I think the first crack in the fog of adoption loss happened for me when I was pregnant with my youngest son. My husband had been begging for a third child, I didn't want another one. He works in construction, very long hours 6 and sometimes 7 days a week during the summer. Days would go by without the kids (and sometimes myself) seeing him ~ he would leave before we were awake and come home after we were asleep for the night. I was a married single mother and used that excuse for why I didn't want another child. I once had the thought enter my head that I didn't want another child, I wanted the one I wasn't able to raise. As quickly as that thought entered my head, I shooed it away and swiftly forgot about it (or so I thought...). Thankfully he had started wearing me down and I finally was considering having another child, because I found out the hard way that antibiotics don't play well with birth control!
Even though I didn't consciously acknowledge my missing son's effect on my life, my brain and my body knew of it. It was shortly after my youngest son was born that I began to put on a lot of weight. I can look back now and easily see what I was doing, but I had no clue at the time. I was trying to fill the hole in my heart with food. That worked for a few years (in the process gaining almost 100 pounds).
After that I began trying to fill that hole with "things". I spent money we didn't have on things we didn't really need. It was financial problems that I was no longer able to hide from my husband that cracked open the door of denial for me. What the hell was wrong with me? I was a grown adult, why couldn't I get control of my life? What was I doing to myself, my husband, our marriage, our kids and our future? Everything always came back to the loss of Christopher. I finally handed over our financial matters to my husband and started doing some soul work. It would still be a couple more years though before I finally was strong and brave enough to say enough is enough. I knew that I needed to find someone to talk to, to finally deal with the loss of my son to adoption and to deal with the effects of that loss, as well as the denial of that loss, on every aspect of my life. After that I was going to start the search for him.
As you may know, we were reunited by a search angel just three days before the date I had set to find a therapist and make an appointment with him/her. I truly believe that God had his hand on my plans, because if I had found a therapist, chances are pretty high that it would have been someone who believed in the sunshine and rainbows and would have easily been able to put me right back into that closet of denial.
In the last 3+ years after that search angel changed my life, I have become a different person. I got rid of the false beliefs, I have come to have a sense of acceptance over the loss of Christopher and an acceptance of myself. I got rid of the financial issues and no longer feel the need to buy things "just because". I have un-cluttered my house (mostly!), it's now a house of calm vs a house of chaos visually.
I however still carry the extra weight. Towards the end of March I decided that it was time to quit hiding under it. I decided that I was going to see if I could make some drastic changes in April ~ and I did! I knew that I wouldn't be able to just cut back in a couple of things, it had to be a huge jump into eating healthy. It had to be all or nothing. I quit eating/drinking "white" stuff ~ sugar, flour (which includes bread and pasta), dairy. I even gave up alcohol for the month! (And I love my margaritas, or a glass of wine sometimes after dinner) I was only going to eat and drink real foods. Lean meats, veggies (LOTS of them!), and some fruit. I am proud to say that with only three days left in the month I have been very successful. Despite the birthday and anniversary parties, 1st Communion celebrations, snacks at school every day, I have only had a few bites of cake and cookies, no breads, just a couple of bites of pasta. Oddly, it wasn't the sweets that were in danger of being quickly consumed by me ~ it was the breads and chips that about did me in several times. I did have a couple of chips a few times, just enough to get a small fix of salty and crunchy. I had NO Pepsi ~ not a single drink!! (and if you knew me, you would know how impossible that thought was!) I am going to continue eating only "real" food, but I am going to try adding back a little bit of dairy (cheese please) and some whole grains now and then. I feel so much better, my skin is clearer, as are my sinuses. I don't know what foods were causing those problems, so I will add foods slowly to avoid those issues again.
As of this morning, I am down exactly 19 pounds! Without starving. I ate whenever I was hungry ~ it just had to be real food. I think a big part of the loss has just been the mind set. I now realize that I was holding onto the weight as a way to continue hiding from myself ~ from my true self that is. I think Christopher's silence was also a big part of me getting to this point. I had to face some things that I still hadn't faced, until I was forced to with his silence. I had to look deeper inside myself, I became stronger in the loss of him.
This may sound corny/new-agey to you, but I also found help not just in my own mindset, but it was as if the universe was also helping me along. It seemed that everywhere I looked, everywhere I read, I was seeing messages to help me along my way, helping me to be strong. I will share those messages of inspiration with you soon!
Oh ~ and by the way ~ even though I still hadn't heard from Christopher, he texted my daughter last weekend to tell her that he was going to be fairly close-by again, and came to join us for dinner Wednesday night! I don't need to tell you that it was a fabulous evening ~ about four hours with all my children together again. Heaven! Yesterday I suffered from an emotional hangover that always hits after a visit, but today I'm just thankful and feeling blessed that things are still coming together, even when they sometimes feel as though they are coming apart!