Monday, April 4, 2011

Manic Monday

The Upside of things is there will always be a downside!

Once upon a time, in land far, far, away (o.k. the land is where I have always lived) I had a roommate. This roommate was the most excellent roommate. I couldn't have asked for better really. His name was Terry and he and I were great friends. Terry was a wise soul...wise beyond his years.

One year for Christmas, Terry gave me a beautiful silver ring. Engraved inside the ring was the following inscription:

This too shall pass

We lived together when I was in my mid-20's and as everyone knows (or maybe they don't) your 20's can be a hard period. Trying to figure out who you are and what you want to be in life. (Although now I know this can be something you spend your whole life doing.) Terry really helped me sort myself out and encouraged me to go after what I wanted.

He explained to me the meaning of "This too shall pass" because honestly I hadn't heard the expression before. He said: "When things are going horribly remember 'This too shall pass' but also when things are going well 'This too shall pass'. In essence what I am trying to say is; times will be good and times will be bad but they always pass."

It is a saying I have carried with me since. When I am stuck in a rut and it just doesn't seem like things are going my way I say to myself "This too shall pass" and it makes me feel much better. On the flip side when I am feeling on top of the world and like nothing will ever bring me down I am sure to remind myself "This too shall pass".

I don't do it to be a pessimist or a come across a downer.

But it's true. Life is not a constant. It has its ups and downs.

Like a roller coaster ride.

The best quote I ever heard was in the movie "Parenthood" where the Grandma talks about her husband taking her on a roller coaster when she was 19.

She says: "I always wanted to go again. You know, it was just so interesting to me that a ride could make me so frightened, so scared, so sick, so excited, and so thrilled all together! Some didn't like it. They went on the merry-go-round. That just goes around. Nothing. I like the roller coaster. You get more out of it."

And it is true! The roller coaster ride is fun.

However, after the last couple of years a couple of turns on the merry-go-round doesn't seem so bad. Even if it were just for 5 minutes. But the thing to remember is - there will always be an up and then a down - just like a roller coaster. There might be some flat spots but they are just a pit stop before the excitement and life lessons waiting to be had.

Last week, I didn't post a Manic Monday post because I was in the middle of a down. Not a down like when we first came home. I hope to never have that feeling of panic and doom again. The week prior we had a really good week! An "I'm king of the world" week. We were clicking, getting our groove on, having fun and I forgot for that moment "This too shall pass".

It isn't a bad thing I forgot. I actually think it is good I let it slip from my mind because it allowed us, more specifically me, to really start attaching. I'm not saying the attaching and bonding haven't been there. Its just we are all dancing around each other trying to figure out how this is going to work. I will leave this topic of attachment for a separate "Manic Monday" post because it really deserves its own post.

There are certainly things I want to share and it is why I have been writing about my experiences with PADS. However, there are times, feelings and thoughts which just can't be shared. I started out writing these 'Manic' posts because I felt alone and wanted to see if anyone else could identify with me. Thankfully, I am not alone, I don't wish anyone else to feel this way but if you do feel it and are experiencing it, it's good to know there are people who 'get it'.

But there is a young son involved and I don't ever want him to read these posts some day in the future and think "I did this to my mom". "I made her feel this way". In no way is this true. It was the circumstances leading up to him coming home which let to these events. I know this. He must know this too.

So, last week, I had a couple of bad days. As I have already said not as bad as when we first got home, but definitely down days. This is too be expected. PADS or PPD doesn't go away overnight. It takes time. On average it can take about 4 months all the way through to a year to feel fully like yourself again, (According to some reading I have been doing on the topic) to feel the panic and overwhelmingness of it all dissipate.

Some say wait until 6 months to evaluate anything in your new family - like here. I think she is bang on. I think it could take longer for some but certainly don't evaluate anything in the first couple of months home.

I chose to keep the details to myself on the off chance I happened to sit at my computer and spew the contents of mind and hit enter. I know I could remove the post if I felt it was too much but it is the internet after all and "What happens on the internet stays on the internet". It's not like it was so bad I couldn't write about it but in the heat of moment, like in an arguement, things can be said that later would bring regret.

The thing to remember is - The ups and downs are normal.

They do not mean you aren't healing, growing, are doing the work. It is really hard work.

The ups and downs will be a roller coaster.

This too shall pass!


Anonymous said...

It sounds like you had a wise roomie! You are already sounding like you're finding your own family groove, and once you hit that stride, it will be better Rana! It's good to talk about all of this, I know you're helping many people

CinnamonOpus said...

Despite the ups and downs, it sounds to me like you are handling things perfectly fine. Perspective is so important, and you are doing awesome at maintaining yours.

andrea said...

Rana... you are so courageous for sharing the pieces of your journey that you are (and wise for knowing which pieces you want/need to keep more private). So few people talk about PAD/PPD, but so many people are affected to varying degrees. Seeing you blog (and getting your emails!) is wonderful because it shows that you are coping and finding the tools and supports you need to manage. Ade is lucky to have a mommy who is working to take care of herself (and is helping to support others at the same time). Hugs... A

Shannon said...

It's funny, having struggled with PPD, that's the thing I MOST want to say to new moms I see, even if they don't appear to be struggling in any way. :) I want to run up to them, grab them by the shoulders, look them in the eyes and say "I PROMISE this will get better!!" Because that's what I most needed when I was dealing with it. :) Come to think of it, I'd probably really freak some people out if I did that! LOL.

PS-Is it just random that the word verification below says "manic"?

emily and mike said...

I have been repeating this phrase to myself lately!!!! Oh man, sometimes it is the only thing I can do to get myself through a day. Just knowing that things do have to get better and that hopefully this is just a hard season in my life. Thanks for another great post Rana.

Anonymous said...

I've rarely left a comment, and have absolutely no sphere of experience to draw on regarding your personal journey to a family (aside from being adopted myself). But I just want to tell you how much your words resonate with me every time I read one of your blog posts. It's not the subject matter so much as how you're able to articulate what you've experienced and learned, and how willing you are to share your thoughts and your heart. I admire you for it.(This may seem silly coming from a girl you haven't seen since high school, but nonetheless...)I know your old blog title was Ranavan's Journey and it always brought to mind the Don William's quote: “The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.” Wrap that up with "This too shall pass" and you've got all the wisdom you need to continue your own journey. :)
- Dani

Melissa said...

"This too shall pass" is one of the few words of wisdom my mom gave me in my 20's that didn't make me crazy (unlike "just turn that frown upside down and you'll feel better," which just made me want to kick her).

You are doing so many good things that I can tell that you (and Ade) will be just fine . . . no matter what comes your way.

Anonymous said...

So true.

Stephanie said...

My Mom says "this too shall pass" regularly!! It's neat to read it from a different perspective. Thanks for sharing with us!

Steph :-)

Carolyn said...

How is it that some days are great and the next is a nightmare??? I have said this before- you are a great writer and your blog is inspiring to read. You should write a book!