Healing is not something that I have been able to do in isolation. It has taken me utilizing friends, recovery programs, and professional support in order to walk this path. I want to outline some various forms of support and the benefits that I have found in them as far as healing as a birth mother goes.
I think that therapy is the most obvious form of support for me. I have been in therapy on and off for a very long time. I have never seen anything wrong with going to therapy, but I have had conversations with people who think that going to therapy makes them weak in some way. I have never felt or thought that going to therapy made me a weak person. In fact, I have always believed the opposite. Therapy services are not easy to utilize, as it requires being brave to open up to another individual.
I have benefited greatly from therapy, as having an unbiased individual to bounce ideas off of and talking through my problems has served to help me gain clarity about whatever situation I am faced with. Not every therapist matches with every client. There have been therapists that I have had a few sessions with and realized we did not click as I needed. Yet, I have also had experiences with therapists who seemed as if they got their degree just to counsel me.
If you have never been in therapy, but are considering utilizing this resource, my advice is to take your time with getting to know a therapist and allowing them to get to know you. It takes time to begin an intimate and confidential relationship with another person. Don’t expect to have them give you all the answers to all of your problems. Therapists are supposed to help guide you to your own answers. Healing takes time, so please be patient with yourself. Make sure you find a good fit for a therapist and take your time as you grow an honest and trusting relationship with them.
Case management takes many forms and is available through different organizations and statewide programs. The case management that I have experience in is called “person-centered planning”. This type of case management requires the individual who is seeking treatment to work with their care team in order to set goals and objectives and meet them. I utilized case management for a number of years and found that it taught me some valuable lessons about goal reaching and objective setting.
One of the aspects of case management is crisis planning. You don’t necessarily need a case manager in order to set up a crisis plan, yet this was where I learned about it. Crisis planning is when you take a look at triggers that can send you into a mental crisis and implement a plan as to who you will call and where you will go if these triggers are met and you find yourself in crisis. I have struggled with depression for years; hence crisis planning was something I greatly benefitted from.
The other great thing about case management is that I had someone to check in with regarding my weekly, monthly, and life goals that I was working on setting for myself. Case management reminds me of life coaching. I learned that it is okay to set goals for myself regardless of what I was going through. I now use a planner in order to keep track of my tasks and objectives. I suggest case management for those who find it hard to complete daily life tasks and meet life goals. As a birth mother who was incredibly lacking in purpose for a while, case management helped me to sort out the mess and start to work towards creating a life for myself.
You Are Brave
Seeking out assistance in order to accept life’s circumstances and move forward with one’s life takes courage. In order to open up to another individual or group, we are required to have strength and some form of focus. If you find that you are struggling in isolation to heal, please seriously consider seeking out one or more of these resources for yourself. After all, your life belongs to you and you are the only one who can take the steps necessary in order to walk a path of healing.
Lindsay is a guest blogger for Considering Adoption. She placed her son for adoption 7 years ago and hopes to use her experience to support and educate other expectant mothers considering adoption, as well as adoptive families.