Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Nine Years and Still Learning

I need to clarify something.  In my last post, I was quite emotional about my journey with my PADS (Post Adoption Depression Syndrome) and how it affected Cameron and I.  I wrote that it takes a long time to recover from depression.  What I meant was, that it takes a long time to recover from the effects that depression has on your life.  Meaning that, you may have "damage control" for years to follow.   Sleep, medication and counseling heals the symptoms of depression.  Emotional healing takes longer and can happen through therapy, time and learning about yourself.  I don't know about you, but I am REALLY good at denial.  It is kinda like "protective mode" for me.  Protecting myself from dealing with the effects that depression had on my life. Sometimes,  I go through rough patches with my emotional well being, and that is not because I am regressing, or slipping back into depression, but that I am recognizing that something is unsettled in my mind or heart, even years later.  These times are usually triggered by a memory or a picture that I haven't seen in a while. Over the nine years that I have been going through this, the most important thing that I have learned is to be honest with myself. People do and feel things while in depression that they would NOT do or feel when they are healthy.  In depression, my need to escape from the pain of my life, overrode my sense of right and wrong and I made decisions that I would never have made when I was well.  So, my point is that as I emerged from my depression, the stronger I got, the more I realized just how much I was not in my "right mind" while in depression, and because of that,  the guilt sets in for all the wrong that you may have done or for those you may have hurt. 

I feel that if we bury the things that scare us down deep inside and do not admit them to ourselves, then they hide, lurking in your subconscious and prevent us from ever forgiving ourselves.  That is what I experienced last week.  The realization of something that I had denied and when I faced it, yes, it made me sad.  But it moved me another step closer to "complete forgiveness".  I am not there yet.  The great thing is that I am surrounded by a loving family who supports me.  The interesting thing about this experience over the last nine years is that most people would think that Cameron and I are probably not very close.  Truth is that we are very close and he gets me.  We have our own little world of jokes and banter that keeps us laughing all of the time.  I cherish that with him.  We get strength from each other.  A tender hug between him and I brings tears to my eyes every time.  This child coming into my life has taught me more about life and love than anything else. He needs me and I need him.  I am forever grateful for him.

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