Adoption Detox

"Healing is an emotional detox, in which disease can’t be indefinitely stuffed down, its symptoms merely managed." – Marianne Williamson

Detox, short for detoxification,  is the removal of toxic substances from the body. The liver, lower gastrointestinal tract and kidneys are the primary organs responsible for assisting with detox.

When I ponder detox, I don’t think of cleansing your body of food waste or bad junk from the stuff you eat. Rather, I think of detox as  the period of withdrawal during which a person’s body returns to normal after long-term use of an addictive substance.  I view this as the primary purpose of detox because I have members of my family that have had problems with substance abuse. Most notable drugs of choice are alcohol, marijuana and prescription drugs. 

I consider myself quite lucky that I did not inherit the family gene that would predispose me to substance abuse. Putting aside the fact that I was never even a casual drug user (I was way too much of a loser. My crowd did books not drugs), my body simply cannot handle alcohol. Sure, I had my share of fun in my 20’s, but as my thirties approached, alcohol was sure to make me vomit.

I simply cannot drink.

Oh, I do but I do so with the knowledge that too much will make me sick for days. Too much will make me lose time at work, with my children. Too much drinking makes me worship the porcelain god.  Too much is usually defined as three drinks. I therefore severely limit my consumption.

However, my exemption from the addiction gene did not exempt me from having to go through detox. I went through adoption detox. I had to withdraw from the adoption kool-aid that had been served up to me in 1985.

When you are withdrawing from alcohol, your body can often experience delirium tremens, more commonly known as the "DT’s". The DTs involve sudden and severe mental or neurological changes. Your body will shake. You will vomit. You will sweat. You will experience loss of appetite. You will experience mood changes that include restlessness, excitement, increased activity, decreased attention span, excitement,fear,confusion, disorientation, agitation, and more.

I have watched family members experience DTs. I have also experienced them myself during the last twenty-two years. They have been more persistent and prevalent since reunion.  The more aware I become of what was done to me, of what adoption does to our children, the more likely I am to go deeper into adoption kool-aid withdrawal.

Adoption detox.

As with drugs or alcohol, ridding your body and mind of the toxic effects of adoption kool-aid is a life long process.  Those who have the strength to recover, to admit to their addiction, are continually faced with adoption kool-aid in the mainstream media.

As recently as this past weekend I was confronted with an adoption drug pusher who pushed their kool-aid my way. This pusher was insistent that a mutual friend, a former adoption kool-aid user and first mother in reunion, had done the right thing in giving her daughter away and that loss of her daughter to adoption was a good thing.  This pusher offered up this insanity while the first mom sat across from her in deep pain. First mom friend was crying, shaking (frpm Adoption DTs) and clearly awakening to the horrors of her adoption kool-aid addiction. Pusher friend?  Pusher friend had to keep on drinking and had to keep on sharing their poison.

I openly disagreed with Pusher. To suggest that first mom did a good thing in drinking the kool-aid is to suggest that her agony was either also a good thing or well deserved. Because you get a short lived high from some street drug, followed by horrible addictive and damaging effects, does that mean the drug is good?  Would you tell someone with cancer that it was a good thing? Would you tell them they are better off because they are afflicted?

The arguments the pusher was using were circular. They made no sense. First mom? First mom sat there suffering from the effects of the kool-aid in her system. She would vacillate between agreeing with the pusher and agreeing with me.  She would sob. She would shake.

I watched her experience the adoption DTs. She was trying (and still is) to rid herself of the toxin.  She has come a long way since her first drink. I am confident given the proper support group, she will overcome.

As I left her, I reminded her of a television commercial that was popular when we were kids. The commercial involved cracking an egg in a frying pan. The accompanying audio track stated "This is your brain" (the egg) and "This is your brain on drugs" (and the egg would be fried in the pan).  I told her that her heart and mind had been fried by adoption pushers.  I told her she could indeed unscramble it.  The next time she was confronted with those adoption kool -aid pushers? I told her to "just say no".