ADHD, Anxiety, and Bipolar Disisum
Last year, I wrote a 3 part article (see here) about my then 6-year-old daughter, Mica and our trouble getting her diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). She’d been having difficulties staying focused and getting work completed both at home and in school. It has taken this long, but we’re at the cusp of seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. She’s been diagnosed by a Psychologist, medicated by a doctor and her teachers have seen remarkable improvement. We are just waiting on some paperwork to complete the process of starting an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for her now.
But in first grade, before the official diagnosis, all the school could do was try different intervention techniques. I insisted on having a conference with the school psychologist (at the urging of Mica’s pediatrician). I wanted my husband, Amor to attend the meeting as well so we packed up our 8-month-old twins and Mica, and headed off to our meeting. The babies were wide awake, so we brought lollipops in case they started fussing (a desperate strategy, I know, but a mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do).
I felt a seed of nervousness on our drive to the school. I had prepared a list of different strategies we had tried. I felt I would have to prove to the psychologist that there was, indeed, an issue and we had been trying to improve it. Walking into the classroom, that nervous feeling spouted into full-blown stomach-dropping anxiety: Not only were the psychologist and teacher there but an entire panel of school teachers, staff, and experts were in attendance as well.
They wasted no time, all talking about my daughter and her “problem,” and all their observations. No one talked directly to Mica. No one seemed to acknowledge that she was even in the room. I could barely focus. All I could think was how this might be impacting her; her self-esteem, her nerves, her feelings. A few short minutes into the meeting, I slyly glanced at Amor. He seemed uncomfortable with Mica being there too.
So…I reached over and swiped the lollipop out of baby Brook’s mouth. Right on cue, he cried and right on cue Amor swooped all three of the kids up. “I think I’d better take them outside.” he interrupted, politely. “Okay, let me gather their things,” I replied. As I did, I reach in my purse and discreetly slipped myself a Xanax. After their departure, I was able to articulate to the “team” about the issues we’d been having and our efforts to combat them. The teacher did the same and we all problem solved for a while.
When we got home from the conference, I took Mica aside. I gently but candidly asked her how she felt about what had happened earlier. She nonchalantly shrugged it off. I pressed on, assuring her that no one thought less of her, and that her brain just works differently than some of her classmates and that in many ways, that was a good thing. She was cool as a cucumber. I asked her if she felt nervous when all those people were talking about her. She calmly said no. “I just want you to know that it’s okay if you felt a little nervous. I sure felt nervous,” I said reassuringly. “That’s because you have ‘Bipolar Disisum,’ Mommy!”
And there it was. I had almost, inadvertently projected my own befuddled, Bipolar and anxious feelings onto my daughter.
Each morning I pray for blessing, protection, salvation, and supernatural favor for my children. I pray for the Holy Spirit to guide them and for Angels to protect them. In this case, Mica was protected. I’m so grateful to God for that. She wasn’t the least bit affected by the conference. Her self-esteem and self-awareness was intact. Her clarity of judgement and ability to pinpoint my inadequacies was astonishing.
I started laughing, then she starting giggling. I tickled her until she shrieked! The girl may be young but she’s wise beyond her years.
Double Talk Quote: “Bipolar Disisum,” – Mica, age 6
Bible Verse: Psalm 127:4 “Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth.”
Term has Lost its meaning: a timely fashion (it’s taken over a year for the school system to put a plan into place)
Relatable Lyrics: dedicated to Mica: “You Make Me Smile” by Uncle Kracker – “…I see the best of me inside your eyes…You make me smile.”
(Feb 23, 2016 – Twins 1 1/2, Mica almost 8)