Here one mum talks honestly about about how difficult things have really become…
I have a written a few times over the past 4 months that I have felt overwhelmed. It started with my parental leave finishing in July and my return to work full time. It continued with having my program cut, with my work load doubling and getting a new manager. And, it multiplied by a gizillion when Jonathan was struggling on day 2 of kindergarten, on day 4 when he got an aide, on day 6 when I came to the conclusion that she was terrible and day 10(ish) when he got ‘kicked out’ for half a morning and could only attend one hour and fifteen minutes a day (because that’s how much this terrible aide could cope with him for).
So here’s my confession; I couldn’t cope.
I wasn’t just feeling overwhelmed, I was overwhelmed. I was crying randomly over silly things, having anxiety attacks, feeling very inadequate and incompetent and I finally admitted that I needed help.
I didn’t even intend on asking for the help, it was a bit of an accident. But I think my mouth took over for my stubborn brain because it knew what was best.
I was at my doctor (who is wonderful) for something unrelated and she asked, as she always does, how I was doing – meaning with Jonathan and the adoption etc. And I slowly answered “It’s good….? It’s a little hard. Well, it’s pretty hard. I’m…struggling”
And there was a tiny (ok slightly large) feeling of relief in just saying the words out loud.
And this story could go on and on as, ahem, sometimes I tend to do, but, my point is, that since that time that I admitted I was struggling, about 3months now, I have been on anti-anxiety medication to help me cope with all the challenges, all the change and all the overwhelmingness that comes with adoption, trauma, therapeutic parenting and the general craziness that has become my new normal.
I wanted to write about this because I have been inspired by some of the other bloggers, through The Adoption Social, that have openly talked about struggling with depression and anxiety and I too wanted to openly write about my own mental health.
I want to join in with their voices in bringing mental health to light and take away the shame of asking for help and talking about it. The more it is talked about, the less stigma there is. The more we talk about it, the more we can support each other.
So what I want you to know is this: there is no shame in being vulnerable. There is nothing defeating or weak in admitting that you need help. If you feel overwhelmed and you are struggling, please ask for help. Tell a friend, tell a professional. And ask for help. You won’t regret that you did.
Big thank you to Lindsay who writes at Grey Street for sharing her experiences and being so honest. If you’d like to share your own stories, or perhaps write us your own confession, then please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org