I want to say 'thank you' to everyone who commented on or emailed me about my previous post. I am feeling very vulnerable indeed at the moment and it has been really comforting to read all the support and suggestions from you all.
I also wanted to add a note about other stuff that I'm doing or have found helpful, so you don't think I am just sat around popping pills and waiting for a 'magic cure':
- Meditation and exercise both really, really help
- Talking therapy - Cognitive Behaviour Therapy helped me learn to manage myself a bit better
- I have reiki regularly - a couple of times a month, more if I need it, which balances me up
- Dealing with ongoing (and past) issues that cause reactive stress, like work, wierd-ass family stuff, crazy ex-boyfriends etc.
When I first went on the tablets last year, I very much did see them both as a last resort and as a short-term thing, which is partly why I feel so devastated at the realisation that I still need them. Bedshaped made a point from his own experience about feeling bad because he felt chemically dependent. I completely identify with that - I feel the same way.
But, having said that, I am working hard at telling myself that depression is simply caused by a serotonin imbalance in the brain. It is not a personal failure or a weak inability to cope with things other people find easy. It is just a chemical imbalance, no different from having a thyroid or an insulin imbalance. Taking SSRIs helps to correct the balance, and I am lucky enough to have been prescribed a kind that works well for me - apparently it can sometimes take three or four goes before people get the right one for them, which is partly why they have a bad reputation in some quarters, as there is no way of predicting how one will react to them.
As Cheryl said, these days, anti-depressants are supposed to have a permanent effect on the brain and actually cure the problem over time. Hopefully this will be helped by all the other things I'm doing, which a lot of people actually find are enough to sort the imbalance out without resorting to medication.
I spent most of yesterday sitting on the sofa in my pajamas, feeling sorry for myself, reading Thrones, Dominations by Dorothy L Sayers and eating my way through an enormous chocolate cake. Today, I am going to be more productive. And I am going to screw my courage to the sticking point and give the adoption agency a ring to let them know the situation.
I've found a very helpful book called When You Can't Have a Child. The clue is in the title - it is basically interviews with people who can't have children and positive stories about how they have dealt with their situation. I wouldn't say it's inspiring exactly, but it's certainly made me feel more positive about the idea of putting the adoption process on hold and begin to address the possibility that it might not happen at all.
I also want to say that I completely understand why agencies have this policy. It isn't fair to the potential adopters who's issues are resolved by being on medication. But being fair to the adopters is not the agencies' primary remit - they need to do their best for the children in their care and I guess that having a blanket policy ensures that they do this. So hard though it is on us personally, I am okay with it.
We have some fab new tea. I am going to go and have a cup.