(note: some hard truths about teenage kid here. You don't get to give her lectures if you know her. this is about me, not about making her life harder than it already is.)
I have been in a pretty steady decline for a few weeks. Last Friday I very badly wanted to walk that long walk and go for a late-night swim in the Great Salt Lake. (Note, it was about 30 degrees at the time).
I was a good girl and went home. Texted a couple of friends and told them I was having real struggles. Spent a lot of this week venting and trying to work through my thoughts with a very good friend.
Saw my psychiatrist today. I had my husband come in and give him an outside perspective, I felt it was needed.
My meds have been upped. I have been challenged to identify all the stressors in my life that are making me feel overwhelmed and out of control. Also to be honest about the self-imposed expectations that I can't live up to, face them, and let them go.
A lot of that includes delegating to my kids.
The worst part of this decline is that my anxiety is back to full blast.
Tonight when my kids wouldn't quiet down when I asked them, when my teenager wouldn't stop arguing with me or demanding that I defend every opinion or statement I made, when I couldn't find the right words to help my 8 yr old with her stupid (yes, STUPID) division homework, I lost it.
I rocked in my bed and sobbed for an entire hour. Couldn't stop. Texted my 20yr old daughter and told her to call her teenage sister and make her stop fighting with her siblings. Get them to calm down, shut up, and play together. They were quiet for like 5 minutes. Then began yelling at each other to shut up.
I know kids need to rough-house. I know they have a right to play. And they needed to take it down to the basement where I couldn't hear them.
Sob, sob, sob.
MP3 player on. Turned up LOUD. Gonna be deaf in a few years, but I don't care. It shut out the noise. That helped. still couldn't stop sobbing.
I swear it felt like it took forever for the xanex to work.
My 11 yr old brought me a chocolate chip cookie. Chocolate is always good.
Then she got the brush and started smoothly brushing my scalp. then did a scalp massage. Fifteen minutes after that (an entire hour of sobbing. I cannot even believe this.) I stopped sniffling and could breath.
Not gonna lie, I still feel like there is an elephant sitting on my chest. I still feel like any little thing will set it off. Have my earphones in still, even though the little ones have gone to bed. Asked my kids to please clean up their craft mess in the living room because if I looked at it I would start crying again. In fact, almost started again just asking them to take care of it.
My 11yo explained the math homework to her little sister. The 7yo pulled out his Lego's and sat and played quietly. The teenager made dinner for the little ones. The mom breathed in and out.
and right now? Right now I don't want to talk to my teen who is still awake. I completely understand that 15yo's are gonna be the way they're gonna be. I was one, once. I'm not going to deal with it anymore today. I just can't. If that makes me a bad mom for being frustrated with it, then so be it. It's simply the way it is today.
I have communicated with the kids that my mental state is bad right now. They have seen that there are very real consequences, whether they understand them or not, when they don't listen to me when I tell them that I cannot handle their behavior and they need to move it or stop it.
the little ones were all a-hug. all worried. The big kid just said, "Hi" when I finally came out of my room, able to handle the open spaces of the house again. Hi. In that obstinant way that only a 15 yr old can.
I love my kids. I am so proud of them. But wow, the teenage days are a very real pain.
I'm not going to feel guilty for being angry at the attitude.
My mental health is what it is, like it or not. I am fighting. I am trying to cope and fix it and improve. If I wasn't, I wouldn't have gone to the doctor. I wouldn't be communicating with friends and saying, hey, I'm having issues.
I wouldn't be here if I wasn't fighting. I'd be done and gone.
I can't do that, though. Much as I really, really, really want to escape the pain and the hard right now. Oh it's so hard. But my kids need me. They need their foundation to stick around so they don't have permanent trauma the rest of their lives. Right now knowing that is what's keeping me communicating and trying. Eventually when I get to a better place I'll have a better attitude about being needed. Right now, I honestly resent it. that's the horrible, honest truth.
So. anxiety attacks, depression so bad that suicide is on my mind a lot right now, and a family full of young children who are loud, rambunctious, and energetic. Not exactly an easy combination. What God was thinking, sending my six children, I don't know. But it is what it is.
I can do this, dammit. I can delegate a lot of the hard, I can find some order. I can find some joy. Even if it's small, it's still do-able.
Right now? Right now after that xanex and crying jag, the with this dumb weight still on my lungs, I am going to go lose myself in World of Warcraft for a few hours. Because I can. Because the house is finally calm and quiet and safe. Because I need to shut my brain off so it can unscramble.
Anxiety is no fun, folks. It's real. If you don't understand it, don't judge it. It's not like it's controllable. The beginning signs are there and steps can be taken to ward it off, but sometimes it just happens anyway.