Going Back to a Scary Place...a little more prepared, but still scary

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

So, this weekend, I tried hard not to think about the ER visit I had with my daughter on Friday night that resulted in no answers and us not getting home until 2am in the morning with the almost 3 year old (I can't believe in 11 days my baby will be three). Anyhow, I know there are reasons that I was trying not to think about it. It is going to send me to a bad place. A place I have been before with her. A place that lead me to add 30+ pounds in one year to my already 250 pound self. I will try to sum it up, but I know I won't be able to cover all of it in this one blog. It would take forever!

As I have talked about in past blog, my daughter suffers from depression and anxiety. She also suffers from severe cycles and a groin pain that has pretty much put her in a state of not wanting to do any exercise. This is the pain that sent her to the ER the other night. I already knew what the problem was deep down and again I ignored it because I was hoping they would find something, but they didn't and I knew they wouldn't. I knew that this was all caused by the stress which leads to the depression and anxiety. I haven't had time to talk to her about this, and I am dreading this discussion. She hasn't had a clear moment yet that seems good to talk to her about it. She will get upset when we talk about it since she thinks I am saying the pain is in her head and that isn't what I mean at all. I know the pain is real and that she feels it. What I do mean is that the pain is manifesting itself as a pain in her body. She has been talking about alot of the same things that she talked about 2 years ago. She won't really talk about them in person, she texts me at night and leaves me messages online. It is very stressful and hard to read and hard to deal with. She had seen a therapist for a bit and that kinda helped and kinda didn't. Then her therapist left town and she wanted to try over the summer to wean herself off the meds, she was tired of taking them and not feeling all the much better, she thought maybe taking herself off of them would make her feel more in control. For awhile (the summer) things seemed to be heading slowly in a good direction. Do not get me wrong the girl still had many bad days. Once going back to school though, I noticed it coming back and it is progressing far quicker than it has in the past. She confided in me yesterday such heartbreaking things for a mom to listen to, but did say she wants to go to therapy again.

This is a trigger for me. The phone would go off and I would head to the cupboards like Pavlovs dog! I am not exaggerating either. I would start with something that I thought would cure my want for a comfort food, something sweet and carby and pick a granola bar or something semi healthy, then it would just go from there. I would sit and eat calories upon calories of food until I felt sick to my stomach and tired and wanted a nap. I was disgusted with myself for giving in again. That phone noise something still sends me into panic mode, but I have coped with it better in the past year. I am very nervous about now though. I am nervous about what it will say from her and how I shoud react. It is hard for me to keep calm, a lot of times I want to yell and scream at her because I just don't understand why she feels this way, but I must keep in mind all of this is real to her and that I am not her and she probably doesn't understand it either.

So, this is where I was sitting two years ago. I specifically remember being at my youngests 1st birthday party and friends knowing I had a rough weekend with her and my looking at them enter the room and I wanted to cry because I could tell on their faces they wanted to talk to me about it and console me but it wasn't possible at that time. I wanted to have a breakdown. I was eating out of control behind closed doors.

Here I am two years later, having taken off all that weight and looking down the same path. I remember having thoughts that we would have all of this under control by the time she was a senior and that she could enjoy her remaining year in high school, and that is not the case. This path I head down is scary for many reasons, some reasons for my daughter who is in a bad place in her head and some reasons for me. I wonder if I am prepared to go through all this again and not go back to being Pavlovs dog. I think I am stronger, I think I am ready, but then I wonder if I am lying to myself and trying to tell myself those things. So, I sat down this afternoon with a cup of tea and thought about things. I thought about:

What is different this time?
What is the same this time?
How can I prevent that panicy feeling from even happening?
What can I do when it does and I am not feeling in control?

One thing that is different is I am a stronger person for myself right now. Two years ago I would have never thought about things I could do besides eat, I just ate. I have many different ways to deal with things and I need to remember them during my harder moments. I am a healthier person and feeling better about myself will hopefully enable me to help her more.

The thing that is the same is the panic feeling when the phone goes off. The feelings that I shouldn't go to bed in case she wakes up and feels badly and won't come talk to me and lay there alone and feel more upset. She is no stronger and that makes me sad and scared.

There probably isn't much I can to stop the panic feeling or the thoughts from roaming my brain, but I can learn to handle them better and mostly that will probably be in the form of exercising and sparkpeople. I can do things to calm me. Today I tried Qi Gong, which I REALLY enjoyed. I didn't think it would since we all know what a sweat junkie I was. The nice thing about it is that I didn't sweat though. So, that is something I could do anytime of the day and not have to worry about cleaning up when I am done. I know I have my runs and those always put me more at ease, but it isn't always possible for me to lace up and head out. I can always get on sparkpeople as well. Read motivational stories and others blogs. Catch up with my sparkfriends newsfeeds and blogs. Write blogs of my own if I need to. I also changed the ringtone of my text message in hopes that it won't stress me out so much.

Today I made all the appropriate calls to all the people I needed to. We will be seeing her pediatrician tomorrow and get a referral from him for a couple of different therapists he recommends. I called the pain management people so they can see her next week and help her learn to deal with the pain without always having to pop advil. I called the old office where she want and told them to have her file ready for anyone I needed to send it to in the upcoming weeks. I called the insurance company to see how I can find out if the people we are referred to are covered on our insurance plan. All done, all stuff I was dreading.

Now it is time to head back down this path, but I am better armed this time and I do know more than I did last time. I know what to expect somewhat and I have to have faith that things will work out for the best, even though it may again be a lengthy process and there will be many bumps.

Thanks for listening to all of that sparkfriends! I am ever so thankful to have an outlet knowing that I will not be judged, nor will my daughter and that I have such a great support system.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Praying for your family.
    1797 days ago
    You are setting an amazing example to your daughter. emoticon
    I'm sure that she sees how strong you are and what you have accomplished so far. Even if she doesn't understand it right now, it's there and she's gonna see at some point that she has a strong, determined and loving mum who was there for them during her bad days. emoticon
    Keep your patience and your hope, it's a great thing that see asked for professional help, it shows that she knows that something is wrong. They say that usually, asking for help is half the way to cure yourself. emoticon
    1801 days ago
    Unfortunately, I have no advice for you. I am a mother of a 19mo so my experience is lacking. However, know that I support you and read all of your blogs.
    1801 days ago
    I have so little to offer you in advice or comfort that hasn't been given already. Just know that you are so not alone in this and how much I admire you for not giving in to your triggers and keeping your health as a priority. That takes a special strength most of us haven't developed yet and may never develop.

    My own son, now 25, has suffered with a chemical imbalance that has been diagnosed as everything from clinical depression to bipolar disorder. He has been medicated, gone to psychiatrists, and has struggled to maintain some semblance of normalcy in his life. I know the stress of the situation you are dealing with. Sometimes his problem manifested as rage. Sometimes as self mutilation or withdrawing into himself. Most of his problems seem to stem from him having lupus and having struggled for years to be like all of his healthier friends. He dealt with so much physical pain that something inside him just stopped working right and came out as a mental disorder. Thank God he is off meds now and has learned a lot of coping skills. His long relationship with his girlfriend and upcoming marriage in 6 months are proof that it does get better, my dear.

    Prayers and love to you and your daughter. Keep loving her and helping her all you can and above all else keep yourself strong and healthy. She needs that strength from you whether you hear her say it or not.
    1801 days ago
    Reading all the other comments is very humbling -- so many have experience and wisdom to offer you. I will just say that I agree that you are taking all the appropriate actions to help your daughter -- and you have a few things lined up to help yourself! So I just send my love and compassion. Life has such a lousy way of throwing curve balls when you think things are going pretty good. . . You will do your best, and that is all you can do!
    1802 days ago
    That is awesome that you were able to recognize the trigger and realize it was not something you could moderate yourself with. That is what this journey is all about, one big learning experience!!!

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1804 days ago
  • JUDIL62
    Crazy how those "Pavlovs Dog" moments happen. They creep right up on you. Stay strong my friend, and remember that you will be better able to help your daughter the better you are to yourself!

    1804 days ago
    Traci, My now almost 25-yr-old daughter has dealt with depression as part of another mental health diagnosis. I found that it helped me tremendously to see a counselor myself this summer in order to better deal with her diagnosis. The therapist that I saw actually counsels families and he would have seen both of us, but I could not get my daughter to go. He helped me to develop a set of skills that would have taken me much longer to find on my own, and my file will be open for some time should I feel that I need to return.

    It sounds like you have made great strides on a person level. Keep us posted.
    1805 days ago
    I know there is a lot going on with you and your family right now and there are no easy answers but you are taking the right steps to help your daughter. I wish all of you better days ahead. Know that a lot of people are thinking about you and sending positive prayers and thoughts your way.
    1806 days ago
    Depression is a chronic illness, just like diabetes or COPD. You are doing all the right things and yes, you are a different person now - more self aware and definitely stronger.

    Just continue doing what you're doing - being her mom. Don't try to solve everything for her because you can't. Calling in professionals and searching for a new therapist is THE RIGHT THING TO DO and you're doing it.

    Please keep in mind that your daughter probably really doesn't know why she feels this way or how to get out of it. Depression affects your brain chemistry, throwing it off kilter. While it may be brought on by stress, simply taking the stress away does not "cure" the person.

    Take it one step at a time, allowing her to feel what she feels and being there for emotional and understanding, as her mom. Don't try to figure it all out, because, honestly, even the "experts" have no one answer for depression and how to cure it. But, luckily, it can be treated and people with depression do feel better and lead happy, healthy, productive lives.

    Don't be hard on yourself, you're doing what you need to do as her mom. And know that you deserve to be healthy and strong during this time - it will help both of you.

    Family therapy is also a good suggestion or a support group for you as well. As an art therapist, I also recommend that art therapy might be good for your daughter and/or you as well (you don't have to be an artist - it's just another way of communicating and healing).

    Hang in there. One of my clients talked about how taking things "one day at a time" seemed like too much. So we broke it down to increments he could handle, starting with five minutes at t time.

    You CAN get through this without returning to the person you were. You have changed - FOR THE BETTER - and that can only help you and your daughter.

    1806 days ago

    Not having a child of my own yet I really can't say I know how you feel, but I have seen a parent deal with depression in a child and I know it's hard. My brother has depression, and my mother will still call me when she's worried he's having a bad week or a black dog day, and has me check on him. I think you are doing the best thing any parent can do by being there to help your daughter get help. I hope that things get better, and you'll be in my thoughts.
    1806 days ago
    I can't even begin to imagine how difficult this is for both you and your daughter. There's nothing worse - when you're a parent - than when you can't fix the problem(s) for your child(ren). I wish, like the others, I could offer some magical words of wisdom that would make everything better, but I can't. Know that I'm keeping you and your daughter in my prayers.

    1806 days ago
  • LEASIM1231
    I will be thinking of you! I don't really have any advice to give. My 14 year old niece just asked this week for depression medication. She is having other medical issues, but it was quite a blow to her mom to hear her daughter asking/admitting that. We will see how things go. I hope for her and your daughter that they can made a good connection with some people who can HELP them and that they can feel better!!!
    1806 days ago
    depression is a terrible illness Tracy, I hope your daughter gets the help she needs.
    I'll be here to support you hun, I've suffered depression myself and seen the affects it had on those arounds me, very distressing and upsetting at times.
    Counselling helped me heaps and I am a stronger person for it. There is help out there hun, take heart, get some professional support for yourself too emoticon
    1807 days ago
  • POPSY190
    I had parents with depression and it is very hard to deal with, especially for a carer. Try to remind yourself when driven to food that "bad" choices might give an instantaneous comfort but once swallowed will make you feel worse in an hour or two. You sound as though you have done very well getting systems and arrangements in place to deal with the crisis. I think someone else's suggestion of a counsellor for yourself is a very good one - you need someone not involved in the situation to give you support and objective advice. emoticon
    1807 days ago
    You always have my ear, and my shoulder, Tracy! Thanks for your honesty.
    1807 days ago
    I wish, so much, that there was more I could do. But being the daughter with anxiety myself, I know how invaluable my own parents were in that whole process of learning to cope when I was younger. She's very lucky to have you.

    And here is a hand to hold as you battle through. Taking time for yourself and appreciating how far you've come are wise steps.
    1807 days ago
    I'm so sorry for what your daughter is going through and you as well. My mom had mental health issues for most my life so i understand the depreisson and everything. It is so hard to watch your loved one go through this and not want to scream. But you can't and it doesn't solve problems. If their is anything i can do to help let me know. I hope everything works out for the best and your daughter can get healthy. emoticon
    1807 days ago
    Tracy, I wish I had something I had some great advice to offer. All I can do is listen and be here for you, like everyone else. *HUGS* I hope she gets the help she needs. Stay strong for her, and for yourself.
    1807 days ago
    Sorry to hear what you are going through with your daughter emoticon
    1807 days ago
    So sorry to hear that your daughter has to deal with such a big issue as depression and you as a mom likely feel so helpless. I cannot imagine how difficult this must be for you.You have identified how different you are now and you recognize that you do not want to go down that same path. You are very strong and you can do this. You may have to continue to remind yourself over and over again that the solution is not in a bag of cookies or chips because now you have new coping skills and you the determination to NOT gain the weight back!

    You were so personal with sharing your story, so I don't feel badly sharing mine with you. I DO NOT believe in any way that your daughter will EVER do this, but I just wanted to tell you how much I identify with how you feel.

    When I was growing up I lived with a mother who was mentally unstable or who had a chemical imbalance. She was miserable most of the time, always felt depressed and hated herself. While I was growing up she attempted suicide many many times. She was always moody, and I never knew when I walked into a room what type of mood she would be in. It was so difficult as a young person to know what I could do to help her. But, the truth is, she didn't do what she needed to do to get the help she needed. She would go to a therapist for a short time, but it wouldn't last. The only thing that seemed to really last was her dependence on prescription drugs. These weren't actually the one's that helped her with her condition either, and she also had a dependence on alcohol.

    Anyhow, things have changed so much these days. It sounds like you are looking into all your resources and options you have. The best thing you can do is to love her, and help her find something that works for her; a new therapist or medication or support group. This is such a hard thing for anyone to have to go through so I empathize with you. You are more than welcome to write me anytime. I will listen. I don't know if my advice is worth anything or if I can help in any way, but I will listen if ever you need to vent.

    It sounds like you are doing what any parent would do. Please know that you are not alone.

    1807 days ago
    I'll keep you and your daughter in my thoughts. Sounds like you are reflecting on the past, learning from it, and looking at the areas where you are doing better. Keep focusing on that as you ride the ups and downs.
    1807 days ago
    I don't have any advice but it sounds like you are doing everything you can.
    1807 days ago
    I can't help - half the time I have no clue what I'm doing with my son. All I can do is sympathize and emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1807 days ago
    Tracy I wish I had some words of wisdom but I don't. You have done what you need to do to get her some help. As you said you have a series of things you can do so you don't seek out food for comfort. I will keep both of you in my prayers and I hope she connects with the new therapist. God bless you both! emoticon
    1807 days ago
    Oh man, that is something that is so hard to deal with and it's not her fault OR your fault. It's not your fault she feels this way. She just can't help it. Therapy is a GREAT start. Have you thought about seeing a therapist yourself to help you? HUGS and good luck! Hang in there!
    1807 days ago
  • SHERRY3969
    depression and anxiety are difficult to deal with. Try to find a therapist who can not only help your daughter but help you to understand what she is feeling and how you can help her.
    1807 days ago
    Tracy, I so feel your pain. Your poor daughter needs help understanding what is going on as do you. Family therapy may help you both work with your emotions. A family systems approach will incorporate the family as a whole and how this depression effects everyone and how everyone can learn to deal with it. You both can grow stronger in the process and learn how to best support one another without enabling. Depression is serious. Depression is also treatable.
    Yay you for making all the phone calls and putting into place the steps leading to making that therapy appointment. I hope ins. approval is rapid and you both will be able to start seeing someone sooner than later. On the plus side, your daughter is telling you via messages what must be very painful for her to talk about. That open communication will help immensely.
    1807 days ago
    The more you look after yourself and the better you cope, the better she will cope. I wish I had some advice for you but it sounds to me like you're doing all the right things emoticon
    1807 days ago
    I'm glad you're taking care of yourself. It really is the best thing you can do for your daughter. Both as a role model and so that you have more strength to deal with whatever happens. Remember exercise can help some. Usually more than food.

    Depression is such a weird thing. When you're going through it, it feels like a long tunnel you can't seem to get out of. And now, you often have no idea why. (Maybe others can see it, but I know I had no idea why at the time).

    Good luck. You're in our thoughts. I wish I had some advice but I don't. Just know you're stronger this time and trust your instincts.

    emoticon emoticon

    1807 days ago

    Comment edited on: 10/9/2012 4:28:04 PM
    *hugs* I don't have any advice, but I do hope you can find someone who will really be able to help your daughter.
    1807 days ago
    Depression is a very hard thing to deal with. For both the person going through it and the person's around them. I have suffered from depression since high school. It is crazy the things depression can do to your health. I pray for your strength and for healing for your daughter.

    1807 days ago
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