Pick Up The Phone: Being Responsible For Your Own Happiness

My platform is rooted in honesty.

Lately I’ve felt like a liar because I used to be a humor writer, I think. But then a lot of bad things happened in my life, and I couldn’t find humor as much anymore. But you guys stick with me anyway, even when I write about things like my mom having cancer and about my need for anxiety medication and my uncle getting murdered in my childhood home, and my head injury which, let’s face it, COMPLETELY KNOCKED ME OFF MY GAME.

Here is the truth: I got very depressed in February. Maybe I was depressed in January, and December, and November, and October. I don’t know because I’m in the thick of life right now. I’m swallowed up. I’m in the weeds, you guys. It’s disorienting and I have claustrophobia and I hate how this feels. I hate how it makes me anxious, and my anxiety manifests in anger, so I find myself yelling at my family a lot when they are just doing normal family things like smearing toothpaste on clean hand towels and leaving crumbs all over the floor.

They deserve a better me. I deserve a better me.

So I started therapy — for myself and for my oldest child. It turns out that I am not crazy, it’s just that the anxiety medication I was on was making me depressed and also I have a lot on my plate and my brain was bruised.

Maybe the knock to the head changed my brain chemistry, or maybe I just didn’t need that particular medication anymore, but either way I flushed all those tiny white pills down the toilet and breathed a sigh of relief.

I breathed another sigh of relief when we were told that our child isn’t crazy — in fact, he is quite the opposite. Extremely bright and polite to everyone except for his parents, so we can rule out Oppositional Defiant Disorder (thank God).

Maverick has ADHD. And I’ve long suspected it and I knew it, deep in my soul, but I just didn’t want it to be so. I knew he was hard to parent. So, so hard. He never has been much of a sleeper; he stopped napping at 18 months old. He’s extremely defiant and stubborn and loud and messy, more so than other boys. But he’s also brilliant and charming, just like his Daddy.

OMG … his Daddy.

His Daddy has ADHD, too.

THAT MUST BE WHY I FELL IN LOVE WITH HIM, BECAUSE HE WAS SO QUIRKY AND BRILLIANT AND UNPREDICTABLE AND NOW WE HAVE BEEN TOGETHER FOR 13 YEARS AND SOMETIMES HE MAKES ME WANT TO SMOTHER HIM WITH A PILLOW BUT I DON’T BECAUSE I REALLY DO LOVE HIM.

I married the right man for me, but it doesn’t mean that we are without our struggles. When we come out on the other side of this difficult phase, I’d maybe like to just forget it ever happened. It’s hard. Marriage is hard. But would I want to tough it out with anyone else?

No.

Mommy and Mav

Back to Maverick, all of the parenting tactics that work for other people? None of them were working for us. We have very low lows and very high highs and as much as I struggled, I fought for my son because I believe in him.

But then I reached a point where I was out of ideas. I needed help.

The day I sat in that dark gray chair decorated with silver studs and the counselor said, “You have done a fantastic job for the past 7 years, but you must be emotionally exhausted,” I burst into tears.

Yes. I am emotionally exhausted.

“Parenting is supposed to be exhausting,” she said. “In fact, if you aren’t exhausted, you probably aren’t doing it right.” She went on to say a whole bunch of other validating, complimentary things that gave me hope and let me know that I did a good thing by seeking help.

People say all the time that it takes a village to raise our children, and lament the modern loss of the village. I say that we have to make our own damn village. My village consists of a therapist for myself, a therapist for my child, teachers for all three of my children, and a handful of extraordinary friends.

Extraordinary friends get a phone call halfway through getting hair extensions put in and head over right away to drive you to the hospital because you’re feeling weird 6 weeks after a concussion and need to have your head scanned again.

Extraordinary friends learn your actual weight — which is not the weight on your driver’s license — because you have to say it out loud in the E.R. triage.

They also understand that they are never speak of it. Ever.

Part of being a grown up is knowing what you need and then going out and getting it, because grown ups are responsible for their own happiness and well-being. So today, my friends, I ask you to take stock of your own lives and make sure you have what you need.

And if you don’t, then WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING READING THIS?! Pick up the phone and make shit happen.

(If you liked this post, then you should follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!)

 

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23 thoughts on “Pick Up The Phone: Being Responsible For Your Own Happiness

  1. I’m not a mom but I read your blog because you keep it real. I’m calling a friend (who has one child with O.D.D. and another with A.D.H.D.) that needs to know that one person in her village is thinking of her and has her back, always. Thanks for the kick in the arse.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for your honesty and never forget that it’s what makes you so relatable and likeable! I’m sorry you’ve had such a rough stretch, but it sounds like you’ve got tons of support and some answers to help you going forward! Plus, wine, which makes everything better!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love all of your posts, Harmony, but this one is especially fantastic. Thanks for being so willing to share your slice of life with us…and perhaps make a certain lady feel a little better that even though she is probably doing it all wrong, there’s a chance it could turn out all right.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I know EXACTLY how exhausting it is to parent a child with ADHD. It’s like five kids in one.
    I can only handle the one child.
    I bow to you. Here’s to finding strategies that work for you and your son.

    Like

  5. I can’t believe how much this is our story. Today, this year has been the worst, not that i ever want anyone to go through or feel what i feel, but it helps knowing someone understands. Thank you

    Like

  6. Great piece. There needs to be more honesty in mommy blogging. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows. We rock it most days but some days are hard…and life throws us terrible curves. We need to know we aren’t alone!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What are these parenting tactics of which you speak? 😉 I’m just winging it, and my 12 year old fits into what they call neuro-typical! I call him non-typical NT, though, because he’s really nothing like any of his friends.

    Anyway, I enjoyed this read — shouldn’t we all be our children’s greatest advocates, and shouldn’t we all be so privileged as to have extraordinary friends? I’m glad you’re able to do and enjoy those things. I hope your brain calms down and opens up a bit for you, allowing you space to breathe and easing that claustrophobia. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Life is not easy but we have to be strong to climb all the big mountains that sometimes appears in our life . Get all the strength from your family and you will be fine. Family is everything. Big hug. 😘😘😘

    Like

  9. Don’t mind me. I’m just the blubbering mess over here after reading this. My son (age 8) was diagnosed last year with ADHD and a Mood Disorder (kid depression, in his case). He sees a wonderful therapist that helps us both tremendously! You are doing everything right for your child. We, too, have really great days and really, really bad days. Thank you for your post. You are not alone!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh my God. I love your blog and wish I found it sooner. It is so refreshing to read a mommy blog I relate to. Thank you for your honesty and strength. I’m a single mom to an 18 month old son living with my parents who seem to forget what it’s like raising a tiny drunk human aka a toddler. Your blog expresses a lot of what i cannot say and thank you.

    Like

  11. I have 8 year old twin boys. Both of them have ADHD and one of them is Autistic. I’ve often wondered if I, too, need a therapist. Right now, blogging is keeping me sane–that, and quitting my job about 2 months ago.
    I love your honesty. It is nice to know that ADHD is hard for other people too. Solidarity, mama.

    Liked by 1 person

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