May 6, 2017 by Courtney
Several years ago I worked with a counselor doing cognitive behavioral therapy. She helped me to realize that my thoughts make a huge impact on my life. It helped me so much. I was able to live the life that I wanted to live (for the most part) despite my mental illness.
Since we moved away from Frisco and I no longer have that counselor, I have forgotten so much about how to control my thoughts. My current counselor is fantastic, but she hasn’t really helped me work on controlling my thoughts.
This past month has been hard on me. Like I’ve said in past posts, I have had extreme anxiety since I had to change meds. It greatly affected my life every day. I felt like I wanted to give up on all the things that make me happy. I just felt like I couldn’t handle anything anymore. Then yesterday I was extremely exhausted because of my new medication. Yet another reason to feel like I just need to give up on everything that makes me happy. I was feeling so down because all I want is to be able to live life to its fullest… homeschool all of my kids, go on trips, eat in the dining hall, take the kids places, go backpacking, etc without feeling extreme anxiety.
I no longer feel anxiety since I stopped taking the Geodon, but I have been extremely exhausted since starting the new med. I was feeling really down again because of thinking I’m just doomed to struggle through life. I was thinking that I’ll never be able to do what I want to be able to do… I should just give up trying.
Everything changed last night when Robert got home. We had a fantastic talk and I changed my thoughts which made me feel so much better. I feel hope again.
He went on a field trip with the boys yesterday. He had a really rough time because Ethan’s teacher sat at the front of the bus completely ignoring the class and he had to discipline the kids (who were very difficult). His eyes were opened to how things may be in the classroom and he was not impressed.
When he got home I joked with him saying that maybe we should homeschool the boys again because the school isn’t what we thought (knowing that it really isn’t that bad… I was kind of joking). He asked me if I really think I can handle homeschooling. I told him that I’m not sure but asked if we could put the idea back on the table and pray about it and see how I’m feeling over time with my new med. He said that he’s totally fine with that… he wasn’t the one who felt like we needed to make a decision immediately. He feels like it’s a good idea he just wants to make sure I can handle it. And we don’t want to decide to homeschool and change our mind again. He feels like it would actually be better for our family to have the boys home. It opens up so much… we would no longer have to drive 50 minutes a day to pick them up from the bus. We would be able to take trips, go backpacking, spend time with grandparents, go on field trips, etc. The kids would be able to play with their friends here more. They would be able to stay up later which is easier for things that go on here at camp. They wouldn’t be away from the house for 10 hours a day.
The hard things about it are that I wouldn’t have as much time for self care, if I have a bad few days it could set us behind (which, we could school year round to account for bad days), and it would cost more to homeschool them on top of homeschooling Karis.
Anyway… just thinking about the possibility of being able to homeschool all of the kids changed my thought pattern completely. No longer was I thinking “poor me,” “life sucks,” “I can’t handle anything.” I started thinking that maybe I can handle things. Maybe life doesn’t suck. Maybe I just need to be a fighter. I don’t need to give up. Robert believes in me, why don’t I believe in myself? Then I started to think about the fact that the boys will be home this summer and I want to live life to its fullest. And Robert and I will be going backpacking. So, summer will be full of swimming, backpacking, hiking, family camp, time with friends. A little bit of school (math and reading). Time with my parents. Six flags, the zoo, etc. Just busy and fun. Before yesterday, I would have been anxious about all of that, but now I’m hopeful, peaceful, and excited!
I realized yesterday and this morning that my thoughts have really been impacting me. Changing my thoughts immediately changed my mental health.
So just like I wrote the other day about Taking Charge of My Wellness Holistically, I want to focus on all of the things that I can do as well as doing things that I want to do that make me happy and work well for our family.
I refuse to give in! I’m a fighter! I may have bad days, but that doesn’t mean that I need to give up. That just means I need to take good care of myself.
Now to do lots of prayer about what to do about homeschooling. At this point, it’s going to be what God wants me to do. Robert is on board if I feel like I can handle it. Only time will tell :-).