Under Pressure

“Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood.” ― George Orwell, 1984

This whole summer has been a stress bomb of pressure. We’re still trying to sell our house, my older kids’ dad died on Canada day (we had divorced long ago), we lost one of our cats, my adopted son was officially diagnosed with FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder), my daughter graduated (YAY!) and has decided to join the Air Force.

I’ve been sick, struggling, working my ass off, renovating, cleaning, caring for everyone as much as I am physically able to.

Here’s one of my favourite pictures of my Indian Ringneck, Kira.

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Not hard to tell she’s full of character…and she makes me so happy! Even throught all of the stress, ups and downs, and life – my pets are the best therapy ever.

Now – to find a house for us to move into! I had hoped we would be moved before the baby of our family starts school this year. Yes, I had one graduate (a year late, but she did it!) and one starting!!! I may be a bit insane…

Queen ft David Bowie – Under Pressure

Under Pressure

“I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.” – Bruce Lee

The last while I have been under a tremendous amount of pressure and stress. Physically, my head literally feels like it’s full of pressure – and I usually end up exhausted and with a migraine. Mentally, the anxiety attacks seem to be happening more.

I need to give myself a chance to breath.

My home life is stressful and I’ve been fighting for help. We’re finally getting it. I can breath a little.

My work life is stressful only in so far that I have not been functional enough in my opinion. I need to do more – my head is numb and full of pressure. I have a hard time thinking, concentrating, dealing with my task that are normally so simple to me.

My beautiful cat, Spice, somehow got out of our house on Monday – she’s so skittish and scared that no one can get near her and she will not enter the live trap we borrowed. My heart is breaking. She’s such a sweet tortie girl.

We’re trying to renovate our house and we are going on a whirlwind trip soon. Money money money – must be funny, in a rich person’s world…right? (thanks for that ear worm ABBA, I love it).

My expectations of self are higher than my physical reality. I need to remember that if I am not in health, I cannot care for my children. If I am not focused on being healthy, I will not be there for my children in the future.

So much pressure in my head and chest. I want to crawl into bed and sleep for a month…I have to work. I am the sole breadwinner for my family right now. No rest for the wicked (with MS), right?

Queen ft. David Bowie – Under Pressure

Changes

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” ― Mahatma Gandhi 

Sometimes I look at my life, my world, and I wonder how in the ever loving fawk I ended up where I am.

I love my family. I love them so much that it literally hurts at times because of the stress that I am under.

I had an ache deep in my chest most of yesterday. I spent most of the day crying, dealing with school and mental health for one of my children. I felt defeated all day. My child has a huge heart. My child means the world to me (all my children do). My child has broken my heart more times than I care to recount and has challenges that may never be solved.

Any parent of a high needs child can tell you that, as caregivers, it is often a thankless, stressful position to be in. You KNOW that they love you and you love them unconditionally, but their needs take precedence over so much of your life that other areas falter and fail. Burn out is common, exhaustion, stress born illnesses are common as well.

Changes are need – it’s hard. Oh gawd, I know it is hard. You HAVE to take time for YOU. No matter how infinitesimal, no matter what it is – you need to take that time and embrace it. No more guilt. Guilt is often a frequent emotion for parents.

I began knitting (again) as a form of ‘me’ time. I may not always get out of the house, but I can sit, watch Doctor Who, and knit and I feel at peace. It is my meditation, my time. It’s not a huge change, but change doesn’t always have to be! Baby steps.

Working towards a healthier me is also a step I have taken – eating healthier, going to bed earlier, getting more exercise. What seemed impossible just a few short months ago is so, so possible now! I’ve started to (FINALLY!) lose weigh after years of struggling, though I’ve had health challenges lately, in general that is improving too!

Make sure you have a support team – even if that is a team of one! You NEED someone. You can’t be the rock your child needs if you are crumbling to dust…Even mountains need a foundation to build on. I’m so fortunate that I have an amazing family network and friend network. There is ALWAYS someone I can talk to.

Let it out. Holding in that pain and hurt from your day will only make you feel worse and takes a toll on your health. It’s a hard lesson to learn, and I took the long way to learn it. I hold very little back anymore. It’s a change that I have learned with time.

Love yourself. This is one change that I am still struggling with. It is needed, and is probably one of the most difficult ones.

Let others help. Sometimes letting go is the most amazing thing you can do for your child. Allowing someone else to guide them is sometimes the most important thing that can happen. It sucks ass. As a parent, you want to be the ONE. That isn’t always possible.

I’m tired. I think that is all I have in me for today. If my advice helps even one parent of a special/high needs child than I am grateful and happy for it.

Peace all and remember to love yourself.

David Bowie – Changes

 

Don’t Let Me Down

“I need you, I need you, I need you right now
Yeah, I need you right now
So don’t let me, don’t let me, don’t let me down
I think I’m losing my mind now
It’s in my head, darling I hope
That you’ll be here, when I need you the most
So don’t let me, don’t let me, don’t let me down D-Don’t let me down” – The Chainsmokers (Writers): Emily Warren, Andrew Taggart, Scott Friedman, Scott Harris)

It’s funny how some songs can stick in the brain. I’ve been loving this one. The beat, the lyrics…I realized why.

I’m on my first day back to work after being off for about 2 1/2 weeks. Doctor ordered. I didn’t want to be off. My depression medication was making me worse, not better (Effexor – so not awesome), my sleep medication causing memory lose (zoplicone – so not awesome) and the combination of the two with my MS made for a chronically tired, chronically depressed me.

Depression is a funny little demon. It doesn’t just affect your mind – it affects you as a whole. Your perceptions, your energies, your pain – yes, it DOES cause physical pain. All of those together make for a very inactive person…the more inactive, the more weight, the more pain. Oh yay (sarcasm).

My husband has supported me every step of the way. He has to be one of the most patient, loving people I know. Between him and my kids, I had to get better…

I’m still in the fresh initial stages – but that boulder I’ve been dragging around is starting to feel lighter all the time.

The Chainsmokers feat. Daya – Don’t Let Me Down

Punch in the gut

“Stress is nothing more than a socially acceptable form of mental illness.” Richard Carlson

I took my 10 year old Husky/Shepherd mix, Bronco, to the vet last Thursday for a dental cleaning/surgery. He did great. His nickname is the grumpy old man because he would have to go out back and be muzzled whenever I would take him to the vet…such a goof. He is always sweet and loving at home. He had two badly infected back molars and a third had a huge cavity.

I picked him up around 4:30 Thursday. The techs said he was sweet and didn’t even need to be muzzled or anything! He was wonderful and sweet! They got to see OUR Bronco. He was happy and alert as I drove home, albeit in a bit of pain.

That night, he seemed ‘off’. I had to force his meds down (antibiotics and pain killer). He wouldn’t take a treat – but hey, he did JUST have three big teeth out.

By 3 am I was calling the emergency line and my vets cell phone. No one answered. I left 4 messages – two on each phone. Bronco’s belly was rock hard and huge, he vomited fluid and white foam.

By 5:45 the vet called – upset that she had missed my call, we rushed Bronco in. He couldn’t walk by this time. We got him up on the x-ray table, the vet snapped two x-rays. His heart looked amazing, his belly…

By 6:30 by big baby boy was dead. It was too late. The vet didn’t even have time to give him anything. He died right on the x-ray table.

My vet is wonderful. She’s doing a post-mortem to find out what happened and hopefully prevent someone else from losing their pet.

We drove over 9 hours up north and back home later that day to see my 98 year old grandmother (mémère). She looks amazing. But she is 98. Her hearing is going, her eyes too. She now needs a cane to walk.

My bearded dragon Evee is still struggling with her jaw issues.

My husband has been diagnosed Parkinson’s (he’s 45).

I had to put down my 10 year old Pompoo little baby first week of June due to his health and increased aggression.

I lost my 18 year old cat just a few months before.

My MS symptoms have been flaring off and on.

I honestly don’t know how much more I can take.

I wake up in the morning – breathless. It’s as though someone has been punching me in the stomach, I can’t breath.

I try to practice my breathing techniques and gratitude. We were able to afford a new van when ours broke a few weeks ago (well, sort of). I have three amazing, healthy, beautiful children. We have a home. I can pay our bills.

I’m so broken.

21 Pilots – Stressed Out