Life With My Daughter-Giving Up Is Hard To Do

Today I watched my daughter give up on something she is Completely in love with. One of the things that she has worked so hard for (outside of school). The one thing she was so excited to do every week. It was the one thing that, after she had done it for a while, you could see the change in her (for the better). Today I watched as my daughter’s disability took over.

My daughter has ADHD as you know. She also has another, yet to be diagnosed, ‘learning disorder’ that affects her ability to cope with changes, deal with her emotions and regulate the way she handles some of her responses to external stimuli (among many other things). Going to new places, trying new things, doing regular family stuff that involves being out in public or just around people in general (even our own family) and any kind of quick change of plans or change in routine…these things are excruciatingly difficult for her.

Over the years we have tried many different extracurricular activities; soccer, dance, Girl Guides etc.  These were all her choices of what new activity to try next. And while the idea of doing these things really appealed to her, the social aspect of these activities threw her for a loop and she hated them ALL. We are not a quitting family, so yes she had to finish out the season or the session of whatever she had chosen to try but after each session was finished she was not required to go back unless she wanted to. The only one that had stuck, for a while at least, was Girl Guides and that was because I became one of the leaders in the hopes that she would be able to feel more comfortable with me there to support her if she needed it.

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Feeding Ginger

Then came horseback riding and it was love at first trot.  She was scared at first, who wouldn’t be? But then she flourished. Horseback riding constantly brings her out of her comfort zone, pushes her to do things she didn’t think she could do. It makes her work on things that she normally struggles with like independence or trying those new things. It built up her confidence, helped her with leadership skills and to learn responsibility.

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Playing with Houdini

 

Within a few weeks she was blossoming into such a different girl. She was coming out of her shell, she was happier, less likely to ‘freak out’ over the little things. She LOVED horseback riding and her Ponies, Ginger and Houdini. If she wasn’t riding at the farm or doing her chores at the farm, she was talking about riding, making her dolls ride their ponies, building “jumps” at home and pretending to ride a horse while galloping at full speed and jumping over them herself. Obsessed is the word I would use, but that was ok with me. I LOVED that she loved something this much. I loved that when we left the farm she would ask how many days it would be before she would be able to go back and ride again. Nothing peeked her interest quite like horseback riding did.

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Yes she is backwards on her horse. Around The World builds confidence.

And then one day, just a few weeks ago, she froze atop her horse. Anxiety is what I am guessing it was and it stuck. She froze like she was terrified. She started to cry and she couldn’t move even with her trainer right beside her talking to her. None of us know why. We’ve asked B and she doesn’t know, she just all of a sudden is scared and cannot handle it. We tried going back to the basics, no riding just brushing her ponies, walking her ponies, playing with her ponies and bonding with her ponies. She loved it. She wanted to ride. She was ready she said. So we got her back up on a pony and she froze again. Didn’t even get a single step in before tears started rolling down her cheeks and she had that same panic attack all over again.

 

It was awful to watch her react that way to something that she loves doing. All the way home she cried and said ‘I hate myself’, ‘I hate my body and brain for not letting me ride’, ‘I want to ride but I am so scared now and I don’t know why’. It

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Riding Houdini with no lead rope.

was absolutely heartbreaking. It was heartbreaking because nothing happened that should have made her scared. It was heartbreaking because a ‘normal’ kid wouldn’t have these difficulties. A ‘normal’ kid would be able to work through their fears. It was heartbreaking to see B not being able to work through those fears. It was heartbreaking to watch her give up on something that she loves so much even when she knows she wants to do it.

 

Today I watched as my daughter cried while she brushed her pony, knowing that we wouldn’t be back (at least for a while) until we could figure out why this was happening. Today I watched as my daughter gave up on one of her dreams. Today I watched as my daughter’s disability took over and the only thing I could think of was; is this what the rest of her life, our lives, will be like?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Life With My Daughter-ADHD at it’s finest

ADHD Primarily Inattentive formerly known as ADD. With the possibility of Non-Verbal Learning Disorder.

This is the diagnosis we waited for. What we searched for. What we knew in our heart of hearts that would affect my daughter, and us, for the rest of our lives.

This is the reason for our struggle for the past 4 years of school, before the official diagnosis. The one we bypassed the school system for. The one we paid for out of pocket instead of waiting another 2 years just to find out what we already knew.

We knew. We were decently prepared. We read up on it, learned about it, set changes in motion at school and home for it. We thought we were ready. But if we were so ready, and so prepared, why does it feel like everything is falling apart now?

1 full year after her diagnosis of ADD. 2 years after having special IEPs (Individual Education Plan) in place to try to help her without medicating. 8 months after starting on medications that seem to be working to help her focus. This is where we are.

The learning is going well. She can focus. You can see it in the excitement that she has when she gets her grades back on a test or project. Grades that she prayed for and cried about when she just couldn’t get them no matter how hard she tried. The grades that never came in her first 4 years of school (Jk through the end of grade 2). 1 year ago, she would give up immediately because she KNEW there was no point in trying. She literally couldn’t focus enough to begin trying.

She gets the grades now. The A+’s, the B’s, even the C’s. We celebrate anything that isn’t an incomplete. Those are the grades we were looking for, for so long. Now she gets them. Those grades are showing that she can focus that beautiful brain of hers and is actually trying to do her work. That she can actually BEGIN to try. She is so happy when she brings home those tests, projects, and report cards. So proud of herself, just as I am of her.

The grades and school are great. The issues we are having now are with an emotional and behavioural demon that we have no clue how to deal with. I know that kids go through stages and ‘phases’ in their lives where they behave differently. I know that. But this…this is nothing like that.

She had bouts of it when she was younger too. The “I hate you” or “your ruining my life” statements at 3 years old. We thought it was cute then. It’s not cute anymore. Those statements now come daily. Screeching and screaming and other awful things being said “I wish I were never born”, “no one loves me”,” I hate you”, “you are the worst mother in the world”.  Throwing things, punching, kicking, those come when you are putting her on ‘time out’ in the corner or in her room for 5 minutes.

It is like when she is being defiant, she is totally irrational. She has no control over what she is doing or saying. She doesn’t start off at a debating tone of voice. You know that a bit louder but still controlled voice you use when you disagree with someone? No. It automatically starts at an ear piercing pitch that is unimaginable unless you have heard it before. The tears automatically start flowing. She looks terrified and terrifying if I am honest with myself.

She was never the kid who got everything she asked for or got to do whatever she wanted. She was never the kid who was allowed to talk back to her parents or be rude or disrespectful. She was and is still the kid who is so kind hearted. So wonderfully playful. So beautiful inside and out. So genuinely concerned for everyone else’s wellbeing. That’s why this is so difficult for us.

They say that when there is a diagnosis of ADHD: Inattentive there is almost always another disorder lurking. Hence the possible Non Verbal Learning Disorder that they say she may or may not have. It could wait to show its ugly head for a while, but it’s there. And in a way I’ve always known that it was there. It has just recently become a big issue. A huge enough issue that it is affecting our entire household. No one really knowing what to do. Everyone on edge.

There is no way to know what the secondary disorder is, or if it really is anything at all, until we re-test her. Re-testing will not be done until after she has fully reached puberty. That’s another 3 years at least.

For me, this is both terrifying and hopeful. Terrifying because I have to wait so long with this crazy behaviour that IS taking over my house. Hopeful because maybe there is a reason for this crazy behaviour that has taken over my house. Hopeful also because then there will be a way to help her. A set plan that we can work with. For now, we try anything and everything we can think of, that we read about, that are suggested to us. For now, we wait.

 

 

 

 

Plate Police Brutality: The Struggles of Eating in Public

I am re-blogging this from Sass and Balderdash. I just love her blog. But this specific post hit the nail right on the head. I know most women feel this way, I know that I certainly have on many occasions. I’ve actually had a friend not come to my daughter’s birthday party because she would be ‘too tempted’ to eat a slice of birthday cake. Its a slice of birthday cake! ITS NOT GOING TO KILL YOU! My opinion is…eat the damn cake…eat the brownie…eat the cookie. You only live once, and in this life I do not want to be deprived of ENJOYING those delicious tidbits.

Plate Police Brutality: The Struggles of Eating in Public

Last week there was a holiday fair at the office. Several coworkers – many who work in other departments and fall into the “name rings a bell” category – sold goods like knitwear or jewelry that they made by hand. It was actually pretty remarkable to glimpse the unseen passions and hidden talents of the many near-strangers I see only in passing during elevator rides or pilgrimages to the corners of the office where a birthday cake is rumored to be found. It was refreshing to remember that everyone’s lives are much richer than the eight hours we spend conjoined in cubicles each day. That our perception of the people we work with is a snapshot of who they are with a business casual filter applied. The fair itself was lovely, but the baking contest was a sad reminder of how tense eating can be, especially as a woman. When emails about the holiday fair were sent out a few months back the cynic in me expected low participation, but the spread for the bake off alone proved me wrong. There was a huge assortment of desserts anonymously labeled and arranged atop a long stretch of file cabinets just outside the […]

Source: Plate Police Brutality: The Struggles of Eating in Public

 

What A Week

67787Last week was rough! So rough in fact that I ended up taking the week off from the gym. I still ate the way I normally eat, but there were no workouts at all.

It started Monday when I fell and hurt myself. Not wanting to make my injury worse, I skipped Zumba for the first time since I started. I actually really missed it and CANNOT wait to go back tonight. But this started the ball rolling I feel.

The rest of the week was just an emotional mess; from a family pet being put down, to work sucking, to Christmas Concerts, to outragously high blood sugars (damn you diabetes). My nights were filled with tears, reminiscing, happiness, sadness, and cuddles on the couch. I really didnt care about hitting the gym or going for a walk or anything else. It was just a week that needed to be spent with family and not a week spent trying to fit workouts in around everything else that was going on.

Do I feel bad about missing an entire week of workouts? I guess I do a little bit. mainly because I don’t want to reverse the hard work that I have put in. But honestly, it does not bother me all that much. I am happy that I took the time to spend with family and friends. I am happy that I have those memories and that my daughter will look back and remember that mommy was there. Not just physically there, but 100% mentally there as well.

Today, I am looking forward to getting back to Zumba and shaking my ass like we normally do on a Monday night lol Who knows what the rest of this week will bring?

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Getting My CRAZY In Check

depression-quotes-goodreadsI am not to much of a beat around the bush type so I am going to come right out and say this..I suffer from depression. I have for the past 13+ years. If that makes me crazy, then so be it. This is a bit of my story of combat against my own demons.

It has been 11 years since I started taking medication to combat my depression, and almost 8 years since I have been on one specific med (the only one that I ever found to work). I haven’t felt depressed in years because of this medication but I was always scared and worried that I could fall back into depression at any time. A depression that does not make you feel sad but actually makes you feel nothing.

I have been there before. The beast that kills all emotions. Never happy, never sad, never proud, never scared, just numb. Always numb.

I used to lay in bed and stare at the wall. What was the point of getting up to do anything? It didn’t make me happy. It didn’t make me FEEL at all. Unless you have felt that black hole of nothing-ness yourself, there is no way to explain it so that someone who hasnt experienced it will understand. I was a zombie, moving about my days copying others expresions, copying their emotional responses imagesHKDVUQVZI remember, on several occasions the feeling of my cheeks aching from smiling with my friends. But I wasn’t smiling because I was having fun, I was smiling because everyone else was smiling and I knew that that was what I needed to do. In reality I was thinking the entire time ‘how much longer can I hold this smile, and fake this laugh, before they notice that I am a fraud”. .

A little over half a year ago I decided (with the advice and help of my doctor) that I would come off of my medications to see if my body still needed them. For me depression was so much more than just sadness and I was so scared to come off of the medication that regulated my emotions for so long.

I was scared but I knew that it was something I needed to try. I knew that if I didn’t I would regret it for the rest of my life. So I did it. I came off my medication and I am doing great. But that doesn’t mean that I am free of depression or its claws forever.

overcoming-depressionI can still feel it trying to get me to slip up every once in a while. Not too often but every now and again. I feel the anxiety, the irrational fears, the restlessness, the EXTREME irritibility, the complete lack of motivation to do anything. Those are my warning signs. The warning signs that tell me that I need to get my butt in gear to keep my head on straight and not fall back into that black hole of nothing-ness. 

Do you know what I do now, when I begin to feel those symptoms creeping up on me? I excersize. I walk, I run (even if for only a few minutes 🙂 ), I go to the gym, I lift weights, and I work my body hard until I dont feel the claws grasping at me anymore.

I know I’ve mentioned it before but for me, the gym isn’t just about GAINS or weight loss. The gym or excersize in general, for me, clears my head. It helps me to think straight and get my ‘CRAZY’ in check lol. When I am finished a good workout, I feel relaxed and fearless. I feel balanced and stable. I feel strong and motivated to keep doing good.

The fact that I actually feel those things though, that is the biggest accomplishment in my books.  Working out is NOT the only thing I do to keep my ‘Crazy’ in check. I have to make sure that I am also doing things for myself, eatting right (for the most part) and making sure that I am honest with myself, doing self-checks to make sure that my ‘Crazy’ is not slipping.

Today, I feel great. Today, even when I have my low moments I rise up. Today, I have my ‘Crazy’ in check.

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I chose this picture because it can be interpretted for so many different things. While it does speak to my personal recovery, I chose this picture because I am thinking about my friend today. He will know its for  him when he sees it.

 

 

 

 

 

Killing Those Calories

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Double Down: T25 Ab Intervals and T25 Cardio
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T 25 Cario

Do you think its enough to double your calories burned on two separate days to make up for missing 2 workouts? I dont know if it works that way, but I did it anyways lol

My Fitness Pal calculates your total calories burned over the course of the week and gives you a total deficit of calories burned vs. calories consumed.

Since I knew ahead of time that there would be two nights at the end of my week where I would not be able to work out I chose two days and doubled down on my workouts. I wanted to die by the end, but I struggled through. Plus Sunday I burned over 1.000 calories walking the zoo all day SO Im not feeling too bad about it.

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At the zoo with this crazy monkey. ❤
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Feeding a giraffe at the zoo.

Double Down In Stinky Town

wpid-20150609_174918.jpgI feel like I may forever smell of mentholated rub.  This is the new perfume de la Ashley.

Lower Focus and Core Cardio done for this week and I’m pretty sure that without my A535 rub I would not be able to get out of my chair at work, let alone my car to come in, or even down the stairs at my house in order to go out to my car. 😀 This rub in a god send at the moment, even though it stinks to high heaven and I smell like an old grandma for the remainder of the day.wpid-20150609_110709.jpg

On Tuesday I got to take the day off of work and go on my daughter’s field trip with her to a nature conservatory. It was an amazing day. We got to go on a hike and be outside. It was so much better than sitting at my desk and I was surprised that I didn’t get tired at all. This is new for me and very exciting 🙂

I did lower focus that night, so I considered this to be my ‘double down’ day. I don’t know if that would actually count, but I AM counting it and I don’t care lol.