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My Child is NOT Attention Seeking. My Child is Seeking Help.

I’ve struggled with how to write this. I’ve struggled with if I should write about it all. I’ve got about four drafts of this same blog saved. Some with more facts, some with more humor, some with more personal antidotes, some with more anger, some with more guilt. Either way I go would be honest to the struggle that my family is currently finding itself in. One of my threefold struggles with a lot of mental illness. She has been diagnosed to date with Bipolar I, General Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, ADHD-combined type, Complex PTSD, and exhibits self-harm behaviors as a coping mechanism for physical, psychological and sexual trauma and has suicidal ideation with a plan, and attempts. Another of my threefold suffers from Bipolar II, General Anxiety Disorder, ADHD-attentive type, and also has Complex PTSD from physical, psychological, and sexual trauma. The youngest has diagnoses of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder – Combined Type Severe. Personally, I also suffer from Bipolar II {yep the genetic link is me!} General Anxiety Disorder, ADHD-attentive type, and Complex PTSD from abuse. We are complicated and have lots of feelings and lots of triggers and loads of trauma. We are tough girls. We are strong and we are beautifully broken. This is just the story of our current struggle with mental illnesses.

Photo Credit-#2 of my threefold

I write this to educate you, so in turn you can educate your own children about the signs and symptoms of a mental health crisis. I relate this to your basic “Call 911 in an emergency” That can save someone’s life. Being aware and knowing to speak up when you are worried someone is in crisis can also save a life. To assume someone is “attention seeking” is a grave assumption that could result in life threatening consequences. Whether it’s for attention or a cry for help is NOT a determination you or our children are qualified to make. If you see a post on social media or get a text message or get spoken to directly about self harm or suicide don’t scroll past, don’t encourage their behavior, don’t try to be the hero, SEEK HELP! I ask this for my threefold, for myself and for all people that struggle with mental illness. We aren’t “fine”, we don’t “figure it out ”, regardless of how many times we say “I’m handling it, it was a bad day” or “forget it, I will be ok” or “please don’t say anything to anyone” or “it’s not as bad as it looks” or “I swear I won’t do it again” or “I can’t ask for help because I don’t want to hurt my family.” There are a million different ways we will manipulate, trick, and convince you that it’s manageable and that we don’t need anything else. The truth is we do. When we can’t admit we desperately need help that’s usually when we are at our worst. If there is a doubt, call them out! Why do I say this? This year has been a intense time for the world in general. As a mom who struggles with her own mental illnesses as an adult and seeing my threefold struggle it has been extremely difficult to handle the climate of change in any situation. Add in isolation, virtual school, pandemic mania, divorce, trauma and our combined mental illnesses and you have what is a recipe for possible catastrophe. Yes. I am about to momsplain mental illness. Buckle up, this a long one.

Background photo credit- #2

I am asking that you educate yourself. I am in no way certified, licensed or otherwise qualified to give advice on seeking treatment for mental health or for diagnosing a crisis situation. I am however uniquely informed with personal experience of what mental health crisis looks like in myself and my threefold. I have participated in and sought treatment for myself and my threefold on numerous occasions for minor symptoms to the most severe of clinical presentation. However, I do believe people present differently and encourage you to be in tune with your own personal behaviors in crisis and the actions, expressions, habits and words of those closest to you. I pray that this helps someone out there to recognize the signs and seek whatever level of care is appropriate to get the optimal level of care for yourself, a loved one, or a child.

As I write this very long post about mental health, diagnosis, warning signs, treatment and my personal experiences I am waiting for a phone call. I am waiting for a phone call from the crisis intervention center that is treating my 13 year old daughter for her fore mentioned extremely complicated diagnoses. She is in crisis. I am awaiting to hear from her treatment team about the length of stay initially recommended. I am waiting to hear what their plan is. I am awaiting to hear what I can do other than worry myself into my own crisis and how I can be the best support person on the planet for my kid while simultaneously taking care of my other two girls, working, and managing everything in my life that is spinning faster than the running to do list in my head. I am awaiting to hear where I have went wrong. I am waiting for knowledge that my daughter is ok, she is safe, that she knows that she is loved, and for them to tell me that she is going to get the help she desperately needs. It’s the most helpless and powerless feeling to know that you have signed over your child to be cared for by strangers at the recommendation of a doctor who has only known your child for 6 weeks. My daughter, one of three daughters is in an inpatient residential hospitalization program for at least the next 30 days, but it could be a much longer road. I am putting all of my faith in people that I pray are not just there to check off the I went to work today box and that want to see my child succeed and be healthy. It’s a faith and hopelessness that I wish on no parent. It’s no contact for days, it’s answering the same questions repeatedly, it’s phone calls, missed work, increased anxiety, loss of income, lost sleep and trying to be strong for everyone else around you especially your children. Its stealing away sleep as you cry and try not to let the people you love see you fall apart. It holding everything together with dollar store scotch tape. It’s living on a prayer and that you don’t find your child on a bathroom floor covered in blood ever again. It’s a hard road to recovery but I have to say that if the stigma was less negative and awareness was increased it could be a little less of scary and lonely road. I don’t have people that understand or even those that would attempt to walk this road with me. I have no one to discuss this with that actually gets it. I’m required to face this battle alone, without friends or family nearby to lift me up. I’ve got myself. I’ve got my threefold. I’ve got a good man that watches me struggle and picks up the pieces of my broken heart day in and day out. Who unfortunately regardless of not being their father shows up for them out of love and genuine interest in seeing them succeed and be happy. He allows me to take out my pain on him, he lets me fall apart, he pulls me back from the edge when I feel I might fall into the dark places where my mental illness waits for me. There are no meal trains for mental illness. There are no viral “go fund me” pages for psychiatric care. There are no flowers or “get well soon” cards for those facing mental illness. No one knows what to say to me. It’s not an easy thing to talk about it. I don’t want to expose my daughter’s deepest darkest secrets and struggles. I don’t need or want your pity or your attention. Believe me when I say it’s hard enough to explain it to the people who know her personally, a treatment team, and I don’t have the energy to run through the history for 15th time today and how we got here. It’s rarely met with offers of love and support. It’s judgment and a lot of insensitivity to mental health. If we educate ourselves and our children we could be helping our family and friends recognize the signs of crisis and get help for the people who are struggling before the meal trains and funeral flowers are delivered. That’s a hard truth, but a truth that literally scares me every second of everyday. That my kid could lose this battle against herself. I am determined to keep her alive and safe. I can’t do it on my own so judge me if you must but I am willing to admit I can’t wish upon shooting stars and hope for miracles or pray this away. I have to move the mountains. It’s just me. It’s my job to protect her and regardless of your opinions, that is exactly what I am doing.

Taken from my daughter’s social media. A post I was excluded from along with other family members and any friends that may have been able to help.

I was shocked at the social media posts I found that were targeted to exclude the people that would be able to get help for my daughter, myself included. I was even more shocked to see that these posts were responded to by “friends” of my daughter. These so called “friends” in her social media circle were some I knew, some I didn’t know. They were quick to validate her, tell her “whatever you need, we all deal with pain differently”. They were encouraging her self harm behaviors in some of the responses. I was gutted. These “friends” told her what she could use once the safety plan was enforced that would be normal household items that you and I don’t see as threats. One kid said “if you need an outlet break a pencil sharpener and get the blade. Screws, nails, if you’ve got a garage I bet there are tools in there. I’ve used spiral notebooks and jewelry.” Another told her “are you ever going to actually go through with it? You aren’t getting better, why wait?” And yet another, a friend I knew said “treatment never works, they’ll try to change you and they’ll fail youll end up more f’ed up with more reasons than you had before so why even try” Who are these kids? They’re supposed to be “friends”! Why is it that these kids are ok with my daughter hurting herself or worse. Why is it that not one single child that claims to love and support my daughter once told me or her older sister? Why did they not know that this is serious? How could they not see that having 500 cuts on her leg wasn’t for “attention” but that she didn’t know how to ask for help. She felt safe in the knowledge that these kids wouldn’t “snitch” that she was having thoughts of self harm and suicidal ideation. I get that you have to trust your circle, but to me this circle doesn’t value your life or your well-being. If they are encouraging your unhealthy behavior and feeding into your negative self-talk. You have a toxic circle. Then I thought, they don’t know. This is equally as disturbing if true. They think it’s “a game” “a show” “untrue”. They don’t know she is doing these things. She isn’t posting pictures of her bloodied body after she decides enough is enough and that she “can’t deal” anymore. She bears the scars and wears them. Wearing shorts is fine around the house, but in public she has just became comfortable with her healing enough to wear dresses again. They don’t clean the cuts, see the blood in the sheets, see the towels soaked in blood, the scars her body is forced to bear from this pain, and they don’t know that cutting isn’t a scratch for her to “see what it’s like”, it’s more than 500 deep cuts that cause her to lose blood so she gets an intense head rush sensation that forces her body into “fight or flight”. It’s a rush of adrenaline, serotonin, and dopamine. It’s an addiction. It’s a disease. What they see is the mania her mind is in after the cuts. She is happy. On top of the world. She is confident. She is fun and loud. She is inappropriate and funny. She is boisterous. She sees her beauty and feels good again. It’s the closest thing she has to what happiness feels like. She is feeling herself. Then within days, is the crash. The darkness swoops back in and takes hold of my sweet baby girl. She becomes lethargic, isolated, emotional, angry, and unable to handle the pain and guilt of her actions. She is in true, deep physical and emotional pain. I had to sit with my thoughts for some time after becoming so angry at her social media, at her posts, at her words, her feelings, and her behavior. I had to remind myself of many, many things. For a very brief moment I thought about all the people who had said “she only does this for attention.” I thought what if they are right? I was floored. What if? Then I thought about her trauma, her descriptions of how she feels. I thought about what a fine line we have between needing validation, support, a semblance of not being alone in this, and what inadvertently asking for help looks like at 13. Maybe she did on some subconscious level seek out the approval of someone. Maybe she purposefully excluded the people she knew would tell someone because she desperately needed someone to tell her it was ok to do this. She needed someone to tell her that her trauma was her problem. She needed someone to feed her with approval so she wouldn’t feel so much like a failure to herself. I remembered her diagnoses and her mood disorder is known for self harm, extreme highs and lows. I kind of wish it was for the attention. That would be maybe easier to treat than the mood disorder. People that are “attention seeking” don’t go to the extremes she does. They don’t actually want to die. They dabble in self harm {no amount is ok} they don’t use it to cope with depression, anxiety, emotional overwhelm or a total lack of emotions. She hates being in treatment. No phone. No electronics. No family. No good food. No caffeine. No friends. No partner. No connection. All she can do there is work on trauma. If it was attention seeking, she wouldn’t be in her 4th program and cry and beg to not go, reasoning with me, bribing me, promising better outcomes when she needs to be admitted. She wouldn’t eventually accept it and choose to work through her issues and try to get better. If it was all for the attention she wouldn’t have major issues that required this level of care. You don’t see the pain. You don’t see the guilt, the shame, or her overwhelming sense of failure when she relapses. You don’t see the extent of the damage. This is the reality of self-harm. This is what it looks like, at least for us. ***TRIGGER WARNING***Skip the following picture if you don’t want to see what self harm entails. If you are in active treatment or in recovery the following image could be disturbing. Please understand it’s not the intention to trigger, it’s only to give a reality check to those who may have a underestimated view of what self harm looks like, especially for us.

****TRIGGER WARNING****

Yes. This is my child. This after clean up, after 24 hours. She is still bleeding from disinfecting wounds in the shower as it reopens the cuts. One of my threefold. It’s edited for privacy and anonymity.
This was never taken with the intention to share, but because it’s a reference picture when doing skin checks. When you have this many cuts it’s hard to identify if there are new ones without an original to look back on where you began and understand the stages of healing.
I only share so others can realize the gravity and reality of the situation. Not intended to shame or trigger, just so we can see how much this problem exists and the extensive damage inflicted.

I don’t want this life for my daughter. I don’t want her to feel so much intense pain and have so much unresolved trauma that she feels this is the only outlet for her very survival and that this is “better than suicide” because at least she is still alive…today. Breathe into it. Look and stare and judge me as a mother and her siblings, our family and her close friends who knew. Blame us, blame her, tell us all the nasty things we tell ourselves each and every day. Don’t blame an illness when this is a behavior issue. Beat it out of her. You should’ve known. You should’ve done more. She needs more help than you can give her. Thank God she is getting some help. My kids would never. You’re supposed to protect her from this. How did you let it get this bad? This is for attention. She is over dramatic. She can’t be in that much pain. You knew she did this? She shouldn’t be allowed to go out in her condition. Go figure it’s always about her. Why do kids feel the need to label themselves? You failed her. She must have issues. My kids can’t have that kind of influence around them. I don’t want my kids to think this is ok or normal. What kind of mother are you? How is this ok? I can’t believe you took those photos. She is definitely a child that needs a good butt whooping and a reality check because it’s never as bad as it seems. Your kids ARE drama. They run that house you don’t. She needs to choose to be happy. Her “breakdowns” are always timed with someone else needing something. She is obviously your problem child. I’m glad my kid doesn’t do THAT. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. She is a liar, she will lie and go to extremes to get you to do what she wants. This isn’t a real problem it’s not a sickness, it’s all about the attention she isn’t getting from it. Youre not the parent you just pay the bills. You made them like this. If it wasn’t for your past they wouldn’t be this way. You put up with her getting abused and didn’t stand up for her. You’ve been emotionally unavailable for her for too long. You’ve been the one making this acceptable by allowing them to get attention because they act out. She doesn’t know REAL abuse. Daddy issues resurfacing again? Give them the space and they will take advantage of it. She is so over dramatic. Social media is the culprit. I will never understand or even try to why she would do this to herself. She is always the victim. She can’t even tell you why. What is the point? You’ve given her the life she said she wanted and bent over backwards and she is doing this. She is disrespectful. She has too much time on her hands. She just wants a label. You’re horrible to expose her like this. You should be ashamed and worried what people will think. Aren’t you worried about people staring? I can’t believe they let you keep your children after that. You are a horrible mother. You’re divorce is the cause. If you are thinking it right now, believe me, I’ve already told myself that a million times. I’ve asked myself the same questions. I’ve told myself the same hurtful things. I’ve been there. I’ve looked at it rationally, irrationally, I’ve made myself the perpetrator in her story, the victim, the one handing her the blade, I’ve honestly questioned if I am the best parent for her. I’m complicit. I’m neglectful. I’m awful. If I haven’t said it to myself then I can almost guarantee that someone has said it to me. I’ve lost friends because I stand up for myself and my threefold. I’ve lost people I never thought would walk away because “they are drama” I’ve been forced to confront parents with their children’s blatant encouraging and caused my daughter’s circle to grow smaller. I’m not blaming anyone. I hold the ultimate amount of mom guilt for how bad this is for my daughter. I will be forever trying to make up for the mistakes and missteps I’ve made in parenting and forever holding myself to higher standards in the future. I won’t stop fighting this fight for my threefold. It’s not ok for them to be blamed when they are sick. It’s not ok and doesn’t serve them or my mental health to take on the amount of blame I do. I will probably never know the exact moment things went wrong. I may never know when I should’ve been more aware, all along I guess. This is why I urge you to talk to your kids. Mental illness isn’t contagious. It’s controversial and complicated. It’s not all in your face all the time, but it’s not hidden as well as we like to think it is. Quit telling my kids and I to just suck it up, push it down, and move on. We’ve been doing that. It makes us worse and doesn’t benefit our mental health. It only benefits your skewed attitude towards what mental illness is. You don’t understand if shoving it down and keeping it in were possible and not detrimental to us then we would’ve continued to do that. Mental illness isn’t a convenient excuse to not fix dinner, go to a social event, or fix our problems. It wasn’t a choice. It’s not a label we gave ourselves. This isn’t Web-MD telling us our various diagnoses. You can’t see the pain and struggle. You don’t wipe their tears. You don’t clean their blood off the floor. You don’t do the skin checks that are humiliating. You haven’t done a safety sweep. You haven’t had to lock everything that could possibly cause harm. You haven’t read the suicide notes. The journal entries of how hard they are trying. You don’t see the intense amount of energy we have to expel to be “okay” or how drained we are by day’s end because we’ve plastered on that mask and it is beginning to slip as the emotional and mental exhaustion sets in. You don’t see the intense need and desire we have to be your version of “normal”. We aim to meet your standards because that’s what is required of us. We rarely have a safe place to let our guard down and we don’t have near enough support. When can we decide it’s ok to not be ok without fear of the judgment that comes with being unable to hold it all together all the time? I’m only one mom. Thery are only three kids. We are a family of millions of others who struggle with mental illness.

You don’t see the intense amount of energy we have to expel to be “okay” or how drained we are by day’s end because we’ve plastered on that mask and it is beginning to slip as the emotional and mental exhaustion sets in. You don’t see the intense need and desire we have to be your version of “normal”.

-mythreefold

If you’re still reading I hope that means you care enough to know what to look for and how to help someone. Please continue reading this next bit of information could possibly get someone the help they need before it’s too late.


What is a MHC? How Can I know? How Can I Help?

The National Alliance of Mental Illness defines a mental health crisis as any situation in which a person’s behavior puts them at risk of hurting themselves or others. A crisis can also mean that an individual is unable to care for themselves or function.

A mental health crisis can take many forms:

  • Self-harm
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Panic attacks
  • Psychosis (loss of reality)
  • Reckless behavior, such as getting in trouble with the law

Recognizing a and symptoms before the onset of crisis and seeking treatment is sometimes not easy. Every person is different, however with children, we as parents know their “normal” baseline attitude, moods, behaviors, and patterns. Unfortunately, sometimes the change is so gradual you don’t begin putting the pieces together until you are in a situation that makes you see the full picture. Other times you can have a sudden onset and a spiraling that seems to have come out of no where. Even if you are proactive and plan your crisis plan with the knowledge of mental illness and red flags for yourself or your child you may not always want to believe you need help or you want to trust that person when they say “I’m ok. It was just a bad day. I’m working on it. I’ll do better.” Go with your gut instinct. It’s better safe than sorry. We’ve heard that saying and said it a million times I’m sure in our lives, but just because it’s overused doesn’t make it less true. I would rather make an emergency session with our therapist or make a phone call to our psychiatrist and get a phone evaluation, a tele-health session, an in person appointment, something to get someone else IN the medical field’s opinion of the current situation. I would rather sit in an acute psychiatric facility waiting room for six hours waiting on an evaluation than to risk the chance that this time could be the time she goes through with it successfully.

Signs can include but are not limited to:
  • Increased isolation
  • Decreased interest in activities including hygiene and self care routines
  • Sudden and ongoing changes in mood
  • Increased anger and irritability, lashing out or having disproportionate reactions to situations, feelings, or physical stimulus.
  • Intense shifts in mood with changes from extreme highs to extreme lows
  • Sleep disruption. This can involve not sleeping enough or sleeping too much.
  • Increased stress from friends, family, relationships, school, work, or other stressors.
  • Sudden change in circumstances resulting in major changes to normal routine such as divorce, relocation, death, global pandemic or trauma.
  • Increased anxiety with or without panic attacks.
  • Obsessive behaviors such as picking skin or nails, scratching, pulling hair, pinching, biting, hitting, or doing other harm to themselves in stressful situations.
  • Self harm
  • Suicidal ideation with or without a plan, with or without attempts.
  • Expressing opinions that they are “worthless” “a burden” “too much” or that “it would be easier”
  • Sudden changes in appetite and weight
  • Fear of the unknown
  • Hallucinations visual or auditory

Did you know according to the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) 1 in 5 adults struggle with mental illness, 1 in 20 have a major mental illness diagnosis? That rate is 1 in 6 for kids between 6-17 years old who have an treatable mental illness. Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death between 11-34 year olds in the United States. Over 90% of those suicides were people who displayed one or more of the symptoms of mental health crisis before committing suicide. Over 45% have an actual mental illness diagnosed that may or may not have been actively being treated for.


How Can You Help?

The first thing you can do is STOP judging mental illness. Stop increasing the negative stigma. Stop believing the untruthful and unsubstantiated snap prejudices about mental illness. Quit judging people for struggling with an invisible illness. Mental illness isn’t a choice. We didn’t label ourselves or decide to be depressed or to have anxiety. We don’t assign symptoms. I promise we aren’t talented enough to fake the symptoms of mood disorders or an anxiety attacks. We didn’t want to be given these struggles. It’s not an excuse. It’s not for attention. It’s not because we don’t want to be happy. It’s not because we are lazy. It’s because we are too scared to accept help or seek treatment because YOU can’t educate yourself. You won’t educate yourself yet you want to dictate how I should handle my diagnoses, my children’s diagnoses? In what way is this ok? Your kid having ADHD and doing a nondairy, gluten free, sugar free, vegan meal plan and supplement ting with vitamins and a low dose non stimulant medication for them to manage their symptoms is ABSOLUTELY your choice. My choice for behavioral therapy combined with medication is my choice. AND THAT’S OK! It doesn’t make you better than me. It doesn’t mean you are more vigilant about treating your child’s diagnosis. It means we parent differently. You are allowed your way and I’m allowed mine. Neither way is harming our kids and neither way affects anyone else’s ability to seek treatment and care for their kid. So it doesn’t matter. Your child might make straight A’s and mine might struggle to pass. That’s ok too. As long as they are doing the their best, then that’s all we can do. No amount of spanking, grounding, restrictions, bribery, or sugar coated fantasies is going to make us better. Please quit acting like it’s a discipline issue. Please stop telling me how to parent a child with mental illness. Please redirect your thoughts and words to a more open minded and accepting view point. It’s getting tiring having to defend my kid to everyone who thinks because their mom’s cousin’s daughter had a psychotic break in 1996 that they can somehow relate their hand me down account of outdated information to what we are currently dealing with. You don’t know unless you know. And even then you aren’t me, your kid is not my kid, your decisions and mine don’t have to match. We have different mental health care teams, resources, and strategies to deal with things. There is no right way. There is only trial and error and more trial until you find the fit for you and your family. It’s ok. We don’t need to argue our perspective we only need to support one another and encourage each other.

Second, you can educate your kids. Please. If a child made another kid promise not to tell anyone that they are cutting themselves to cope with their feelings and explained it in detail about how they had been abused, were scared to cost their family any more money, time or resources getting them help. How they are not going to do it again and just had a rough few days, weeks, months, but they are ok. How they are scared of disappointing their family, scared of having to go to a doctor or hospital, scared of what will happen if their family finds out. If they said “I’m so tired of feeling this way. I don’t know how much longer I can keep living like this. Nothing helps. I’m tired of trying. I’m not sure how much more I can take.” Should the child keep the secret and trust of their friend or tell someone what is happening? Are they more scared their friend will be mad at them or are they more scared that they will lose their friend keeping their secrets? Is your child the friend keeping the secret or is your child the one with the secret? Honestly, chances are that the kid doesn’t know how to react, respond, who to tell, how they can help, or what the consequences will be if they remain quiet. It’s not a fair situation to be put in, but this secret isn’t one to keep quiet about. Please inform your children that it’s extremely important to tell someone. Call their friend’s parent, call their friend’s sibling, tell you so you can take it out of their hands, tell a teacher, coach, counselor, but tell someone. This is one case where it’s perfectly acceptable and necessary for them to be the “snitch”. It sucks having to be that friend and they might get a little bit of push back because their friend is upset, but I promise that hurt would be minuscule in comparison to the hurt and guilt they would feel if their friend hurt themselves or followed through with their suicide plan. It’s not worth risking losing the friend or the trauma endured by the one who kept the secret. Please if you want to help these kids you have to make your kids aware that they should always, always speak up if they know someone who is threatening suicide, self harming or in an abusive or dangerous relationship or situation. It’s not betrayal, it’s because you want your friend to be ok. Please don’t assume your kid is the one who already knows how to handle this situation. Believe me when I say that what we want our kids to be like and how they actually react in these situation are vastly different. Don’t think because your kid knows right from wrong that they can’t be persuaded into keeping secrets for their circle of friends. Don’t think that your kid is going to seek help for someone because it’s the right thing to do. Understand that they are struggling to understand and they are not sure how to handle it. They are scared. Talk to them. It could save a life.

Lastly, I simply think we should all be more aware of the people around us. Especially our kids. As they travel through the many stages of life from infancy to adulthood they change so much. Their style changes, their attitude changes, their interests change, their friends change, and their views change. Notice those things and keep an accounting of what’s pretty much their normal. Any variation from that should be honed in on and if possible have a fact driven explanation as to the change. If there are multiple changes, make sure you are checking in and don’t take “fine” as the cop-out answer that’s acceptable. Be proactive. If you need help, get help. Be the parent that fights for them and advocates for them. Stop holding your kids and mine to a higher standard than you hold yourself to. They are kids. They aren’t perfect. They are as human and flawed as we are. Normalize asking for help. Telling them that you will always be their biggest fan and in their corner regardless of the struggle can give them comfort if they ever do need help. If you’re struggling, please know you’re not alone. If you’re kid is struggling, you’re not alone. I’m struggling, I’m fighting, I’m advocating, and I’m speaking out for all families who struggle with mental illness. Our voices are stronger together and one month of awareness will never be enough time for awareness of the 200 different variations of mental illnesses and disorders that are currently being diagnosed and treated. If you are or someone you love is suffering from mental illness or is in crisis please seek help from a licensed medical professional or facility, call 911, or contact the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK.

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ATTN: To Whom It May Concern: The Shit has Hit the Fan!

Excuse the interruption to your daily scheduled post “Journey to Positivity: Day 7” This post is sponsored by “UNCLE!” Please stay tuned for our newest series entitled “Fuck this shit, I’m out!” and “The Rock and the Hard Place”. From bad to good to great and to awful. That’s the rollercoaster of life. It’s hoping and praying that you can withstand the whiplash and battle through the motion sickness and just learn to enjoy the ride. I’m so tired of hearing “You’re so strong!” “You’re so brave!” “You’re doing everything you can!” and all the other lies and bullshit people spew on you when you are struggling and they don’t know what to say or how to relate. “Keep Going, it can only go up from here!” That’s a damn lie! It can get worse and it has and there is no amount of meditation, motivational speaking, positivity preaching, scripting shit that’s going to make me see anything other than the negatives today. I’m there. I’m in the dark place. The electricity is out and they aren’t coming to turn it back on tonight. All I have is a Bic lighter that burns my fingers when I try have any light at all. I’m at the bottom. I’m in the trench waving my white flag begging for help and realizing that I’m THE HELP!

So let’s jump right into the nitty gritty and see what tidbits of inspiration we can find for the mom who is falling apart while trying to hold it all together. Shall we? I think we shall. I woke up late after staying up most of the night worried about 2. If you’ve read previous posts you know 2 struggles with mental illness. She has what she says is every mental disorder with a ‘D’ that is listed in the ICD-10-CM. That’s obviously a stretch. I don’t have the patience tonight to spell it out she has DMDD, MDD, GAD, SAD, ADHD, ODD, and C-PTSD. They have long names but I’m just not there right now mentally myself to give you the long versions. Google it. 2 self harms by cutting herself with any sharp she can get her hands on. It’s been a battle. We have been actively in therapy (outpatient) since 2020. She’s had two inpatient stays in the past year. Partial hospitalization is where we have been the past month. This consists of weekdays from 8:30-3:30. She also struggles with suicidal ideation, thankfully with no attempts but she does make plans. She has suicide notes written and locked away. It is an active struggle for her to be happy and to regulate emotions or her mood. We all struggle with mental illness, all 4 of us, myself included. Today, I received a call at work. I stepped away to take it. It was 2’s treatment facility asking about last night. (See previous post) I explained my version of events. I noted her positive attempts to correct and redirect and that we went to bed on a much better note after a lengthy discussion. They told me that the doctor and therapist and the supervisor would be reaching out to me. Yay, another day filled with a million interruptions, but I was thankful to be updated on what was going on. A little later her therapist reached out and explained that 2 had expressed suicidal thoughts with a plan and was having a large number of self harm urges. They were going to formulate a plan and they would be in touch. Of course I assumed we would probably be looking at a 3rd inpatient stay and started mentally prepping for that as the outcome. The case manager calls from our insurance company. The hospital hadn’t submitted an extension request and today was to be her last “covered” day for PHP. With this in mind I was thinking they had a review today and would be submitting the request later in the day. I was trying to be positive. I got a phone call with a medication increase. Expected, upping the antidepressant. Alrighty. We just did this, but I’m not a doctor so I’m just going to roll with it and do what they say (within reason). By 3:00 I’m going to get 2 from treatment. Confused because I never got any additional follow up. 2 gets in and says the day hadn’t been bad. I broke down in a mess of tears right then. I was just barely holding it together when the phone rang. I answered. It was the hospital. They were calling with an update on their recommendation for further treatment for 2. “Here it comes. Get ready M. The blow is going to sting. You will get through this. It’s going to be okay. You are safe. SHE IS SAFE. You’ve got this.” My head was trying to remind me over and over. Then came the blow. “Residential care is what we are recommending.” I can’t breathe. I have to pull over on the side of the interstate in 4:00pm traffic because I can no longer see through my tears. “30-90 days to start.” What in the actual fuck was happening? They want me to commit my kid? My kid. My blonde haired blue marble ocean eyed daughter who has an amazing smile and has my sense of humor, an amazingly huge heart and an honesty that is so brutal. My kid. I was stunned and became completely overwhelmed. Why? I don’t understand. She is getting better. She is doing better. What the fuck!?!? I’m confused. Instant panic ensues and 2 is next to me probably thinking someone died or some other catastrophic event has happened. I pulled it together and made it down the road and home.

“You Are the Reason” Calum Scott

Tonight has been a whirlwind. I stopped taking emergency anxiety medication a while back, but thankfully I had stashed just a few “in case of emergency” I am so thankful I did. 0.25mg of Xanax. A super small dose. In the midst of my third panic attack I decided I would never rest tonight and couldn’t cry every time I saw her sweet face, heard her voice saying “Momma!” in her very exaggerated southern accent, or heard her name spoken by 1 or 3. I’m going to miss this kid so much. 10 days is the longest we’ve been apart and that was her first inpatient stay. She takes up so much space, in the best ways! She is loud and rambunctious. She is obnoxious and inappropriate. Impulsive and argumentative. Opinionated and brutally honest. Hilarious and so damn cute. She is dancing and painting. Always talking about random bits of information. She is into serial killers and crime documentaries. She is playing soccer or cooking. She is a force of nature. I can’t believe it’s nearly midnight and I’ve cried to the point my eyes are swollen. I’m over this. Mental illness fucking blows. She is 13, and like her inpatient psychiatrist said “she shouldn’t have to fight herself to be happy.” She has so much life in her. She has such a big heart and a huge personality. It amazes me that my little girl is such a strong and good person, but it equally makes me so incredibly sad and like a failure that she doesn’t value what everyone around her sees. She can’t see herself through my eyes. That big personality, full of life, bright eyed, beautiful, amazing, strong, sweet, inclusive, loving child only sees the faults. Only sees the negative. She feels pain, sadness, disappointment, grief, anxiety and no amount of my wishing, hoping or praying can fix that for her. I’ve been fired from being her parent and support for the next 30-90 days. I have to now be in the background and be only an extra in her life. I’m so incredibly sad. I’m so incredibly scared. I’m so incredibly lost. I’m not sure where to go from here.

“To Make You Feel My Love” Adelle

As I was crying my eyes out after panic attack #3 tonight when 2 comes and sits next to me. She looks at me and says “I’m sorry momma. I love you. We’ve been through worse. We will get through this. I will go. I will get the help I need and the right medications to help me. I will get out and go back and finish PHP, then IOP, then back to K-Christ Lord and Savior. And we will never have to do this again. I will never need to go back again. This is the last time.” With all my heart and soul I hope that’s true 2. I really really do. We can’t have threefold without you kid! You are central to it. What is 1 and 3 without 2? This is my complete and utter wish on every star, with every fiber in my being, with every piece of me I hope that my sweet blue eyed girl gets help. Can come back home soon and be with us, her family, and have healed her pain to the point she can live a full and happy life. That she can be free of the chains of our past and never doubt her place in this world again. I pray to every god that has ever been prayed to that my child finds peace and self acceptance and values herself and her life. I would take that pain and hurt from her or any of my threefold a million times over if I knew they would be safe, happy, and find a peace within themselves.

“My Wish” Rascal Flatts
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Journey to Positivity: Day 5

Just another Manic Monday! I was tired this morning. I can see why I have the bedtime routine. When I don’t follow the bedtime routine I am tired and unmotivated to follow the morning routine the next day. I struggled through a three minute meditation. Thankfully I was still living off my positivity from the last few days and was determined to keep up my good work regardless of the obstacles and the four hours of sleep. Although my late night wasn’t from worrying or stressing or fighting or insomnia. I was definitely enjoying my late night/early morning escapades *wink* and definitely worth breaking my bedtime routine for!

I woke this morning at 6:30am and had to rush through my morning routine because I needed to make the hour long haul to get 2 and take her to treatment. Then I needed to take 1 and 3 to get labs drawn at an outpatient facility that their doctor requested a week ago. Oh and I needed to do a Telehealth therapy session while aimlessly wandering looking for this suite inside the outpatient portion of a major hospital. Plus I still needed to get to drop two of threefold off back home and go into work. Normally I would’ve been rushed, irritable, and mad over the minor inconveniences and my own scheduling snags. Always trying to do more than is feasible. Thankfully this wasn’t the case. I couldn’t get a hold of 2. I was calling and calling at 7:30am to tell her to get up and get ready. I never did reach her, her person, or the dad. I got to the house after 35 minutes of morning traffic and had to knock a few times before finally being heard. 2 came out apologizing for running late and insisted she had gone to bed at a reasonable time and set two alarms, but to no avail. It’s not unusual for 2 to oversleep, need multiple alarms that she sleeps through, or to have her phone on silent. I told her that it was probably not a good idea for us to do sleepovers when she had treatment the following day. We agreed to keep it to Friday and Saturday only. Wow. No yelling or fighting on either side, hmmm treatment must be helping her and I was not about to have my first obstacle send me down the road to negativity that early in the day. “Not today satan!”

2 was 40 minutes late to treatment but she was there and I was ready to tackle the next item on my to do list. Labs. As I pulled into the hospital parking lot at 9am, knowing that was when I needed to be at work, I logged into my telehealth waiting room and got ready to find that lab office and multitask a therapy session. Think again. I couldn’t find the office anywhere and the hospital was eerily quiet and empty of people. I started wondering where I was supposed to be. I decided to drag 1 and 3 back to the parking garage to get my paperwork I had left with the address and telephone number for the facility. I checked it and double checked it. No luck. We went back to the parking garage and I was laughing with my therapist about my challenge and how I was planning to take over the world one positive step at a time. I concluded my session on the “I am a good mom” and “I struggle asking for and accepting help because I need to have control, but then complain about having to do it ALL alone.” Both are true.

After therapy, I was determined to find the damn lab facility. I called the number for the hospital info desk…no answer. I called the lab…no answer. I called another location…no answer. I walked in what felt like 20 circles. Finally I found someone! They moved to another part of the hospital. Super! Now we are getting to the goal! Phew. We get the new address and suite number to the other building on campus. We hop in the car and go park. We go in and find the suite. Yay! We made it. On the door is a sign that says “Closed Monday July 5th in observance of Independence Day” Oh. Ok. Makes sense why I couldn’t get anyone to answer the phone and why the whole outpatient facility was like a ghost town. I didn’t think about it because my office was open and their website nor the Google listing stated any changes to hours for the holiday. I had forced two of threefold to wake up extra early to get ready to go, made them drive to get 2 and take her to treatment and didn’t allow them to eat or drink anything after midnight because they needed to be fasting for the labs! It’s 10am and they haven’t even had water this morning. Geez! Poor kids!

I picked up 1’s boyfriend and dropped the remainder of threefold at home and scurried to work. Now an hour and a half (ish) late. I get in and we are busy. It’s like everyone had the day off and they wanted to do renovations today! One of my newest employees was trying to ask questions over the sound of pallet jacks and customers talking color schemes and a forklift. I told him, as I have told them all, I put notes on every order with approval dates for special orders, any back orders, shipping dates, and any other information I have from our suppliers. He still wasn’t comprehending. He read the note aloud “Approved 6/25 no back orders” I hadn’t received shipping info and didn’t have any information. I had to assume I hadn’t been clear they don’t all send shipping information and the rule of thumb is 2-3 weeks from approval. He wasn’t giving me all the info and I couldn’t hear him and he couldn’t hear me. Finally, I said “never mind I will do it myself.” The employee sitting at my desk looked at me and said “he is trying.” You know what, he was trying. He didn’t throw up his hands and give up. He didn’t lie and tell the customer on the phone some story. He didn’t pass it over to someone else. He was trying to figure it out but was just forgetting some of the information. I immediately backed up, changed my tone and told him to let the customer know they should have cabinets in another week. We would follow up with the manufacturer tomorrow when they reopened. I was quick to get frustrated, but not quick to teach. That’s not how a manager should approach a learning opportunity. Notated and corrected.

I continued my day. Smiling, laughing joking, selling and being productive. Time flew by and before I knew it I needed to go pick up 2 from treatment. I picked her up and we headed to another work location near her facility that I had agreed to go to in order to pick up some materials for a couple of jobs. On the way we stopped at a convenient store so 2 could get a drink and snack. My card wouldn’t work! I was confused. My account showed money, but my card was declining? We left as I had no cash and I don’t have credit cards because of the divorce. I called my bank and was placed on a 30 minute hold. I got the materials and headed back to my location with 2 in tow. I walked in with the phone still pressed to my ear answering the questions of the banker on the other end of the line. I sat down to clock in and a customer made a bee line to me. “You ordered me the WRONG cabinet! This is bullshit! You have no idea how mad I am!” Well ma’am that’s apparent! *thought not said* I politely asked her what the problem was and she proceeded to loudly exclaim that I ordered the wrong cabinet. She needed a base not a wall and she had already waited weeks. (10 days) for the cabinet. I told her very calmly that I understood her frustration and if she could give me a minute I would see what I could find for her. She was continuing to yell. Her husband came over hushing her (or me?) it wasn’t clear. He looked at me and said “M-where have you been? Whose this?” I explained that I had been in and out the past few weeks for personal issues and that 2 was my daughter. After a very short explanation of my unnecessary whereabouts and 2’s recent hospitalization. They moved away calmly, like requested so I could finish my call. The banker explained that I had made a charge that was “holding funds” because the final purchase receipt wasn’t out of pending and they had put a temporary hold on funds until the purchase was posted. Yay. Ok. What can I do? I moved on to my very irate customer. I made them happy and managed to salvage a bit of their confidence in my abilities. Unfortunately, I found out before my return this customer had thrown a huge fit and was yelling and cussing at every employee there. I’m sure she was upset and me getting upset wasn’t going to serve her or I. It’s all about choices or so I am learning. It’s all about thinking before speaking, but not overthinking. It’s a balance.

I got home and 3 who is in the midst of a lot of psychological testing has eaten a BOX of fruit snacks. It’s been a thing recently and something we are working through with her therapist, pediatrician and now a psychologist. I could’ve yelled and screamed, but that’s not making the groceries reappear. Instead we did a project her therapist suggested. Making a box for her to put a few things in so she can know they won’t be eaten before she can get to them. We did that. She decided to paint it. This decision led to a whole other set of issues.

2 is big on boundaries. The oldest kids tend to be. The paint used, that’s 2’s paint. 2 was in the shower and I gave 3 permission to use her paint and paintbrush. Do I wish I hadn’t? Absofuckinglutely. Dysfunctional Mood Disregulation Disorder (DMDD), mixed with Combined Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD), Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD), General Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Major Depressive Disorder and Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD) make it very hard for 2 to regulate her emotions and sometimes her reactions don’t seem to match the situation as seen by others. She feels things very deeply, is impulsive, brutally honest, and hell knows no fury like 2 when she is upset at you. After she explained how upset she was I tried to be understanding and listen to her complaint with rationality and calmness. I apologized and she was not receptive. Per our intensive therapy I have learned to allow 2 space when she isn’t initially ready to accept and move forward. That’s what I did. She went to dance in the garage and I gave her space. The PPP announced dinner was ready I let her know so we could go to the table and sit. I was hoping some light hearted engagement would help her to move past the blow up over the yellow paint. It was unsuccessful. She refused to eat. She was snapping unnecessarily at everyone who spoke to her. She was glaring and accusatory. She was angry and making sure we all knew why. After dinner she stormed out of the house declaring she needed to walk. I supported that and simply followed behind her at now 10:00 at night speed walking in house shoes. It was a struggle to say the least. I gave her enough distance that if I had to run to her I could but not so much that she felt shadowed, just slightly stalked. Arriving back home she began to settle. I sat with her. Explained that her behavior and reaction I felt was disproportionate to what had happened and asked her for probably the 20th time today “what’s wrong?” There were venom in her words and rage in her eyes. She was beyond angry, she was livid. She began to explain how her boundaries are constantly broken. This led to feeling disconnected to everyone because treatment is taking up a large portion of her time. Then to hurt of not being able to say goodbye to a family member who is dying. There we had it. The roots. She was angry at everyone and she was in a deep amount of pain. She opened up and discussed her problems. I didn’t fight her to do it and yes I became irritated in response to her anger, but I remained as calm as I could and tried to remember that she needed me to remind her I would always be here even when she is going through the shit parts, even when she is pushing me away, even when she is fighting me, even when she screams and yells, hits and kicks and begs me to leave…I won’t. They stuck with me, all three of them are. Until the world blows up…

This song is amazing. It sums it all up for me.

So why did I write this novel tonight? Good question. It wasn’t just so I could recount my day, I promise. There wasn’t anything in particularly meaningful to the onlookers. Nothing really noteworthy, but to me it was a day that should be remembered and celebrated. I overcame MULTIPLE obstacles. I was tested and tempted to go negative from start to finish. From the alarm clock to the now way past phone time and seemingly going to be another short on sleep night, I chose my words and my actions. I chose positivity. This journey, this challenge served me today and I acknowledge it. I am grateful for it. I could’ve had a fight with 2 and started both of our days off shitty. That wouldn’t have turned back the clock and made her get up any earlier. I could’ve been frustrated with the hospital, instead that was one of 1’s positives “we had fun even though we were lost.” I could’ve been mad I wasted my time when it was closed, but that wouldn’t make it open. I could’ve fussed about the employees not listening, but it would more efficient to teach. I could’ve got mad about my card, but it wouldn’t have been posted any sooner. I could’ve gotten pissed about holding, it wouldn’t make them answer the phone. I could’ve argued with that customer, but it would’ve only heightened her irritation. I could’ve screamed at 3, but she couldn’t change it now. I could’ve ignored 2’s obvious need to talk and gotten angry back at her. This would’ve only solidified her disconnection and feelings. We have choices. All day everyday we decide what energy we are going to use. We decide our attitude. We decide what our response will be. We decide to approach every day hurdles with positivity or negativity. It’s amazing how much things change and how at peace you feel when you choose to not allow negative energy in. Today, I discovered that positivity is a tool used to forge the outcome you desire. It is contagious. It does serve those around me. Positivity is giving me an ability to be more focused on the present and more able to face my challenges as they come head on without as much trepidation.

Accomplishments and Gratitude List: Day 5

  • Completed meditation
  • Completed journaling
  • Completed scripting
  • Reviewed Goals
  • Completed Positive Affirmations
  • Listened to multiple motivational videos
  • Overcame Negativity
  • Exercised
  • Organized medicine cabinet
  • Asked for help
  • Today I am grateful for this journey
  • Today I am grateful for my love
  • Today I am grateful for my threefold
  • Today I am grateful for my life
  • Today I am grateful for strength
  • Today I am grateful for therapy for all
  • Today I am grateful to have help
  • Today I am grateful for today
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Journey to Positivity: Day 3

Hello lovely people! I hope you had an amazing day full of love, positivity, and fulfillment! I am awesome. Day three is a complete success. I am rocking this journey and completed committed to surrendering to the process of being positive. Yes, I know it all sounds so cheesy and so incredibly cringy. It is. I am accepting that part of being a perky positivity peddler is that I have to be perky AND positive. Part of being those things is accepting the cheesy and sometimes cringy mantras that set me up for a successful journey. It’s a process!

Today has been just as I scripted it to be with only a few little hurdles. Scripting is the process of laying out exactly what you want each day and how you envision your day, your life, anything and everything to go. It’s setting your intentions for the day. You can speak them or write them. Of course, writing them is the most helpful and effective for me (go figure) but then I also read them aloud when I am finished writing. Scripting has helped me to manifest my day and allowed me to start the day off with the best intentions. It gives me a fresh perspective on what I plan to accomplish, how I feel, and my interactions with the people in my life.

This was my actual scripting from this morning from my personal journal. #personalmusings

Just so I am accountable I did get off the phone by 11:15pm last night. I was in bed by 12:00am. I stayed in bed. I slept for eight (EIGHT) hours. I did wake up several times but not fully, more of the toss and turn. I woke up feeling refreshed and with only a hint of anxiety and negativity in my head. Of course I didn’t give in to it. I simply brushed off the sleepy haze and started my morning as I had intended to do. I have noticed that I am far more anxious in the morning and more prone to having negative thoughts. I’m not sure why other than I have not been a “morning” person as long as I can remember. I’m the type of person that needs to time to fully wake up and begin my day, get my caffeine levels back up and mentally get sorted out before speaking to other people. I am going find some tip or trick to improve this. I woke up about 8:00am with the PPP telling me goodbye as he was leaving for work. With a kiss goodbye and some grumblings about him not sleeping well I began feeling like he might be starting his day off in a not so positive way. I could feel myself ready to match the energy. I decided it would be best to encourage him. In PPP fashion after a few texts that reminded him of how capable he was of overcoming lack of sleep, power outages at work, bad traffic, and just a case of the blahs he began to agree he was not going to let anything keep him down. I patted myself on the back for being encouraging and supportive in a positive way. I know that could’ve gone differently for both of us.

No work for me today! Its Saturday! Ahhh! Yes! The day of rest! A day I can spend some quality time with myself. As much much as I love my threefold and the PPP, I have grown to enjoy having time to myself. Saturday is a day of family, focus, and fun! Not having to meet a deadline or have time restrictions inherits me the opportunity to begin my day with as much work on my journey as I feel warranted. So this morning I spent about 2 hours focusing on my mindset and setting myself up for a positive and wonderful day. I did my make up, made myself cute, and took some pictures to remind myself I am beautiful. I like looking good it makes me feel confident. I took my threefold to the store and I had quite a bit of anxiety. Public places have been known to get me worked up especially when I have the whole crew with me. I fell into it. I could feel my mood shifting and myself allowing the anxiety and negativity settle in. My muscles became tense. My face I’m sure looked like I was mad. I got quiet. My threefold wanted to go into another store. I said they could but decided I needed to skip the next one. I went and sat in the car out front of the store. I turned on a “quick calm” meditation and sat back in my seat and closed my eyes. The crew came back to the car and I turned the music up and sang the whole way home. It helped. When I got home I snuggled up next to the PPP and relaxed for a few minutes. Then I began working on collecting what I wanted to include on my vision board. That improved my mood and vibe quite a bit! I was glad to have found my way out of that funk I was headed for. I had a few moments here and there where I caught myself thinking in a more negative way. Each time I tried to remember that those feelings weren’t serving anyone especially me and I would shake them off an move forward. For this I was proud of myself.


Accomplishments and Gratitude List: Day 3

  • I woke up at 8(ish) ✅
  • I meditated successfully. ✅ I’ve found breaking up the meditation into smaller chunks helps me to focus and stay more present. Over time I will be able to increase my time. It’s about quality not quantity!
  • I journaled my intentions for the day and scripted what I wanted to manifest for the day. ✅
  • I completed my positive affirmations ✅
  • I watched a few motivational videos today. ✅
  • I looked over my goals for the month and the remainder of the year ✅
  • I blogged today. ✅
  • I began thinking about and researching some new things to try. ✅
  • Today I am grateful for my journey.
  • Today I am grateful for my love
  • Today I am grateful for my family
  • Today I am grateful for time alone
  • Today I am grateful for my boss
  • Today I am grateful for my day off
  • Today I am grateful for my focus
  • Today I am grateful for motivation
  • Today I am grateful for my blog
  • Today I am grateful for second chances
  • Today I am grateful for my life
  • Today I am grateful for overcoming negativity
  • Today I am grateful for sleep
  • Today I am grateful for relaxation
  • Today I am grateful for everything I have
  • Today I am grateful for kitten snuggles
  • Today I am grateful for healing

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Journey to Positivity: Day 2

After my not so great start, day 2 was EXACTLY what I thought this journey would be about! I am much more positive and I am not nearly as drained as I thought I would be at the end of the day. It was overall exactly the day I needed to keep my motivation alive and myself from drowning in failure. I am ready for the days ahead. I am ready for this challenge!

I SLEPT 6 hours straight! No up and down. No interruptions. It was miraculous and restorative. I woke up at 6:30 and didn’t hit the snooze button! (This has been a struggle for me daily for years) Granted I set a 6am alarm that I hit snooze on. That was my way of tricking my mind into thinking I got 30 minutes extra sleep when I didn’t. I spent an hour on setting myself up for success and going through my goals and checking them off one by one. By 7:40 I had already completed most of my daily tasks. I was off to a running start and feeling confident.

I went to work and was ON TIME! I accepted help with getting 2 from treatment. I accepted help from 2 by letting her help me catch up on some of the tasks I don’t do as often as I should. I was able to get completely caught up today on all of my work. Nothing was left for me to do by 5:30 except close up. I was focused. I kept a great attitude and didn’t let anything bother me. I had to make myself relax a few times, but other than that all was good. I was having fun and laughing. I was smiling and helpful. It was amazing! I didn’t even have to shift my thoughts to positive. I stayed there. ALL DAY.

Usually by the time work is finished I have been drained. I actually still had energy to spare today. I was so pumped by my good day that I purchased supplies for the whole family to work on our vision boards. We got posters, magazines, glitter, glue, construction paper, markers, letters, and colored pens. 3 dyed our shower blue with the hair dye that she used today. Even as I was cleaning the shower and the PPP announced that the whole shower needed to be scrubbed thoroughly because of the amount of hair dye on my white tile floor and on the walls I caught myself saying “well we needed to clean the shower anyway!” Yesterday I have no doubt I would’ve had a yelling match with 3 and had her in there scrubbing and I would’ve been b!tching about it the whole time. I would’ve fussed when the 9yo didn’t get it all clean and that I had to clean up her mess. I realized today though that would’ve only led to me becoming more frustrated and negative and made 3 feel pretty bad about herself. I cleaned it and went about the night like nothing had ever happened. It was true after all, I did need to clean that shower. It’s been a hot minute! Hopefully, I continue making conscious effort in my positive actions, reactions, and words. I caught myself getting frustrated with 1. I was frustrated that they were upset about something that didn’t make sense to me. I had to remind myself that they are allowed to have feelings and as the PPP tells me often just because someone feels a certain way doesn’t mean the feeling is based in truth. We have to acknowledge their feelings before we can try to change their perception. Validation is key. I caught myself becoming defensive and quickly stopped myself. There is a reason I keep the PPP around. He is amazingly insightful, positive, and right about many things (don’t tell him I said that!) I am excited to be the one to spread some positivity to the fam. I am an example to them too, and I want it to be a positive example I am setting!

One thing that is a large part of our daily routine is that we sit down and have dinner together. We always sit around the dinner table laugh and joke. We have always done “positives and negatives”. This has been my way of getting everyone (including myself) to see the positive things that happened in our day and also let others know where we may need to improve, what our struggles are, and how we see different things. I’ve grown to love this and I believe it is a great way to get defcon four talking and listening. We cheer for each other and support one another. Tonight we did something a little different we created a “family mission statement”. This was a tool to get us all to participate in recognizing our strengths and weaknesses as a family and setting goals on how to improve and what changes we can make as a whole as well as what we enjoy doing together and what goals we have for the future. 2 was the one that suggested we sit and discuss this as this was an assignment from her therapist. I really think it helped us all see what we expected, liked, disliked, and what we want as a family. Everyone was included and everyone had a say. I highly recommend doing this with your own family, especially if you have kids. I can see how this could be beneficial in all relationships and possibly might want to do one with the PPP as well that is personal and exclusive to us.

I am very proud of my progress today and even as the phone shut down is approaching I am still keeping a positive mindset. I am excited to discuss some goals and plans I have for the coming weeks with the PPP. I am hoping he will be on board or have some ideas of his own to help me be more positive, productive, and to help us as a couple as well as a family. I am super excited to keep this journey going. Thank you blog for keeping me accountable!

Accomplishments and Gratitude List Day 2

  • Woke up at 6:30am ✅
  • Completed 15 minutes of morning meditation SUCCESSFULLY ✅
  • Journaled my vision for the day ✅
  • Listened to multiple motivational videos today ✅
  • Completed positive affirmations ✅
  • Scripted how my day would go ✅
  • Reviewed my monthly and yearly goals✅
  • Blogged my journey✅
  • Unfollowed some of my trauma groups as these can be triggering and keep me focused on the past. ✅
  • Purchased supplies to work on vision boards ✅
  • Today I am grateful for my family
  • Today I am grateful for the PPP, my partner, my soulmate, my love.
  • Today I am grateful for this journey.
  • Today I am grateful for the day.
  • Today I am grateful for all that I have
  • Today I am grateful for the motivation to continue
  • Today I am grateful for my career
  • Today I am grateful for this blog
  • Today I am grateful for my ability to help my family
  • Today I am grateful for the therapists who work and support my threefold and help me understand them better
  • Today I am grateful for our family mission statement
  • Today I am grateful for family dinner
  • Today I am grateful for having help
  • Today I am grateful for my ability to choose to live in positivity.