Monday, October 27, 2014

"Some days it's just not worth chewing through the restraints", A Guest Post from mome

Welcome to the newest guest post series here in the Hive. I've invited some people to share stories with you all, and I sincerely hope that you enjoy this journey.

Up first, a post that makes so much sense to me. I could explain, but you really just need to read I'll get out of the way.

Thank you, mome. xoxo

"You better stop, look around
Here it comes, here it comes, here it comes, here it comes
Here comes your nineteenth nervous breakdown"
~Rolling Stones

This is my favorite time of year. I love pretty much everything from the day school starts (also known as the beginning of mommy vacation) through New Year's Day.

I love Fall.
leaves. crisp air. smoke from bonfires and fireplaces in the air.
I LOVE Halloween.
creepy. spooky. costumes. candy.
My birthday comes right after that.
not always my favorite topic, but the little kid in me still gets excited.
Then Thanksgiving, which I love.
food. family. trivial pursuit. pie. biscuits and gravy the next morning. did I mention food?
I love Christmas.
too commercial, I know. but again, the little kid and romantic in me win out.

Then why, Why, WHY??? does my emotional self seem to head into a tailspin this time of year.


This seems to have started after I moved north, from CA to WA. I noticed that first Summer how it was light noticeably earlier and later in the day than what I was used to. I found it intriguing that the change in latitude was so noticeable. Then that first Fall the days got noticeably shorter SO much faster than I remembered. I had a really rough Fall. I chalked it up to such a big move to a place where I knew no one. Had no support system. Had 2 active boys to try to keep occupied inside when weather was not cooperative (about 9 months of the year - I mentioned we were in WA, right?).

My temper seemed shorter. My patience shorter. I could tell when I was getting angry for silly reasons - like an observer from the outside looking in. I could see it, but didn't feel in control.

First conclusion: I assumed I was experiencing "Prozac poop-out". I had been taking Prozac for a few years and my doc said it was common for the drug to lose its efficacy after taking it a few years. So... let's switch to a new anti-depressant.

First year continues to be rough. Understandable. A fellow mom and I had a candid discussion about "the big D" and she suggested a new diagnosis. Anxiety.

Second conclusion: maybe it's anxiety more than depression. Let's switch drugs and dosages again.

By Spring/Summer things seemed better. My folks moved north to be near us. I had support. The boys were a year older and a little easier. I think I may be okay.

Year 2 -- Fall. Same downward spiral takes place. Change dosages again. Try not to hate Christmas. I love Christmas, how can I be so cranky and angry?

Year 3 -- Fall. Same. Hmm...I'm starting to see a pattern now.

Years 4-5 - This is going to be hard.
Yep. It sucked.
Diagnose self as both an Introvert and an HSP (Highly Sensitive Person). I can only recharge myself with "me" time and as I get older certain noises bother me more and more.
It CAN'T be normal to feel like this.

Year 6 - Hear about "blue light" as a response to SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).
Heck, Costco carries them here.
It seems to help a bit.

Year 7 (this year) - Have been evaluated for and diagnosed with ADD.
I would have never thought of this. But after continuing to search for something that might help me feel "normal" the descriptions that I read other adult women write -- it sounds all too familiar.

Often ADD is the undiagnosed 3rd leg of the Depression/Anxiety/ADD triangle. When left untreated, the other 2 legs may not be treated as successfully as they can be.

My symptoms: Feelings of being completely overwhelmed, not being able to finish things, not being able to start things because of the chain reaction my brain goes into even thinking about it.
It is not ADHD - I am not hyper. I WISH I were hyper sometimes.
I do not have trouble focusing. I have trouble focusing on only ONE thing.

When driving (I drive 2-3 hours a day), the lists start:
What do I need to get done today?
What do my boys need to get done today?
Who has to be where today?
What do we need from the grocery store?
What chores of mine need to be done?
How long has it been since I talked to my dad?
How long has it been since I've talked to my friends?
The Halloween decorations aren't up yet.
I can't do that AND manage an 11 week old puppy at the same time.
The boys will be disappointed if I don't.

Guilt. Anxiety.
D..o..w..n..w..a..r..d    s..p..i..r..a..l
Here we go again.
Not my 19th nervous breakdown, but it sure feels like it.

Throw in PMS, migraines, hot flash-ish things.

My favorite saying, "Some days it's just not worth chewing through the restraints."

Some days it's not.

Some days it is.

I have two wonderful, happy, healthy, beautiful, smart, loving boys. I have a wonderful husband whose hard work ethic has given me the ability to be the "non-working" mom I never thought I would want to be and that I LOVE being.  I get to spend hours with these 2 intelligent boys who make me think about things in ways I never dreamed of and see things in from a point of view I never imagined.
I still watch cartoons. I still read comic books. I still color and glue. I still play in the rain.
I am lucky. I am grateful. I am blessed.

...aaand...the pendulum swings back the other way...

What does "normal" feel like?
What does "grown up" feel like?
When do I get to be the "crazy cat lady" who wears purple?

I don't know if this all exactly has a point -- other than to allow me to pour it all out on paper. Maybe someone else goes through this. If so, you are not alone.
If not... then I'm dragging out the purple.
It'll go nicely with my 20th nervous breakdown. (wink)

mome (pronounced mom-my) is an ex-teacher and software project manager living in WA with 3 cats, 2 boys, 1 dog, 1 husband and 1 hamster.

currently she herds cats and boys, tries to keep herself healthy and coach others do the same.


  1. This could be my story, except I don't live in Washington. I live in upstate NY where fall crashes into me like a tidal wave. I have depression and anxiety. I did not know that ADD could also be part of it, that makes sense. I have lists and lists of things I need to do and can't get done.
    Thank you for putting this up. It helps me feel less alone in this big ol' world.

  2. I thought the lists and lists and guilt were jus part and parcel of being a mom. I'll wear purple with you any time ; )

  3. Wow. Just, wow. I have never heard of the triumvirate of anxiety/depression/ADD. I'ev always assumed the constant thinking, list making, inability to start something were symptoms of my anxiety. I'm going to pay more attention and see if ADD is something I should consider.

  4. Me. Me. Me. Spot on. Thanks for giving it words.


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