Friday, September 12, 2014

I Have Hope: Simple Woman's Daybook

Outside my window:

Cloudy and cool, like fall. Thoughts of fall and winter make me so happy.

Two days ago we had a tornado warning, stemming partly from an actual tornado sighting in a neighboring town, albeit only a 30-mile-an-hour one. Having no basement here, I put the kids in the hallway with pillows for 45 minutes while I continued to check our PC computer for updates and peek outside. It missed us, but since then there's been a worsening of Mary's anxiety. Her anxiety started with the first tornado warning of spring, and I have to admit it's discouraging to have a setback now. Cold weather can't come soon enough for me this year; thunder and lightning will cease, and the bees will hibernate and with them some of Paul's anxiety too.

On my mind:

We got off track with the anxiety-therapy appointments due to the tree-climbing accident, and I'm eager to get back to them in another week. I've met with the psychologist twice now, and so far we've accomplished intake appointments for the two boys, and a fear hierarchy appointment for Peter. The next appointment will include a fear hierarchy for Paul, and an intact appointment for Mary, followed by the first therapy appointment for all three children, which will entail 40 minutes of therapy each, back to back.

Peter has responded best to my attempts at home therapy using OCD books, such as Talking Back to OCD. Mary and Paul have more resistant cases of anxiety and definitely need professional help. Paul doesn't always recognize which thoughts are real and which are OCD-related, and his vomit phobia (emetophobia) is fairly problematic. Mary claims challenging her fears with logic doesn't help because the fear is too powerful.

For my part, I'm exhausted and overwhelmed with their issues and Mary's problematic sleep, so yesterday I went for help of my own so I could continue to help them and take them to their appointments without being overwhelmed by my own anxiety and workload.

I don't meet the criteria for depression (they asked several questions to ascertain this), but the doctor indicated that feeling overwhelmed can be a symptom of depression. I mostly fit the criteria for anxiety, so she prescribed Celexa, which is an antidepressant noted for combating anxiety pretty well. However, it made me extremely nauseous and very anxious. (And I didn't sleep a wink because of the anxiousness, so insomnia was a problem too.) The first common side effect is nausea, as opposed to Prozac, which has abnormal dreams as the first common side effect, with nausea being far down the list. As a busy mother who must be able to drive four children to appointments and homeschool them, nausea for even two weeks as my body adjusts just isn't going to work. I called and requested they call in some Prozac for me instead, explaining my situation.

My doctor also prescribed the Topamax again for migraines, but this time a 50 mg dose rather than 3 months of the 25 mg dose. I decided not to take that again tonight, but to hold off until I find an antidepressant that works. Trying to adjust to two medications at once isn't wise because I won't know what side effect is from which medicine.

I have come to the conclusion that I need a therapist too, but that there just isn't time right now or anyone to watch the kids while I go. I have thought back to the time last February when I got that terribly upsetting email from my mother after she had been drinking. A few days after that I decided it was time to break ties with her. Her upsetting emails after drinking had been going on too many years and affecting my life too much. Following that decision I was sad and depressed for about two months, and both boys reacted to that--Peter with behavior problems and Paul with depression and sadness (he tends to take on the weight of other people's problems). And although Mary claims now she never noticed me being sad, she may have reacted to the stress caused by Peter's behavior issues, which, along with the mid-spring tornado warning, sent her into an anxiety tailspin that is still going on.

I still have had no contact with my mother and don't plan to, but I have more anger than I did before. I see the effects her drinking and denial had on my life and my siblings' lives, and it makes me angry, which isn't healthy. Since I got married and started a family, her behavior never affected just me, but my family as well--my innocent children particularly. Surely deep down she knew that if she upset me, it would affect my family as well?

Still, I understand the sin curse and all that it entails, so being angry is fruitless. I would benefit from help to get through the stages of grief over my upbringing, and the lack of support system I experience now due to my upbringing. I realize what I'm feeling is just the stages of grief, after having denied the seriousness of her problem for so many years, and its impact on my life.

While counseling would be good, I'm sure the Lord will get me through this fine as well, it just may take longer and require the antidepressant, since it also coincides with perimenopause and upheaval in my kiddos.

I realize too that it's hard for readers to have a peek into so personal a struggle, but one thing it does do is help people realize that we all have difficult paths, for whatever reason. I am not are not alone. We all struggle, and the Lord is there for each of us...intimately available to us in our sorrow.

I have hope. I believe the kids will get better. I believe I will get better. I know this season of life will seem like just a glitch some day. I know somehow the Lord will use it for his glory, and I pray with hope that He will both save and take care of my mom and extended family in ways only He could.

The reason for my hope is the Lord.

Psalm 38:15 LORD, I wait for you; you will answer, Lord my God.

My Blessings:

~ God's love and mercy
~ A qualified psychologist
~ hope
~ modern medicine 
~ that Beth is not anxious
~ the hope of more cold weather soon
~ comfort soups and breads soon
~ colorful leafs coming
~ the hope of routine soon
~ the curriculum we need on the shelves
~ that with heaven comes our perfect bodies and minds
~ support from online friends

Thank you for your prayers and for your friendship! Both have meant so much to me since starting this blog back in 2009. You have encouraged my heart so many times! Writing helps me so much so I am going to make a better effort to write at least 3 times a week, despite the craziness around here.

3 comments: said...

I am on the waiting list for therapy myself. I was told it would be six months, then a year and now it is nearly 18 months later, but God has got me through. I am amazed, and so, so thankful.
I will keep you and your family in my prayers. I can relate so much to what you're going through, though my background is different. I hope you are able to find the space you need to deal with everything. Praying for grace.
Sandy x

Christine said...

That's such a shame that the wait is so long. Therapists are fairly plentiful here as long as it isn't something specialized, like OCD. Praying for grace for you too, Sandy. Praise God that he has held you up! Thank you.

Beth said...

Christine, I am sorry that you have so much on you at this time. It sounds like it has been a rough couple of weeks. Cling to Jesus and the hope that we have in him. The Psalms are filled with David and other crying out to God from their troubles and the promise that God will hear us. I will be praying for you.