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. 

Stress: Diet, Daughter, and Me

I’ve been on this Low Carb High Fat diet for a week now, and I was wrong about it being hard due to the fact that I am, or was, addicted to sugar. I have been functioning fine without it. My mood hasn’t even been affected by it. In fact, I don’t feel hungry hardly at all. I’m really quite surprised. My husband is doing it with me so that helps out a lot. I’ve already lost 4-5 pounds which is mostly water weight but still fun to see.

Anxiety is high today, coming off a busy weekend of sports tournaments and chores and a video project yesterday and all day today. I seem to be stressed or full of tension every Monday from the weekend. Sucks. 

Daughter’s fair, but too busy helping out with boys vball after school while doing her own. Wears her down, but she enjoys it. I’m trying to help her find balance. She is resistant to my suggestions. No big surprise there.  

I’ve decided to not coddle her as much, and instead treat her more like a teenager without a fragile mental illness. I think I’ve been too afraid to set as many boundaries as I’ve wanted to for fear of stressing her out too much. But, it seems like when I do, it always goes better than I anticipated. 

I’m tired and I can’t turn my brain down. Thoughts are swirling like a tornado. I will try some guided meditation and hopefully fall asleep for a nap.

She Did Better Today

Because we compromised. She took a psuedo anti-anxiety pill (an antihistamine prescribed for her anxiety) which enabled her to sit with our company most of the morning. Then I allowed her to go out with friends for a few hours.

I also caught myself babying her like I normally do when she is anxious or depressed, and the last time she had a depressive episode she told us she hated it. She said it made her not want to tell us what is going on because then we treat her different and she can’t stand it. 

Thank God I realized it because I don’t think she was going to say anything to me. She was just getting more and more agitated and I couldn’t understand why until I remembered. 

I said, “Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry. I’m treating you like baby. I forgot. I’ll stop.”

I saw instant relief come across her face. I’ll have to tell her to just say something to me next time. Those motherly, nurturing instincts are hard to fight. They just kick in automatically before I realize what I am doing. (Sigh).  

I think a lot of it has to do with my tone of voice.  I’ll talk to her like she’s fragile and has special privileges. I think it makes her feel uncomfortable because she has low self esteem and probably thinks she doesn’t deserve it.

Or maybe she doesn’t like it because she is strong willed and doesn’t like to feel weak, and me talking sickeningly gentle to her makes her feel that way. 

Or maybe she just wants to be treated the same so as to continue to feel as normal as possible when her mental health is anything but.

I know one thing and that is it is counterproductive for me to sit here and assume possible motives for why she doesn’t want me to treat her different when she’s depressed or anxious, so I guess I’ll stop trying to figure it out.

Anyway, she did say at one point that she doesn’t like it because it makes her feel like a baby. I suppose that reason makes sense enough.

Yet, all I want to do is give her a big ol’ hug, tear up and say, “But you are my baby!”

Medication Increase Helping and Daughter Update

I think the increase from 30-40mg of Viibryd two weeks ago is helping me cope better with stress. I seem to still feel the stress and the anger and sadness but I don’t feel the need to act on it in negative ways anymore.

I am able to handle it calmly and with purpose and deliberate actions, like setting boundaries and practicing breathing meditation or simply not engaging.  I have not been perfect by any means. Passive aggressiveness has occurred. Some crying over little things. But, overall some good changes. 

My daughter’s depression has let up these last few weeks. We think because the weather has gotten warmer. She really is affected by it. Four weeks of depression from cold dreary winter days.  And now two weeks of mild weather and all better. Amazing!

We have a house full of overnight guests and she is not doing well. Her anxiety is high and it is hard for me to handle, because my own is elevated.

So, dealing with her tears and her wanting to leave the house, which I won’t let her do because I think it’s rude to go out with friends when we have company, while dealing with all the stimuli of the company myself, is pushing me to my limits.

I’m not taking it out on her by using everything I’ve got in me. I didn’t take an anti-anxiety pill tonight. I definitely will tomorrow. I know it will help.  I wish she could take one, too, but they don’t prescribe them for kids. 

Daughter Depression 

It keeps getting worse. It’s getting to the point like it was last year where the irritability and agitation are so bad that we are starting to fight because she is being disrespectful and rude.

I understand it is her depression talking, but she still needs to be held accountable for her actions. She can’t treat us all like shit in the meantime.

I’m constantly being pulled in two directions of compassion and frustration. Leniency and discipline. Anger and empathy. It is all driving me insane. My anxiety is through the roof.  My instincts are non-existent. I don’t know what to do, how to respond, or deal with this half of the time.

I’m scared of how bad it may get. I always have the fear of her hurting herself. I am in anguish watching her suffer and not being able to make her feel better.

It is going on 3 weeks now and this past week has gotten worse. We see the doctor soon. At least she still wants to socialize with friends. I think that is a good sign. 

One Less Thing

I had a great report from the kidney doctor yesterday.  My creatinine went from 1.42 to 1.19; my GFR went from 41 to 56, which bumped me up from stage 3 to stage 2. He said the kidney disease was NOT progressive, and as long as I stay away from Alleve, Ibuprofen, and contrast dyes no further damage should occur outside of the normal aging process, because I have no active risk factors. 

I am estactic. Beyond relieved. One less thing to worry about and deal with. Now, just back to my normal crap with the mental illnesses and migraines. 

The migraines, ugh! , have increased this month, I guess due to the decreased propranolol. I am still having dizzy spells even though my blood pressure went up ten points since being on the lower dose of 80mg. BP was 110/80 yesterday instead of 100/70.

I drank a Mountain Dew with my Imitrex this week and had minimal side effects from the medicine. It was incredible!  I’m hoping it wasn’t a fluke.  I know caffeine helps because I’ve tried coffee before, but this was amazing. 

My daughter is struggling again. Anger, irritability, decreased motivation, not wanting to go to school. She refuses to use the light box even though I think it helped before. She thinks it is stupid and doesn’t do anything. She’s being a closed-minded teenager.

I think if we can just get through the rest of the cold, dreary winter days she will be better. In the meantime, it may be rough around here.

She sees the new psychiatrist in a few weeks, who we just told this month that she was doing so well. How quickly things can change!  She’s been acting like this for going on 2 weeks now, so I don’t think it’s like a PMS thing or anything.

I was thinking about how my anxiety has been better lately. I think. I mean I worry about stuff and I have panic attacks here and there, but I don’t feel like I am suffering all of the time because of it.

Everytime I start to get anxious it is usually about our busy schedule and how many things I have to do outside of the house in the week ahead. When that happens, I try to put it out of my mind and just think about today only.  This helps a lot. 

It helps to write all of this out, too. I’m just in a really good place because of my doctor’s visit yesterday. Hoping it lasts. 

Motherhood, Mental Illness and Codependency

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My teenage daughter is on medication and is in counseling for depression and anxiety.  She has been through a lot in the past year.  I’ve written about some of it here, here, and here.

Because of her mental illness and her overall highly sensitive and strong-willed nature, we (my husband and I) tend to have a hard time saying no to her.  We, of course, do not have a problem disciplining her when necessary, but she is a bit spoiled when it comes to materialistic things, and she is rarely kept from doing activities she wants to do even when it involves us driving her all over the place.  We will say no if it is excessive or too far or too late, however.

I have noticed that we do have an easier time saying no to her younger sibling with these things.  I don’t know if it is because we think she is less fragile or not as apt to become as agitated when refused.  I would give it about a twenty-five to seventy-five percent split between the two, respectively.

Overall, saying no to my daughter with the mental illnesses hasn’t been a problem for me until this past week.  I am starting to slide down into a bit of a depression.  As a result, I am having a hard time keeping up with her and her sister’s requests – things like going to the store for a school supply, Halloween costume shopping, stopping for lunch, attending sporting events, and the latest one, which really irritated me because she hounded me about it for two days, uploading some pictures for her from my camera to her email.

I just didn’t feel up to doing it because I like to edit them first and that takes time.  She said I didn’t have to edit them, but the perfectionist in me couldn’t bring myself to send them without editing them because I knew she’d be posting them on the internet.  Wow!  I really have some work to do on letting things go, my ego, and not worrying about what other people think, don’t I?

On the upside, I am learning to edit pretty well at top speed, which will help me if I ever become a professional photographer, which is my fantasy goal.  I think my migraines and mental illness will keep me from that goal for a long time.  Maybe someday it will happen long after the kids are out of the house.

But I digress…

Codependency has been described as “a pattern of behavior in which you find yourself dependent on approval from someone else for your self-worth and identity.”  I am afraid I do this with my role as a mom.  Since not being able to work outside the home anymore because of my mental illnesses, I have convinced myself that my purpose or “job” is to be mom, but in all reality if I was still working outside the home, I would still have to be mom too.

I know I definitely don’t feel like just Jessica.  I feel like “mom” or “wife” but not “me.”  The me I was before I go married was not one I liked.  I was very self-destructive and immoral.  The me I was before that me was the childhood me.  The me in recovery, the healthiest me, the me now, didn’t begin until I was well into motherhood.

How do I find out who the me is underneath the weight of this motherhood identity?  I need the answer to this question.  I think it may hold the key to much joy.