Hey beautiful friends! I wanted to give you an update and a little more backstory about our precious Londyn.

Our 15 year old daughter had fallen into a very deep depression around November of 2022. She became school avoidant, extremely anxious and debilitatingly sad. Most hours of every day were spent at home crying and trying to get out of bed to do seemingly simple tasks, met with more crying and frustration all around. Rinse and repeat…

She stopped being able to attend school completely starting in early November, which resulted in incomplete grades for both first and second semester of her sophomore year. Which, as you can imagine, created more sadness, anxiety and hopelessness. (Thankfully we were very communicative with the school, and they did not count this year against her GPA)

Londyn had been battling social anxiety around attending school starting the first year of middle school, but was able to push through and make it out of middle school with good grades and pretty good attendance. She was in theater and adored the stage. We got her in to see a therapist twice a month when she was around 12 years old and it seemed to help a little with the anxiety. We talked about getting her in to see a psychiatrist at this point, but she was going through puberty and I didn’t feel comfortable thinking about putting her on pharmaceuticals at this point. Then Covid hit.

{If you take anything away from this post, let it be EARLY INTERVENTION. I  regret not taking extreme action the moment I knew there could be a potential problem. If there is an 18 month waitlist for any specialist or program you think your kid may need, imagine the urgency in a year and a half without access to support.}

Londyn’s first year back to school after Covid was her freshman year of high school. Miraculously we made it through that year, enduring a couple of bad days a week with anxiety and/or sadness winning the battle. Attendance was noticeably decreasing, but she made it through the year with decent grades.

At the beginning of her freshman year, there was a noticeable shift from anxiety and OCD presentation to depression. We called to have her seen by a psychiatrist, and were put on an 15-18 month waitlist for 3 separate adolescent psychiatrists. We had been through several therapists through the years, none of which proved to be as beneficial as we would have liked. And back on several waitlists for a good match for a therapist. At this time, the mental health system for children and adolescents was imploding, as Londyn’s depression was starting to take a chokehold on her.

During this time, our sweet dog passed away in Londyn’s arms, and later that year we lost her Grandpa. We were in the hospital with him while he passed, missing her psychiatry appointment and forcing her to get back on the waitlist for another 6 months. We struggled to find ANY kind of support during this time. Adam and I had no idea what we were doing, and she just kept falling deeper into the prison inside her brain. We were stuck in a Groundhog’s Day nightmare.

I left my last blog post about depression in a very dark and scary place. My husband and I had just checked Londyn in to a residential treatment facility 4 hours from our home for 30-45 days. We did not tour the facility or know much of anything about it. We were lucky enough to get a bed on short notice and this facility came highly recommended by the therapy group we had been working closely with for several months. She had been through an 8 week Intensive Outpatient Treatment and was not yielding the results we were hoping for. We had no idea what we had done, no idea if it was the right thing to do and no way of knowing, as we drove the 4 hours home in silence.

We could not speak to her for 24 hours, and after that a total of 10 minutes a day. I don’t know all of what she went through in those first two weeks, but I was a walking open wound. Nonstop worry, anxiety, bouts of crying and hyperventilating. Isolation from my husband, friends and family. Still having to care for my other children; 10, 7 and 2 years old. Attempting (non-successfully) to go about my workday as if I wasn’t being ripped apart from my chest cavity. My ringer was always on loud and if I missed her call, I was devastated.

At first, it was excruciating, hearing her soft and terrified voice on the other end of the phone, knowing all she wanted was for us to come and bust her out of there. But every time we spoke with her, she had a little more life in her voice. She missed us unbearably, but I could hear the confidence and independence start weaving its way through her phone calls. Being forced to find a way to handle the inevitable panic attacks and depressive episodes on her own, was starting to light a fire in her.

I hadn’t fully realize that the desire for me to fix and love the depression out of her had created such a codependency in her until it was too late. I didn’t push her too far, for fear of the worst. And when I did push, it was a disaster anyway.  I became her only coping mechanism; her emotional punching bag, absorbing all of her sadness and anxiety, laying with her in the shit and allowing myself to be pulled down to the depths with her. We HAD to be removed from each other, so she could learn to cope on her own and I could learn to hold boundaries. What I was doing was just not helping her. It was a hard pill to swallow, because I am her mother and I am supposed to be able to protect her and it is MY JOB to keep her alive. But I was not equipped to give her what she needed and I’m so incredibly appreciative to have found a team of people that could.

Over the 40 days Londyn was in the treatment facility, we both hit rock bottom and had to fight our way back to the light. She had some very difficult and challenging situations to navigate completely on her own. She had to do the work, every hour of every day while she was there. They didn’t let her sleep if she felt bad, she had 3 rotating roommates and they all shared a bathroom. As you can imagine, 20 mentally ill teenage girls living together and being together every hour of the day can be a recipe for some volatile situations. But she stood up for herself and learned about conflict resolution.

I believe we are incredibly lucky the way things happened for us. That we were able to find the therapy group that helped get us into the residential facility. That Londyn was wise enough to know that another 40 days at home could’ve been the end of her. She knew she needed help and she did the extremely hard work all on her own. This is a testament to her bravery, resilience and wisdom. This is how I know she is going to thrive.

When we don’t take action on time, or don’t have the resources or the finances, this creates a recipe for suffering. The longer we let it fester, the longer it will take to help them break through. Self-harm, suicide attempts, addiction… These are all effects of the disease; coping mechanisms when they don’t have the tools to cope on their own. Many kids in the program with Londyn came from a psych ward after a traumatic event and were mandated to be at the facility as a last ditch effort. Many had been at the facility for several stays. My heart goes out to all of the parents of all of the kids that are living this nightmare day in and day out.

I waited several weeks to come back to write this. I am fully aware that recovery is not linear, and as great as she was doing that first week when she got home, it could all change in a heartbeat. Especially with the excitement of getting out of the facility and being in her own bed, with her cat and her friends… I didn’t want to get ahead of myself in saying she was doing well.

Almost 4 weeks after her release, I am happy to report that Londyn is doing so incredibly well. We got her into another 8 week Intensive Outpatient Treatment program a few days after she was released from the facility, to ensure she stays on track while re-integrating back into her life at home. She has attended summer school 11 out of 12 days so far. She has worked a few shifts at a concession stand, has been to the gym, participated in social activities, stayed with friends. She is smiling and happy and chatty, talking about the future. This is the absolute best case scenario we could have hoped for.

Of course we still have bad mornings, hours and moments. I have learned to urge her to get through these moments on her own. She has taken up knitting and coloring as coping mechanisms. She has a whole arsenal of tools when she’s feeling bad. I can’t tell you what an enormous weight has been lifted from our souls after years of suffering.

About 2 weeks into the program, I knew I couldn’t carry on the way I was. I had fallen into a deep depression after living half a year of extreme stress and terror, and now a part of my heart living 4 hours away. I felt that I had completely lost my light and my joy, through all of the sadness and darkness we had been drudging through. I had to make a decision, because if I continued down the path I was on, my other children would not have had a functional mother. It was wayyy to easy to fall into the darkness and live there. Luckily, I have a 2 year old that would not let me lay and bed and feel sorry for myself. I HAD to work towards the best version of myself again, there was no other way.

I started going to the gym as well as continuing to do Buti Yoga,  (I’m a comfort eater, so I’m still working on the extra 10 lbs around my midsection I picked up over the last year), focusing on my businesses, my relationships with the other kids and ways to protect my energy. Breathwork, meditation and mindfulness have been extremely helpful in re-learning how to take control of my mind and all eliminate all of the stuff that isn’t mine to hold on to. I can feel my light coming back stronger and the shadows starting to dissipate.

If you’ve read this far, you are freaking awesome! Thanks for listening, supporting and loving our family through the darkness and the light. We could have never made it this far without the kindness and support from our family, friends and strangers.

I know that we will continue to have bad days and rough times, and that is the human experience. My hope is that our struggles can speak to one person who is going through the darkness right now. Keep supporting your loved one, keep fighting. Never give up on them. There is help out there. There are programs and tools and people who are passionately devoted to changing the outcome for these kids and adults that are suffering. Love hard, but know when it is time to get help.

I am by no means a professional, but I am always here to answer any questions or just to listen. I’m rooting for you and I love you all! Thanks again for all of your support and for checking in on us. We can get through anything together.



0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *