I have suffered from depression for as long as I can remember. My first diagnosis came during my teen years, but I had been in therapy long before that. My depression has been well managed for more than a decade with anti-depressant medications. Each year at my physical, the doctor has suggested that maybe I come off them. I have tried. It doesn’t work. If my prescription runs out and I go a few days without them, I feel it… and so does my family.
I’m coming back from a bad place. In the past month, I spiraled down as low as I have ever been. Like not-leaving-the-house-can’t-get-out-of-bed-cutting-myself-suicidal low. I couldn’t stand myself, let alone anyone around me. Especially Daffy. Once I realized that and started to accept it for what it was is the exact moment when I was able to start the long journey back from this dark place.
I’m no expert and I have not seen a doctor for this particular bout with depression, but my money is on Post Adoption Depression.
It makes me sick to even write those words. How could my depression be triggered by the very thing that brought me so much joy? I feel an incredible amount of guilt for even admitting that. Even more than that, I HATE sharing this in such a public way, but my goal of this blog is to be transparent about our adoption process. I would be doing myself and my readers a disservice to only post the rosy parts of adoption, keeping the dark parts a secret.
I have spent hours contemplating how I got to my lowest point. Sure, there were the stressors of this thing we call “open adoption“…. and it’s been very clear to me (and everyone else) that Donald’s case has caused an exorbitant amount of stress in my life over the past year. Is that it? Is that all? How could I jump from my anger toward’s Daffy’s birth family and the state to anger towards by beautiful daughter? My best guess is that I resent her denial of what they have done to her. I know, I know…. its her birth family. OF COURSE she loves them. I’m adopted myself. I get that. I really do. But somewhere deep inside myself, my rage boils for what happened to my sweet little girl. I have spent a year ignoring how I felt. I spent a year focusing on moving FORWARD for Daffy. I need to process my anger. I need to process the neglect, the abuse. And somehow, I need to accept it. For my sake. For Daffy’s sake.
My battle is not over. I still don’t feel entirely like myself, but I do see glimmers of the person I was. I am going to keep working hard, and being honest, to get through this. Depression will NOT rob me of my happily ever after.