Saturday, August 15, 2009

Whew!

It has been a whirlwind summer so far. I know I have not posted as much as I normally have. There are lots of reasons...Our trip to Africa which just about did my legs in. (I have had horrible leg cramps since then), husband's loss of his job, and my hours at work changing and being cut back. Add to this 3 new little ones - 7 total. That has doubled all my life chores, i.e. laundry and meals - lots of meals!! We had my daughter and her family come with friends in tow.

Then Juan gets a new job and has training out of town - for a month! In the middle of this we moved to a new city, into another home. I had to pack the hold house, and change utilities. I had to do the entire move by myself because Juan doesn't have any vacation time yet. I had to register the kids into 4 new schools, talk with all the guidance counselors, set up ESL, set up testing, take the kids for physicals, and immunisations.

Now this obviously isn't my first adoption, but this adoption just sent me into huge postpartum "baby blues". Who am I kidding; I am (was) flat out depressed. Then, on top of the depression, I was feeling guilty that I was depressed. I was afraid to talk to anyone about it since I'm the one that wanted to adopt - so why would I be depressed? I was also afraid to talk about it because depression is so misunderstood. Well meaning people wanting to to say that it is a spiritual problem. "Just get right with God." I know that I am totally right with God and I'm still depressed! Depression is an illness and it can get better or worse - but it is treatable. I am so thankful that I have a good doctor and I am now being treated. I am also thankful for my closest friends who have been with me through this the whole time. I feel a lot better and I am not crying all day!

Each day I am becoming more and more like my old self. So if I've missed returning any e-mails - email again! I am on the road back!

9 comments:

Bugtheteacher said...

Thank you for posting this. Depression seems to be one of the most misunderstood medical issue of our time, especially in the Christian community. It is not a spiritual problem (at least not most of the time, I am sure there are exceptions to this)it is an imbalance of chemicals. I thank God that he is giving doctors the insight into treating this.
Praise God we live in a time that this can be helped. Prayer also never hurts and although I do not know you personally I have and will continue to lift you up in prayer. God bless you, your husband and your beautiful family.
Elizabeth
P.S. I still laugh and have shared with my family about the "Cow Girl " costume.

Kimberly said...

Thank you Jesus for these words from beautiful Pam - I have been struggling mightily through taking in a friend of mine's child while she is being treated for leukemia. If 1 more person says to me, "be careful what you wish for--you always said you wanted kids" I do believe I will commit harey-carey up in here :o) Well, I did think that might happen. I can see the light now that the depression is lifting. Have I always wanted children, yes. Does it mean that there are not some VERY difficult days with this young man who has been completely raised without discipline, rules, schedule, normalcy.. nope it sure as shootin' doesn't. I'm fine with God; it isn't about God punishing me, him or his mother -- it's about too little sleep, too little cooperation from his crazy family and too much stress caused by his looney family unnecessarily. It doesn't change how much I love him. It doesn't change my salvation. It just is what it is. I'm glad you are starting to pull through too - keep putting 1 foot in front of the other is what I tell myself every hard day now, I just fake it some days until I make it others! God bless!

Mamita J said...

Pam,

Thank you for sharing your deep pain. I know there must be days when you are totally overwhelmed - especially with the other stuff going on in your life (besides the adoption).

We adopted just one 4 year old with a trauma history (in May of 2008), and our lives were turned upside down for over a year.

Depression? Yeah.
Despair? Yeah, sometimes.
Grief? Unbelievably painful.
Fear? You bet.

It has taken me until just recently to truthfully answer "How are you?" with "Good." For so long, I could only answer with, "We're hanging in there." or "Okay." or "We're going to live through this."

But through all the pain and troubles, we have seen God's power at work in her little life. She has made huge strides toward becoming healthy. We are becoming normal again. And that is good.

Praying for you,
Julie

Anonymous said...

I just want to say thank you for this post also. I deal with chronic pain, which causes depression and even just feels like depression when it's not many times. Most often it seems that others think it is a spiritual issue. May God bless you for being transparent about your pain, so others know they are not alone. ~Della

Irma said...

Bravo for your honesty. Despression is so common, yet so misunderstood. You are an amazing woman and I proud to know you.

Anonymous said...

You don't know me but somehow I landed on your blog, probably linked from another site. I admire your honesty in your blog post. I grew up in a large family with five adopted siblings, two adopted internationally at the ages of 5 and 14. It wasn't easy, in fact it tore apart numerous families that we knew in similar situations. I don't say that to be negative since I'm sure you understand the reality of the statistics. I wish my mom could have been honest about her depression through those years. I wouldn't change our family situation even though my oldest sister has chosen to not be a part of our family anymore, I know that their lives are infinitely better than what they would have been. It's stressful and painful at times but also wonderfully funny and full of love. There was so little known about attachment disorders and adjusting to a new culture 40 years ago when my parents adopted. I'm thankful that you have more information and resources available.

Having dealt with depression myself at one point, I realized how ashamed I felt about it- but not about my other health issues. Somehow depression seemed like a character flaw, not the chemical imbalance that it is. We all need to speak out to challenge the stigma.

Bless you and your family.

marie said...

Wow Pam, you sure have had a lot on your plate. Depression is such a joy killer. I'm glad you have a good doctor who understands. I've been treated for it for many years and will probably always need the meds to keep my chemicals balanced. I do know that meds aren't the total answer but without them I am useless. It is a physical problem that affects you mentally, emotionally and physically. I know you will forgive the people that give you the ignorant comments because I know you are a loving person. They cannot possibly understand if they haven't experienced clinical depression. And I hope they never do experience it.
I hope things have settled down somewhat. You and Juan are courageous and compassionate to take on these lovely challenges and I admire you. I know you and Juan have a deep faith and God will see you through these difficult times. You and your beautiful family are in my prayers.
Love you! Say hello to Juan and the Kids!
Marie A.

Brenda said...

Depression is a serious illness that is not always taken seriously by doctors, friends and family. Clinical depression is paralyzing, and not something that you can talk yourself out of. I know this because I have experienced it, and, like Marie, will be on medication the rest of my life. I thank God that help is available. I really appreciate you sharing this part of your story.

The Gang's Momma said...

I get ya! I really struggle over the winter months, more than any other time of year and haven't sought treatment. But neither have I sought other help. And for the most part, no one seeks me out when I "disappear" - except my sister and my hubby. Feels lonely sometimes, but I understand what you are saying. Hang in there. I'll be praying!!!