2014 pretty much kicked my butt. I know I’m not the only one.
- I navigated the breakdown and break up of an almost 18 year relationship with the father of my youngest daughter.
- I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, type 2 diabetes, bipolar 2 disorder, and PTSD (complex).
- I started thyroid meds, went back down to a pre-diabetic state, and started mood stabilizer meds – then, somehow, accidentally and unintentionally went off of them (cold turkey) 2 weeks ago and am starting over.
- I started therapy and had many stops and restarts.
- I pushed through applications, intakes, evaluations, the public educational system, and the developmental disabilities systems and services to get my youngest daughter correctly diagnosed and identified educationally and medically with High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder.
- One grandchild was born six weeks premature a week after the parents lost the life of a second grandchild in utero.
- I had zero income of my own and survived on $0-$200/mo of informal child support.
- Had my oldest daughter, her boyfriend, and their baby move in with me.
- Dealt with my youngest daughter having pneumonia and the flu, with many severe colds in between them.
- Continued the reconciliation dance/battle to restore relationship with my son, with great success followed by great withdrawals (on both our parts).
Whew! No wonder I am feeling exhausted, out of sorts, and fighting the depressed aspect of the bipolar – again. However, that’s not the full story. I also
- Completed my year long term as the Head Start Parent Policy Council Chair in the second year of my participation on that Council.
- Joined the youngest daughter’s school’s PTA, participated in Site Council meetings, and was asked by the Principal to be the school’s representative in the district’s Special Education PTA, of which I’m now the Treasurer.
- Signed up to be an office volunteer at the school and have covered for the school Secretary four times. The Principal wants me to apply to the district to become a Substitute School Secretary so I can get paid when I am called in.
- Became consistently active within my primary faith community; serving in different areas, building new relationships, and strengthening long-term ones.
- Started (and stalled) on a Social Media Internship with an organization I believe in with a woman I respect who is compassionate, patient, and understanding of my (thus far) inconsistent engagement and follow-through.
- Started teaching myself how to cook healthy from scratch. Thank you Internet!
- Spent a lot of time cuddling with my granddaughter and taking lots of pictures every opportunity I had.
- Started learning how to parent and support my daughter’s special needs.
Most importantly, I’ve been growing (slowly and painfully, but surely) in my spiritual faith and trust in God to carry me through the storms of life. I have no idea how I could have gotten through all of that, otherwise.
Now, it’s time to look ahead and get back to basics. Due to several factors, December was an exceedingly tough month and the depression kind of took over. Between my back going out, my daughter getting the flu the week before Winter Break, and the logistics of coping with having her out of school for the past two weeks, my self-care went by the wayside. Which is a chicken and the egg story for the medication error that caused me to take prescription ibuprofen for two weeks instead of my mood management meds. I’ve also been away from my apartment for the past three weeks and wasn’t able to do even basic cleaning the week before that, because of my back. Since my granddaughter is growing more active, her mommy is toward the end of her second trimester with her second child, and daddy is doing his best to care for the little while mommy finishes up her role as a Dutch Brothers Broista and support her during this very challenging time, not much cleaning happens there either. They’re trying to focus on figuring out how to get into their own space, which requires A LOT of energy and time. The five of us (six if you count their little demoness kitten) crammed into a tiny, two-bedroom apartment, which has an almost “hoarders” accumulation of papers, books, toys, clothing, and clutter is overwhelming for all of us. The next couple of weeks are going to be quite the transition.
The transition for my youngest, after three weeks out of school, spent at her daddy’s (with me sleeping on his couch and being with her while he’s at work) have been completely unstructured and she’s become even more addicted to independent play and watching her edutainment, videos, and character shows. Getting her back into the routine of school, the necessary separation from daddy during the week, and not being able to choose her own clothes (school uniforms are NOT my friends) are going to make for some interesting times. Getting myself back up to therapeutic levels of the mood stabilizer is going to take at least a month or two. It’s also imperative that the hoarder-type mess is dealt with for the health and safety of us all, especially the children and child-to-be, who is due about the same time his/her sib turns one, in March.
I have an appointment with my prescriber on Monday and an appointment with my therapist on Tuesday. I may or may not have a SEPTAP meeting on Tuesday evening. I start a home group with my faith community on Thursday and Friday is the day I am scheduled to volunteer in the church office. Oh, and I somehow need to come up with at least $108 within the next four days to keep my electricity on.
Lord, give me strength.
I’ll leave you with two recent thoughts I’ve had: