Posts tagged ‘adhd’

Looking back, Advice for new Bloggers, & an Award!

I haven’t posted a new blog in over a month!  Wow!  My lack of work here has a lot to do with parenting two two-year-olds and a seven and an eight-year-old.  But it probably actually has more to do with me having Bipolar Disorder I, Anxiety, ADHD, and feeling so overwhelmed and knocked-around by life in general that I just sigh and don’t put forth the effort it takes to write.  But it’s so therapeutic for me to just write.  But I haven’t lately, and that just shows that I’m letting Bipolar win and I hate when I do that!  (Anyone out there feel me?  I know someone does, someone has to, so speak up!  The comment section is below.)

I have 39 open drafts, so there’s no shortage of inspiration, it’s just finding some quiet time (usually between 4-5am works best for me), direction, energy, and motivation.

I was recently nominated for this “Blogger Recognition Award.”  Now, I know there are a lot of blogging awards out there, then there are those who are so proud NOT to have awards that they make an award for having an award-free blog!  But I do appreciate the nomination and I proudly choose to accept the award, because it means someone else – one of my peers – appreciated me enough to nominate me.  So here it is (Isn’t the artwork lovely?):

blogger-recognition-award

I’d like to thank FEARFULLY WONDERFULLY ME for giving me this.  The author, Emily Susanne, is a Christian blogger who writes about “Growing in God and Inspiring Young Women Through Faith and Fashion.”

As per the rules of this award, I will briefly mention how my blog got started:  I was manic with a touch of Hypergraphia.  I was just weeks postpartum from having twins and I needed, I mean really, really needed to write.  I googled various forms of “postpartum mania,” but most articles were devoted to postpartum depression or psychosis.  That’s when I came across Dyane Harwood’s blog, Birth of a New Brain. I left a very long comment on her post, “Another Great Divide,” (which you can feel free to click on and read, if you feel so led).  And she responded! Twice!  I felt like, wow, someone actually hears and understands me.  I had so much to say, I knew I had to start my own blog at that point.  That was August 20, 2014.  I published my first post (Double Teamed) on August 22, 2014, and have been writing ever since.  My hopes and prayers are that the articles I write on this blog will be (and have been) a blessing, not only to me as a writer but also a blessing to others who struggle with similar issues.

So, I basically write about Bipolar Disorder and Mommying.  But there are other categories my posts fall into.  Looking back, here are a few of my favorite archives:

Think Big and Be Big

Season of Survival

I’m Sorry…But

Ode To Mania

Time to Brush Your Teeth

ADHD, Anxiety, and Bipolardisism

Big Sissy

Why I Choose To No Longer Wear Leggings

My advice to new bloggers:

  1.  Be yourself.  Be your authentic self and don’t apologize for being who you are.  (Unless you KNOW you’re not right, in that case, apologize in advance! JK)
  2.  Respond to each comment you get.  Another writer took the time to read what you wrote, then took the time to write you a message.  Respect that by taking the time to respond in kind.
  3. Read and follow other blogs.  Get to know your readers by reading what they write.  Build your own supportive community.
  4. Use “Grammarly” or at least a Spell Checker.
  5. Proofread and Pray before you hit the “Publish” button.
  6. Don’t expect your friends, family, or relatives to create “Gravatars” and read everything you write.  You may find your biggest supporters are strangers who relate to what you’re going through or writing about.
  7. Don’t worry about your stats.  The quality of your writing may not be reflected in the number of “likes” you receive, so don’t base your self-worth on numbers.
  8. Don’t expect everyone to agree with you.  Someone may “like” what you wrote but disagree with your philosophies or certain points you make.  That’s okay.  Actually, you can expect some (usually polite) criticism.  You can agree to disagree, and not take it personally.

Ok, I was only supposed to write 2 points there, I guess I got a little excited!  Now, I’m supposed to nominate some bloggers to do a similar post and receive this award.  Whether or not you choose to participate is completely optional (again, some people want their blogs to be award-free.  To those I say, “more power to you.”)  The following are bloggers I admire greatly and I hope you feel honored that I am nominating you:

Birth of a New Brain

That’s What Anxious Mom Said

This Girl’s Faith

The Bipolar Mama

Grief Happens (So Does Joy)

The Monster in Your Closet (is quite friendly, actually)

Anything is Possible

Pieces Of Bipolar

What… Cookies Again?

Uplifting Stories

Multicolored Smartypants

Find The Lovely

All In A Dad’s Work

I also hope any people reading this will take a few minutes to check out these awesome blogs!

(For the Blogger Recognition Award, please complete the following:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Write a post to show your award.
  • Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  • Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  • Select (15) other bloggers you want to give this award to.
  • Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them & provide the link to the post you created.)

 

Finally, I’d like to give you a sneak peek into my next post…

“Looking Forward, Advice from Successful Bloggers & another Award”

For this post to be successful, I need a lot of feedback.  This is a call to all Super Bloggers who struggle with anything, from everyday parenting exhaustion, to addiction, to mental illness.  If you are a Super-writer or Super-Parent (and if you’re a parent, I bet you’re Super to someone), please comment below with your website link, and I will set up a “meet and greet” so to speak, for my next post.  Also, please give one piece of advice on blogging.  Until then, whenever that may be, goodbye and God bless!

Double Talk Quote: “And for a long, long, long while, Grandma read the bible.” – Mica, when they missed church one Sunday.

Bible Verse: “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”  Ephesians 4:32

Term that has Lost its meaning (to me, anyway): Award-free Blog

Relatable Lyrics:  “Beautiful” by Eminem

“Yea… To my babies. Stay strong…
And to the rest of the world, God gave you the shoes
That fit you, so put ’em on and wear ’em
And be yourself, man, be proud of who you are
Even if it sounds corny,
Don’t ever let no one tell you, you ain’t beautiful”

Midnight Medication Mixup

Morning Mommy 3

Sleep is the key to my sanity.  If I can regulate sleep, it’s easier to regulate my moods as well.

I have medication that I take at night and I have medication I take in the morning; and never the tween shall meet.  Except they did last night.  Instead of my usual regimen of Ambien, Abilify, and Lamictal, I skipped the first two, opting to take 1/2 of  a Seroquel instead (my doctor is okay with me doing this on occasion).  I had felt a bit of hypomania coming on so I wanted a good night’s rest and Seroquel usually does the trick.  I also knew I didn’t have a busy day coming up so I could rest if it made me a bit drowsy.

But…A cat pressed his way through the door, which was pulled-to but apparently not closed and the hallway light was on.   I woke up in a haze, barely able to see.  The piercing light was coming from the same direction of the clock and I could have sworn that hallway light was the break of dawn.  I could have sworn the time said 6 am, not 2 am.  So I swallowed my pills thinking I’d snooze for a few minutes before I had to wake up Mica to get ready for school.  I was at the apex of a very intricately narrated “movie” dream, when suddenly I was jolted awake.  The meds had kicked in and it was time to get on with the day.

Except…it was 2:30 am.

I’ve been working a lot on immigration case work for my husband lately, so I had plenty to do to occupy my time.  But I worried I’d run out of energy mid-day and be out-of-sorts when the twins (and older girls) needed me the most.  Fortunately, I was able to direct my hypomania into my work during those early morning hours, and even throughout the day, going to the grocery store before anyone in the household was even away, preparing breakfast, cleaning house, and playing hopscotch, painting with the twins and cooking and having a picknick supper outside.  The most trouble I had was lying still when the babes were ready to cuddle.

It’s 8:55pm now.  I’m starting to get tired.  Not sleepy, though.  Just tired.  I’ll take my night meds and rest again and maybe tomorrow will be…just as good.

(written 6/1/2016, Twins 23 months, Mica 8, Hope 7)

Double Talk Quote: “It was a surprise!” – Tia (Hope’s mom) announcing her new pregnancy.  Why am I not surprised?  Congrats to me! (jk – kinda)

Bible Verse: “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”  Matthew 6:34

Term that has lost its meaning: creep-o-cat

Relatable Lyrics:   “I Did My Best” by Soul Asylum

“I was waiting for a chain reaction
With a missing link…
…I was tired of being tired
I could not get no rest
So I kept sleepwalking and talking in my sleep
Yes I did my best”

 

ADHD, Anxiety, and Bipolar Disisum

Mica Homework

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.

Mica eyes

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)

1. ADD to the Stress

Mica - awww

I have suspected for some time that Mica, my almost 7-year-old daughter, has ADD or ADHD. It is a genetic “disorder” and in runs in both sides of her family.  She has extreme difficulty focusing on and completing simple tasks such as getting ready in the morning and at night, doing homework, eating, and doing chores.  These tasks consume nearly every free moment she has and is stressful not only for her but for those in charge.  It is exasperating as a parent to try to get things accomplished.

The problem was first brought to my attention when she was 4 years old. Maybe I hadn’t noticed before because I was a stay-at-home mom and she was my first child and it was pretty early to notice symptoms.  Looking back on it, we did have a pretty relaxed schedule.  If we got interrupted while doing something, it was no big deal.  In fact I would encourage it for learning purposes.  For example, if we were having lunch together and we heard an unusual noise, we would go “investigate” and just go back to eating later.

So when her preschool teachers said she was on “Mica Time,” I didn’t think of it as much of a problem.  (I even have a song entitled “Mica Time” about how nice it must be to not be worried about time.)  Yes, we experienced some frustrations getting ready but I usually handled it pretty well.  I just made sure she got up early and promised to reward her with a game before school if she was ready early.  We actually had a lot of fun during those days playing hide-and-seek and Candy Land at 8:00 in the morning.

Kindergarten was not as charming of an experience.  I got pregnant and very, very ill during the Fall and stayed sick throughout my pregnancy so it was difficult for me to help her in the same way I had before.  Add to that the increasing responsibilities that come with elementary school, such as homework and the need to be more independent and organized and we ended up with some chaotic days.  Her scholastic grades were excellent but she consistently got “Needs improvement” in the areas of “Completing Class Assignments” and “Uses Time Wisely.”  We were advised to use a timer and play the game “beat the clock.”  That seemed to work well at first but soon became yet another source of stress.

I was determined that this year, 1st grade would be different.  It is different.  Different but not better.

I tried to implement a system that would encourage her to be more independent and reward her accomplishments.  She had a morning and night check-list and timers for each task.  I made her a “Wise Time” chart to try to explain in a visual way that shaving time off remedial tasks would equal more time for play (a concept she clearly grasps but can’t quite achieve).  We gave out reward bracelets for meeting goals and prizes once she collected a certain number.  She had a morning launch-pad she would prepare the night before.  It would have been a great system.

However, the arrival of the multiple babies in the house brought even more opportunities for distraction on all our parts!  It was difficult to follow through because she required so much one-on-one attention to focus.

Although her general pediatrician was unable to definitively diagnosis her, she instructed us to see a psychologist, and her school has started the process of evaluation, which will take approximately 10 weeks.

In the meantime, we’ll just keep on keepin’ on…

Double Talk Quote: “Please stop rushing me.” – Mica says this every day, usually more than once.

Verse:  “Finishing is better than starting.  Patience is better than pride.” Ecclesiastes 7:8

Word that has Lost its meaning: focus

Relatable Lyrics: “Tired of Waiting for You” by The Kinks https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLAuxLqln5s

(March 4, 2015 –  twins 8 months)

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