Several people have been calling me, texting me, emailing me, and generally trying to get my attention. And I’m summarily ignoring them all, for a variety of reasons. But, for the ones who follow my blog, at least this post will give you a bit of a feel for what’s going on with me and mine lately, and why you’re not hearing back from me.
School is out for the summer. That always gives me a moderate anxiety attack because I’m never sure how the kids will handle being home with each other all day, every day, and even how I will handle them being home all day, every day, with me. But so far, the summer has gone well. Not perfectly, but much better than I had expected.
We applied for enrollment for all our children at a local charter school and all three were accepted over the course of about 4 weeks. This means all three of my children will be attending a single school. Only 10 minutes away from my house. And they will ride the bus. I am ecstatic. But even more so because this school will let them work at their own pace, and will keep them challenged, allowing them to learn without feeling slowed down. This is fantastic, because two of my children were ejected from the GATE program in Boise because of budget cuts and policy changes (since we were open enrollment we were pretty much last in line for a spot in the program). Also, Cambria is in afternoon kindergarten, which means she doesn’t have to wake up early for another year (which is really a good thing) and will leave me free to *gasp* go to lunch sometimes with my friends or my husband. The new school also has a chess club that all three kids can be members of if they are interested (which at least 2 of the 3 are). AND the new school is K-12 so we’re in for the long haul, if that’s what works out best for our family.
I’m back in therapy. It’s been really good because I’ve found a therapist who has personally experienced a large number of the issues I’m dealing with. And she’s on my doctor’s case to keep the meds increasing until I’m finally in a good place. The insurance, of course, isn’t covering it (when have they ever covered my therapy?) but she’s giving me a break on cost because she’s awesome like that.
We are still waiting to get Erica in to see a new therapist. The insurance has denied every service we have tried to get for her for therapy lately, and they are unhappy about the latest doctors we were recommended, so we are on a (slow) waiting list for a doctor that the insurance WILL cover. But in the meantime, she is doing relatively well, especially given that it is summer and she is changing schools in the fall.
I had a birthday earlier this month. Turned 31. My husband and kids asked me what I wanted, and for the first time in a very, very long time I had a really hard time thinking of anything, aside from relaxation and time. They gave me some pretty great gifts (including a jump rope that Cambria picked out herself), but the best thing about my birthday this year is that things finally seem to be going better as far as my mental and emotional health go.
The therapy and the medication have helped a lot. The kids being out of school (and therefore no more carpool driving for me) has also helped a lot. I’m not sleeping well, and the sleeping pills aren’t really much help, but I’m functional and that’s a lot at this point.
I have cut my life back to bare minimums. I am doing very little that isn’t absolutely necessary for survival. I rarely (if ever) cook, which means that my family eats a lot of macaroni and cheese, ramen noodles, sandwiches, and cereal. I’ve given up the “extreme couponing” that I’ve been doing for better than a year. I hired a cleaning service to come clean my bathrooms and kitchen every other week. I’m reading a lot of suspense thrillers. I help the kids clean their rooms pretty much any time they want me to, and I do the bulk of the work. I’ve stopped fighting with my family about cleaning, and I just clean the house myself these days instead of asking for or expecting their help. My church calling is minimal, and I am pretty laid back about planning/executing said calling. My phone rings and I ignore it. People email me and the emails sit in my inbox, piling up. I read them, but don’t respond. I sit on the couch with the kids a lot, reading or playing Angry Birds on my iPhone. We play the Wii together occasionally. I take them swimming occasionally (when my friends are going too) and we do a lot of laid back, un-stressful things.
In some ways, I’m feeling the best I think I ever have. I’m enjoying my children, enjoying myself, and enjoying my lack of obligations. Finding happiness in small, unimportant things, almost on a daily basis. Stress level has gone down overall, and I’m doing a better job being kind to myself.
Yet in some ways, I feel much, much worse. I feel like I have no motivation to do anything. I feel like I have no interest in anything any more. I have given up all my hobbies (aside, I guess, from reading for pleasure which is a hobby I have recently picked up again), and I have piles of things from previous hobbies that I no longer want or need. Hundreds of dollars of expensive supplies that I only recently purchased, that I have no intention of ever using again. And I’m frustrated by that. I’m tired, because I’m not sleeping terribly well, and I get headaches pretty constantly. My jaw has begun to ache and click, which my doctor tells me is because I’m probably clenching my jaw all night long. My entire body aches from tensing every muscle all day long; I have to consciously remind myself to relax all my muscles or I spend hours at a time tense and tight. People I want to talk to, people who call or email or text, I can’t find the strength to talk to. I feel myself crawling into a shell some days and wonder if I ever will have the energy to come out.
I’m dealing with a host of mental health issues as well as a lot of personal awakenings, which have come together to really change my perspectives and attitudes. I’m letting go of a lot of things that have made me miserable over the years, and trying to let go of the ones that are still hanging on for dear life. I’m working hard to figure out what I like, what I want, and what I believe. I’m doing things because they matter to me, not because I’ve been told to do them or I’m expected to do them. I’m finding out that I am a pretty decent person, even if I’m not following every single (often conflicting) rule out there in the whole entire world.
My doctor and therapist have given me a veritable alphabet soup of diagnoses, and the medication and therapy have been helping a lot to get those under control (or at least to make my life bearable and manageable again).
Until and unless I find my motivation again, posts will be few and far between. My Facebook page has become pretty dull, and my Google reader has been pared down to a very select few sites I’m still following. All this has helped to counteract the fact that my brain is seemingly full-steam-ahead, all the time. At some point, I hope, the pendulum will swing back the other direction, and then maybe eventually I’ll find that happy medium.