Category Archives: Depression

Anxiety & Answers

Gary's "please stop crying so I can leave" smile. :)

Wednesday, I blogged (whined) about my husband and son’s four day hike up King’s Peak with the Scouts. Things didn’t go quite as smoothly as we had assumed for my husband. His company suddenly had triple the work they needed done, and it all had to be done before he could leave for the trip, and everyone is yelling because it isn’t being done fast enough. A small family business, he has no option of taking time off and letting someone else fill in for him. Work must be complete before he can leave.

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Typically this isn’t much of a problem and results in some late nights and an all-nighter or two before a vacation. Not ideal, but c’est la vie. As the trip approached I had been feeling increasingly anxious about his lack of sleep. Finally, Wednesday came, but he was still madly working away at his projects. Jordan left on his trip, knowing that Dad may be late meeting them on the mountain.

Finally, Gary was able to get his work done at 9 p.m. on Wednesday. Due to the all-nighters and the long hours before Wednesday, the man had met his limit with exhaustion. He fell asleep in his office chair, even falling back asleep repeatedly after I called him, woke him up, and asked him to come home. He came home at one a.m. on Thursday morning. Apparently his office nap had energized him and he started packing to go. At three a.m. I stumbled into the kitchen wear he was gathering items needed, and I declared this whole trip to be stupid. After all, the Scouts had already hiked seven miles on Wednesday. His plan was to leave the house around 4 a.m., drive three hours to the trail head and hike the seven miles in time to meet them for the next leg of the trip. At that point, he would then hike another seven miles. The fear I had of him hiking with almost no sleep and alone with no communications made me sick. I yelled at him telling him it was impossible and dangerous. He threw up his hands and crashed into bed, mad at me.
At 10 a.m. I woke him up. I realized he had to carry in dinner for the Scouts on Thursday night!  I apologized for being so rude and told him I thought he should go. He resumed his packing, and it dawns on me that by the time he meets up with the Scouts, he will now need to hike fourteen plus miles all alone. By fighting and arguing with him, I have only made his predicament worse! I cried like a baby as he prepared his bags and was finally able to leave the house just past one p.m.

He called me from Evanston, Wyoming, and again as he prepared to leave the highway towards the meandering dirt roads on the way to the trail head. At this point, there is no way he will make it to bring the Scouts their dinner. (Um, sorry, Scouts, that’s my bad- though he assured me they would have enough food to not starve the Scouts. I hope.) There is no way he can hike all fourteen miles in an afternoon, not before dark. There is no way to let the Scouts know he is on his way, and there is no way to let me know if he even finds the Scouts.

 My afternoon consisted of panic, crying, anxiety, and complete and total fear for the safety of my husband. Finally, I pile the girls in the car. I had to get out of the house before my head exploded with anxiety. I figure we can go to Ikea and wander around mindlessly. They will overwhelm distract me, my non-napping toddler will sleep in the car, and I will be a little more sane. Possibly.

The Ikea plan backfired the second one of our wedding songs came on the radio, and within seconds I’m a sniveling mess. I start a mental prayer, pleading with my Heavenly Father that my husband will be safe and will find the Scouts. A complete anxiety attack is building, and I can’t not think about all the terrible things that might happen. As I drive, crying, I glance at a freeway exit sign, and notice I’m close to my sister in law’s house. She experienced this same anxiety when her husband, Lee, went hiking last year, leaving her with two young girls, a newborn, and no communication. A thought pops into my head: go to Savannah’s house. It’s immediately followed with: ask Lee for a blessing.

I’m not hugely good at asking for help, or appearing on someone’s doorstep sobbing. It took me a moment to even sort out if I had passed the exit to her house, but as soon as I exited, I texted at a stoplight, “r u home?” I begged Heavenly Father to let them be home. I knew I needed a blessing, I needed the comfort of the Spirit. I’m so grateful that I chose to act on that simple thought to go to her home. I’m so grateful that the Spirit spoke loudly enough to my anxious heart to know exactly where I needed to go. I’m grateful for a sister in law who immediately took me in, and her husband who was ready to give me a blessing with a moment’s notice.

The blessing comforted me in a way no human-crafted words could. The reminder that my Heavenly Father is watching over me and my sweet little family was priceless. The insight that everything will be okay calmed my frantic soul. After the blessing (and some deep breaths), we joined Savannah’s family as they went to watch Lee play Ultimate Frisbee. Then we took our rambunctious children to my other sister in law’s house, and the women talked while the children played.

As we drove home, I took note that my heart was still calm. No desperate what-if thoughts plagued me. I read scriptures with my daughters and then tucked them into bed. Another miracle–all of them instantly closed their eyes and went to sleep. I knelt down and said a prayer of gratitude to my loving Father in Heaven, and fervently asked Him that I might remember the calmness I had felt since the blessing. I don’t want to doubt tomorrow morning, I don’t want to yield to the temptation of worry. I want to have faith in the things I have been promised.

These things I share are the thoughts behind an intensely emotional day and are hard for me to share. I don’t share them to brag or whine. I feel the need to share them. Maybe someone out there will read this and remember that your Heavenly Father loves you and cares for your worries and fears the same way He does mine. Maybe I need to write this to remind me of that–tomorrow, next week, or next year. Or maybe someone is about to send their own husband out into the world, and needs to find a measure of peace–or know from whom they can seek that peace. (If you are looking to know more about God who knows you so well, this link will help you get started.)

What has brought peace into your soul lately?

a punch in the face

Yesterday we went to Seven Peaks and then to a Memorial Day picnic. By the time we got home, I was sore and exhausted and more or less collapsed into bed. I forgot to take my anxiety medication.

Oops.

See, this class of medication has a very short half-life. So by 8:30 in the morning, I’m extremely irritable. Answering a four year old’s incessant questions, followed by a two year old’s constant begging followed by whining, doesn’t help.

Kinda makes me want to punch people in the face, really.
Not my kids, of course.
That’s bad.
Just people… mankind.

Hmm, writing this post was supposed to feel theraputic.
Instead I just feel like a bad person.

I’m supposed to can strawberry jam today. With 4 square feet of counter space and 2 kids under feet, it should be fun.
Not dangerous at all.

I’m also out of Diet Coke. Maybe I’ll just take a nap instead.

 PS – any scriptures you particularly like to read when you are mad/irritable/cranky/tired/mean/grumpy/sad/crazy? Please advise.

SNAFU: A Story of Withdrawal

When I was a teen, I remember being amused by the definition Merriam Webster gave for the word “Snafu.” It’s an acronym for Situation Normal All Fouled Up. If I remember correctly, this was originally a military term, and Merriam Webster listed an alternate definition. Let’s just say the F didn’t stand for ‘fouled’ in the military version. I’ve always loved the word snafu. However, the past month, I have been living a snafu, and it’s not nearly as fun as it sounds.

After hearing–and experiencing–more and more of the side effects my anxiety medication can cause, I decided to wean myself off of it. I say “wean” because this medicine has an extremely short half-life, and withdrawals are killer. Almost literally, in fact. In fact, there are entire websites devoted to methods for getting off this medication successfully.
{Let’s call this medicine “Shmaxil.”}

Anyway, I was determined to get off Shmaxil. I started in December and cut back a few milligrams every couple of weeks. The following day I would have horrific depression, and the next week or so I would have random mood swings of anger and depression. I was on a pretty high dose of Shmaxil (to balance the high dose of ADHD medication that gives me a high dose of anxiety), so I was able to wean to about half of my dosage.

Finally, my husband begged me to get on something else while weaning.

I began a new medication, and soon enough, cut my half dosage into half yet again. After two weeks of that, I stopped taking Shmaxil.  That’s where the situation began to get really fouled up.

Others call them “brain zaps,” but I started getting a random buzz noise that would flash on and off in my head. I struggled to keep my eyes focused, and as I looked side to side, my vision would skip, like a scratched CD.  I cried. I sobbed. I left my husband. (For a few hours.) I screamed at my kids, I yelled at my husband.  Internally I raged, even when I wasn’t externally raging. I got ringing headaches.  One day I got stabbing chest pain. I was exhausted. Did I mention I was just a bit moody? Did I mention that the day after I stopped Shmaxil, Gary’s work had a crisis and he was literally working 18 to 22 hour days, and typically slept in his office??

A week and a half later, and things are slowly improving. Monday was pretty good. I kept it together like a rock star. {Well, perhaps like a rock star going through withdrawals?}

Tuesday morning I screamed at the kids then felt unimaginably guilty. Tuesday night I didn’t exactly scream but had a phone meltdown with Gary and send the kids all to bed early. I was ready to have my doctor prescribe me some sort of sedative.

Yesterday I was doing great and actually felt happy! Then Abigail had a bad allergic reaction. (More on this later.) She was screaming, I’m on the phone with the nurse and trying to find the stupid syringe for the stupid Benedryl, and the kids are just… around. Okay, actually they were being pretty good but the stress of me *tryingtokeepittogether* while Abigail was having a medical semi-emergency; I told Jordan to take the kids to the park .
{or else I’d blow up. Progress!}

Well, apparently that was the mean mommy thing to do because I had already told him he could go to a friend’s house. And if you have older kids, you know if you already told them and then change your mind it’s like… sinning. Sinning in front of them, no less.

I kept it together… possibly because I called Gary and had him handle it while I held my poor baby till the Benedryl kicked in. He’s been the rock star this week. Dealing with my over the phone emotional breakdowns while working the job of three men deserves a spot in Hubby Hall of Fame.

It’s been a rough day… week… month. I wish I could say I knew it was the end.
But… what’s a SNAFU once it’s returned to situation normal?
Just… SN? 

{extra} Tired.

I’m so tired lately.

I’m so tired that I want to take a nap instead of blog.
I’m so tired I want to close my eyes instead of clean my kitchen.
I’m so tired that even Pinterest is having a hard time keeping my attention.
I’m so tired that even the crafty fun things I want to do…
seem like a lot of work.

Oh boy.

I am really tired.

{This is the point where I’ve officially convinced my mom I’m totally depressed.}

I don’t think I am depressed.
I mean, a double dose of  anxiety medicine (also known as “anti-depressant”) really ought to keep that off the table, don’t you think?

The last few days though, there isn’t enough Diet Coke in the world to keep me awake.

Confession: I believe I took 3 (short) naps yesterday.
After I slept in.

 Is anybody else this tired?
{Or are you too busy sleeping to respond?}
Any suggestions when you are feeling absolutely drained… and your kids still demand your attention?

The selfish little…
{kidding.}

ADHD Monster: you suck.

Sorry about the lack of real posts the last week or so. It seems like the ADHD monster crawled out from under the bed and ate me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fighter; but between

AD/HD
anxiety and
depression

a blog just seems like one more thing on the “to do” list. Granted it’s so much better than the kitchen that, other than a few loads of dishes, I’ve barely touched. It’s much better than the laundry pile that is slowly but surely overtaking my bedroom. It’s better than listening to my daughter tell me some random story which I must respond to every sentence, though if I get my “line” wrong she dissolves into tears.

I kinda suck as a Mom this week.

You know that fabulous dinner menu I posted? It’s been great. But it gave me a little too much sense of thriftiness, so I spent all the rest of the money on stupid crap
(such as toys for my whiny daughter so she would give her old toys to my other whiny daughter, only to have my older whiny daughter come home and say ‘never mind’ to the whole deal).
So now I don’t have money for the rest of the stuff I need this month.
{It’s a good thing my husband doesn’t have much time to read this blog.}

I kinda suck as a wife this week, too.
And a homemaker.
A housecleaner.
A cook.
A human being who gets dressed for the day and
doesn’t take a nap at eleven a.m.

Yup, I suck at all of that.  

I’m so mad and frustrated and tired. I don’t know if my anxiety/depression medication is not working correctly–I recently switched to the $140/month brand name to the $4/month generic–or if my AD/HD medicine isn’t working. I used to be able to get things done in the morning but lately I just can’t. Do I need the newer (and more expensive) AD/HD medicine that gives me a longer lasting, more steady dosage, but no “get up and go” in the morning? Would I get anything done without that chemical rush? (I’m pretty sure I’m not a drug addict, despite how this all sounds.) Or do I need even more anxiety medicine? Different medicine?

I hate messing around with meds. The trying, waiting, dealing with new side effects, deciding if those side effects are worse than the old ones, or if the side effects are outweighed by the benefits.

I hate posting all of this on my blog, but I try to remind myself that it’s the reason I have this blog. People shouldn’t just see the fake “perfect” me, the me that crafts and creates and cooks and educates (I ran out of hard C words there). I wanted this blog to represent me as I am, ADHD, crazy, slobby, an an all around mess of a person.

Which sounds fine in my daydreams, but when it comes to writing it all down it just feels extra sucky.

An educated person might recommend I try therapy. Then I’d have to educate that educated person on my lack of money and child care (which takes even more money) and as dreamy and wonderful as therapy sounds right now, it’s about as unrealistic as me returning to school and getting an education myself.

Uh oh, I’m being called. I have just informed my name is Preoria in this game.
I hope I don’t suck at that, too.

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