I've recently realized something. It's an embarrassing and guilt-ridden and shameful secret. But I'm going to post about it...in public...for all to read. I have Post Adoption Depression Syndrome (PADS).
In all of my adoption research, I had heard of PADS and though I know that I have been "going through something" for the past month I wouldn't have thought to call it "depression." What I'm experiencing doesn't look like what I thought depression looked like. However, after doing some online research I realize now that I definitely have PADS.
Looking back I can clearly see that I have had periods of depression several times in my adult life. And the way I've dealt with (or in some cases not dealt with) my depression has been very different pre- and post-children. Before becoming a mother I was able to lie low, distance myself from friends, stay in bed all day. When I was annoyed and irritated with everyone I could just retreat. This is simply not possible as a mama of young children.
So, when I've had bouts of depression since becoming a mother, I've alternated between sadness and anger. Jack and Logan have experienced my crying and shouting more times than I count. And that triggers the guilt. Now with Des and Bri at home, I can't help feeling like I've ruined six lives. Every day is insanely stressful and everyone is feeling frustrated. My patience and feelings of compassion are practically non-existent.
For me, the first step is knowing what I have and that I am not alone. The following articles/blog posts were very helpful in my self-diagnosis:
Post-Adoption Depression by Melissa Fay Greene
Post-adoption Panic by Melissa Fay Greene
My Lightbulb Moment by Julie Gumm
The second step is getting help for which I'm getting together a gameplan. In the meantime, I'm living by the motto "fake it 'til you make it." My Facebook updates and previous blog posts have all been an act. In public, I put on this big fake smile and just try to muddle through the days. Hopefully, I can get some help soon and find a real smile to brighten my children's days.