Depression – is it? Some days I feel I’m doing more harm than good

I just read a blog post from @dadoptive about being diagnosed with depression

It’s not easy to be honest about depression, and who knows if it’s depression or it’s just your hormones.  I’ve lived with feelings of depression for years but I manage to climb out of it – exercise, a laugh with friends, a night out with wine etc.  When you adopt two children and the issues they bring, sometimes it can be really hard to drag yourself and them out of turmoil.

The prospect of going to a doctor on a time limit to be given drugs that may not be right scares me – but I know I need something.  Maybe I just need someone to talk to right now. I dont feel like I can turn to my support network, my husband is unwell so has his own issues and well, sometimes it’s just hard to talk about these things.

I am almost two years in with our two adopted children and despite feeling the love and protectiveness, I find myself often coming back to a place of numbness, lack of empathy, switching off, can’t cope.  I havent been diagnosed but I think that I have some form of depression for years.

I’ve just been woken up twice in the night by both children, first at midnight to correct the sheets that are twisted  or for the quilt that has fallen on the floor and then at 4am ‘mummy I cant sleep’, I take her back to her room and she appears to fall asleep almost immediately.  I feel I’m pretty tough as Im not the empathic mother, inside I am saying ‘for god’s sake just go back to sleep’ when I should be saying ‘there, there, was it a nightmare, it’s ok’.  I honestly cant tell you what I said as I just feel so shit.

You might be thinking – is that all she has to deal with, you should have had my night.  But this is after a few days of relentless challenge looking after a four and five year old who are out of routine, in the middle of the school holidays.

Like @dadoptive I guess I think the worst of myself and if I’d seen myself dealing with them in the early hours, I probably wasnt that bad – my husbamd says Im too hard on myself.  Inside I feel like a shit mum and in ten years time the children are going to be reflecting all of this back on me.  When we took these children on I wanted to make it better, not make it worse.

As adoptive parents I feel we put a huge pressure on ourselves because of this – you dont want to let your children down – they’ve already been through enough – their lives need to be transformed now.  It’s not like that though.  Not only do you have your own issues to continue dealing with, you also have to deal with theirs.  Being so young their issues are going to be aplified as they play everything out through irrational emotional brains – trying to cope with that as the rational adult is so tough sometimes.  When you have depression or you feel down it can make those days really dark.

It’s 6.01am and I havent gotten back to sleep since being woken up at 4am and whilst my house sleeps silently, I am thinking about that blog post and hoping that I too can take a step up on the ladder as boy I need it right now.

3 thoughts on “Depression – is it? Some days I feel I’m doing more harm than good

  1. Despite what you might feel, I am sure you’re doing a great job.

    I don’t think anyone is ever truly prepared for the challenges and sudden shift that adoption brings.

    She went back to sleep so you must’ve said just the right thing.

      1. I know that feeling. Sometimes the only person we believe is ourselves and when you are suffering then that self isn’t particularly positive.

        I’m fighting to get myself to work – been awake ages but not got out of bed yet!

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