Day 11: Anxiety is Like a Cockroach

If you follow me on Facebook, you know that Day 10 was a short post instead of an official post because we had a rough day. 

If you follow my blog, you also know that I am pro-medication

While we have seen incredible results with medication in both of our children of it reducing impulses and increasing attention, anxiety seems to be the lingering pest we can’t shoo away. 

In the past year, we have had to increase our daughter’s medication twice in .5 mg increments. 

Most recently, we increased it towards the end of 2018. 

We were scheduled to increase it again by now, as written into our prescription plan, but I just don’t want to do it. This may sound insane but I know that the max for her current med is 4mg per day for her. She is now on 2.5mg per day. 

Once we get to that plateau, we enter the unknown, the uncharted waters probably filled with behaviors and stress and I’m not ready for that because she is so young.  And I’m not ready to add any other ingredients to this cocktail just yet. 

 I also know that the higher we go on her meds, the harder and longer it is to wean her off. 

I find myself clinging to this island where we can still see the future. 

Right now, her current is the safest medication for her. There are no major side effects or long term risks involved in using it. This makes me comfortable and confident about this decision.

While it is known to also reduce anxiety (in addition to impulses and attention), I am not finding that to be true. 

For myself and in my own experience, I found anxiety meds to cause more anxiety instead of eliminating it.

My best anxiety relief was through behavior therapy (CBT). 

Ally is too young to go through that and I am at a loss on how to help her. 

She is afraid of bugs and flies. 

Basically any living thing outside.

Afraid that every mark, bruise, and freckle won’t heal. 

Shadows in the dark are going to get her.

The moon is looking at her.

I won’t love her anymore.

It goes on and on.

I have been treating it the way that I treated her little baby injuries. 

Take a deep breath, you are okay. 

No big deal. 

Get up girl, you are fine. 

I don’t give attention to every little fear with an emotional response because I am trying to foster independence. 

If I fuss over these worries, it will teach her to keep fussing. 

It’s the same with putting on her damn shoes. If I keep doing it, she will never do it. And so I wait the ten minutes it takes her to do it every day all hoping this will impact her future positively. 

But this is rough. Anxiety seems to be the one nuisance that meds can’t fix for either child.

Her brother’s anxiety seems to come in ebbs and flows. He is also more conscious of it and has better coping skills. 

But Ally’s has overstayed an unplanned visit. 

Sometimes I also wonder what impacted her the most. Was it meds? Or 2 years of combined therapies? Is she just maturing? 

The truth is I have no idea. 

All I know is that everything combined has been working and so we keep trucking along.

I’m ready for her anxiety to take a hike. 

The meltdowns and aggressions have been difficult. 

Her being afraid to open the pantry for a snack is going steps back. 

This wave is causing major regressions. 

She had her first ever potty accident since December the other day.  

We’re back to extreme behaviors on the school bus again. Which by the way, I don’t appreciate the bus driver’s remarks of “she’s so fresh!” No lady, this is autism. This is it.

Waking up in the middle of the night (and this was never an issue in her entire life)!

She’s screaming and throwing toys. 

This journey has become thinking you have made progress only to have it pulled out from under you a few months down the road. Rinse and repeat. Over and over again. 

But then there’s this. Her behavior therapists say that this is all behavior. Behavior that has always been there whether it be dormant or active. 

Is it behavior? Is it a regression? Is it time to up the meds? 

Maybe I’ll just keep riding it out until the waves pull us back under again to find out. 

This is our life. In just a glimpse. Day 11, April 2019. 

Published by mischiefmomma

Mischief Momma was started in 2016 to write about the playful truths of parenting and life. In 2017, MM began to focus more on writing about parenting and life on the spectrum and raising her daughter and stepson. She writes about the joys, humor, and struggles of raising children who are different, and navigating obstacles like childcare, education, and work. This mom writes about her journey upward after hitting rock bottom.

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