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.

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. 

Complete Mental Breakdown

I completely lost it last night. And I mean lost it. A couple a minor hiccups in my night on top of frayed nerves and me standing on the edge of insanity for the last 24 hours finally did me in. I’m talking violently throwing a full cup across the kitchen screaming and foaming at the mouth at my husband about how crazy and somewhat suicidal I am.

Luckily, the kids were not around. The older one heard some but not much I don’t think. As I helped him clean up my mess of red flavored water and broken glass, I just cried and cried the kind of cry where you can’t hardly breath. The silent kind where your whole body freezes and your mouth is just open, face in agonizing pain for what seems like eternity until you gasp for a breath like you’ve been under water for ten minutes. 

I went to my brother in law’s dad’s wake the night before and I think it took more of a toll on me than I realized. My husband said this to me today and I think he is right. I am some what of an empath, and being around people that I am so close to who are grieving would have detrimental affects on my mental stability. 

That coupled with the fact that I did some more research on this keto diet thing and come to find out it limits serotonin synthesis, so I’m stacking the cards against myself even more with my stupid diet, which I discontinued today, by the way. 

None of these things excuse my behavior last night, but they do help to explain it. I told my husband that I want to be able to handle all these things with all my being. I don’t want to have limitations because of my mental illness. I want to be normal and handle normal daily activities so badly. As badly as someone who has cancer doesn’t want cancer.  I want it so bad it hurts!  But, wanting it doesn’t make it so which sucks. 

I told him it got so bad this week that the next time he is sick I am going to hire someone from one of those caregiver services to run the kids to their activities and do the grocery shopping and all the things he does. I just can’t go through this again or put him through it again. It’s too awful. 

Too Busy to Stay Sane

I held onto the anger about my daughter’s friend not helping us out with rides for about 2 weeks. I just couldn’t let it go no matter how hard I tried. I asked my doctor if this trait was part of my bipolar and she said no, that my personality has OCD tendencies and gets fixated on things that will only get better with the passing of time. She’s right because I’m pretty much over it now. I still think they are crappy for leaving us out of the carpooling situation, but I’m not so mad anymore. 

Turns out I am being too hard on myself again. Way back when I journaled about not negatively judging myself so much and I did well with it for a short time, but I am back to doing it very harshly again and my self esteem is very low because of it. 

This has been a cruddy week because I haven’t had a chance to recover from being out of town for three days last weekend and I’ve had extra stuff to do plus my husband’s stuff to do because he’s been sick the last three days. I completely lost it today when he played the martyr card for being sick because he thought I was mad at him for being sick when I was really just being a bit crabby because I was stressed, which I told him I was stressed, so it’s not like I was expecting him to read my mind. He thought I was yelling at him. I was just crabbing.  But, when he accused me of yelling at him and said nastily he was sorry for being sick then I did start yelling at him. It wasn’t fun. 

I hate being stretched so thin. It makes me feel insane and so overwhelmed that I fantasize about suicide.  Crazy, but true.  Never would I do anything, but the thoughts are still there.  

Don’t have much going on tomorrow, so hoping for a day to rest up even though there are so many chores to do that have been neglected this week. Need three or four days of nothing to get back to healthy.  Not sure if that’s going to happen anytime soon. 

Teenager Woes

Mood did get better after PMS passed. It seems this keto diet has enabled me to be better in tuned with what is going on with my body and emotions. I suppose because it is not all mucked up with sugar highs and lows. I like it a lot – to have a more cut and dry picture of what is happening inside of me. 

This week my daughter had a fight with her best friend.  When my daughter apologized, her friend said she still didn’t want to be friends anymore. I lost it. Not in front of my daughter but alone and then later in front of my husband and other daughter. It was like going through PTSD symptoms from last year when this happened with her other friends. I didn’t know how she was handling it because I only recieved a brief text about it while she was at school, but I was assuming the worst, which was my biggest mistake- assuming.

Turns out it didn’t devastate her as much as it did last year. In fact, I was taking it much harder than she. It bothered me so much that this girl wouldn’t work it out with her. They are very close friends, our families are friends and we see each other all of the time. I was full of anger, frustration and sadness all week, losing sleep and tears and temper, unbeknownst to my daughter, however.

I was also so angry because this friend was my daughter’s ride to school and now I had to rearrange my whole morning with my other kids to take her. It’s a huge inconvenience for both me and my other child who now has to sit at school 45 minutes before the bell rings.

Finally, last night, her friend made ammends for her part in the fued and they made up. I feel so relieved this morning. Less angry and stressed. Still sad because I know things are going to probably be different between them from now on since they’ve decided to spend less time together. 

She’s still not taking my daughter to school, which I think is incredibly selfish but what can I do.  I’m trying not to let it bother me but it’s hard. I keep reminding myself that it’s best for them to be apart and it’s selfish for me to want it the other way. It’s not about me.