Yesterday was Mother’s Day, which has to be one of my least liked days of every year.
I posted a 10 slide mini-essay on Instagram, sharing my feelings about the day and how being an adopted person impacts the pinkest day of dotage on on the calendar. You can find my Instagram account here.
The first thing I did after posting was send a message to my sisters, assuring them of my love and telling them I’d posted something about MD and that the post was not about our family.
Thank everything good in the world, they get it, to the degree that than can. They both sent back messages of love and support, which meant so, so much to me. Their words of affirmation made me cry.
I was a little concerned about backlash, so I didn’t tweet the mini-essay, as Twitter can turn nasty fast. I was glad that the people I know on Instagram were supportive of me; I received lovely comments, and a few people shared their own familial connections to relinquishment and adoption.
To each of you, I send my heartfelt thanks.
Speaking or writing about adoption isn’t easy, especially on social media where things can be so easily misconstrued. I did pause before I hit OK, and then I hit it. They were my words, my thoughts and I wanted to share them.
After feeling relieved and buoyed by the response to my post, especially the words from my sisters, I watched MasterChef then binged more of my latest fave series, Power, which is on Stan. (Get on to that, FYI.)
Yesterday wasn’t an awful day, it was a (mildly) difficult day, as it is for lots of people.
Took myself off to bed and fell asleep without any issues. My brain clearly wasn’t finished pondering mothers and adoption though, as I had an incredibly vivid dream in which my family moved out of our family home of over four decades, without telling me. They just left.
In the dream, I was somehow at their new house, which had none of the family’s furniture or belongings, and literally no room for me, even though it was a big house. I couldn’t get a straight answer from anyone on why they left without telling me. It was horrible. Horrible. Absolutely real, and gutting.
I woke up, sprang out of bed and had a brilliant day.
Actually, I woke up feeling literally wrenched out of the dream. I felt the emotions of the dream, abandonment and fear, coursing through me, like liquid neon.
I sat on my bed for more than an hour, trying to will myself to get going, get in the shower, get ready for work. I couldn’t do it.
Finally, I sent a text to my boss and let him know that I was having a difficult mental health day. I don’t sugar coat why I can’t function. No ‘I’m feeling a bit sick’ excuses. Just because pain is mental not physical, doesn’t make it any less real or valid. I was not capable of concentrating enough to work. I now know myself well enough to stay within my limits.
So, straight to the yoga mat, followed by 45 minutes of silent meditation? Sorry, no. Straight into my fluffy pink dressy-gown and then to the coffee machine. I ordered fresh bread on UberEats, thinking eggs on toast would be good, then popped myself on the couch. I finished watching Power (wow!) and just vegged out for a good few hours. No eggs on toast. Shrug.
A couple of people checked in after I posted on Facey and Insta, which was brilliant. I’m glad nobody called, I didn’t want to expend my limited energy on big emotions. I just let myself be in my vulnerable state, and didn’t give a second thought to missing work. I am more important than my productivity, so I chose myself today.
One of the main reasons I find it easy to choose myself is because I have broken the tape that loops in most of our heads shouting ‘compare yourself to others and find yourself lacking’. I don’t play that rigged game anymore.
I needed space and quiet time to let the after affects of that awful dream dissipate. It worked. I even managed a reviving shower by 5pm.
That’s how I got through the next day.
(Re-watching Taylor Swift’s Miss Americana helped too. Thanks TayTay.)
I guess I type all of that, to say this: Choose yourself.
The more often you choose yourself, the easier it gets.
It is within your power.