Not Leaving the House

I got Angelica’s speech and tutoring appointments rescheduled. I am not leaving the house. Worn out. Very tired. Depressed.

While I am at home I hope to revise some of my poetry and get it ready. I am trying to clear my head.

I am tired. I am depressed. I need to isolate even if just for 1 day. I will definitely be eating at home tonight, because I don’t feel up to doing so much as the Taco Bell drive through. The only way I am going out at all is if my husband needs me to bring him lunch at work.

Travel Mania

On the first day of our trip homeward I began to go manic. I wasn’t shocked. I heard a voice while on vacation. On the way home I began seeing illusory things. The second day of travel was full blown mania. I had to take my mania medication in the morning. I slept for awhile, and when I woke up I was still manic. I had to take another. Same the next day. It has been hard to bring myself down.

Mania is rough but it happens when I am under stress. I got by most of the trip by spending time alone in our various hotel rooms. Having a private place to go made travel much better. However, I just have a hard time with being away from home and all that entails. I got a bit depressed toward the end of the wonderful road trip we took last Fall. This time, after visiting family and friends, I went full blown manic.

Right now I just want to be calm and get into my weekly routine. I am flying a bit high, but the medicine is helping a lot. Keeps me tired though.

In Tennessee

We arrived in Tennessee last night for Craig to see his grandfather and Angelica to see her great grandfather. We had salad and pizza for dinner, and then hung around in the sunroom for awhile.

This morning I am relaxing at the hotel while everyone else has breakfast and hangs out at my grandfather inlaw’s house. I needed the extra sleep and the time to myself. I am so introverted that it is hard if I have no place to retreat to.

We drove for two days to get this far, and that was difficult. I spent a good portion of the ride to TN not speaking and/or with my head in my hands. It has been exhausting.

It’s always really frustrating whenever we travel to see my inlaws. While it is true that I have anxiety and mood swings regularly at home, people I see while I’m traveling usually get the worst of me. I don’t do well with travel, especially if that travel is combined with socializing or big cities. So on top of the craziness that I already have, my relatives see me even crazier because I’m not meeting up with them until I’ve been traveling for two or three days. We took a road trip back in the fall and even though there was no socializing in that and we stayed in very quiet areas almost the whole time, I felt like crap part of the way back and when we actually were in the city for a while I got anxiety. It was the trip of a lifetime and I absolutely loved it, but it was a very different sort of trip.

Basically, my relatives see the worst of me. Even when I traveled last summer across the country to see my own side of the family I had to spend hours by myself in the room that I lived in when I went to high school. Even among my own side of the family I could not deal with full days of socializing or going places.

Hopefully my stomach settles too, because alongside a sinking feeling in my chest and being so introverted that I feel like I’m crawling into my own body this morning, I’m nauseous too. Knock on wood it’ll pass soon. It might have been the breakfast that I ate cold.

It isn’t that I don’t look forward to seeing my in-laws. It’s just that it’s hard to travel and it’s hard to do a whole lot of concentrated socializing at once.

Tight feeling in my chest. Anxiety.

A Reflection of Christ

I have been conforming to the world rather than the Word.

I obsess over society specific standards of beauty rather than the beauty of my soul. I have cares more about pleasing the world than pleasing my husband. I have focused on my looks (weight, fashion etc) more than on God.

I believe in charity, in Christ’s call to give to the poor. But lately I have not given enough. I am well past due for a donation to one of my favorite organizations – St Jude’s.

I have not been a good steward of the time that God has granted me. I fritter away my time on social media.

This past weekend I fast it again from social media like I used to, and I think it was good for me. Social media is still good for many things, and as a housewife it can be an important way for me to connect to others around me. But too much time spent on social media is a waste. It could be put to better use educating my child, cleaning my house, reading a good book, or creating poetry. There’s so much more I could do than scroll Facebook or Instagram.

I need to be open and comfortable with how I look. I need to fully adjust dressing modestly because it’s what makes God happy and what makes my husband happy. And I think it reminds me to die to the flesh a little bit. I need to give more, whether it is of my time or money. With mental issues being the way they are it can be difficult to donate time just because it’s hard to make a long-term commitment. But I need to find some way to give of myself to my community.

Busy School Day

Today was packed with homeschooling activities. Angelica had tutoring for English and for math. Things seem to be going really well with her teacher. Angelica is dyslexic, so learning to read and do numbers is not easy for her. She is making progress though, and I’ve been really happy with her tutor.

We also did a whole lot of science. We read about cloud formation. We talked about rainbows and the colors of light. We talked about earthquakes, and watched lots of videos of earthquakes. Angelica was impressed! She has also been watching a ton of educational videos from an illustrated Youtube series. I’ve got a playlist going right now and she is loving it.

If the day wasn’t so busy and I wasn’t so tired, we would do more. I read her a story and she thoroughly enjoyed that. If I can muster the energy I will read her another before bed.

This has been a crazy week between two speech appointments, an OT evaluation, and two tutoring sessions. To be fair, we usually have two speech appointments and at least two tutoring appointments. But add that to my own appointments this week and being down for the count on Thursday and things just feel dizzying.

I am so glad that Angelica seems to like homeschooling. I really enjoy teaching her and spending that time together. I would hate to send her off to some government school for 8 hours a day. I would rather be with her – and I can give her an education more suited to her needs at home.

Quick Manic

Yesterday I had a quick manic episode. I have only been brought down by a heavy dose of medicine designed to quelch mania. It made me sleep most of the day. I don’t know whether I will be manic again or not when I come out of this haze.

I heard the frost on the trees. They were French. My spirit left my body. I drove across town writing erotic poetry in various parking lots. There was a lot of random stuff.

I exhaust myself.

Hello Latuda

I saw a new psych doctor 50 miles away from home. The trip itself went badly. I was a nervous wreck driving that far by myself (Craig had a swing shift and couldn’t take me), and on top of that our poor babysitter was sick and I had to bring Angelica with me. I had major anxiety the whole way there, even though Craig found me a route that kept me off the highway. Staying off the highway is better for me anxiety wise.

I cried during the 1 hour drive home. By the time I pulled into the garage I was screaming so loudly that I frightened myself. It was as though I could hear hell welling up from the depths of my screams.

The actual appointment was alright. She didn’t seem up to date and I am not sure we clicked, but she gave me refill prescriptions of the drugs I am on, and since those haven’t been enough she added a second mood stabilizer. Latuda. It has been years since I was on Latuda. I really hope that in combination with my other stabilizer it makes a big difference. I love winter as a season, but winter of 18/19 has been a really hard one overall.

I am hopeful and trying to stay positive. I need this combination to work. I have also added Buspar to lower my overall anxiety levels. Lately the anxiety has been so bad that I am using Clonopin more than I would prefer. Buspar does nothing for panic attacks, so it is not a substitute for benzodiazepines. However, by lowering your overall anxiety levels it can decrease the number of times a week that you reach the point of panic.

Main stabilizer and antidepressant are the same for now.

Hopefully this spring things will be on the rise. There is so much I want and need to do.

Constant Sleep

Thanks to an overly high level of Serotonin I have not been able to sleep much for the past couple of weeks. Since I have gradually weaned myself off that high level I’m having the opposite problem. I am just exhausted. Today I took Angelica to tutoring by myself while Craig slept in in preparation for his swing shift and then staying up late for his first mid of the cycle, which is tomorrow. When we got home from tutoring we ate lunch together. Craig was awake and he had picked up Little Caesars, which is my favorite. I like the bread sticks with buffalo ranch dip. And immediately after that I just crashed. I laid down for about three hours this afternoon. I was in the living room where anybody could get at me if they needed me. Our new sofa is extremely comfortable to sleep on so I was happy there. But I was just out of it for 3 hours. And all I did was take Angelica to tutoring.

I have tried to get a little bit done around the house tonight while Craig is working. When I woke up I took a shower, which I needed. When I am doing poorly it is hard to take showers. But I got showered and I took out some recycling and I set up the house so that the Roomba could go around and clean. I also ran some laundry. Angelica and I did some school before bed since I was sleeping for much of the afternoon.

I don’t think the new med combination I am on is the right one. It’s better than what I was on since that completely burnt out, but I don’t think I am where I should be. I am making incremental improvements, but everything feels so overwhelming and tiring that sometimes it’s one step forward and two steps back. The housework feels insurmountable.

Craig ended up running the newsletter for UMW by himself. I stayed home and slept off anxiety meds. I intended to go and do my job. Craig was going to be accompanying me to offer support. But my anxiety was so high that breathing was difficult. Craig told me to stay home. I feel so guilty that he did it himself.

The literary magazine that I do online is suffering from my mental state. I published no one until yesterday, and I couldn’t focus when I did. I ended up having a huge typo in a title. I have submissions to go through in the inbox that I just haven’t been clear headed enough to read. I don’t read submissions unless I am sharp enough to appreciate them. I haven’t been. Perhaps Craig will look things over. He is also editor. I just can’t wake up.

Math and English

We had been determined to wait until after Angelica’s learning evaluation in Denver at the end of January to start any form of tutoring to help her with math and English. However, I found a tutor who came recommended on a board by parents who have children with learning disorders. I decided to call her and get a feel for what she does. Ultimately we decided to go ahead and start the tutoring. Already this teacher is making some progress with Angelica. I’m sure it’ll be quite a while before we start seeing anything major, but it’s still really good to see her getting in there and learning something. This is a licensed teacher and she uses a special curricula and really works on the level of the child.

Angelica really likes her, as do Craig and I. I really hope that this works out well. We need help teaching her to read and do basic math. From there hopefully we can take it ourselves, but I want her to start building on these basics now. Science, History, and Bible are going absolutely wonderfully. Angelica is so smart and she’s so curious and there’s always something new to learn. I have bought her over 20 of those DK Discovery books and I have more on the way and even more I’m going to order in January. We have enough material to take us through for years. And of course there’s always more scripture to learn. We watch documentaries regularly.

I feel so blessed and privileged to be able to stay home and homeschool Angelica. It’s wonderful to see her learn new things and to let her pick what interest her for the day and start going over that material. It’s always a joy as a mother when you get to see your child happy. This time together is so special.

Interesting Homeschooling

Homeschooling has been fun lately. Other than some counting review, we have left math and English alone. That evaluation is 2 months away, and we are going to get down to business with reading, writing, and math after that. I have been talking to a tutor I think I am going to hire.

Meanwhile, it’s all about geography, science, social studies, art, and art history. I have bought tons of books for her to explore, and there are at least fifteen more coming in the mail. I want to introduce her to the world and help her find the things she is passionate about. I believe in a liberal arts education. I am going to give her the best education that I can.

Craig gave me that really cool book about Hieronymus Bosch for my birthday, and Angelica and I have dissected a painting, St John on the Island of Patmos, and talked about what it means. She loved it. She asked so many questions. We’ve gone through more Bosch paintings as well. He’s my favorite Medieval painter. 

Naturally, I am not looking for a thesis from her. She’s five. I just want to introduce her to some artists so that she can identify their work if she sees it. At the very least I want to expose her to a lot of art to give her an appreciation of it and to stoke her imagination. I’m pleased that she has been enjoying it so much.

Science has been all over the place. We have talked a lot about the solar system. Pluto has been a focus of discussion, as have Mercury and Venus. We have also been learning about caves. There’s so much to discover in the books I have bought her. She’s in Kindergarten, so if she absorbs just some of it I’ll be happy. Angelica has so much curiosity and so many questions. It is a joy to teach her.

One of her new books for history and social studies profiles kids from different cultures and time periods. I think filtering things from the perspective of a child will help keep her interest and help her retain the information. It is a good introduction. I have other books too, but that’s the new focus. We’ve gone over some basic structural elements of castles as well, but I think we need to review that.

Art itself has been a regular focal point. Angelica uses a variety of materials, from paint to fabric. She really enjoys being creative with everything she can find. I want to encourage this as much as I can. In a few years, when she is more mature and responsible, I look forward to buying her a camera. For now it’s stickers galore.