My poor blog. It has been months since I’ve posted. Three months. Where did the time go? Really. Where did it go? I’ve been meaning to get back on and post for some time now, but I just could not drag myself to do it. I’ve been too tired. Too overwhelmed. I’ve been avoiding writing.
For a while I told myself that I just didn’t have anything new to write. I told myself that we were really not dealing with much that was OCD, so what was the point in posting on a blog that’s about OCD? I told myself we were dealing with typical teenage struggles – and we were, but we have been dealing with so much more.
The truth is, over the last several months our family was preparing for Michael to leave home. A little over one month ago, he moved completely across the country to begin college. The hubby was a wreck. He cried and cried. Two days before Michael moved, we went through his book collection to see what could be donated or handed down. We found Good Night Moon. Michael lay in his father’s arms on his bed while I read it aloud and the two of them sobbed. I, on the other hand, am apparently made of steel. Other than an achy hole in my gut, I haven’t broken down. That’s because I know he’s happy where he is. Sometimes, I do want one of his amazing hugs, and I am counting the days until we get to see him over Family Weekend.
While things with Michael were looking up, Blake was spiraling deeper and deeper into a hole. I hope to share more specifics in the weeks to come; however, what happened, in a nutshell, is that Blake became deeply, disturbingly depressed. OCD became less of an issue because depression had taken over. As summer progressed, Blake began to have a tougher and tougher time with the basics of daily living. My mornings were filled with simply pushing and prodding him through the basic routine: get out of bed, brush your teeth, put on clothes, eat breakfast, take your medicine, and stay awake. Stay awake!!
I was so completely immersed in the situation that it wasn’t until I was nearly ready to collapse from exhaustion that I recognized how bad the situation was. Blake’s sleep schedule was completely derailed, he couldn’t get out of bed or stay awake in the morning, and he couldn’t (or wouldn’t) go to sleep at night. He didn’t want to see any friends. He didn’t want to leave the house. All he wanted to do, it seemed, was argue with my husband and I (and sit on the computer, lost in YouTube videos). All my hubby’s and my time alone together was taken up talking about what we were going to do about Blake. It was tiresome business.
It is not unusual for depression to enter the picture when a teen has OCD. Blake’s psychiatrist has been suitably concerned and has made some changes. When I questioned some of the changes we were making, he advised me that we are working to prevent a hospitalization or a placement in a more restrictive academic setting. So, we’ve implemented some medication changes and we are working on some big changes around the house. I also hope to share more about that in the time to come.
Before he left for college, I caught myself looking at Michael during some of the most tumultuous moments. I kept thinking that somewhere inside of him he must be worried about leaving at the time his family was experiencing bursts of upheaval.
“We are going to be okay,” I found myself saying to him. Go to school. Get out there and live. We’ve got this. We’ll get through it.
As I sit here writing this evening, it is only because we’ve had some improvements in the past week that I can actually gather my thoughts and write. We are going to be okay. We just have to face some new challenges and hone our coping tools. We’ll get through this.