Tuesday, September 18, 2018


Behind all the pretty pictures is a whole heck of a lot of hot mess, right?

We are launching into fall at lightning speed and I feel a bit like that kid who is racing out the front door on one foot, folder clenched in jaw, attempting to stuff his sock-clad other foot into his Sketcher only to see the school bus whiz past his house and fade off into the distance without him aboard. Anyone else out there?


The bus has passed the station and many days I’m unsure whether we made it aboard or not. Somehow my summer-induced amnesia caused me to delusionally forget that with school comes scheduling and homework and exhaustion and emotions upon emotions and we are IN IT deep right now, it seems.

We have one kid who is struggling to stay focused and who is rapidly growing discouraged. She forgets everything (like imagine your definition of “everything” and then triple it and you might be halfway to my definition of “everything”) and I’m pulling my hair out on most days trying to coax (okay fine, drag) her through life’s systems and routines like putting dirty clothes in the hamper, shoes on the shelf, and doing one’s homework. For the third year in a row. It feels like murder every freaking day for both of us and I’m pretty sure one of us won’t be alive next week if we can’t come up with a solution and PRONTO. On the positive, she is playing soccer this season and we are two weeks in and she hasn’t even asked to quit yet. This is the longest she has stuck with something that requires moving her body for any length of time, so I will take it and run with it, even if she does volunteer to “take a break” anytime her coach needs to sub out during a game. This girl is precious and she’s amazing and she’s struggling. I’m not blind to the prevalence of hereditary health disorders in our family so on my desk you will find a fresh packet of papers from her pediatrician, awaiting our call to pursue further evaluation to see how we can help this sweet kid. Sigh. We are IN IT.

Then we have another kid who is launching into her 5th year of serious struggling. Yikes. Has it really been 5 years? FIVE years? NO WONDER I feel the way I do! She has ping-ponged around through various therapies, all marginally helpful, but just this past year, we finally landed on one that I’m praying will change our world. We are working with some amazing doctors at Seattle Children’s and, though we’ve bounced around through a couple different clinics over the past year, I undoubtedly see the hand of God in the timing of all that has come together for us.

This past spring, after a couple of months of sleeping hell, we got into a phenomenal parent/child anxiety course that I mentioned in a post here. We learned a lot of fantastic, and, not to mention surprising, cognitive behavioral therapy tactics for addressing anxiety, and soon we had a kid who could successfully put herself to sleep again without hours of crying and parental intervention. (I thought I paid my not-sleeping-through-the-night dues during her infancy. Sheesh was I ever wrong!) We naïvely believed we had achieved shalom in the home again, so much so that we actually declined an entirely UNHEARD OF opening for one-on-one therapy with one of the doctors at Children’s. It seemed crazy to take that appointment from someone who really needed it. We were experiencing our own form of “remission” and so we said “Thanks but no thanks. But can you please call us in eight weeks to make sure we haven’t changed our minds?” That last interjection illustrates that, despite temporary brain-lapse moments which I continue to refer to as “baby brain” five years post, we do have a sliver of intelligence left after all.

PRAISE THE LORD IN HEAVEN ALMIGHTY that Children’s willingly accommodated our lofty request to “call us later to check in.” Sure enough, summer started off with more or less smooth sailing. Then July came roaring in and I started to witness more frequent concerning behaviors in our child that left me twinging. They hit really close to home. Too close. So close that I began experiencing huge waves of déjà vu. After one such encounter, I called Graham at work and told him what had gone down. “Crap,” was his only response. I think both of us knew then and there the trajectory we were on but only time would tell.

We were a hot steaming mess by the time August rolled around but thankfully Children’s had called mid-July and I’d had the foresight to say a valiant “YES” to their services and we’d put an upcoming appointment on the calendar. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect.

I went in to that appointment, like most first visits, not quite knowing what to expect. I can tell you for absolute sure that I did not expect to walk away with what we did: a shiny new diagnosis of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) for my daughter. It’s hard for me to find the words. Though it was 100% the diagnosis I was expecting someday, sometime, at even the next appointment perhaps, it was not what I was anticipating right then, so soon, in our brief 50 minutes together. It was almost as if I had been blind-sided and yet entirely affirmed all at the same time. The diagnosis is undeniable and I would know better than anyone. It’s frightening how many of her symptoms align identically with the way they presented in me when I was diagnosed in 8th grade. It’s been rather triggering for me to wade through the awful, terrible, wholly consuming murk that is OCD again, but this time as a bystander and coach who also happens to understand the disorder intimately. My poor, sweet girl. 

But the good news? We are in such an amazing program! I literally get goosebumps when I think about how far things have come since I went through my own treatment. I am shocked weekly at the “exposures” I am asked to walk my daughter through. We are teaching her to “talk back to the OCD” and do the opposite of what OCD is telling her to do. It’s so counterintuitive and confusing and amazing all at once.

So yeah. Us Croziers are really “in it” right now, this strange, seemingly-never-ending pursuit of health, wholeness and well-being for all of us. I am still working through my own stuff. Graham is working through his. I’m just waiting for kid three to show his cards and we’ll get him enrolled in whatever form of therapy he needs. Perhaps by then they will have some sort of “buy two, get one free” sort of deal we can monopolize on. Ha! Seriously though, is this just life? Sometimes I wonder if we are crazy for our level of dysfunction. Or if I’m just crazy for thinking our level of crazy is crazier than others? Whatever the case, life is hard and good and rich and challenging and we are doing our darndest to come before the Lord each day for strength and sustenance. Because heaven knows we need it! Onward!

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posted by kelsie