Tode’s Weekly Assessment #2

I may need to change how I do this. I like keeping a mood tracker on here, but writing in the highlights of the day seems to take away from my blog posts and then I feel like I’m at a loss for what to post daily. So I’m not sure what to do.


Mood Score Key:

Sliding into Hypomania = 1  ~ Hypomania = 2 ~  Mania = 3  ~  Baseline (My Normal) = 0

Sliding into Depression = -1  ~  Depression = -2  ~  Severe Depression = -3

Irritation Score Key:

None = 0  ~  Mild = 1  ~  Moderate = 2  ~  Severe = 3

Anxiety Score Key:

None = 0  ~  Mild = 1  ~  Moderate = 2  ~  Severe = 3

Overall this was a borderline depressive week. I had a really hard time trying to decide how to score my days. Ultimately I decided to include a score for “sliding into” for when I felt it was in the gray area. This week has me questioning my baseline and energy levels. Has my normal become a depressive state? I mean I realize that this last time I was hit with postpartum it was the worst and I’m still not certain if I have fully recovered from it.

Looking back at my past history I have never had any episode, on either end, last longer than a year with two exceptions: the hypomanic one before my youngest being born while I was in college lasting almost 6 years and now this depressive one, with some mixed episodes interrupting it thanks to medications. My youngest will be 7-years-old near the end of this year.

I understand why these two episodes have happened the way they have. Pregnancy is a monumental biochemical event within the body. The care team treating me now are pretty certain that it was postpartum psychosis and not postpartum depression that hit me this last time. A psychotic break of any kind changes the brain forever.

As for the other, there were many stressful events going on at the beginning of my college journey. I was a single mother going to college and my second child was being diagnosed with Autism. And honestly these were the least of my worries. My oldest son’s father tried to threaten me with kidnapping our son just for applying to college and I was raped by someone I had just started to date after college began. For whatever reason instead of slinging me into depression it threw me into hypomania and extreme anxiety. Panic attacks, migraines, and sleepless nights became a daily thing.

Knowing what I know now about myself, chances are it’s the sleeplessness that triggered the hypomania. Thanks to the mindfulness therapy, I overcame the panic attacks but the anti-anxiety meds served only to keep me in a hypomanic state. I’m grateful that they finally identified me as being Bipolar and took me off those and put me on a mood stabilizer. Even my anxiety has lessened greatly as a result. I think it’s because I feel like I’m in more control of myself. Migraines continue to remain an issue, but thanks to diet changes and the Topamax I feel like I can live again. I no longer make an effort to remember dreams and more often than not I run myself to the ground just to pass out. This is what I call sleep. I thought I had forgotten it. I thought I was okay. Then I got married….

I scored my mood based on energy/motivation levels but I don’t feel my energy/motivation levels and emotions are the same thing. I think next week I will separate them into different values for the chart. In the long run it will be interesting to see if they do run in the same lines. I probably should track my migraines with this too.

Saturday ~ June 18th

Mood: Indifferent Toad ~ Score: -1 ~ Irritation: 1 ~ Anxiety: 1

I didn’t do too well avoiding Facebook this day. So there was some exposure to the unpleasantness of parent shaming that is still going on with the gorilla case and alligator case. I wish people would give it a rest already.

Of course there is still the sadness of the Orlando shooting and the debate as to why it happened. I’m not sure why we are debating about that. It happened and we should be discussing how to prevent future mass shootings. I suppose the why of it is relevant to its prevention. I don’t know. I just know that in reading it all I feel pretty defeated right now.

Lots of Solitaire while waiting for the custom terrain to load in the Minecraft map to load. Trying to get the custom trees just right with minor adjustments which is fine but each time I generate a new map it takes about 30 minutes to create it. This is probably the most tedious part of the process.

If the boys aren’t fighting, then they are collaborating on causing trouble. Today it was playing with water in the youngest son’s bedroom which they know is against the rules.My youngest felt the need to scream a lot and he has taken it upon himself to master the microwave. Every time I turned around today he was finding a reason to use it.

Slight headache, but Excedrine took care of that and I don’t feel quite as tired as yesterday. Probably because everyone, including myself, slept in.

Sunday ~ June 19th

Mood: Defeated Toad ~ Score: -1 ~ Irritation: 1 ~ Anxiety: 1

Spend the day at my parents’ house for Father’s Day. We had the BBQ later than plan because they put everything on hold since my brother’s family is moving out of the house and needed our father’s truck to haul stuff to their new house. And of course they were taking their time with packing and loading. Finally Dad just told Mom to quit waiting and just cook.

Confronted my husband over the phone about him still playing around and of course he tried to play ignorant. Nope, told him to try again. I knew for a fact he’s been sending photos of himself over Craigslist since January. So then he tried to blame me for “not caring” and all that shit. No, what I don’t care about is his false promises and fake attempts to make shit better. We have been together for 8 years, married for 7. This is the way it has been all this time. Why should I believe any of this is going to change now? I’m tired of being the one who has to prove themselves worthy. Now he has finally said he will give me the divorce – like he could prevent that to begin with. He hasn’t wanted it before and kept promising to change. Maybe he has finally found himself a new keeper. I don’t know. I just know he wants the youngest, the one mutual child we have, to live with him half the year. Our state usually doesn’t rule that way if the child is in public school and my husband doesn’t want him to be homeschooled. So now my husband isn’t happy with hearing that, but how can he homeschool our youngest half the year if he is full-time Army? He can’t.

Monday ~ June 20th

Mood: Confused Toad ~ Score: -1 ~ Irritation: 0 ~ Anxiety: 1

Spent the entire day at my parents’ house. Struggled to wake up my youngest son mid-afternoon. Once I played with him for a bit though he was ready to face the day on his own. Just a grumpy start after a very long night is all. He was awake well past 3am. Nothing really new.

Also spent most of the day and into the night, well into 3am of the following day talking to my husband on Facebook messenger. So much doubt now. Before I was sure that divorce was the right course of action. Now I have doubts and he has hopes. He’s no longer compliant with his treatment plan. No longer seeing his therapist. No longer seeing the med clinic. No longer taking his meds. I can’t save him. I know this. I need to stop trying. He has to do it. I’m so damn tired.

Tuesday ~ June 21st

Mood: Exhausted Toad ~ Score: -1 ~ Irritation: 0 ~ Anxiety: 0

Still at my parents’ house. Slept ’til noon. So did the boys. Didn’t talk to my husband, but I did talk to my mom. She recommends that I take my therapist’s advice very seriously. Both my parents feel that given my diagnosis and level of functioning that I should just swallow my pride and file for the SSD. They say I do fine when I keep the stress levels low but the moment stress hits my cognitive function goes down the toilet. They’re not wrong and my therapist has noticed the same thing. Medication can keep my moods level, but medication cannot fix errors in cognitive functioning. The more I learn about my second son’s Autism, the more I wonder about myself.

Wednesday ~ June 22nd

Mood: Better Toad ~ Score: 0 ~ Irritation: 0 ~ Anxiety: 0

Spent the entire day with my dad watching Jet Li movies. Legend, Legend 2, Tai Chi Master and The Forbidden Kingdom were highly enjoyable.

Ended up fighting with my youngest to go to bed. Wasn’t until around midnight that I finally got him to lay down. He passed out shortly after but we found evidence of someone getting up later in the night, likely him, in the way of a chocolate milk glass in the kitchen the following morning.

Decided I will just talk to my therapist about my husband before taking any action to make sure I’m doing the right thing for myself.

Thursday ~ June 23rd

Mood: Tired Again Toad ~ Score: -1 ~ Irritation: 1 ~ Anxiety: 1

My youngest just destroyed a lawn ornament I was using inside as a door stopper for the front door to keep it from slamming into the wall. No idea why he brought it into the living room in the first place, but he did. It was a bunch of frogs on a river barrel. I thought it was cute and for a short while on the college campus it did live in a flower bed so it is a bit sun bleached. Not exactly sure what set off his rage, but he started pounding on it with a mini plastic wagon and the barrel just sort of crumbled. You would think a lawn ornament would have more durability than that. Furthermore it saddens me that I feel that it is my things that get targeted. I’m sure if I sat down and did the math this isn’t true, but it is how I feel.

I went home today to get stuff done. Nothing got done other than some grocery shopping.

I took an Autistic Spectrum Quotient test today and scored “Above Average but Below Threshold”. I realize this quiz by itself means very little. Having Autistic traits doesn’t make you Autistic anymore than having OCD traits makes you OCD. I wouldn’t worry about it at all if it weren’t for the fact that everyone that knows me and works with me is concerned about the level and degree of dysfunction in my life. This isn’t the first time I’ve questioned about whether or not I have Autism. The only thing that seems to scream against the diagnosis is the fact that I’m highly verbal, but I wonder how much of the Bipolar Disorder colors the overall picture?

Then again I remember someone telling me you can’t be diagnosed with Bipolar and Autism, but in the support groups I am seeing these two diagnoses paired together. Not in great numbers but enough to bring it to my attention and now that research is showing that genes are crossing over between Autism, Bipolar, and Schizophrenia disorders, I can’t see how a person couldn’t have more than one. As it is, Schizoaffective Disorder is Schizophrenia and Bipolar combined, isn’t it? This crossover has been long documented and well-known. I think it’s absurd to say it wouldn’t happen for Autism if the genes are also crossing over into this disorder.

I don’t know. I just know that this isn’t the first time I have come up as sub-clinical for Autism. This is just the first online test I’ve taken is all. The other times have been back when my son was screened and part of the process was screening me as well. They always just said I came up with highly unusual results (sensory issues, obsessions, and rituals in particular) but since I’m highly verbal I didn’t count for a diagnosis. Starting a conversation? No problem! Ending one? That’s a problem. Perseveration? Almost always an issue. I wonder though how much for my other symptoms can be accounted for with Bipolar? When does stimming become psychomotor agitation for example?

I don’t know. I suppose some would say I’m looking for answers where there are none. I just know that my whole life I have been different and out of place to an extent that just being an Air Force brat doesn’t fully account for and while Bipolar does shed a great deal of light on the picture, it doesn’t explain everything that I’ve got going on.

Friday ~ June 24th

Mood: Failed Toad ~ Score: -1 ~ Irritation: 1 ~ Anxiety: 2

From some reason I have spent most of this week until today thinking that this was the last week of June. This means I have missed my therapy appointment and my oldest son’s med clinic appointment. Now I need to reschedule both. I’m disappointed because I really wanted to talk to my therapist about all that is going on with my husband right now.

I don’t know how I managed to make that mistake other than the fact that I have spent most of my time over at my parents and didn’t have my digital calendar clock on the wall to go by. I didn’t use to be this bad. I had my schedule appointment book with me so you would think that I would be able to keep this all straight. Nope, I failed.

And I still need to get my oldest son’s homeschool portfolio put together so I can mail it in for review. I haven’t even started on it. I should have been putting it together as we went to save myself time, grief, and hassle. The assessment report needs to be sent in no later than September 1st. I feel like time is running out.

At least I got a letter from our regular family doctor stating that she put in the referral that I needed for my youngest son for his neuropsych eval. Hopefully soon we will have the appointment set up and will be well on our way to having that argument put to rest.

My home still looks like the mess monster bull-dozed in, barfed in it, shook it up, and plowed out. Some days I wish I had the energy to throw everything in the garbage and just start over. It’s that bad. I swear I didn’t use to be this way. This didn’t use to be my normal. Before my youngest was born you could eat off my floor it was that fucking clean. Not anymore. I don’t even know where to begin. Even with my damn routine charts I can’t keep up.

And what do you do when you have a child that KNOWS you find this mess to be an abomination to your soul and will take the trash can and start throwing it at you and anywhere else in fits of rage? Oh yea, sure “make him clean it up” and believe me I have heard this before. That battle alone can take all. damn. day. Meanwhile everything else is left undone with me fucking. exhausted. Thanks. I’d like to prevent it from happening in the first place without spoiling this child AND without killing him – body or soul.

I’m seriously tired of these specialists passing the buck telling me that they can’t help or that they aren’t the right fit for my child. There has got to be SOMEBODY out there that has a parenting class for this shit. With as many children as there are in this world there has got to be another parent out there that has been through what I’m going through. I’m tired of running blind with scissors. I’m tired of feeling like I’m failing as a parent.

It took do damn much to bring all three of these boys into this world. I’ll be damned if I watch one of them fall because I didn’t try. So my house looks like shit. Okay. At least they are fed, they have clean clothes to wear, and a place to sleep. One thing at a time. One step at a time. Focus on what I can.

I think I need to make some phone calls for help.

If you enjoyed this post, or have some thoughts about it, please let me know!

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