Manic writer

Are you a manic writer?

This isn’t to condemn or poke fun at someone that suffers with manic episodes.  As I encounter my own struggles with depression and anxiety I find that up and down is a perfect way to describe my life.  A roller coaster that kicks me off and pulls me back on with no direction or routine.

I go through these phases where I’m so enthused at the idea of writing. I take on any writing job that comes my way and happily punch away at my keyboard enticing readers in.

Then there’s these phases where the mere idea of writing causes my brain to freeze, and all creativity is sucked out on the dark horse it rode in on.

Since I was a little girl I loved to write.

I wrote my first book about an ostrich when I was maybe 8.

Writing is my outlet. But then there’s these phases where life is too crazy. My brain is too foggy that I can’t seem to find the energy to write anything but my reminders on a sticky note.

I’m simply a manic writer. Up and down. No in between.

Any project I take on I dive in.

All in.

It’s all or nothing. Then it seems a few weeks pass and I’m onto the next. But I always come back to writing.

And when I do. I’m reminded of how great it feels to jot down some thoughts.

Happy Wednesday.

Danielle

 

Sensory benefits and struggles of gardening

I decided to get some new plants for my yard today. Usually planting gives me a peaceful feeling. The kids love it and I think it teaches them some important pieces to life. Not to mention the sensory input it provides.

Nevada’s high winds and hellish soil can make it quite the experience. My own sensory quirks made it a tad bit annoying today when things weren’t going as perfectly as I’d like.

My youngest loves to plant. Each plant she calls a “bible”. I have started my biblical garden adding plants and herbs found in the Bible. It will take some time but it’s something I love and can’t wait to one day finish.

Hyssop has an earthy mint smell that I just love.

We found some anemone but need to find a partially shady space for it before I add it.

HB calls it the Jesus flower. Referred to as the wild lilies in the Bible.

Love my sensory seeker. She loves getting her hands and feet all up in the dirt.

I love that it’s a family affair. Teaching them about gardening. Sharing the importance of flowers and herbs with them.

My sensory avoider doesn’t do messy. He’s a tad like me.

But even he couldn’t resist getting his toes all in.

Gardening gives kids with sensory challenges such great input.

It provides grounding. (Yes we garden barefoot)

I will say I was a tad bit agitated the wind was driving me insane. My things were blowing away faster than I could plant them. But welcome to Nevada.

I plant mums every year. They were the flowers at my wedding. So I just love them a little extra. And they scream fall.

I found this beautiful hibiscus tree to add to the walkway that will be stunning year round once I can dig through the soil from hell.

Todays planting extravaganza did not go as I had planned. Simple as that. But I do love all the new beauty around us and I’m guessing the kids sensory needs were met so they should sleep soundly with a little copaiba after an afternoon of fresh air and a lot of dirt.

Danielle

Autism & Wandering – One moms worries

My husband and I were having a debate this evening.

And the topic of our youngest being a wanderer and our concerns for her as parents came up.

We both don’t want to be overbearing, or controlling but with a child with an Autism diagnosis the truth behind kids with Autism wandering off is it actually is a big scary thing for a parent.

I know for both of us even on a daily basis we worry about her. She wanders far less now that she has gotten older, but she also has the sweetest most trusting little soul. Sometimes she gets lost in thought and will wander into the arms of just about anyone.

She has minimal boundaries with people she doesn’t know.

We talk about strangers. We try to instill safety into her teachings but sometimes when lost in thought or what we call zonked somewhere else she wanders off.

And it’s fucking scary for a parent.

There’s no hiding behind that truth.

One day I picked HBE up after ballet and noticed her zonked expression as she wandered off towards the door even after I called her name and waved to show where we were waiting.

When they are away from me I get pretty bad anxiety. I worry probably more than most parents.

But for an understandable reason. I think.

I hope as she grows older and socially matures I hope my worries grow less. And with age comes a maturity and understanding for danger.

Her wandering goes in phases.

She has an ability to slip off within what feels like seconds leaving us all in a panic looking for her.

Our property is fenced in which gives me a huge piece of mind.

But I’m grateful she doesn’t wander daily. I don’t think my nerves could take it.

Suffocation

Have you ever had a dream where you are suffocating?

Only to wake gasping for air. Realizing you have been holding your breath in your sleep?

That’s how depression and anxiety feel for me.

Like I’m suffocating. Those around me stealing my breath. Until there’s no breath left and I’m left to either scream or claw my way out. Demanding my own breath back.

Depression and anxiety are ugly. But with my depression and anxiety comes a compassion and a need to help others. It’s a slippery slope and one I’m working on boundaries with.

The more I give of myself the less I have left of me.

When you are sliding down the black of hole depression what helps pull you back to the surface?

Is it friendship? A spouse? An addiction?

I have a depression toolbox that I use. No one thing works each time.

For me first accepting that this is how I feel in this moment is where I start.

Then I start grabbing shit from toolbox maybe its a joint, a bible verse, an essential oil. Maybe it’s running in the middle of nowhere. Maybe it’s crying for a solid hour before I get my life back together and move on.

Depression is tricky. And I used to mask it with a prescription medication. But all it did was prolong the suffering.

Now I give it to God. I use my toolkit. I allow myself to feel this way because it’s a valid feeling. Depression and anxiety will suffocate you if you allow them to. It’s a daily struggle.

One that can’t be cured with a tiny little pill. I don’t know that there truly is a cure. I think as time goes on at least for me I have learned to acknowledge my feelings. Allow myself to be depressed over a certain situation. But not for long. Then I move on.

Depression doesn’t define me. It’s just a piece to my life, and small hiccup in my makeup. Life has humbled me, but it’s also broken my heart so many times that it makes sense that I suffer from depression and anxiety.

Do you find that your depression comes and goes? Is it a daily struggle?

Sensory Processing Disorder

I have some obsessive behaviors and so does my husband. Both my kids have obsessive behaviors as well but I’d say EBE’s obsessions are harder for me to understand. Therefore making it harder for me to help him through it.

He was officially diagnosed with sensory processing disorder at age 3. He was delayed in his fine motor skills, and highly sensitive. He goes mute randomly and can’t speak. I suspect anxiety. He picks at his body obsessively. Causing his lips and toes to bleed.

As he’s grown older he’s grown out of most of his fine motor hiccups, but his obsessive behaviors have become much more noticeable the older he gets.

He has a high level of anxiety always. But it’s made worse by any disruption in his routine. And it can take weeks to get back to normal.

A tantrum will turn meltdown easily somedays for him and there’s no reasoning with a meltdown.

And today is already one of those days. I hate these days because I don’t really know how to help him. I incorporate sensory activities and use our therapy swing. But it’s almost like his mind gets stuck on obsessing over different things. Some days are harder than others.

So I wonder and pose the question to those with sensory processing disorder can you explain maybe a side of the obsessions that I’m missing? Maybe offer advice on strategies you use to work through those challenging times.

I try to read whatever I can on SPD, but it’s still hard for me to grasp how exactly it feels.

If I were to create a questionnaire would you be willing to answer some questions I have about SPD and share your personal experience?

I’m just a mom trying to gain more knowledge. And would appreciate it.

Danielle

Faith

I’ve been feeling defeated today. I could feel my depression seeping in like an ugly black hole. I won’t share every hardship of my day. But just when I felt like I couldn’t take anymore that life had to throw at me today I started to see the 7 beautifully clear messages from God. I just wasn’t listening at first. And there at my lowest point my eyes were opened.

A bible verse to start my morning off. (That initially if I’m being honest irritated me because of my self loathing depressive morning mood)

Sibling love.

A phone call I’ve been needing.

Money.

Friendship.

Compassion.

And this little love note in the stormy skies from the greatest artist around.

God is always around. Do you see the heart? God has a way of leaving me these little heart shaped loved notes in all places of my life.

Meet my pride and joy a hen covered in heart shapes.

He knows what we can handle.

He knows what we need.

And he will forever be my favorite artist of all time.

God is good.

Religion is sometimes misguided. Today I received the bitter slap that religion can offer.

I need to remember to keep faith on days that life is truly unbearable.

And remember that a faith in God doesn’t mean a belief in religion.

God strategically places people in your lives for a reason. The good and the bad.

Danielle

The effects of anxiety on our bodies

No one likes to talk about poop or stomach issues.

But the reality is people poop. And some people have some struggles. Just saying.

Anxiety, stress, depression can wreak havoc on the body.

I’ll be completely transparent when I say raising two kids on the spectrum has caused me a lot of tummy issues.

Sleepless nights, meltdowns, repetitive noise behaviors seem to cripple my stomach.

Some days I feel as if I’m holding my breath all day. Not quite sure how to grasp a hold on the days challenges and moods.

This feeling of holding my breath and internally stifling the anxiety my body is under has destroyed my body internally.

I’m not blaming my kids for their behaviors. Or Autism for that matter.

But it is hard. Being a mama of kids on the spectrum. It’s a hard balance to reach. Sleepless nights don’t mean I get a break for the day. Out of control meltdowns add more anxiety. I do my very best to keep my own struggles to myself so not to reflect back on the kids.

But internally it has wreaked havoc on me.

I’ve spent multiple hours in the emergency room for unbearable stomach pain. A compliment of my own anxiety from the struggles I face raising two kids on the spectrum.

This isn’t a blame game. More of a confession of a mama that struggles daily with trying to be a good mama to her kids.

Moms make sacrifices. And I think moms with kids with challenges make more sacrifices.

Then there’s the fact that it’s hard to find support and people who truly understand the struggles because let’s be real each person with autism has their own unique struggles and strengths. So it’s hard to find someone who can relate to what you experience. Because of course everyone is different.

I’ve found myself struggling with my own health in all this autism business. And sometimes I realize my own struggles tend to have some spectrumy behaviors as well.

I read recently about a capsule with peppermint oil, and ginger can help ease the pain and discomfort associated with IBS.

So this week I’ve mixed up some potions in capsules and will try them for a few weeks before I can support or discredit this potion.

Praying it works. Praying I can learn to condition my own response to the days that can seem so out of control.

I truly hate anxiety. I hate that is has such a crippling effect on my body. And I hate that I haven’t been able to find a way to truly cope other than stifling my own struggles.

Do you find your anxiety leads to tummy issues? And how do you combat it?