, unmotivated, migrained, and depressed.  I’ve been so keyed up for the last week with busyness that I can’t seem to settle myself down into a restful state. 

I feel extremely anxious and uneasy. It doesn’t help that I had to take two migraine pills today to get rid of my migraine. The side effects are horrible (fatigue, muscle aches, depression, lack of motivation, grogginess.)

I feel overwhelmed by everything today; unable to breathe right even. The medicine is probably mostly to blame for all of this. I am looking forward to tomorrow. To a fresh start.

Luckily, husband is picking up my slack on carpool tonight, we scratched cooking dinner and are opting for take out instead, and I’m just going to hang in there and do the best I can.