Hi MicaR I couldn't read your post and not reply. Awwww I want to give you big hugs, I understand what it's like to have a little one who wakes 6+ times a night.
My DS is nearly 12 months and he has woken 6+ times a night since he was about 4 months old. I clearly remember when he was in that 7-9 month age range and the night wakings were THE WORST, and I felt so incredibly desperate and exausted.
Like you, when I read mamas saying that things did not improve until bubs was 18 months, 2 years etc I felt so desperate at the thought of things being this way for another 1+ years.
The only I can share with you is that things have gotten slightly better for us - particularly around the 10 month mark, he started sleeping a stretch each night of about 3, 4 or 5 hours. It doesn't sound like much, but was a huge improvement from him sleeping only 1-2 hours and then waking. It was amazing how better I felt getting a little more sleep, and more importantly it gave me a glimmer of hope that things would improve.
One thing my DH and I have noticed lately, is that when DS starts to stir (DS or I co-sleep with him), many times we can get him back to sleep just by placing our hands/arms around his body and shushing him - where as before he would only go back to sleep by being rocked or breastfed.
My friends with bubs who were the same, also have told me that from about 1 onwards they will start to understand things better. I've noticed DS understands simple words like "piggy" "ducky" "teddy" etc so now I very consciously say "sleepy time" at bedtime.
The thing that helped me the most, was my DH and my bedtime arrangement. Basically one of us co-sleeps with DS and handles the wakeups (me by nursing him, DH by rocking him) while the other one of us sleeps in the living room (on the sofa...ha how crazy is that!) and then during the night we swap locations. So usually I feed DS at about 10.30, and he falls asleep on our bed. DH comes to bed, then I got to the sofa. Usually around 3 or 4 DS nees a feed again so I go to our bed and DH comes to the sofa. Having a few hours of uniterrupted sleep and also just the mental break of knowing that I'm not on baby duty, has made all the difference. And I'm really lucky to have a DH who is on board with me 100 %. Perhaps you and DH could think about some way of dividing the night time parenting.
Also, with the Mom's group I belong to, of course they all have bubs who sleep well and complain when bubs wakes once or twice a night of how "sleep deprived" they are - it kind of annoys me. But I have come to realized that our DS has different nightime needs from their babies so there is no point in comparing.
I too tried "No Cry Sleep Solution" but ultimately it made no difference - I have come to believe that my baby sleeps the way he sleeps and we can't change it.
Anyway, I know how tough it is. All I can say is to be really kind to yourself and take it one night at a time. With every month that DS got older, I tell myself it's one month closer to better sleep.