Monday, August 8, 2016

Getting back on track

About 8 years ago, in a period of about 6 months, I lost 3 people incredibly dear to me. Right after that, I was laid off from my job of 5 years. For much of that time, I was a wreck, and I found myself crying randomly and a lot. I've always dealt with some level of depression and social anxiety, but with the skills I learned in therapy, could usually find my way back to the surface. This time though, I was so deep into my sadness that I could find no way out on my own, and I knew it was time to get help - so I went on an anti-depression/anxiety medication for the first time in my life. My plan was always short-term, a year or so, along with therapy, to get back on track. I did get back on track. But for sure 1 year turned into about 3. Then I decided I wanted to have a baby, and figured with the odds already stacked pretty high against me I needed to try to get as healthy as I could and part of that was to go off the meds if possible. All of this I did with medical and therapeutic support, and it worked, and I felt fine.

Now, 3.5 years into being a mom, I've faced some of those feelings again - for a few months now - and have been considering going back on the meds. Until recently, I've been able to bring myself out of the deep, so I reconsidered. But in the last couple of months it's gotten increasingly worse, and deeper, and is much harder to bring myself back to the surface. So, again with the guidance and support of my therapist and doctor, I have made the decision to go back on the meds.

I write all of this here not for any reason other than this is part of me and my life, and as a mom now, I am responsible for so much more than just me. I need to be the best possible version of myself for my family, and to be clear, that is not who I've been over the past few months. I do not want my son to remember his childhood with an impatient, angry, shrew of a mother, and I've slowly devolved into just that. Part of it is that he is living his crazy 3's, but my responses have been far more reactive than he deserves or than I want. Another thing I am becoming increasingly aware of is that as an adoptee, I have lived much of my life unknowing certain things about my genetic history. I know a lot more now than I used to, but I think I have always felt that my depression and anxiety have been fixable, and self-induced rather than being genetically predisposed. I have a different idea now, after having had some kind of contact with various members of my bio family for the last 16 years. I am looking at things differently this time, and possibly considering the longterm. We'll see.

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