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#121 of 141 Old 10-07-2011, 07:58 PM
 
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Tonight is one of those nights where I just wonder how much longer it will be like this, how much longer I can keep going. Everything goes so very badly that I look around and feel certain I am doing everything wrong. And at the same time I know that can't be true because I work so hard, care so much, try so desperately to do right by my husband and children... but maybe that's not enough.

 

There must be some magic component I'm missing. Something that holds families together, makes people love their lives, love their children daily, makes them feel like they can breathe. Makes people love them in return.

 

That's the thing I'm missing.




Honestly, you do sound quite depressed. Everything? Really? Can you be objective enough to admit that it's really not EVERYTHING? (Hey, you and your kids woke up this morning and everyone was alive and safe, and maybe even some of you were happy, right?) Start small, but start finding the good and focusing on it instead of the bad. (I've been trying to work on this myself, and let me tell you, I felt ridiculous when it was pointed out to me that even with my pain, and things in my personal life not being good, etc. that I still have it much better than lots of other people. It's true, and it's also very easy to forget when you're not where you want to be.)

 

I borrowed a book from the library about cognitive behavioral therapy (which I think PPs mentioned here, or was it another thread?). It was in the context of dieting/"thinking like a thin person" but as I read it I realized that this is exactly what therapists use to help people with depression. It's about changing your mindset, and there are little exercises to do each day. Most of them center around creating and then reading (multiple times daily, as necessary) positive affirmations (not quite a la Stuart Smalley, but mostly things that are in context with your particular issues, like "I'd rather lose the extra weight and feel better for the rest of my life than eat this chocolate cake and feel better for a few minutes.") I'm wondering if maybe this would help you to keep a more positive outlook? I am planning to do this in the next few days, b/c I have an awful habit of being irritable with DS for no good reason and it has to stop. So my cards will have reminders on them like how grateful I am to be his mommy b/c it sure beats the alternative of no kids, nevermind how much joy he brings to our lives (yes, he brings a lot of turmoil too, but focusing on the joy is the point); how I don't need to eat the chocolate cake (!) and should exercise instead; how my PT only takes 20 minutes and I need to make time for it EVERY DAY or I'm not giving my best to my family (how can I, if I'm cranky from hurting?); there's more, but I'm sure no one wants to hear it. ;-)

 

As for you feeling like you're missing something, are you my husband??? I know very few people who appear to have this "thing" you feel you are missing who are not in therapy and on anti-depressants. Seriously. My neighbor? Drugs and Jesus weren't enough, so now she's a fitness freak as well. Crazy. New friend who has THREE kids who are well-mannered, calm, and always nicely dressed? Anger management therapy and anti-depressants, for YEARS and can't hold a conversation without throwing her DH under the bus about some little thing. Also admits to anxiety attacks at the thought of spending any time at all with her in-laws, who come to every birthday party, holiday, etc and appear to be a very close knit family who do everything for each other. Not without guilt, fighting, and apparently a lot of animosity. My BFF? Kid is a train wreck b/c BFF doesn't have the energy/motivation to discipline her at ALL, take her out to get her energy out (and learn how to behave in public), or play with her in the house where she just watches TV and runs amok. Another friend who cannot post anything to Facebook without referencing her "amazing husband" and what he bought her/where he took her on vacation? Methinks she doth protest too much. She only admits that "nobody's perfect" but then acts like they are. I'm pretty sure she's on anti-depressants too, and basically stopped talking to a lot of us once she discovered her son may be autistic b/c it's too much to admit her boy isn't developing perfectly.

 

I swear I am not making this up. Nobody has it all together. Nobody feels like they're madly in love with their family 100% of the time. I know that I am, but I don't feel it ALL THE TIME. I think you need to take a step back and stop beating yourself up over not being perfect. A therapist once told me, "Lower your expectations (of yourself and others) and you'll be MUCH happier." It's true. DH always says to take things in "baby steps." He should know, he's more of a mess than I am, and has pulled himself out of depression more times than he cares to admit. He's stronger now for it, even though it has brought him to his knees in the past. Each time he goes through it, he learns something (IDK what) and the next time is less severe than the time before. The episodes also are much fewer and further between now. Focus on yourself, on learning what motivates you, on what's going right (is the refrigerator still working? that counts, b/c think of what a PITA it would be if it weren't) and see if you can't crowd out the negative thoughts. And stop comparing yourself to other people. You're you. Work on that.

 

Yeah, I'm rambling. A lot of this is for my own sake as well, b/c I have been needing time to sort out my thoughts (not that this isn't still a jumble) but I'm hoping that maybe some of it will help you too. I'm pulling for you and so are lots of other people here!

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#122 of 141 Old 10-07-2011, 09:14 PM
 
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I've been there and I strongly suggest meds and therapy.

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#123 of 141 Old 10-08-2011, 09:18 AM
 
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Obviously there are so many responses to this thread, I cannot go and read them all; I am mainly reacting to the first few, and other similar types of issues I see from time to time here.

 

Why do people seem to jump so quickly to saying she suffers from depression (as though there is something wrong with HER) when in truth it sounds like a very natural reaction to being all used up. I would be more likely to look for boundaries issues and see if she is "giving too much" and not saying no enough, and is indeed becoming depleted. And why wouldn't that make someone miserable? I don't get it.....it always sounds like we're finding fault with someone (i.e. "you have a piece missing") when we say that, when in reality they are having a normal reaction to a very crappy situation.

 

I'm not really picking on anyone in particular here but I just sort of viscerally reacted to the way it felt like we were pointing out some kind of flaw in the OP. Indeed it *could* be depression but it could also be that in her family system she never saw women who could assert boundaries and keep their own needs met AS they met those of their kids/spouse. I was in my 40's before I really understood how freaking important boundaries were. I mean, I first learned about them in my 30's (family system had taught me just the opposite of healthy boundaries) but until I had my child in my 40s I never had to put them into practice, and then, of course, the stakes feel (and are) HUGE.

 

Anyway, I do hope that things can be corrected so that OP feels better about her life. But truly, this is a great place to vent and I would urge OP to continue doing so.

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#124 of 141 Old 10-08-2011, 02:27 PM
 
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I don't see depression as a flaw or as something wrong with a person. It just is something that's there. Maybe it's the cause of her negative thoughts and feelings, and maybe it's the result of her feeling stuck b/c of boundary issues. Maybe it's both. Maybe it's not really depression (but it sounds like it). Either way, something needs to change to help her feel better about herself, her life, etc. Most of us are responding based on our own experience, and unfortunately lots of us see depression as part of what's going on. Hopefully something in this thread will help, depression or not, but I don't think anyone is implying there is something wrong with OP or that it's her fault somehow.

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#125 of 141 Old 10-08-2011, 04:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by swd12422 View Post

I don't see depression as a flaw or as something wrong with a person. It just is something that's there.


agreed. I don't see it as any different than if someone had listed a bunch of symptoms and gotten responses that they were the signs of diabetes and that they needed to see a doctor ASAP.
 

It just is.

 

To define it as a "flaw" makes it less likely someone will get help. And no one has to live that miserable. No one has to suffer to that degree.

 

It's OK to get real help and move forward in life.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#126 of 141 Old 10-08-2011, 06:06 PM
 
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OP,

 

I haven't read all the previous posts, sorry if someone else already mentioned this.

 

Have you read "Feeling Good" by David Burns?  If not, I highly recommend it.  Don't be discouraged by the title - this is a no-nonsense book on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).  This approach requires you do exercises/homeworks to get any benefits.  This book might help giving you tools to deal with issues/thoughts you have been having.

 

Please do consider, give the exercises/homeworks some time to see how/if it works for you at all.  Hope things will get better for you soon.

 


Pro rights (vaxes).
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#127 of 141 Old 10-10-2011, 12:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by NellieKatz View Post
Why do people seem to jump so quickly to saying she suffers from depression (as though there is something wrong with HER) when in truth it sounds like a very natural reaction to being all used up. I would be more likely to look for boundaries issues and see if she is "giving too much" and not saying no enough, and is indeed becoming depleted. And why wouldn't that make someone miserable? I don't get it.....it always sounds like we're finding fault with someone (i.e. "you have a piece missing") when we say that, when in reality they are having a normal reaction to a very crappy situation.

 

I'm not really picking on anyone in particular here but I just sort of viscerally reacted to the way it felt like we were pointing out some kind of flaw in the OP. Indeed it *could* be depression but it could also be that in her family system she never saw women who could assert boundaries and keep their own needs met AS they met those of their kids/spouse. I was in my 40's before I really understood how freaking important boundaries were. I mean, I first learned about them in my 30's (family system had taught me just the opposite of healthy boundaries) but until I had my child in my 40s I never had to put them into practice, and then, of course, the stakes feel (and are) HUGE.


I think you need to read the whole post. She has some very serious issues in her life. Yes, having a husband who wasn't depressed and a dad who was not irresponsible for money would lessen her stress. But no amount of boundaries is going to make them all go away. She's got a child with a feeding disorder, a depressed husband, can't get a loan for a car, is in a place where she knows few people (thus no social support network), and has had 3 children in 5 years. That's HEAPS of stress, and too much stress is the #1 cause of depression. Once you're depressed, you need to focus on self-care. Once you;re depressed, your brain chemicals are altered. You can't just set boundaries and have it get better. Boundary setting will be part of the solution, but it won't fix everything. As witnessed by her latest post. 

 

OP: I hope you're able to get the help you need, and are able to round up some support.

 

Could someone teach you to drive stick? Could you sell your husband's car and buy one that works for the 2 of you?


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#128 of 141 Old 10-10-2011, 01:33 PM
 
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*hugs* No, there's no magic component. It always takes a lot of work, and if you feel like you're the only one doing the work, it seems much more like hell than heaven. Plus, honestly, sometimes one person really cannot do it all if there's just too much that needs doing. You are, after all, human! hug2.gif From what you've said it sounds like that's a lot of what's going on--you feel like (and seem to be) the only one really trying in this situation . . . the kids are too small, your husband is too depressed, and so you're left to be the only "adult" to try and keep it all together. It's COMPLETELY understandable that you would be angry and frustrated and, honestly, rather depressed.

 

Has your husband yet admitted that he needs therapy himself? My DH was having severe, severe anxiety issues for a couple of years before we had our son, and once he finally decided to ask his therapist to help him find a good medication, things have improved hugely. His meds keep him stable in a way that he'd never had for years before, even when he wasn't having anxiety spirals. Is your DH that against therapy and meds?

 

As for support systems, there's got to be something in your area. Have you looked through the local stuff here to see if there's anyone local to you?

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#129 of 141 Old 10-10-2011, 07:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for your replies. I am reading every one and thinking about them. I am so grateful to have somewhere to just say these things out loud.

 

Dh is now on medication but I still think he needs a higher dose. 

 

We are in marriage counseling together and I am really feeling that this is a bad idea right now. Since we started counseling things have gotten worse. I mean, we have good moments and we are both REALLY trying but overall my mental health and coping with stress has plummeted. I honestly feel like trying to be in a relationship with him is like connecting myself to a deep and endless sadness. In the last 9 months that he has been here (as opposed to when he was too busy and I was solo parenting) I feel like I've developed second hand depression. 

 

I might be wrong, but that's how it feels.

 

Before I coped as well as possible with having small babies, limited funds and a scarce support system. I was able to look on the bright side and to figure out daily what the good things were and hope that in the future those things would eventually change.

 

 

But in trying to come to unity in our life plan and align myself with him I feel like I've borrowed his deep discontent. It's soul sucking.

 

I saw a doctor and they put me on an anti depressant not long after I started this thread. Then I was getting worse. I had increased anxiety and I had this flat feeling that was almost spooky, so the doc took me off meds and says she doesn't think any other SSRIs will work for me and can't recommend anything else because I'm bfing.

 

I went along but now I'm going to see a different doc this week and get another opinion. Things are getting worse. I'm worse than before. I have very little desire to go on and if there is a chance that a medication can help with that then I need to find it.

 

I have a hard time with people telling me to think of the good things and certainly EVERYTHING isn't bad. It's hard to hear because I KNOW that and I try to do that. I'm trying so hard I feel like I will just burst into flames one day from trying. 

 

It's going from laughing and reading to my kids, tickling them and telling silly stories to feel so angry and panicked that I wish they never existed that is terrifying. I have both experiences multiple times a day. The ups and downs are so extreme they scare me.

 

Despite trying there is this underlying unrest that never goes away lately and this PANIC and overwhelming sadness that jumps on me throughout the day and I can't think my way out of it though I've tried. 

 

Every time the baby cries I want to run away. Every time I have to weather my dd's violent tantrums or try to feed her I want to run away. 

 

All I want is to tell my husband we need to take a break. To work on ourselves separately. That his presence is killing me. But when I try to say it the words never come out. I'm too afraid to say them.

 

He is trying like he's never tried before. Falling short, but trying. And it scares me that I've waited for this for 6 years and now it doesn't seem like enough. 

 


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#130 of 141 Old 10-10-2011, 07:38 PM
 
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I'm so sorry. I certainly didn't mean to be insensitive....

 

Have you told the marriage counselor that this is where you have ended up since you started counseling together? Maybe there is something else to be done, either separate counseling or another tack the sessions can take? It is a good sign that he is trying so hard, and it's also crazy-making to have to watch him struggle to "try" and then have him still falling short. Telling him he's falling short probably wouldn't be helpful.

 

I hope that you can find some way to figure out what you need and how to get it.

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#131 of 141 Old 10-10-2011, 11:47 PM
 
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I think you are amazingly strong, Funny Face.  I haven't read this whole thread, only the beginning and this page, so I apologize if I'm completely off track.  Based on your most recent reply, is there any way that you could restructure things for a while?  You say that (roughly) your dh is trying hard, but you are feeling drained by him.  Is there a way that, without too much disruption in the lives of your babes/breastfeeding and care issues, you could work something out so that you have some space?  Clearly defined?  So that maybe, you were on all day, but he comes home and for x number of hours, you are off?  Maybe even a temporarily separate living arrangement (don't know how far out of the realm of possibilities that might be)?  Maybe even just a few days a week?  So that you don't feel the weight of a marriage and adult relationship on top of all the childcare duties that you have.  Maybe something like, "Dh, I love you and want to work on our relationship/ourselves, and I honestly don't have the emotional resources or wherewithal right now.  What I need is some space first.  Free of obligations or others' needs or anything at all, how can we find a way to create something like that?"

 

Would it be possible to divide and conquer that somehow?  That might allow you to put it in terms of what you need at the moment, rather than what he isn't able to give.  Maybe that's not what you need, but what if, for example, every Tuesday and Thursday--day or night, maybe both, he was either gone, or he was home evenings and you were gone--out of the house or not.  Maybe to individual counseling, or just somewhere else for a while?  It seems like you desperately need some breathing room.  I wish I could magically grant that to you.  Is there any way at all to find that kind of space for yourself, even if it's just to stay afloat to begin with?

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#132 of 141 Old 10-11-2011, 04:27 AM
 
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How are you doing with the basics - getting enough sleep?  Getting a break?  Diet/sunlight?

I mean clearly that's not going to be enough but I'm just curious how that is going.


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#133 of 141 Old 10-11-2011, 06:30 AM
 
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Just a couple thoughts about the medication aspect of things....are you able to see an actual psychiatrist? If there are difficulties finding a medication that will work, then a psychiatrist will probably be more of a help than a primary care doc. Maybe you're already doing that, but I thought I'd mention it just in case.

 

Also, I'm not sure how old your kiddos are, but if bfing stands in the way of getting effective treatment for your depression, it would be worthwhile to think about weaning. I know we all consider bfing to be tremendously important, and I know it would be hard to think about cutting it short, but for most families I would say that untreated depression is going to be far more damaging than formula feeding. You need to take care of yourself and bring some joy and hope back into your life, and that might require letting go of some attachments to how you thought you would do things, you know? You don't have to be a superhero and just endure this crushing depression so that your kiddos can continue to nurse. The weight of that responsibility on top of everything else sounds almost unbearable to me. Anyway, this is obviously your decision and depends on what your new doctor has to say, but I did just want to say that there are situations when weaning is absolutely the right thing to do, and it's possible that this is one of them.

 

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#134 of 141 Old 10-11-2011, 06:59 AM
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Funny Face View Post

 

All I want is to tell my husband we need to take a break. To work on ourselves separately. That his presence is killing me. But when I try to say it the words never come out. I'm too afraid to say them.

 

He is trying like he's never tried before. Falling short, but trying. And it scares me that I've waited for this for 6 years and now it doesn't seem like enough. 

 



here's an idea -- call your therapist and leave this as a voice message. When I've been in therapy, 99% of the time, if I call my therapist, I get put into voice mail (because they are pretty much always with clients). It might be easier to say this to a recording machine than to a person, and it might be easier to tell the therapist first rather than your husband. But then it would be out there, and it then it would be your therapist job to help you figure out how to actually say it out loud.

 

 

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#135 of 141 Old 10-11-2011, 09:25 AM
 
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Just a couple thoughts about the medication aspect of things....are you able to see an actual psychiatrist? If there are difficulties finding a medication that will work, then a psychiatrist will probably be more of a help than a primary care doc. Maybe you're already doing that, but I thought I'd mention it just in case.

 

Also, I'm not sure how old your kiddos are, but if bfing stands in the way of getting effective treatment for your depression, it would be worthwhile to think about weaning. I know we all consider bfing to be tremendously important, and I know it would be hard to think about cutting it short, but for most families I would say that untreated depression is going to be far more damaging than formula feeding. You need to take care of yourself and bring some joy and hope back into your life, and that might require letting go of some attachments to how you thought you would do things, you know? You don't have to be a superhero and just endure this crushing depression so that your kiddos can continue to nurse. The weight of that responsibility on top of everything else sounds almost unbearable to me. Anyway, this is obviously your decision and depends on what your new doctor has to say, but I did just want to say that there are situations when weaning is absolutely the right thing to do, and it's possible that this is one of them.

 

hug.gif




I second this.  I am a die-hard extended breastfeeding mom but if you are emotionally and mentally overextended to the point where you are wishing that you or your kids never existed, then I think you should take weaning to go on different meds under serious consideration.  You are in a scary place right now.  Untreated depression can have some really awful repercussions on families.

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#136 of 141 Old 10-11-2011, 06:12 PM
 
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so sorry you are feeling this way. wanted to send along hugs.


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#137 of 141 Old 10-11-2011, 11:29 PM
 
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hug2.gif Anxiety sucks. Depression sucks. I'm sorry you're having to deal with this. Linda's idea of calling up the therapist and leaving a voice mail is a good one. Another thought is to print out what you wrote in your last post and take it with you.

 

Would it be possible for you and your dh to do counseling separately for a while? It sounds to me like you're right: You each need to tend to yourselves before you can tend to a relationship. You're drowning, and the couple's therapy is dragging you down.

 

Do you have an actual psychiatrist or a general practitioner. If it's a GP, please seek out a psychiatrist. They know the meds and are more up on the combos that are safe for breastfeeding. Just because one SSRI didn't help doesn't mean another one won't. If you have anxiety, some of the ones (SNRIs?) will make that WORSE. I was able to get meds (SSRI) that was safe for breastfeeding. I couldn't take some drugs (like Xanax) but others ARE OK. I breastfed both my kids while on an SSRI. They're bright, creative, interesting kids. With all the usual kid issues, but nothing more.

 

Hang in there -- I know it's a really hard space to be in. It WILL get better. Really. You can't see that space now, but some day, you will. Repeat that to yourself as a mantra if you need to.

 

And if you feel like you really can't handle it, call your husband and tell him you need to go to the ER. It's OK to admit that you need a lot of help, NOW. I've been to the ER because of anxiety. The only thing I wish was that I didn't have that much anxiety to begin with. I don't regret going.


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#138 of 141 Old 10-12-2011, 05:02 PM
 
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Your last post is scary to me. I really hope you get some help fast.

 

I think you need to say the things you are scared to say to the therapist and your husband - that's the whole point of therapy, if you're not being 100% honest you are just wasting your time. If you can't do it with your husband in the room, can you make a private appointment with the therapist? 

 

 


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#139 of 141 Old 10-18-2011, 05:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I saw my new GP (he actually isn't 'new' to me as he is my kids doc) last week and my appointment with him went really well. He was so kind and listened so well I cried when I got out to my car. No one has been nice to me like that in so long. He started me on a different SSRI to start and we're going to see how it goes. I'm not seeing a psych- I'm not sure how that works... I've been paying for the therapist out of pocket and would have to look at the cost of a psych. We try to be very careful about what goes on record with the insurance company. 

 

I was able to tell my therapist much of what I said in my last post. I told her that the hyper focus on getting my kids to sleep and getting 'alone' time with dh was feeling like a crushing burden as those are not things I have control over. She says we definitely need to switch directions and re-evaluate if counseling is making things worse. We had a lot going on over the last month and hadn't been in in several weeks so that was not a good thing either.

 

I am hoping the new meds give me breathing room. I am hoping the new direction in counseling will help. I am hoping I can have enough good days in a row to give me some strength.

 

I keep trying to get time out of the house but right now dh is working long hours on a project due at the end of the month so I am solo parenting again until then.

 

Baby's crying need to go. Hoping to update again soon, your thoughts and support are so very appreciated. 


We think greenearth.gif  Gentle mama to 3 amazing kiddos. Rainbow.gif Recovering from religion. heartbeat.gif

 

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#140 of 141 Old 10-18-2011, 07:56 PM
 
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Good job on going to see the doctor and on talking to the therapist. You are putting good energy into helping yourself feel better, and it WILL start to work! hug.gif


Living the good life and walking a path of peace with DH and DD (4/09)
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#141 of 141 Old 10-18-2011, 09:36 PM
 
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Glad to see you took another step!

Also glad to see how many times the word "hope" came up in your post... ;-)

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