Deep Thoughts on Snow Day Four

Snow Day Four.

We slept in. They played video games while I did some work. We went to play with friends. Hit the library. Ate one of their favorite meals for dinner. Read books. I, personally, answered a billion and one questions.

Like, “If a blind person opens their eyes under water, does it still hurt?”

I’ve never, ever thought of that. My youngest son is always, always thinking. I think he’s fantastic.

Snow Day Four doesn’t hurt too much.

I figured they’d at least have a delay if not an entire Snow Day. I kind of wanted the full Snow Day because I wanted an excuse to be lazy. A lazy day with my boys and my dogs and some carbs, because we all need carbs in the winter. It’s how we survive, really.

And then I asked the older of the two boys to take the first, but younger, dog outside to do her business. He didn’t watch her. He didn’t know if she did her business. I was in the process of making dinner. I felt a little frustrated.

So I yelled.

I really don’t like yelling. I would rather avoid yelling. I want to talk about things, teach from a place of calm. Yelling scares me, so I know it has the potential to affect my boys in negative ways too.

My son went off to his room, on his own. I continued stirring homemade alfredo sauce, trying to time noodles and broccoli to end up cooked, but not over- or under-cooked all at the same time. He came out, cheeks and eyes red and swollen with tears.

“I’m sorry,” he whispered.

I took him into my arms, my chin resting on the top of his head.

“I know, buddy. But this is what Daddy and I have been talking about: responsibility, paying attention, being present. This is part of growing up and gaining more independence. It just comes with more responsibility. I love you. Always.”

He nodded. He went and got the book he picked at the library and sat at the dining room table to read while I finished up dinner. He helped set the table. He helped feed the dogs after we finished dinner. Everything went fine for the rest of the evening.

Much like I want my sons to know that one mistake is not the end of the world, I need to model that in my parenting. I sent my husband a text about how negatively I felt about myself for yelling. But if I expect my sons to rebound from supposed or surmised mistakes, shouldn’t I also do the same? Shouldn’t I also give myself the grace I afford them? Shouldn’t I work harder to forgive myself?

My therapist wants me to bring a picture of my 22-year-old—and pregnant—self to my next appointment in two weeks. I’m supposed to talk to myself, tell myself the reasons I’m still angry with that young, scared, very, very alone little mama. Because it’s true: I hold anger with absolutely no one else as to how everything happened. Except me. I’m so very angry with myself.

Today a friend related a story of a mutual friend’s unplanned pregnancy. She shared how she supported her friend through each step of the process. My heart welled up.

“I just needed you,” I said as I walked out the door, heading off to the library with the boys.
“I know.”

It is my goal to someday forgive myself. I know—I know—I did the best I could with the knowledge I had at the time. I repeat that to myself regularly. My therapist said the same thing at my last appointment. The tricky part is getting to the point of forgiveness, of letting it all go.

Because if I’m no longer mad at myself, what’s left?

 

Land Of Nod: Design for Kids and People That Used to be Kids

Diagnosed with Treatment Resistant Depression

Treatment Resistant Depression

“That’s one thing we can do with Treatment Resistant Depression.”

Blink. Blink.

Oh hey, new diagnosis. Wasn’t expecting to see you there.

I sat in the office of my Meds Doc with the windows open on February 6th because the temperature got random and hit 60 degrees. I felt the cool air on the back of my neck as the heat started to creep up my face. She continued to ask me questions.

“You said you’re sleeping again, but is it safe to assume you’re probably sleeping too much.”

Yes. And shut up.

I’ve known things were off for awhile now. I attempted to move this appointment up after my crash-and-burn in late December, but our mental health care system sucks, so this was the earliest I could get in to see my doc. My husband thought I just needed a med change, something I felt strongly opposed to at the time.

Changing meds is literally the worst. Tapering down on the old, up on the new. The side effects that slam into you, full force, that you’re just supposed to live through because “they go away after a few weeks.” It’s always great to feel nauseated and dizzy for three weeks on top of being depressed. It’s the best.

So, I started out the appointment telling her that my husband thought I needed a med change.

Then she made me get very specific about what had been happening since December. Then her tone changed, and she apologized that she couldn’t get me in earlier. She started listing off things we could do.

And then she said Treatment Resistant Depression.

I didn’t quite hear anything for a bit.

I’ve lived with a diagnosis of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) since I sought care at the age of 25. Honestly, I have lived with anxiety my entire life, but that was the first time someone put a name to it. I also suffer from bouts of Major Depression, but normally I adjust what I’m doing, up my therapy, and I’m good to go.

Not this time.

I’ve lightly Dr. Googled the new diagnosis. I don’t really feel like delving into it just yet. I’m just sitting with it.

I know that a new diagnosis doesn’t define me. But it feels new and different and I don’t quite know what to do with it. I don’t know what box to put it in. I don’t know how it feels. It doesn’t actually change anything about me.

I start a new medication in the morning. They didn’t take me off any of my other medications, so this one is just added to my existing cocktail. I hope the side effects are minimal. I hope I feel like getting out of bed on a regular basis and not just when I absolutely have to in order to function as a parent or a dog owner. I hope I’ll resume the energy to work out again. I hope I’ll just enjoy anything again.

I do know that I have a wonderful tribe of people supporting me through this next step of my journey. I feel very thankful for their continued presence.

Treatment Resistant Depression