Tuesday, January 19, 2016

To be honest…..

by Leigh

I have to be honest with you all.  It's Monday and I'm trying to throw a post together for today.  It's been a really rough couple of weeks around here and I'm barely keeping my head above water.  Life has become unpredictable and that makes me extremely uncomfortable.  My 9 year old daughter started having panic attacks a couple months ago.  It tears me apart watching her anxiety increase, inability to take deep breaths, feeling of panic and nausea.  Nothing that I say or do seems to help ease her.  Luckily we found a wonderful therapist (and an art therapist at that!) who is working with her once a week and we have already seen a difference.  After finally feeling like I was getting her situation under control and life was getting back to "normal"….whatever that means….my thirteen year old son tells me that he is feeling very sad.  I know at his age hormones make his moods unpredictable but it's more than just that when he told me he often cries himself to sleep.  As a mom this just brought me to my knees…..watching both of my children struggling.  Thank goodness he is very open with me and with his doctor and we have found a therapist that is a good fit for him.  So here I am…a mom with two kids in therapy.  I just couldn't get past the feeling that I failed them….that I did something wrong.  Our pediatrician told me that all three of her kids were in counseling at one point and time and that it was a good thing.  That helped relieve some of my feelings and I started to realize just how beneficial this was going to be for my kids and for me.  I'm happy that they each have someone that they can be open and honest with besides family and friends. 

Last week I finally feel like I'm starting to get my groove back.  The kids seem to be doing well and I'm ready to get back into a regular schedule and routine again.  Then the dog starts throwing up…..and won't stop.  A visit to the emergency vet ends in an admittance to the doggy ICU and that pretty much caps  off a shitty (and extremely expensive!) start to 2016.  

Thankfully my sweet dog didn't have to have surgery.  He is feeling better and came home last night. My heart is feeling good again waking up to a happy dog, happy kids and a delicious latte made with my new espresso machine.  As I sit down to enjoy my coffee it hits me…..tomorrow is my day at FOL!  Oh crap!  Needless to say my camera hasn't been picked up in awhile.  So I bundled up…grabbed my camera and nifty fifty lens and headed outside.  I decided to look for textures that would make for interesting black and whites.  I rarely shoot in black and white so this would be a nice change.  I spent maybe 15 minutes outside in the freezing temperatures before I couldn't feel my fingers anymore and I headed inside to see what I got.  This 30 minutes I spent shooting photos and editing them was much needed me time.  Even writing this post and putting it all out there has left me feeling so much lighter.  I apologize for the rambling post, but I sincerely thank all of you for a community where I can be honest and speak to what's on my heart.  Life isn't always great.  There are lots of ups and downs and I'm thankful that photography has given me an outlet for my emotions.  Photography is good therapy.

There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.
~C.S. Lewis


Dotti said...

Too bad your kids don't follow FOL. FOL plus a camera is a lot cheaper than therapy and, dare I say, just as effective? You're a smart mom to recognize when your kids needed professional help. It's not because you and your husband are bad parents. I truly believe it's the crazy, mucked up world we live in and to some extent our schools, putting so much pressure on students to get good test scores, teaching ever advancing classes in lower grades. And maybe the worst: peer pressure. Not to mention, the world 'out there'. You know the one I mean, the crazy, mean one. Oh, it's a lot of things that we never had to deal with. And dogs? Well, dogs will be dogs! Sending great big cyber hugs, Leigh. The C. S. Lewis quote you closed with says it all. xxoo

AFishGirl said...

Thinking of you as I read this, Leigh. You are not alone. I agree with all Dotti says about this culture. It's not conducive to calmness and kids feeling okay, I see it every day in my line of work as a pharmacist and went through it with my own children and see the stressors on my grandchildren. Bravo to you for seeking help. It evokes so much vulnerability and fear, to see our children suffering. I think you are wise and brave. Be sure to keep using that camera. I think it's a lifeline for us, I really do. Big hug.

kelly said...

it's always the first instinct isn't it? when our kids struggle to blame ourselves? i'll just echo what dotti and pam expressed about this world we live in. it's hard enough as adults...but navigating it as a child...I can't even imagine. sending you big hugs and lots of love!

terriporter said...

Oh, Leigh, my heart hurts for you. There's nothing harder as a parent than when our kids are struggling. And finding fault with ourselves is such a natural thing, although almost always it isn't us at all but the outside world they must navigate through. Getting them help was the best thing you could do. And for you, not losing touch with your photography will be a great help, as you found. It's the time when we think least about picking up our cameras that we need that outlet the most. I'm glad you found some "me time". As parents, we always seem to put ourselves last and that me time suffers but it is important to our well being. You know we are all keeping you in our thoughts and prayers. As C.S. Lewis said, there are better things ahead. xoxo

Irina Kolosovskaya said...

Hey, Leigh! You are a very brave person to share your problems and a very wise mom... Your images in this post are the wonderful confirmation of the fact that photography is good therapy. And yes, I do know it too. Kind regards!

heyjudephotography said...

Sending you love and support today Leigh. I agree with Kelly, it's always our first instinct to blame ourselves and second guess. You are doing the right thing(s) and I will be praying that peace comes to you and all of your family.

Carol said...

This touched me so much. Sent some encouragement - motherhood can be so hard - Ditto to everyone above - and wishes for peace.

Cathy H. said...

As mothers we hurt the most when our children are hurting. The fact that you quickly found help for both your children shows what a wonderful mother you are. It's so hard to fight the "world" when our children are usually in the world more that they are with us. I'll keep your family in my thoughts and prayers.

Linda said...

Like Cathy said, as mothers we hurt the most. We blame ourselves. It's very hard to watch the kind of pressure our kids find themselves under. It shouldn't be that way. Good for you to see it and get help for them. They are such great kids and you and your husband are such great parents. I hope the light in the tunnel shines for you all soon! Love you!

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