Parenting A Teen With Depression ~ YOU Are Not Alone


Posted on by Patricia Leever

I’ve been sitting here, staring at this post all day, wondering if I had the courage to push the “publish” button. What you are about to read is very personal and was very hard for me to put into words. So why am I doing it? Ultimately, I guess I don’t have to. But even when you have an awesome support system (thank you Jasen and Mom!) sometimes you feel like you are alone and I don’t want anyone else out there to feel that way. This is as much for me as it is for anyone else. Maybe more. So, here goes!

When you become a parent, I think most of us try to prepare for what may come. At least in some way, right? I mean, we try to prepare for things like, the “Terrible Twos” or the first day of school or potty training or insert milestone here. I think it’s in our nature to try to brace our psyches for these things. What’s the saying…hope for the best but prepare for the worst. Or is it the other way around, prepare for the worst and hope for the best? Regardless, it never works, does it?

You can prepare and plan all you want. Things are working out according to plan, everything is going great…until it isn’t. Something’s off.

All the plans you made go flying out of the window because how do you prepare for your child to be diagnosed with mental illness? Depression? Anxiety? Possible Bipolar Disorder?

I’ll tell you how you prepare for it…you don’t. You can’t. Those are scary words. Verboten words. Words that are whispered into ears behind cupped hands.

Let’s face it, being a parent is hard enough, especially in today’s world. It’s not the same world we grew up in. It’s bigger, louder and more complex than anything we had to deal with.

Now imagine, for a second, that inside this big, loud, complex world you are not only raising a teenager that’s starting high school, but you are also trying to navigate and come to terms with, as well as help them navigate and come to terms with, those scary words.

Depression. Anxiety. Possible Bipolar Disorder.

People don’t talk about these words when it comes to teens. These are words for adults. Teens are just being over dramatic, vying for attention, trying to get their way, parents need to be tougher on these kids.

But these words need to be talked about. They need to be brought to light when it comes to teens. Look at what has come to light with children on the Autism spectrum. Something that was so overlooked for so long is finally given validation. The same needs to happen when it comes to teen mental illness.

Don’t overlook your child’s feelings. Don’t disregard them because they are kids. Don’t tell them to “get over it” because if it were that easy they would have. Don’t ignore. And don’t feel like it’s your fault. It’s not. Let me say that a little louder.

IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT!

You aren’t a failure. You are doing the best you can with what you have to work with.

Get help for your child. If they were hurt you’d take them to the doctor, right? They are hurting. On the inside. Some of them are hurting themselves on the outside.

I’m not an expert in any way, shape or form. I’m just a mom, trying to do the best I can with what I have to work with. I am the parent of a teenager that suffers from mental illness. I’m not harping on my kid because she didn’t get an A on a test, I’m happy she had a smile today. I don’t sweat bad grades or missing homework, I’m glad she didn’t want to hurt herself today. I look at what people say about their kids on Facebook before I head upstairs to get her latest set of meds together, hoping that this is the combination that is going to help her.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy for my friends and their kids that are in extracurricular activities, I actually love seeing pictures and reading stories on Facebook and I don’t begrudge any parent for bragging on their kid for any accomplishment in any way. I would “like” those posts a thousand times if I could.

But I’d be lying if I said they didn’t tug at my heart.

I’ve stayed up all night, watching her, hiding sharp objects and pills. I’ve had to stand outside the unlocked bathroom door while she uses the restroom. I’ve had to sit in the bathroom with her while she took a shower so she could shave her legs.

It’s hard. It’s exhausting, both mentally and physically. And if I’m being honest, sometimes I want to quit. Quitting would be easy, but it wouldn’t help her, if anything it would exasperate an already difficult situation. It’s excruciating to watch my child go through this. I feel helpless. Sometimes hopeless. And yeah, sometimes I do feel like the biggest failure as a parent.

The only thing I can think to do is let her know that I see her. I see her struggle. I see her pain. I see her trying to survive the forces inside her own head. I see the things she’s written on her body to stave off the urge to harm herself.

Please, don’t feel like you shouldn’t post a brag about your kid, post away and know that I’m going to like it. That was a win for you, everyone’s wins are different and as parents we need to start celebrating each other’s wins, no matter what they are, because this isn’t a competition.

This is a journey. A long, arduous journey that has a lot of bumps and road blocks in our way. We need to help each other instead of judging each other. It’s easier to judge, I know that, I’ve done it. We all have. But try to remember that all you really know is your circus and your monkeys. You don’t know what someone else’s circus is like. You don’t know their monkeys.

And one more thing, don’t forget about yourself. I have the hardest time with that one, but I’m trying. It feels selfish and you’ll feel like the guilt is about to eat you alive, but you have to take care of yourself.

You might wonder why I’m sharing all of this. I’m sharing my experience because I have looked for something like this online and couldn’t find it. I found many articles on teen depression and how to handle it, recognize it and all of that, but not what it felt like from the parent’s side. I wanted to let other parents know that they aren’t alone. That it’s scary and hard and not to give up hope. We are on med number three and believe me, meds aren’t going to make everything sunshine and rainbows. It’s a work in progress.

But I can tell you not to give up on the sunshine and rainbows, they’re still in your kid and when they let that light shine, soak it up. And don’t be ashamed. Don’t let your child feel ashamed. Be open. Be accepting. And in case you forgot already, you are not alone.

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To Fangirl or To NOT Fangirl…


Posted on by Patricia Leever

Hidey ho my wee little love monkeys! I hope this big, bad world has been treating you well.

So, my girls recently turned 14 and for their birthday the hubs and I got them tickets to Vans Warped Tour. You see, one of their favorite bands are going to be there and I really want them to have a live music experience because there really isn’t anything like live music. Especially when that live music is from a band you love. I’m super excited to watch them have fangirl moments because I’ve had those moments and it’s a feeling that you never forget.

Now, in my efforts to be a good parent, I have researched said band and listened to all of their music. I follow them all on Facebook, Twitter and the Instagrams. I’ve watched their music videos and subscribe to their guitarist’s vlog. And somewhere along the way of my stellar parenting, I have become a fan of these young men MYSELF. I say young men because I am of an age that I very well could have birthed them. The lead singer for sure.

Here’s my dilemma…when the concert comes, and I’m in the live music moment, do I fangirl right along with my girls or do I keep my cool? Do I rock moderately, clap respectfully and maybe woot a time or two?

Here’s a BIGGER dilemma…will I have any control over it? I have fangirl tendedncies. I know this. I’ve owned this. Will I be so wrapped up in the live music that I turn in a complete fangirl? A screaming, wailing, headbanging, rock-horn-throwing fangirl and make a complete arse out of myself?

THIS IS A SERIOUS DILEMMA PEOPLE!!

Okay, in all honesty, I’m not all that worried about making an arse out of myself. I’m 99.9% sure that this will indeed happen. It’s virtually inevitable. I mean, this song of theirs was one of the driving forces behind the last book in the Divinity Series.

In fact their album, Wretched and Divine: The Story of the Wild Ones, was pretty much all I listened to while I was writing. And I’ll tell you what, that is rare for me. I may find a song or two that speaks to me about what I’m working on, let alone an entire album. ESPECIALLY an album that has actual singing. For the most part I find lyrics distracting when I’m writing and try to just focus on the music but this was the whole shebang! The songs and the speaking parts in between the songs. Oh yeah, there’s speaking parts in between the songs and I’m not gonna lie, that little lead singer has quite the pleasant speaking voice in addition to a very nice singing voice.

And I have a confession to make, the lead singer kind of reminds me a skinnier version of Daniel. Holy crap! I’ve never actually said that out loud! Okay so this isn’t really “out loud” but it kind of is! Maybe it’s just me because Daniel lives in my head and I’ve tried like hell to find someone that looks like what I see when I write him and while I’ve used Chris Evans as an image before, Andy Biersack (that’s his name) is closer to what I see in my head than anyone else I’ve seen in real life. I mean…well shit, just look…

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Balls. I can’t believe I just posted this.

But here it is. Out in the open. I feel slightly freed by this.

I also feel like a giant pervert for admitting this because homie is only 24.

24!

I’m most likely going to hell.

Well, there you have it. Way more than I intended to share, but there it is, don’t judge. Okay, judge. I judge myself. I’ll wave to you all from hell.

Until Next Time,
Patty <3

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UPDATE: 2nd Annual Local Author Celebration!


Posted on by Patricia Leever

Hidey ho my fantabulous little love monkeys!

HAPPY FRIDAY!!!

As promised, I’m here to update y’all on the 2nd Annual Local Author Celebration

fol

So, as you see there are going to be panel discussions and I just found out that I am going to be on the Romance Panel from 2:30-3:00.

I’m not even going to pretend that I’m not freaking the hell out. I think I mentioned that before in my last blog. Yeah. As the day gets closer the more I’m freaking out so by the time next Saturday gets here I’m going to be a giant balloon of nervous gas. I’m terrified that someone is going to ask me a question and I’m going to open my mouth to answer and belch. Or fart. Or babble like an idiot. Or, quite possibly, all three at once.

It should be interesting to see what bodily function pops out first 😉

Have a fabulous weekend my darling little love monkeys, stay safe and tip your waitress on the way out!

Until Next Time,
Patty <3

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Three Things for the New Year!!!


Posted on by Patricia Leever

Hidey ho my little love monkeys!! I hope you all had a safe and joyous New Year’s Day!!

Some exciting stuff happening in 2015 for Yours Truly. Here’s three things…

First off, I’m going to be at the 2nd Annual Celebration of Local Authors here in Santa Clarita on Saturday January 17th from 10am to 3pm at the Old Town Newhall Library!

fol

Thank you, The Friends of Santa Clarita Public Library for making this event happen!

I gotta say, this is my first event like this and I’m SUPER nervous. I think I’m most nervous about the panel. I’ve never been on a panel before, y’all! What if I get diarrhea of the mouth and just start spewing forth nonsensical words? That happens to me when I get nervous. I just start rambling and I can’t stop. Kind of like right now. I can’t stop typing! Anyway, I’m told my panel is at 10am but I don’t know what the subject of my panel is. Stay tuned for updates on that! Nerves aside, I’ll be there with bells on and bookmarks and some books so if you’re in town, stop by and say HI!

Secondsies, NaNoWriMo was intense but it did get me an awesome start on the third book in the Divinity Series!!! That’s right, it’s happening so stay tuned for updates on that!

Thirds, I’ve had this song rolling around in my head because, well, it’s pretty obvious…

Black Veil Brides – New Years Days from Abel Carita on Vimeo.

As you can see from the little linky thing there ^ this song is New Years Day by Black Veil Brides. One of the twins, Emma (aka Thing 2) started listening to Black Veil Brides at some point late summer/early fall and like a good little parent I had to check them out. I do this when my kids get into something new, I work my research skills just so I know what they are listening to. Turns out, I found my the soundtrack for the third book in the Divinity Series! Seriously you guys, it was like these boys reached into my brain where this book was stored and wrote music for it! I love it when that happens, it’s almost as if fate threw us into this crazy blender and hit the smoothie button because this music was absolutely what I needed to get my writing juices flowing! These guys are very reminiscent of the glamrock hair bands of the 80s, which I love, so if you love rock and roll go check out Black Veil Brides. They’re not unfortunate looking young men, so that’s a bonus 😉

There’s my three things! Do you have three things for the New Year, my sparkly little love monkeys? Let’s hear ’em!!

Until Next Time,
Patty <3

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Happy Friday~This Is Really Good!


Posted on by Patricia Leever

Happy Friday my splendiferous little love monkeys! Did you grab this week by it’s proverbial horns and take it down like the bitch that it is? You’re fling-flanging right you did!

Dang I hadn’t realized how much I missed doing the “Happy Friday” until just now. So glad to be back in the swing!

Okay this week I started a self imposed fitness program. Why? Well, ever since I got sick in March and had to change my diet I figured, if I was changing what I ate to keep myself healthy, why stop there? And because I was tired of being a sedentary creature. Luckily I’m quite a realistic thinker, shocking I know since I’m a novelist, but in everything outside of my books I am very steeped in reality. I know that I’m not fit and I know that this isn’t going to be an overnight transformation. I also know that I’m going to have to sweat, which I hate to do, and I know that the biggest obstacle that I’m going to face is myself. I know that this is going to be the hardest part, the fight with myself to get off of my ass and get out there and move.

I also have to remind myself that I crawled before I walked, I took baby steps before I walked sure, and that I walked sure before I ran. Period. It isn’t brain surgery. So why is it so hard? Partly because it just is. It’s harder to stand up and do something than it is to just sit back and watch. It’s like that with everything in life so why should this be any different? The answer is simple, it’s not. I need to take the words of Tallahassee from one of my favorite movies Zombieland, “Nut up or shut up” or as I like to say, “Grow a set of tits and just do it!”

Granted this isn’t the first time I’ve tried to get fit but I really think that this is the first time I’m actually serious about it. In my past efforts I let the smallest thing thwart me. A cold, the weather, time, a hangnail…anything that I could think of. I always thought that it was the universe’s way of telling me that it wanted me to stay sedentary and I accepted that. Until now. Take last night for example. Last night I did a faceplant in the front yard. Seriously, I went down hard. Yeah this morning I feel like I got into a fight with a baseball bat and lost but I dragged my ass out of bed, I got dressed and I got out there. You know what? I went farther and faster than I had all week. Today I looked the universe in the eye and gave it the big ol’ bird! Today I said, you may want me fat, dumb and happy, universe, but you are going to have to settle for FIT, dumb and happy!

That is going to be my new slogan!

Oh! I got so worked up about that that I almost forgot about the Photo-A-Day in May! I don’t know why because it’s in the title of this blog,

This Is Really Good!

5-3 This is Really Good

 

I know, you were expecting food right? I thought I’d go outside of the box with this one because sunscreen IS really good and this is my favorite. Okay so I guess when you are looking at SPF 50 it is not so much sun SCREEN but more sun BLOCK but remember, I’m a pasty white, Irish/English girl. My people don’t tan, we hail from countries with no sun. I have two colors, white and red. If I want any shade of “brown” I have to buy it and apply it.

Well, that’s all I have for you today my darling little love monkeys! Stay tuned because I will be posting photos over the weekend as well! Stay safe and move, no matter if it’s for 60 mins or 6 minutes just move!

Until next time,
Patty <3

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It’s MAY!


Posted on by Patricia Leever

Greetings my delightful little love monkeys! Yes, it is May and guess what, I’m not dead!! (Not that it wasn’t close, too close for MY comfort anyway, but I digress)

YAY!!!

Yes it’s May and I figured it was a great time to get back on the horse after a brief respite from blogging. And by “respite” I mean, it’s been 11ty million years since I’ve blogged.

So, what’s new with all of my glorious little love monkeys? Has the world been treating you well?

What’s that? What’s new with ME? Well a couple of things! After thinking it would never happen, I FINALLY got the outline down for the sequel to Divinity, Entity! Man alive, I didn’t think it would ever come out of me but that sucker shot out of my fingers and onto the keyboard like I was bleeding it! No joke, by the end of it I was crying so hard that hubs came home and thought someone had died. I’m so excited! I can’t wait to share little bits with my love monkeys!!

Another thing, starting August 5th, I’m joining some of my Omnific Publishing sisters; Nicki Elson, Carol Oats, and Debra Anastasia for a special Omnific Angels event! Stay tuned for deets, it’s gonna be AWESOME!

And finally, I found this on Facebook the other day

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Yep, it’s a Photo-A-Day in MAY! Doesn’t this look fun? I thought so, so here we go, today is May 1st and today’s picture is “I Bought This”

5-1 I Bought This

 

Why yes, that IS a melon slicer and yes, I bought it! Isn’t it cool? So, if you feel so inclined join in on the fun! Post it here, post it on your Facebook and if we aren’t Facebook friends, let’s fix that! FACEBOOK!

Well, that’s all I have for you today, I’ll be back tomorrow with another photo! Have a fantabulous day my delicious little love monkeys and stay tuned!

Until next time,
Patty <3

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New Release Date!


Posted on by Patricia Leever

Greetings my crispy little love monkeys, just a quick little note for you today!

I received word from my publisher last night of a new release date!! Why is this so exciting? Well, because it is a SOONER release date, August 30th! Another reason why this is so exciting is that the number 30 is my lucky number!! AND even ANOTHER reason for the excitedness is that they are working on my cover art samples RIGHT NOW!!

Do you know what that means? That means that this is really REALLY happening!!! I mean, I know it was happening before but this is like really really REAL! I’m practically vibrating with excitement!!

I just realized that I’ve used a ridiculous amount of exclamation points in the post! But I can’t help it, I’m just SO EXCITED!!!

I’ve also just realized that I’ve used an extreme amount of CAPITALIZATION! But again, SO EXCITE!!!

That’s all I have for now, stay tuned for Friday for Happy Friday where I will announce another chance to win an e-ARC of Cat O’ Nine Tails!! WOOOOHOOOO!!

Until next time,

Patty <3

 

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And The Winner Is…


Posted on by Patricia Leever

Greetings my froofy little love monkeys! I promised I’d come back this week and announce the winner of the Cat O’ Nine Tails e-ARC, didn’t I?

Well here I am! *waves & blows kisses*

First, I would like to thanks each and every person that took the time to enter! You humble me with your support and interest in my work, I truly adore you all more than you will ever know <3

And now, I would like to congratulate Miss Judy Cox, the winner of the super special sneak peek, a Cat O’ Nine Tails e-ARC! I hope you enjoy reading as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Now remember love monkeys, there is another e-ARC up for grabs at the end of this month, so you will all have another chance to get your pirate on early 🙂

I’d also like to announce that I now have an official author Goodreads account! YAY! If you would do me a solid and swing on over and be a FAN! And a few little reminders, first off in addition to the Goodreads author account, you can also pop on over to my Facebook page and “like” me or you can bounce on over to Twitter and tweet me! I so love talking to my love monkeys!

One more little reminder, there will be no Happy Friday post this week because I will be getting my geek on at ComicCon in San Diego! What? You’re going too! Shoot me a tweet or a Facebook message and we’ll hug it up love monkey style 🙂

That’s all for now my darlings, please stay tuned and have a great week!

OH! One more thing I would like to wish my darling hubs a happy anniversary! 20 years, 4 kids, 3 cats, 1 dog and I’d do it all again in a heartbeat! He is MY Orrin 🙂

Until next time,

Patty <3

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Happy Friday: Blogfest and Giveaway!!


Posted on by Patricia Leever

Happy Friday my fruity little love monkeys! Did you pour this week into a bowl, cover it with milk and attack it like your favorite kid’s cereal? Yeah you are Sugar Smackin right you did!

Okay, so for all you in the central and west coast time zones it is still technically Thursday, but humor me, I promise I’ll make it worth it 🙂

Today, through Sunday July 17th at midnight, I am participating in BlogFest 2011!!

Everybody woooooo with me *WOOOOOOOOOOOO*

So what IS BlogFest? Well, it’s a Fest of Blogs, naturally! 201 blogs at the last count and each and every one of them has something to giveaway! Now I KNOW my little love monkeys love them some freebies, am I right or am I right?

Now, I hear you asking yourselves, “But Patty, what are YOU giving away?”

Oh sugar lumps, what I have for you is a chance to win an exclusive, super special, official Cat O’ Nine Tails ARC! That’s right, you can win your very own e-copy of Cat O’ Nine Tails before everyone else on your block! Can you believe it? You will be the very FIRST to “Get Your Pirate On!”

What you need to do to enter is just be the good little love monkeys that you are and click my little special Aeron Jolly Roger!

That’s it? THAT’S IT!

Want to double your chances of winning? Head on over to Twitter and/or Facebook and re-tweet my little ol’ blog or share the link via Facebook, that gets you a second chance at winning!

Also, as part of the BlogFest, it’s my job to make sure you lovely little love monkeys get all the free goodies. So, in order to do that, I need to share five links with you to five other blogs participating in said Festification! What are they giving away? I have absolutely no idea, but I know they are giving SOMETHING away! Like I said 201 giveaways! ACK! So here ya go…

Practical Frugality
Preternatural Primer
Reader Girls
Reading Angel
Recovering Potter Addict

Now, the idea is to have you little love monkeys bouncing all over the interwebs putting your little paws in as many giveaway buckets as you can! You can also find a master list, a list of ALL the blogs participating over at A Journey of Books blog, who has been kind enough to set up this Blogapalooza! AND if you go over to their Blog Tracking Site, each blog that you track as having visited earns you another entry into a special giveaway!!

YES!! So get them little paws to clickin and check out as many blogs as you can handle!

This is going on all weekend so you have until 11:50pm EST on Sunday July 17th to enter!

Be good little monkeys this weekend and make me a proud mama monkey!

I want to let you all know that I will not be with you next week as I am going to ComicCon! WOOOHOO! I’m so excited I can’t stand it! So if you are going to be over at ComicCon, let me know so I can give you a hug, I love my little love monkeys to BITS!

Until next time,

Patty <3

P.S. A pretty, because I love you…

Note: Family members and super besties are not eligible to win the ARC. Yes mom, that means you and anyone else that I have shared a hotel room/bed with.

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Happy Friday: Share the Love


Posted on by Patricia Leever

Happy Friday my fuzzy little love monkeys! Did you shatter this week like it had been dipped in liquid nitrogen? You’re dadgum right you did!

So today I’m going to do something a little different. Today is the launch on the Sizzling Summer Author Extravaganza! That’s right, July is here and a plethora of amazing authors will be dazzling you with their guest blog posts and possibly a giveaway or two. Who will be guest blogging? Of course you can check here to see who is blogging when. Who is giving what away? Well, my cherubic little love monkeys, you will have to pop in every day to see! However, I can guarantee one giveaway on July 31st!

A super special, first read! You, yes YOU can win an official ARC (Advance Readers Copy) for Cat O’ Nine Tails! Be one of the first to get your pirate on!

Now, I have to admit that I had a wee bit of a freak out this morning. I wasn’t certain if I was going to have an ARC to giveaway at that time because my release date had been pushed back. But have no fear my pets, I checked in with The Amazing Traci, my marketing guru, and she assured me that there will be an ARC! So props to The Amazing Traci and her pimptastic skillz!

So, that’s it for me this week…

Nah, I’m kidding! I wouldn’t leave my love monkeys with nothing pretty to look at! That would be a travesty!

That being said, I’d like to share with you a few little bits that you might read about in Cat O’ Nine Tails…

You might read about something like this…

Use your crafty little imaginations and visualize her with red hair 😉

There might also be a bit of this…

And maybe, just maaaaayyyybe, you might get a smattering of this…

😉

Okay, now this really is all I have for you this week! Don’t forget to head on over to the Sizzling Summer Author Extravaganza and share some love with my fellow authors! They are all amazing and wonderful! Also, you are welcome to pop on over to Twitter, Facebook or Goodreads and say hi, I adore my love monkeys!

Take care and have a safe 4th of July, holiday weekend to my fellow American love monkeys and stay tuned for next week!

Until next time,

Patty <3

 

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Patricia Leever