There’s an old boxing adage that suggests it’s the punch you don’t see coming that knocks you out. From my position lying on the mat (almost ten years into search and reunion), I think there’s a painful truth in that observation.
Like many situations, the “punch” was less about the scenario that I encountered and more about the Pandora’s Box of adoptee issues that it opened. A box full of thoughts and feelings that I believed were addressed long ago. Turns out, I may be wrong because the emotional/mental stress of dealing with those issues has resulted in anxiety attacks.
I’ve had periodic episodes of anxiety in the past, but they never showed up as anything other than stomach issues, so I never even considered that possibility until (in what may be the most “me” thing ever) I was watching an episode of “Ted Lasso” and I recognized myself in a scene in which he was having an anxiety attack.
So, I have an appointment with a therapist to talk about what’s happening on the surface and underneath it. I’m sharing this on my blog because I don’t want to be one of the people who contributes to the stigma around mental health by hiding this part of my life as an adoptee. If it seems appropriate, I will share some of what I’m learning in my journey. Right now, the most important lesson is that it feels courageous to seek help.