National Adoption Month Posts

November was a bit of a rough month for me. I participated in Ashley Mitchell‘s Adoption Awareness Month Photo-a-Day Challenge. I somehow managed to get all of my posts up on the days they were supposed to go up, even if it wound up being at night. Granted, I did snag the sneak peek preview of Ashley’s prompts when she put them on her Insta-story in like September and started working on them then. So, I definitely had time to prep everything before they went up…

Nov 1 – Accountability
Nov 2 – Broken
Nov 3 – Community
Nov 4 – DNA
Nov 5 – Ethics
Nov 6 – Fake
Nov 7 – Growth
Nov 8 – Honor
Nov 9 – Ignorance
Nov 10 – Jealousy
Nov 11 – Kindness
Nov 12 – Language
Nov 13 – Motives
Nov 14 – Navigation
Nov 15 – Options
Nov 16 – Promises
Nov 17 – Questions
Nov 18 – Roles, Rights, Responsibilities
Nov 19 – Stereotypes
Nov 20 – Timing
Nov 21 – Unknown
Nov 22 – Vulnerable
Nov 23 – Worth
Nov 24 – eXcuses
Nov 25 – Yearning
Nov 26 – Zip It

I’ll come back later once I’ve pulled myself together and share some thoughts on the month.

Ten Steps to Blogging When You Don’t Feel Like Blogging

1. Get a cup of tea and whine about how blogging is hard for as long as it takes to drink it. (You could even turn this whining into a blog post… *nudge*nudge*)

2. White down ideas you have. They don’t all have to be used. I’ve had ideas that I’ve looked back at later and wondered why I thought I could write about that.

3. Look at what kind of posts you enjoy reading – write down what you like about them and how you could do something similar.

4. Take a few simple ones and start making the lists or trying to bullet point a draft.

5. Look at pictures of nature and imagine what you would be doing if you were there. Write it out.

6. Make a list of your favorite authors, books, artists, songs, tv shows, movies, etc.

7. Review a product/service that you think other people are interested in or should know about.

8. Tell a story of something you’ve been through that could potentially help other people.

9. Make a playlist of songs for a certain activity or feeling. Either list the songs and artists or link your Spotify.

10. Forget you were making this list for over a month… Then come back to it, look it over, and decide if it needs more work (I think we’re good), and post.

Voila!!

This is (Hopefully) My Comeback Post

Okay. So, I’ve been absent from here for a long time.

Like, a LONG TIME. I don’t really have much of an excuse.

I’d like to say it’s because I had an office job for like 6/7 months in 2017, but that only explains part of it.

Honestly, I just haven’t really felt like I have anything to say that’s worth sharing with everyone. But I want to come back to blogging, even if there’s no real schedule to my posts. Even one a month would be better than things have been lately.


I could’ve been on here talking about my mental health, but I just simply didn’t have the energy for it.

I could’ve blogged about my 25th birthday, but I’d just recently lost my job; then, I crashed my truck that night on the way to my boyfriend’s house.

I could’ve blogged about how I figured out with my therapist that things surrounding my accident triggered memories from my daughter’s adoption which led to PTSD

I could’ve blogged in February about the cruise I’d just come back from, but I felt like that would’ve been weird because I’d never talked about it previously and I was unemployed so I was afraid of questions about how I’d paid for it.

I could’ve blogged recently about my anger surrounding adoption, but I wasn’t sure how to put it into words that made sense (aside from the letter I sent to my daughter’s adoptive parents).


But I’m here now, and I’ve got a couple post ideas I want to work on. After posting in a group, I want to do something like “Ten Steps to Blogging When You Don’t Feel Like Blogging” and I also want to do a birthmom q&a. I’ve tried to do a post answering questions from people about birthmoms, but no one ever left enough questions for me. So I’m hoping that this time will be different, but I’m not counting on anything.


I’ll attempt to briefly explain the “I could’ve blogged about …” topics from above. 

My mental health – To be honest, I can’t briefly explain this here. It would probably take its own post, and I’m not up for that yet.

My 25th birthday – I was let go from my job a week before my birthday. On my way to my boyfriend’s house to celebrate my birthday, I sneezed and crashed into the back of the van in front of me. (Yes, I know how ridiculous this sounds, but it’s the truth…) The only silver lining was that the firemen were cute haha. 

PTSD – The paramedics who came to the scene didn’t pay any attention to me because the woman in the vehicle I’d hit made such a ridiculous scene that she hogged all their attention. Which reminded me of how my dad tried to ignore the fact that my daughter even exists. It all comes down to being ignored when I needed people to acknowledge the pain I was in – emotional or physical pain.

Cruise I’d just come back from – I was lucky enough to be able to score a ticket to the BTG™ Soul Cruise 2018 with Ashley Mitchell. It was a lot of firsts for me and it was a super fun adventure. I’ll probably eventually do a post about it here. 

My anger surrounding adoption – This one is a bit difficult, because I can’t tell you exactly what triggered it. I was encountering conversations and posts on Facebook that were leaving me angry or confused about how many emotions I was feeling. We’re counting down the days until our July visit, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to go. I didn’t want the memories to be tainted with anger and confusion, while knowing I was pretending to be okay.
So I sent an email to the adoptive parents, even though I was terrified to. They thanked me for my honesty. Birthfather is gonna make plans for July with them, keeping me in the loop so if I want to come I know what’s going on. If I don’t go, the adoptive parents and I will play by ear trying to find some extra time for me before January.


Welp, I think that’s all I can do for right now… Hopefully I’ll be back to y’all soon with another post.

Coping

After telling my therapist that my depression has gotten so much worse, and I’m afraid that I’ll fall back into self-harm habits again, she sent me these two lists:

If you self-harm to express pain and intense emotions

  • Paint, draw, or scribble on a big piece of paper with red ink or paint
  • Start a journal in which to express your feelings
  • Compose a poem or song to say what you feel
  • Write down any negative feelings and then rip the paper up
  • Listen to music that expresses what you’re feeling

To calm and soothe yourself

  • Take a bath or hot shower
  • Pet or cuddle with a dog or cat
  • Wrap yourself in a warm blanket
  • Massage your neck, hands, and feet
  • Listen to calming music
  • Put a ziploc bag full of ice under your arm, by your armpit and hold it there for 1 min

Whether any of these things are going to truly work or not, I have yet to find out. But I do intend on really trying to keep myself from repeating history. That would be a setback that no one wants.

Even with these coping methods, the temptation is still there. It always is. They’re simply other ways of releasing the pent up emotions that could lead to self-harm.

The longer I sit and binge watch shows on Netflix, the more confused I get about how I feel. There can so often be such a lack of motivation to do anything when you feel this low. And that’s what I’m dealing with.

But as the nights get later, and everyone I talked to goes to sleep, the depression rises and the voices in my head start to come back and get louder. They’re difficult to ignore. They tell me things that I already think on my own. But somehow those things just seem more intense, and sometimes even more true, when it seems like those things are coming from a voice other than my own.

Self Care Ideas

  • Unplug for an hour
  • Take a quick nap (10-20 min)
  • Write out your thoughts
  • Splurge a little
  • Have a self date (an hour alone doing something that nourishes you)
  • Take a home spa
  • Do one thing a day just because it makes you happy
  • Activate your self-soothing system
  • Check in with your emotions
  • Take a hot shower or bath
  • Deep condition your hair
  • Apply a face mask
  • Turn off your phone
  • Escape with a TV show
  • Light a candle
  • Paint your nails
  • Color
  • Write in a journal
  • Have your favorite dessert
  • Take a deep breath and put things into perspective
  • Go for a drive
  • Have a cup of tea
  • Read a book
  • Wear comfy clothes
  • Watch your favorite show/movie

Open Letter to Prospective Birthmother

Hey there love,

I know things right now are scary. I’ve been in your shoes. I know how you feel.

You’re afraid of judgement on your situation. You’re afraid your child will grow up and hate you for placing them. You might be afraid that the adoptive parents will break their promises down the road.

I heart stories about all kind of different ways adoptions turned out. I know there is no way to predict how things will go down the road, so all you can ready do is hope for the best.

My daughter was placed when she was ten days old. Her parents didn’t have any kids before, so we’re all navigating open adoption for the first time together. But now I want to share some things I’ve learned along the way.

If your adoption agency allows you to have a hand in choosing the family to place your child with, do it. It can be overwhelming, but I highly suggest following your gut. You’ll know the right family when you see them.

When you go into labor and deliver your baby, there will be lotsof emotions. You may cry, and that’s totally okay. See your baby when you feel ready. Don’t let anyone rush you or tell you you shouldn’t.

Take pictures of your baby. Take pictures of you together. Send them to the adoptive parents if you can. Those moments with him/her in the hospital are precious memories. Having those pictures and memories are a help when you’re having a bad day – or at least they are for me.

Don’t be afraid of the social worker who comes in while you’re in the hospital. It’s standard procedure, and they want to make sure you weren’t pressured into choosing adoption for your child.

You are not less of a person because of the choice you made to place. I know you might feel that way, but I promise you are still such an amazing person. Do not let anyone make you feel bad about the decision you made.

You are giving the family you choose such an amazing gift. You are giving them a baby! You are gaining a new family through your child’s adoption. Enjoy your new life to come!

xoxo
Katy

Talking

This is actually an entry in my journal from today:


My mood seems to be kind of all over the place lately. I go back to my psych on Friday, and I’m thinking we may need to up my Zoloft from 50mg to 75mg. It’ll really be up to her though, even though she really does listen to me and take my feelings/opinions into consideration when making medication decisions. Whcih is a totally different approach than the previous two psychiatrist I had. I’m very grateful for the difference, but it’s taken some adjusting to.

Oh, and then there’s the fact that I never really felt comfortable really opening up to doctors in the past, but it’s the opposite with her. I told her about my daughter, and she told me her sister adopted a child and has a relationship with the birthmohter. It’s like a small connection with her, and I like that. There wasn’t a hesitation when I would answer her questions. I felt like I could be completely honest without fear of harsh judgement.

The fear of harsh judgement actually comes from a psychologist/therapist I went to in the past. I told her that I had self-harmed (I’d cut myself), and she told me that depressed people don’t cut themselves. ONly people with distorted thinking patterns do that. I’d never really gotten along with her very well, so I took what she said as my breaking point and never went back to her again.

I also haven’t gone to another therapist or psychologist since then, and it’s been almost four years.

Depression

I feel like I don’t have the right to complain that I’m tired. I haven’t even been awake for five and a half hours yet. I’ve done nothing that would make me tired. It’s just my depression that’s causing this. And I feel like that’s not a good enough reason to allow me to complain.

A couple nights ago my depression decided to tell me that everyone was just sticking around to be nice and eventually they’d all show their true colors and abandon me. I cried. I knew it wasn’t true, but nothing in me would let me believe anything but what the depression was telling me. It was awful.

And in gearing up to go do a third session at a training weekend with my adoption agency, I feel like all my emotions are surfacing and not going away. The feelings of shame and embarrassment projected from my dad. The grief from placing my daughter two and a half years ago.

But this training is also bringing back happier things too. The overwhelming love the first time I held my daughter in my arms in the hospital. The amazing calm I felt the first time I met the couple I’d chosen as her parents. The smiles all the pictures of her elicit. The heartwarming little hugs from her when we visit every six months.

But this depression isn’t just all the adoption emotions. There’s more to it than that.

It’s the overwhelming feeling that no one cares.
It’s being ready for bed at 8:15, but knowing that you didn’t do anything to make you that tired.
It’s knowing that these feelings aren’t real, but being unable to deny them.
It’s wanting to cry at any point and not knowing why.
It’s no longer caring about the things you used to love and enjoy.
It’s isolating yourself away from everyone, including your family.
It’s sitting on your bed indecisive about what to do because you’re going numb.
It’s not sleeping at night.
It’s sleeping all through the morning and waking up at five minutes till noon.

The list could go on, but I’m going to stop there. This is just a little insight into what’s been going on in my head the last week or so.

A Month In…

So, I’ve been taking these medications for a month now. I just upped the Zoloft dosage from 25mg to 50mg this past Thursday. Honestly, it may be too soon, but I think the 50 is better than the 25. Even my grandmother has noticed that I seem to be more myself than I was before I started the medication.

Which I suppose is the goal of being on medication.

It hasn’t been an easy journey, but it’s definitely not one that I regret starting.

I didn’t think I wanted to be on medication, but I’m realizing that it’s not the end of the world. Sometimes it’s a necessity, and it’s not something that should be looked down on.

I was afraid of judgement and feared the shame I would feel when people found out I was on anti-depressants. However it’s been the opposite. Everyone I’ve told has been supportive and encouraging regarding taking meds again.

When you go three or four weeks between appointments, it can be difficult to remember how you were feeling and what side effects you noticed in the beginning. My solution to this was setting up a notebook with medications and dosages in the back, side effects and emotional stuff in the front. It’s not something I write in everyday. Only when I can be bothered, or when it seems like there’s something worth recording.

There’s not much to record when you’re home alone most days and don’t interact with people. But sometimes that’s when you realize that things need to be changing.

The last three/four days I’ve been feeling weird, but I have my psychiatrist appointment on Friday. So I guess that I should be putting this in my notebook so that I can bring it up with the nurse.

Ugh.. I suppose I should post this since I’ve been working on it for a week now..

Hopefully there will be another update soon after my appointment.

Starting a New Journey

Yesterday I went to a new psychiatrist for the first time in like 11+ months.

There was a lot of anxiety leading up to the appointment. I knew it was what I needed and it was a good thing in the long run, I was still nervous and scared.

But the appointment went well. I was immediately more comfortable with the psych nurse I saw than I ever was with the psychiatrists I’ve seen in the past. I felt like she was much more thorough than the others had been.

There were lots of questions, which is typical with a new psychiatrist. I didn’t feel judged or like I said things she didn’t really care about or think relevant. We even got off topic a couple times, but we quickly re-focused.

She doesn’t agree that I have Bipolar Disorder II like I was told several years ago. She thinks it’s depression with manic elements. I’ve started taking Zoloft and Seroquel.

New medications side effects always suck. The Zoloft is what’s making me feel like crap right now though. I’m got an upset stomach, and I’m not sleepy but I’m tired and I’ve got a pretty low energy level.


If I look at the paper from the pharmacy when I picked it up, typical side effects can include:

  • Dizziness
  • Feeling sleepy
  • Feeling tired or weak
  • Nervous or excitable
  • Upset stomach
  • Loose stools (diarrhea)
  • Dry mouth
  • Hard stools (constipation)
  • Not able to sleep

However, the side effects that require immediately notifying your doctor include:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • Signs of low sodium levels like headache, trouble focusing, memory problems, feeling confused, weakness, seizures, or changes in balance
  • Signs of bleeding like throwing up blood or throw up that looks like coffee grounds; coughing up blood; blooding the urine; red, black, or tarry stools; bleeding from the gums; vaginal bleeding that is not normal; bruises without a reason that get bigger, or any bleeding that is very bad or that you cannot stop
  • Change in how you act
  • A heartbeat that does not feel normal
  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Not able to control bladder
  • Very bad headache
  • A big weight gain or loss
  • Lowered interest in sex
  • Change in sex ability

Now, I read these things and highlight all the side effects, so that if something does happen I can see if it’s something minor that should go away or if it’s something serious.