I had a panic attack last night. At midnight I woke up with a start, with an impending sense of doom. A panic attack is so much more than feeling anxious or worried. To help self-diagnose, The Anxiety UK website asks: "Have you experienced sudden attacks of intense anxiety or fear during which you felt as if you were going to die, or lose control, or go crazy?"
Yes, that's how I felt. It was scary. I couldn't lie down, I couldn't just sit there. I got up, walked around, went downstairs, felt very agitated. Nothing Daddy did could help. For the first time in my life I was afraid of the dark. I had some very threatening and dark thoughts.
Ten minutes later, thankfully probably because I was so tired, I managed to fall back asleep. On waking, I felt ok although this last week I haven't felt brilliant in general. I still have the remnants of flu and a lack of energy and I'm not looking forward to Daddy going away with work later in the week. I'm still feeling inadequate as a mummy (see Bad Mummy). If I could spend the day sitting on the sofa flicking through the tv channels, I probably would.
What I am probably suffering from is post-adoption depression.
I've had depression before, back in 1999 and then again in 2002. The fact I've suffered is not a negative point for the social workers. The fact I've coped with it and got through it is actually a positive. One of the ways I got through it before was using homeopathy and I'll be turning to this therapy again. I'm against anti-depressants as they just cover up the symptoms, not get to the root cause. I'll be talking about it with the social workers too. My Mum is a massive support and a few of my adopter mum friends will be there for me. I mentioned it to one of my best friends on Friday when we met for coffee (I am getting myself off the sofa) and she had some wonderful words for me, so supportive. I've also made a friend of one of the mums at the school date - hurrah. She is lovely and we hit it off straight away and I told her about the adoption when Missy was invited for a play date last week. Plus, it really goes without saying, that Daddy will be there for me.
Yet with all the support, depression of any kind is lonely. No-one apart from the sufferer truly knows what is going on in the sufferer's head and only the sufferer will know what is their personal formula for improvement. Every one is different. For me, kind words, positive words, hugs and drugs all go a long way to help but ultimately it's down to me to help me.
All of this does not mean I'm not striving to give Missy the best care though. I will always do that (although I'm still on a massive learning curve). We've had an up and down week. One moment she's an angel, funny, delightful and the next she is a little devil. She was a devil at her friend's house - wouldn't talk to me, was rude and stubborn. She's been answering back a lot lately and has been very moody. On a positive note, she has been playing by herself more (it was lovely to hear her in the garden today playing with a football and even lovelier seeing her have so much fun when Daddy joined in), her artwork is awesome, there have been small improvements in her number work and she definitely seems to be building some attachment to us.