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Depression Returns

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Image ironcpu.deviantart.com/art/Depressio

I lost 5 lbs this week, and yes, I am happy about that, but I'm not happy in general right now. I'm in the down of the roller coaster and as a result am lethargic, apathetic and ready to cry at the drop of a hat. I give into the urge to sleep so that I don't have to walk beside the side of me that is disconnected to life right now. I should be using skills, but that means I'd have to have the energy to do them and I don't. It's been 2-1/2 weeks like this. Sleep, get up, eat, sleep, sleep, sleep.

I know this will pass, just as it always has, but still, in the deep, dark part of my mind, I'm always left to wonder 'Will it really pass this time?'

In the interim I need to get back to writing my morning pages, meditating and writing what I'm grateful for and proud of. These activities do indeed help my depression. I may not notice an immediate improvement, but over time, there is always some shift. I'm off to do them right now.

Today I'm grateful for:
1) the sound of Paul's voice when he calls me "sweetie"
2) the quiet when Paul & the dogs go for a walk

Today I'm proud of myself for:
1) riding my recumbent bike for 8 days in a row
2) eating healthy for 8 consecutive days
3) getting back to blogging

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MRKWST22 10/7/2009 8:31PM

  I'm a bipolar mixed. For 40 years it was the dark, dark place I knew lurked to strike at my soul at any time, any place. It did emotional and physical damage. It utterly destroyed relationships.

I found Dr. Jacobs by pure chance. He convinced me the imbalance of my brain chemicals was something that could be fixed. I hated the idea of being weak and dependent on pills. But it was either try this "last resort" or take myself out. I chose to live.

I'm 60 now. Do not wait one more day to get help with any depression. It kills brain cells, dendrites, and synapses. It will work. You will be happier and healthier.

Do the work. Get it done. Now!


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CHANGES4KAREN 9/30/2009 8:18AM

    Depression like so many things in life is cyclical.

You are doing what you need to do: focusing on gratitude!!!...
...That alone will get you through some of the darkest times by just a light inside that gets sparked somewhere within remembering the good things in life that do not pass you by.

I am constantly reminded when I read your blogs and your gratitude entries how to do that in my own life.

Thanks for being a great example of following through even when you are not feeling so hot!!!

You are awesome!!! I love your beautiful background by the way....~lovely ballerinas~...!!!
Such a beautiful soul!!!

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With love and in peace, Karen emoticon

Comment edited on: 9/30/2009 8:22:29 AM

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PONYFARMER 9/30/2009 12:37AM

    I am so sorry you are in this phase. I just came out of my own. Not a bad one this time, but still very frustrating.

IT will pass, we both know that but it does skew our perspective on everything about our lives.

YOu are doing great, taking the steps necessary and doing what you can to help yourself. Stay with it and I will be praying.

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ANSING 9/29/2009 11:49PM


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LOVELILIES 9/29/2009 10:25PM

    Cathie, I know that the depression can be so totally overwhelming and consuming.

we all deal with our depression in different ways but please try to remember that you are bigger and stronger than this dark feeling that takes you into its grip. You can, and you will, get past this feeling.

Tell yourself every day that you are stronger than these feelings. Believe me, I understand. When I get into the depths of depression, I feel so terribly suicidal that it's all I can do to not start cutting myself again.

But you and I are better than that. We have struggled and fought to come out on top. And we will....we ARE coming out on top.

Eight days of exercise and eating healthfully! That is a major accomplishment. Take your kudos where and when you can.

Believe in yourself as I believe in you.

I don't know if you read the reply I put in one of your other blogs about the analogy with Jessica. But remember, it's not how long the trip takes, it's what is waiting for you on the other end that really counts.

All my love, Maria

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Principle 1: People Who Successfully Navigate Change Have Positive Beliefs.

Friday, September 25, 2009

I bought this book ďThe First 30 Days: Your Guide to Making Any Change EasierĒ by Ariane de Bonvoisin. There are written exercises and Iíve decided to do them here in my blog rather than having another notebook to add to my pile. So, here goesÖ

Chapter 1: Change Your View of Change Ė Beliefs Can Make All The Difference
Principle 1: People who successfully navigate change have positive beliefs.

1) Get a sense of your current beliefs about change:
- Change is (hard, frustrating and overwhelming.)
- I am (not great) at change.
- Life is (what you make it.)
- The purpose of life is (to create a life worth living.)
- A crisis is a time (of fear & to have an honest look at my behaviours.
- Work is challenging.)
- Relationships are (wonderful.)
- Books about change are (educational, informative and motivating.)

2) The change I am experiencing is my desire to lose 95 lbs.

3) My beliefs about this change of losing 95 lbs are:
- Iíll never do it.
- The longest period Iíve consistently lost weight is 2 weeks.
- I plan, plan and over plan.
- I donít follow through on my plans.
- I donít finish what I start.
- I can't do this.
- Iím a quitter.
- Iím lazy.
- Iím gung ho in the beginning, but fade out after a few days.
- The longest period Iíve consistently exercised is 11 days.
- Iíll lose 30 lbs, then gain 40 lbs back.
- I don't deserve to be healthy and active.
- I sabotage good efforts by binging and not exercising.
- I won't be beautiful until I lose all this weight.

4) Imagine someone gave you a handful of optimism pills, what would those beliefs about your change be? Write these on a card & read several times a day.
- I can get healthy.
- The way to achieving my goal of losing weight is with baby steps.
- I have extensive knowledge on nutrition and fitness.
- I have a friend I can count on as my support buddy and together we can get healthy.
- If I keep my focus on one or two goals, and look at just today, I can build consistency with my eating and exercise.
- I have faced many challenges in the past and overcome them, so this is no different.
- I deserve to be healthy.
- I deserve to be happy.
- I deserve to be loved.

5) What are the worst things I say about myself or believe to be true about the person I am?
- I am bad.
- I am worthless.
- I am a quitter.
- I have to do it perfect or not do it at all.
- I am lazy.
- I don't deserve any good in my life.
- I am so lucky to have Paul because no one else would ever put up with me the way he has.
- I am a failure.
- I sabotage any and everything.
- I'm fat, disgusting and obese.
- I hate myself.

6) How do I sabotage myself when trying to make or face this change?
- When depressed, I'll sleep all day, then binge all night.
- After a couple of days of exercising, I'll miss one day, then get mad at myself and give up altogether.
- I haven't exercised in years and keep trying to do more than my physiotherapist suggests, thus hurting myself and not being able to exercise at all.
- I set too many goals.
- I spend too much time planning & organizing and never actually start.
- I'll stay awake all night.
- I spend too much time in my head.
- I don't use the skills I've learned in counseling.
- I isolate myself.
- I use the excuse 'it's so painful' to not exercise.
- I avoid everything and everyone.
- I distract myself with the computer and surf the internet for too many hours.
- I don't eat breakfast and lunch, which leads to over eating in the evening.
- I tell myself that 'I can't do it.'
- I have all or nothing thinking.
- I give up on myself.

7) Even if it's just 30 days, what better things can I believe? (Always start with 'I am...')
- I am intelligent.
- I am capable.
- I am able to set realistic goals.
- I am human and will make mistakes.
- I am loved by Paul for who I am, not how I look.
- I am creative.
- I am funny.
- I am patient.
- I am strong.
- I am brave.
- I am surrounded by people who love and support me.
- I am worthy.
- I am confident.

8) What is the one new thing you need to believe to get through the change you're experiencing? (Post it somewhere visible)
- I am a warrior who will fight this battle until it is won! I am going to be brave!

9) What are the strongest empowering beliefs you can have that will help you through this change?
- It is as it is.
- I will get through this.
- I'm not alone.
- I CAN change.

10) What are the best things you believe about yourself? Your skills, talents, qualities...What makes you, you?
- I'm resourceful.
- I'm creative.
- I'm a good writer.
- I can groom my dogs.
- I can train my dogs.
- I'm smart.
- I can be funny.

Alrighty then, that was kind of difficult. I realize how much I allow my beliefs to rule my life and stop me from engaging in it fully. I don't want to come to the end of my life with a ton of regrets about things I didn't do because of fear. Losing this weight and getting active are both terrifying to me, but I choose how difficult it will be based on which beliefs I want to buy into. I want the optimistic beliefs so I'm going to write them on index cards and read them aloud numerous times a day in front of the mirror. Eventually I hope to actually believe them, but in the meantime, I'll fake it till I make it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHANGES4KAREN 9/26/2009 9:07AM

    Great job looking at things in balance...you came up with a lot of good things to see in what you want to achieve and feel about yourself that are quite reasonable. I think you took an honest estimation of the problems in your thinking that are dogging you into believing bad things about yourself. You go girl, with the optimistic thoughts!!! I know that sometimes when you "fake it til you make it" you can get hooked on the good ideas...so keep on with the will to make it! You are becoming a swan, my friend, whether you see it or not, because you have the seed inside that wants change. And that is the very heart of change. The desire!!! It is the awakening of all change. So, as I have said before: FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT!!! And when you are tired of fighting, rest, than pick up the fight again before the battle is cold. You can make it!!! I believe in you!!!
PS: I think this book must be great. You'll have to send me the title.

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ANSING 9/25/2009 11:51AM

    Sounds great! Good luck with your program.


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MEDDYPEDDY 9/25/2009 1:33AM

    Interesting - thanks for sharing and good luck!

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Focus On Only Two Goals For Success

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I'm off to a good start with two days of eating healthy as well as riding my recumbent bike. Focusing on two goals only I think is the key to success. I originally had about ten goals and the pressure to remember and track each daily became all consuming. Now with two I feel more in control.

My first goal is to record my food before I eat it. In this way I'm being mindful of what I do and forcing myself to think before eating. At the end of the day of eating healthy I put a 'good work' or other positive comment sticker on the calendar.My second goal is to ride my recumbent bike for 10 minutes when Paul goes for his walk. (I can't walk well at this point). Afterwards, I put a froggy sticker on my calendar. I've discovered that keeping it simple is the way to go.

After today I will have reached a milestone with three consecutive days of accomplishing my two goals. This will be a first since I started on this journey back in January. I'm slowing things down and being mindful with my eating. When I ride my recumbent bike, I listen to my audio book and remind myself that all I'm to do is 10 minutes, no more. That is my target for this week.

This moment, this day, this is my focus.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOVELILIES 9/28/2009 12:30PM

    Good job!!! I have fallen off the wagon so to speak.

But after work I am getting back on the bike so I can report that I'm catching up to you!

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KATHIA78 9/23/2009 8:58PM

    I need to focus on small goals.
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GOODGETNBETR 9/23/2009 8:23PM

    Being mindful and maintaining momentum are critical to any success. Keep up the good work.

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JAZZYJUDE 9/23/2009 5:11PM

    NICE post and a good start up plan. I plan my meals for the whole week and on my day off, shop for the whole week too. This way I will cook for the week and have everything ready for the days I want to cook the meals fresh.

You are doing great! Jazzy!!

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ANSING 9/23/2009 4:43PM

    I'm glad you've found the method that works for you. I wish you the best of luck!


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BARBARASDIET 9/23/2009 3:17PM

    I just started watching the Dr. Oz show and one of his segments is changing a person's habits to a healthier way, in order to correct issues. The program is for the first week, cold turkey on the bad habit, second week, introduce the good habit, then the thirs and fourth weeks are reinforcing the good habit and truly starting to make it a habit.

From reading posts in SP for the last nearly 3 years, many people try to change everything all at once and they are doomed. You are taking a wise path by working on only two goals. Now, just don't try to move on too fast--make sure that your two goals are habits before you try to incorporate anything else. Good luck!

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Do As Jillian Shouts...DON'T YOU QUIT!!!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

I'm in a quandary. Not sure whether I want to continue sharing my blog with family & friends. I think it's because I say the same thing over and over again. I'm sick of hearing it, so I'm guessing they may be as well. I know I shouldn't just assume this because a mind reader I'm not.

I'm angry at myself. So angry I can't find the words to describe it. Shame is another adjective to describe how I feel. But anger, no rage is more accurate. I gained weight yet again. I'm now officially morbidly obese. Way to go Cathie. You've done it. You've really done it this time.

Why? Why am I slowly killing myself? Why do I not follow a healthy eating and exercise plan and stick with it? Why do I put myself through this exhausting pain every single day? Why can't I just do something right?

I've been sleeping a lot these past few days. I have no energy and just want to escape into dreamland. They are like movies where sometimes I wake feeling good, but most times it's panic and fear. Despite the latter, I'd still rather be sleeping than awake and trying to get through each minute of my day. It's not like I don't have things to do in the day because I do. The problem is that I don't want to do any of it. I know I'm spiralling down into the bowels of depression.

Now with yet another gain, I see no reason to give a crap about anything. I feel like I'll be fat forever. I can't see the point in even recording my weight as it's just another reminder of my failure. Now if I pull back and honestly look at this past week I can see I didn't bike every day for 10 minutes, nor did I record what I ate (this always leads to overeating). So, with that in mind, I know two things right off the bat that I can change to see a different outcome next week. The question now is whether I will make these changes.

I think I want to, but again, I'm not sure. What is it that drives me to negative behaviour? I know I am my own worst enemy and no one can beat me up as well as I can. I feel I don't deserve good things. I'm lazy as well. I don't want to put in the effort. I don't have the energy to change a single thing. These are all excuses and enough is enough. I'm so damned sick and tired of me, so what better way to change that than to do what I think I can't or don't deserve. Do the opposite of what I want to do. That means I will exercise and eat healthy even though I don't want to. I can't seem to get positive about this change, so maybe I just need to go through the motions and see what happens. Maybe I should give myself hell like Jillian on Biggest Loser and see if that makes a difference. I've been wallowing in this pool of self pity for so long that possibly a good kick in the ass is what I need. Quit thinking it to death and Just Do It!

I have a good friend who is also trying to get healthy. I think I'll call her and see if we can work together on this. Maybe we could meet weekly to weigh in and talk about our week with what went well and what didn't. It could be our own Weight Watchers meeting without the cost. I'm going to give her phone call to see what she thinks.

So, I guess I'm not giving up after all. I'm keeping Jillian's voice active in my head with her shouting "DONT' YOU QUIT!!!"

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOVELILIES 9/28/2009 11:27PM

    I read your blogs sometimes and feel like you have been peeking in my window and you are writing about me.

Sometimes it feels like you'll never get there cause you have so far to go.

And then I think of an analogy I have. I hate to drive to Ottawa cause it's two far. It would take two entire hours to get there! But then Jessica calls from Montreal or Borden and says "mom, I need you". I will drive 5 to 6 hours to get to her. I won't take two hours to get to Ottawa but I sure as hell will go 5-6 hours to get to my baby!

So that tells me it's not the distance. It's what is waiting for me at the end.

I guess that is my long winded way of saying "don't worry about how long the journey takes, just think of what is waiting for you at the end."

Maybe you and I can get through all this and we can see each other again and we will be so hot!!!

Love Maria

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CHANGES4KAREN 9/26/2009 11:35AM

    I echo what others have said and I give you kudos for your courage. Depression is such an uphill battle and when you add weight issues into the mix it can be even harder. You are a blue ribbon gal and you are just beginning to blossom. You will be on top of things before you know it!

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Peace to you, Karen

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DEEPGREENBEAN 9/21/2009 9:14PM

    Hi! I feel a lot of the same emotions you do. It is very hard to get back in control of my life once I let go. One thing that has put me back on the climb back to being healthy is using the mini-goals and spark-streaks. Also, using the weekly weigh-in here at sparkpeople. It may not be like a WW meeting, but it is starting to make me feel like there is someone to report to about my weight loss efforts. We can make it together! emoticon

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ANSING 9/21/2009 7:56PM

    I don't have any quick and easy answers for you. I do know that if I keep doing what I've always been doing, I'll keep getting the same results. Getting fat. For me, I HAVE to change, I have to do it, or I'll always be obese.

Good luck to you.

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CHOCMOM 9/21/2009 7:00PM

  Quitting is not an option!! The people who "fail" are the ones that quit, they completely give-up and they don't bother to blog about it.

I've been where you are right now. I use to eat so that I could sleep better - I wasn't hungry and I wasn't tired, but I didn't want to get out of bed, so I would force more food down. We all have down times but what sets us apart - is that we don't give-up, we don't quit. Sometimes I think I have gained as much this year as I have lost but that is not true, I am making progress. It is slow and it is not near as fast as others or as fast as I want it to be, but it is still progress. And each time I lose, I am stronger than I was before. But I also know that there are more "down" times to get through before I reach goal weight. Because of my spark friends, like you, I will get through those impending bad periods.

You can do this. Now is the time to start mentally preparing yourself for the 8 Week Battle #6. Start writing down a plan - make sure you look at the things that have caused you to fall back in the past and figure out what you will do different this time.

We can do this Cathie!
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BOOPSTER69 9/21/2009 4:33PM

    Cathie, you can do this - no one said it would be easy and sometimes it isn't even fun - eating right and exercising is like a job - but, it can be a wonderful vocation - I know you can do this - just knowing you have a friend with the same goal that you can talk to and meet with in person is a huge plus! And you have everyone of us here at the SPARK pages who are right there with you feeling some, if not all of the same feelings - you are just able to express them - don't stop!

DO THIS FOR YOU! emoticon

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BARBARASDIET 9/21/2009 3:33PM

    If you didn't care, you would be sleeping......getting a friend to join you would be a great help. And don't try to do too much all at once. Try just getting consistent with tracking your food. Then move on to add a doable exercise plan. Take your time. You have the rest of your life.

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KV711LAW 9/21/2009 3:07PM


I have been where you are and I know how you feel. And, I know You know what it takes to pull yourself out, but it is not easy. Easy is sleeping and escaping. Hard is pulling yourself out of the bed and the out of the fog to do the work that you need to do to make it happen.

So, you will do it - and take it day to day and moment to moment. It is not easy- I will never lie to you. You will put a series of successes behind you and you will build yourself up with them and you will do it because God gave you this amazing body, and He has a purpose for you here.

You write with amazing sensitivity and honesty. You should build on that and think about making it a project. Build yourself back and be That example and give Hope, through your example, and your words. Your purpose could be to write about your journey and reach others, because you know where they are and how hopeless it feels.

Pull yourself up and find your purpose. I love the way you write. Your right, Quitting is NOT an Option! Living your life and finding the purpose you were meant to have- to help others in their own struggle.

I believe in You!

Comment edited on: 9/21/2009 3:09:03 PM

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I Want To Be Free Of My Self Loathing

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I'm watching The Biggest Loser Australia Season 4 on my laptop and it's the makeover episode. Of course I'm crying; I always do with this episode. To see the changes in each contestant, then to have their family see them is so emotional. I look forward to the day when my husband looks at me and says "You're beautiful." It's been so long since I've heard those words and this is no fault on his part, but my own for allowing my weight to increase so much. I want to feel and look beautiful, to release that inner woman who is trapped inside of me.

At the ACT group last night, I participated in an exercise where I put my pain in front of me as an object. My pain is my weight gain. It is black, gigantic, round, weighs tons, spins at 200 km/hr and the texture is that of feta cheese. Next I gave my impressions of my pain object...It's ugly and alone. I hate it. It's worthless, lazy and a quitter. It's a failure. Now I created an object to reflect my sense of resistance to accepting my pain object. It is black, gigantic, oval, has more power than the pain object, moves at 2 km/hr and is hard and rough. Looking at the resistance object I was to try to let go of the struggle I have with it and I couldn't.

This was a painful exercise as I realized how much energy I put into not accepting my body as it is right now, how I despise and detest who I've become. The psychiatrist leading the group gave me something to really think about. He said "Until you accept your resistance object, you can never accept your pain object." To translate this, until I accept my loathing and judgement about my weight, I'll never be able to accept my weight gain, thus loosing weight will be extremely hard.

The final step was to take both objects back inside of me in a loving way as these poor orphans have nowhere else to go. I wasn't able to do this. I desperately need to work on this issue.

I now have on my wall the collage of everyone inside of me. I'm going to use this as a tool to truly accept each of them and stop my incessant denial of their existence.

I'm tired of living in this judgemental bubble I've created. I feel so stuck, mired in the mud of hatred and self loathing I've created. I cry, but then I realize that is just feeling sorry for myself and then I feel rage. This is so frustrating.

I just want to be free of my self loathing so I can stick with eating healthy and exercising.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Acceptance can be a bitter pill. I'm going through that yet AGAIN. I understand how you feel. It takes work to purge all of that and love yourself after taking a closer look at the truth about you. How do you love what you've been avoiding all of your life?

The upside is it CAN be done. And the exercise you did is a great step. That's an interesting exercise. That's brave to look at your pain as an object. To visualize what it looks like, much less what it feels like. An excellent exercise to see your pain and your resistance to pain as tangible objects. It makes sense.

I've worked on that last month and was able to make progress. I created some goals for myself to help me live in the now and accept where I am in my life in general, not just the weight. And your doctor is right: unless you accept what you think is negative about yourself, you won't move past it. It will always be present in your life. Loving yourself, although it feels weird in the beginning, is the easiest and fastest way to weight loss and happiness. I have issues with living in the past and in the future. I completely jump over the present. That's where I hurt the MOST. I have a lot of "I don't likes" in the present. But I waste time dreaming about what my future self looks like if I were perfect in the present. But that's not being realistic. I end up doing more harm than good because I'm not perfect; so how can I dream up my future self when I refuse to accept my imperfect self right now in the present?

It takes time and it's uncomfortable. But well worth the journey and work. once you accept it, you can truly deal with it. Avoiding it or denying it only delays recovery. Knowing is not enough sometimes. So it has to become a part of a regular routine. But you are on the right road...you already know you want to give up the self-loathing and shame. That's a start. Next you will be able to find things to replace those feelings to feel good in the NOW.

My prayers for your healing are with you.

jay emoticon

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MNABOY 9/16/2009 8:46AM

    You are carrying too heavy a load emotionally. You are fighting a battle to win back your self respect and you shall win. You will reach your goals. You will have the patience to see your plan through to the healthy life you want and need.

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GLORYLIGHT57 9/16/2009 7:34AM

    This seems like an extremely difficult but enlightening exercise. I understand what the doctor is saying; it sort of like accepting and respecting ourselves right now; where we are today and then focusing on how we got there and how to let it go. Blessings and thanks for sharing. It can use this exercise.

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DAKOTASMOMMY_07 9/15/2009 11:19PM

First off emoticonto you my friend.
You are NOT alone!
A lot of us feel this way about ourselves.Its what we do that makes the difference.You might not see it now,but your making a difference.You are helping YOU.I found this exercise you did interesting.I think its great your gonna use the collage as a tool.It WILL help..but only if you let it.Don't lose focus.
Your husband might not say your beautiful..Trust me..He KNOWS your beautiful!!
Don't give up on yourself my friend.We are all here to support you.God Bless,Christina emoticon

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