Thursday, April 16, 2009

Calm and Serene? Who me?

I was having a play date with a girlfriend and her children the other day at a hellish place called Ollie Koala's (basically a local kid spot in the Chucky Cheese vein) while I tried to eat and feed my daughter my son ran around completely not listening to me.  He would not come sit down and have lunch.  I cajoled, I ordered him, I was stern.  Finally I dragged him over and listened to him scream and try to scramble out of the booth.  I knew it was just going to get worse the longer he went without food.  But does he want to stop to eat?  No.  It got so heated that I had to take him to the bathroom to talk to him.  Okay, so I talked and he screamed at the top of  his lungs and flung himself around a public restroom.  By the time he finally calmed down enough so that I could take him back to be around normal children I was an inch away from having a panic attack right there in arcade hell.   
This is not me. Panic attacks, my blood pressure rising to the point I think my head is going to explode.  Are you kidding?  When I had my daughter I had some pretty strong postpartum depression and went on Zoloft.  It helped a lot.  I stopped feeling empty and distant from my baby and felt like me again...and then the panic attacks started.  I started getting up at 5 am to work out- thinking that exercise would help release some of the tension.  Sure I fit into my pants better but I am still struggling to stay calm in the face of my son's temper tantrums or constant whining, tormenting the dog, whatever it is all while the baby is crying.  It takes everything I have to not scream most times.  
I am telling my girlfriend this as my son freaks out on our play date and she sagely tells me-

"I don't believe in calm and serene without medication"

I love her for telling me I am being too hard on myself.  So, both she and my prescribing physician tell me that I need to adjust my sense of normal.  That there is a new normal now, one that involves two kids who are needy.  One that involves twice 
the amount of laundry, dishes, mess, and attention.  That is not to say that he didn't adjust the milligrams of Zoloft I am taking, he did.  But he also let me know it is okay to want to scream and freak out on the boy when things have been especially hairy and he is out of control.  Now I just wait to see if the meds will work and try to cut myself some slack and learn how to take deep breaths again.  That is after I drag my son kicking and screaming out of Ollie Koala's with one hand while carrying my daughter and a giant diaper bag with the other.