Monday, November 16, 2009

Switching Meds

So ADHD/ODD raises it's ugly head in our house again.

We spent many weeks successfully on Focalin XR for Teenybop's behavioral issues. I felt really good about having decided to go ahead with medications for my older daughter, I felt good about doing what needed to be done in spite of some negative opinions from other people I knew. I felt like I was a strong voice for her, standing up for her needs and advocating for the help she obviously needed. And then the Focalin stopped working as well. It started wearing off sooner and sooner ... and so we upped the dose. It worked wonders, it was like being gifted with a special glimpse of the way my sweet little daughter used to be. For a while.

So we upped the dose ... again. And nothing happened! Focalin has stopped working for us completely. After a week of "trying it" and getting nowhere, I am desperately missing my daughter. I miss her sweet attitude, her gentle nature, and her laid-back attitude. She is having a little rebounding, too, so she is extra moody lately and cries instantly at the drop of a hat. She is like a whole different child, defiant, just very unpleasant ... and the guilt over all of it is eating me alive.

I feel guilty for being so frustrated with her over something she really can't help. I feel guilty for dreading wake-up time in the morning and for looking at the clock all day waiting for bedtime, just so we don't have to fight anymore. I feel guilty for so desperately wanting a new medication that will hopefully give me back my daughter the way she used to be, for being unable to lead her on my own ... for feeling like a failure as her mother even though I know there is nothing else that can be done other than what we are doing. It sucks that I am rewarding her for good behaviors but can't seem to motivate her. It sucks that we punish unacceptable behaviors but she doesn't even seem to notice. Sometimes she even seems proud of her defiance. And I feel powerless.

Where is the line between taking a stand and making my daughter behave and pay for her actions ... and stepping on her little spirit? She is learning too, that her words have an effect on the people around her. She is learning to say some pretty hurtful things, and everything in our house no matter what is always someone else's fault. It's hard.

But I love my daughter, and I love the positive side of this "disability". I love it that her sometimes super-focus gives her the ability to be persistent. She doesn't give up easily on what she wants, and that can be a positive thing, too. It can mean that she will not get so easily discouraged when things don't always go her way later on in life.

I love my daughter, my Teenybop, no matter how much I hate what this has done to our family and our household. And I still pray my heart out for her, trusting in God to lead my little prodigal until she is right where He wants her. Trusting in him to give me strength as her mother, to give me persistence in dealing with her issues, and to give me love overflowing because that is what she needs most right now. To be accepted even when she knows she is difficult, and to be shown that she is loved even when she is willfully disobedient and defiant.

I am believing every day in God to use my daughter in His plan someday, and in His ability to heal her if it is His will. I am believing in Him to lead us in the right directions with her treatment, and to give all of our family hearts to love this child even when she is unlovely. And He is a faithful God, one who does not abandon His people. And I know He is here.