I have recently (very recently) become a mother. I am a 48 year old, single woman and have adopted a preschool age child.
With thrilling anticipation, I have worked tirelessly for this for years and nobody is more surprised at the reaction I’ve had to being a mother than I am.
Almost immediately, a depression washed over me. Not a disabling depression but an old, familiar disheartening, sickening, joy robbing depression.
I have given this considerable thought.
As we all know, when you have depression, you are predisposed to a double whammy when faced with a loss and even though I am joy filled to have this little peanut in my life, apparently, I am also grieving the loss of my notion of what my life would look like.
For even more years, I have envisioned my life playing out differently – married in my 20’s or 30’s – having children (via whatever way) with the man that would be my best friend – my other half.
We’d have a house – a double income – nice cars – lots of couple friends…I’d be able to relax and not have to be frightened about not having work. I’d be able to reduce my hours in order to spend more time with my child.
I’d have a partner in this parenting journey and I’d have the goodies of the relationship leading up to it.
Not having this has evidently made me sad. I thought I was all done with this years ago.
Yet, when I pick her up and look in that little face full of wonder, I feel magical. I feel happy. I feel full of adoration. She doesn’t give me any time to acknowledge a depression. I am just so stupefied by my body’s response to this otherwise wonderful event.
I guess the take away is that it’s possible to feel lousy even at the best of times. Depression is a gremlin I’d rather not wrestle with at this time in my life but once again, it doesn’t care and I’m left with no option other than to enter the battle. Go figure, just when I thought I knew everything…