Half the point of this blog was to discuss my challenges trying to raise new twin boys (our first children) while struggling with depression, dyslexia, and newly diagnosed ADD and Bipolar NOS (not otherwise specified: not type 1 or 2, but there). I suppose the obvious excuse is that…well…I have all those things. Babies combined with concentration disorders do not a fast, consistent blogger make. Again, though: the challenges, the point…if this was all timely and smooth, it would sort of take the wind out of my “poor me/I’m awesome” sails.
When the boys were on their way, I actually became very focused. It was a “things just got real” period, and I knew if I wanted to meet my goals, like writing more, finding a new job, and so on, I needed to really bare down. I was doing pretty well at it until the twins were born.
Three things happened after that: I became suddenly very busy, I became sleep-deprived, and I was unable to juggle projects with the added effort of child rearing. All of those added up to a complete shutdown of my recently formed drive and determination. Well, that’s not entirely true; the drive was still there, but for those reasons I couldn’t apply it, and I’ve been squeezing in longer-term projects when I can.
Along with, you know, two new infants in the house, these factors caused me to drift away from my goals. As I’ve said before, the goals were ultimately to give the boys a better life, but because of the boys, I’m unable to work as hard at them as I’d like. This isn’t a complaint, but rather an observation. I want to be better for them, but right now wiping their butts and holding them when they cry has become the priority. This is actually ok with me, but it has amped up the stress level.
Aside from this, the ADD hasn’t been a major factor with regards to the twins. I don’t know how much of this I owe to my prescription to Strattera, but as I said, that focus on the big goals is still there, whereas before I just sort of shut down when I thought about these things that required sustained effort. Where I am currently struggling is with the little things; the “doorway moments”. Again, this hasn’t been a serious problem with regards to the babies, but I have been absent-minded to the point of going to the wrong cabinets in the kitchen to find things, forgetting what I went into a room for multiple times, and getting caught up in social media or TV even more than I have in the past, wasting my valuable time. This is something I can live with if need be, and isn’t new, but rather worse than before. I can’t do a real solid test to see if my medication will help, though, because I am so busy and tired because of the twins that that might be the cause. It’s definitely making things worse.
On that note, I’ve also been struggling with sleep. True, I’m exhausted most of the time, but for the most part I’ve been going to bed between 1:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m. (because of work) for the better part of 14 years. That’s a lot of programming to undo in a few months. No matter how tired I am, when I get home at night I get a second wind, and if I go to bed early I can’t sleep anyway. If you work days and get home at 6:00 p.m., it’s reasonable that you might go to bed around 9:00 or 10:00, 3 or 4 hours after you get home. If I get home at 11:30 or 12:00, 3 or 4 hours puts me in bed pretty late. This wasn’t a huge problem before, but since I have to be up sometime between 7:00 and 10:00 a.m. to take care of the boys, staying up that late turns me into a zombie for the rest of the day. Kat, for her part, has been unceasingly understanding and compassionate, but has been firm in trying to help me adjust to getting into bed at a “reasonable” time.
With regards to the Bipolar, the dyslexia, and the depression…I’ll address those more later, although honestly they’ve probably had more of an effect on our new life than ADD. I can say that so many of these things feed into each other, it’s very difficult to sort out a way to get my stuff together.
The good news is that I haven’t yet forgotten the kids in the car on a hot day, left to run errands and forgotten to bring them, and have (I think) been overall a fair dad. I haven’t projected my personal struggles onto my boys, I guess is what I’m saying. Although I get frustrated, sad, angry, and feel totally defeated sometimes when I’m dealing with them, I’ve kept it as together as a new father of twins with the life challenges I have can.