Call Me An Adoptee Druggie, But I’m Not

mark for Vetta pse janeYou can call me a druggie, but I’m not. I’m just dealing with the specifics of trauma which I was dealt.

In this post I’m going to be very transparent and trust you not to judge.

Why couldn’t I just go to sleep?

That has been my life’s mantra.

As a kid, I lay in bed starring at the  plaster swirls on the ceiling. Maybe a break, sitting on the floor beside dad would help? Maybe a few minutes of TV would calm my hyper vigilant body and mind? Maybe a yawn would come? Maybe if I talk to God and ask Him to bless mommy and daddy and Dinny Dinwit (my cat)…I would doze off?

Wishful thinking.

In high school, sleep didn’t come until 3 or 4pm. Then, I dragged through school…still can remember walking the dungy lenolum steps with much difficulty.

Even though I was popular in school, I had hyper anxiety in relationships. Guess they call it “social anxiety.” When I was asked out to dinner at a fancy restaurant with the parents of a close friend, I had trouble eating. Why did I feel that way? My stomach was tied up in knots continually.

All my adoptee issues magnified in dating and friendships. No self worth, anger at my mom, feelings of not belonging anywhere.

Anxiety doesn’t enhance anything.

Anxiety Can Morph into Depression

The anxiety escalated over the years. In fact it lead to a major depression in which I had to be hospitalized for 10 days. There was no control over it… anti-psychotic drugs, with the hope that I would regain reality.

Another patient who was a burned-out social worker wept when he saw me going through the breakfast line the next morning after admittance. Previously, I was curled up in a fetal position on a sofa. I wanted to die.

After hospitalization, counseling was recommended. (By the way…adoption was never mentioned in all the crazy advice I got there.) It was during the counseling experience that I began wrapping words around the feelings that were giving me so much anxiety. As you may know, those thoughts turned into my 20 Things Adopted Kids Wish book.

Anxiety Can Be Physical

Okay so here’s the honest part. About 25 years ago, my doctor prescribed Clonopin.

Yes, it is a narcotic drug….and no…I’m not addicted. Just a baby dose. But, it has changed my life. The horrible anxiety in relationships and and trying to go to sleep was suddenly gone.

For the first time in my life, I felt normal. I felt like the man in who Jesus healed of blindness. I was blind but now I could see.

In my heart of hearts, I believe my anxiety is post-trauma of losing my birth family and then being placed in another home of nurturing strangers. It’s like a huge highway through my brain.

That’s it.

We each have to find our right path.

4 comments

  • Jody, thanks for your input. It was filled with much wisdom. I hope this post is helpful to some fellow adoptees. It may be a small percentage, but if it helps even one, it is worth it.

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  • Blessings to you Sheri for your openness and honesty and I do believe there is PTSD for many of us adoptees that shows itself in the hypervigilance and other behaviors of coping with our rollercoaster emotions. I go to sleep late and wonder if that stems from being in a hospital for the 1st 2 months of life- hospitals are busy active places. Regulating our inner chemistry with low dose but adequate medication is not shameful but the wise and right response. You have given permission for other adoptees to be themselves and find necessary coping and regulatory resources. Thank you!

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  • You are very welcome. I’m glad it was a help to you.

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  • Thank you so much for writing this blog post!

    Like

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