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DolphinUK

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Reply with quote  #76 
Hi Torie and Matty Batty, I wonder if its more about us "having" to be strong for so long? Or that we become very skilled in pretending ? When this happens we convince ourselves at a deep subconscious level and I feel that this is a protection strategy we use to get us through the long haul of living with someone with an eating disorder. I do believe however, that we are stronger as a result. Stronger at having empathy, stronger at being compassionate, being non-judgemental, stronger at learning that we matter too? We learn a lot about ourselves and how resilient we really are.
 I do also think that we feel threatened, lost, frightened and useless too but these are all things that make us stronger in the end, and the people we are today.
What are your thoughts?

love Dolphin xx


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DolphinUK

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Reply with quote  #77 
I find at the moment I am craving human contact.? I know this might sound weird but I just want so much to be held by someone? I sound like a freak dont I? My H is not very demonstrative but he does try bless him. I think he is fed up of me being so "needy" at the moment. He likes it when I am  strong and confident and , currently I am non of these. I hate feeling like this, like a child seeking comfort anywhere it can.
I have no confidence and feel so sad.

xx

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tina72

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Reply with quote  #78 
Hi dolphin,
with me its the same, I think we have to load our feeling-batteries again. We had used our bodys and souls like a machine and they aren´t. You are no freak [wink]. If your h is fed up with that try to do the upload with somebody else (a friend or a family member?). And find some goodies for yourself like getting a massage or having a wellness-weekend with a friend - or maybe with your h?
To feel not confident at the moment is just a feeling. There is no real reason for that I think. You have done a great job and your d is doing well. Try to start a little dairy and write down 3 things that went good/were nice today each evening. Phone up somebody each day (the insurance or something like that is NOT COUNTING). Just to tak to somebody a little bit. Get out of the house and get in contact with normal life again. Think about doing something totally different and start a new hobby.
Send you a hug [wave].
Tina72
BattyMatty_UK

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Reply with quote  #79 
No problems at all about the 'strong' issue. Maybe I should rephrase it as 'endurance' or something like that? Something that describes the 'staying power' because we had no choice but to get our child through this thing. Maybe 'strong' is the wrong word as it conjures up all kinds of images of heroes, superhumans, people who climb Mount Everest and so on. I am definitely not that kind of 'strong', more the 'endurance' kind of thing - and virtually every day during my son's battle with the ED, I broke down and thought I couldn't go on. But the next day I knew I had to. The stakes were too high and dangerous to walk away from it. I don't think of it as the classic definition of 'strength', really, more a case of just getting on with it, 'endurance', because I had to. The machine analogy above is more like it - that's a great description. But of course all our experiences are different, so please do feel free to disagree!! [smile]

Hi Dolphin, so sorry about the nightmares. Nightmares were a massive issue with me, fuelled by mega anxiety with just about every combination of missing vital trains/forgetting my lines on stage/having to sit exams I hadn't revised for/having to negotiate mega complicated London underground systems and train routes, etc etc along with lots of nightmares about being chased by / caught by / hiding from pure evil beings. Really scary stuff. And often I'd be groaning or shouting aloud. At least these seem to have gone now. SaveSaveSaveSave

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Bev Mattocks, mother of 23-year old male DX with RAN 2009, now recovered. Joined this forum in 2010 - it was a lifesaver.

Please do check out my blog: https://anorexiaboyrecovery.blogspot.co.uk/
Get free PDFs of my past blog posts 2011 - 2016: https://bevmattocks.co.uk/blogspdfs.html (Easier to read; more linear than clicking around the blog itself.)
Download a PDF of the slideshow from a presentation I did for parents in Edinburgh in 2016: https://bevmattocks.co.uk/blogs/Edinburgh_talk.pdf and read a transcript of the presentation itself here: https://bevmattocks.co.uk/anorexia_talk2.html
'Friend me' on my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/battymatty76
Torie

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Reply with quote  #80 
Re-reading this thread, I was struck by this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by DolphinUK
 I have no right to feel so sorry for myself...


Dolphin, everyone is entitled to her feelings, every single time, no matter what.  Please stop judging yourself so harshly.

On the strength thing, I think it might not make much difference whether we are inherently strong in the mountain climbing sense or not.  When called upon to lift a car off one's child ... no one can do that.   Unless we have to ... and then, well, we just do it ... because we have no choice.

So yeah, we exhibit strength.  But gosh darn it, this super hero stuff sure takes a toll.

Love to all. xx

-Torie

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DolphinUK

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Reply with quote  #81 
Thanks Torie, I am so good at judging myself harshly, always have I think. I think it has become part of who I am? I am trying so hard to stop doing this and accepting my failures or accepting I dont have to be perfect and get it right all the time. It is so hard especially at the moment. I am having a lot of feelings and thoughts about D when she was very ill and when she completely stopped eating for a week, no food what so ever, I thought she would die! I felt completely helpless, like a total failure as I didnt know how to get any food into her,and recently, about bullying back in secondary school which I had almost forgotten but which have suddenly come back to mind making me especially anxious.
Its like a soup of fear, sadness, anxiety and failure...
I am trying to be positive and think about my achievements as Tina suggested which does help but I even find myself disbelieving them too! I am a complete muddle of thoughts and feelings and am working with my therapist to sort them out, then I can begin to understand them hopefully, and hopefully process them too!

Thank you for your support and understanding. It does help to know I am not alone.
xxx

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BattyMatty_UK

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Reply with quote  #82 
Oh gosh, our inner critics can be HORRIBLE. There's a saying "Treat others as you would treat yourself" but when your inner critic is on steroids we really are super-horrid to ourselves in a way that we would never be with other people, even those we don't particularly like. But I know it can be really hard to tell the inner critic to back off as it almost always pings back up again.

But I also imagine that so many of us here may have felt that we 'failed', especially when trying to get our children to eat in the throes of an eating disorder. But really and truly if it was that simple to get them to eat, then there would be no need for therapists and eating disorders wouldn't be so bad after all. It is punishingly hard to help our children move forward, especially when, as with an eating disorder, it's as if they're constantly fighting against us in a way that they would never do if it was a physical illness. It's not 'failure' because saying that we've 'failed' is kind of like saying we failed to climb Mount Everest the other day wearing stillettos and carrying a ton of supermarket shopping. Oh I know my analogies are cr@p, but I'm trying to say that we tried and were unsuccessful at getting our child to do the near impossible at the time.

So that's not 'failing'. And, when you think of it in the context of what my son said to me once he was well on the road to recovery, which was "Thank you for being the one who never gave up", you realise that it was actually a success!!!

(You know, for a writer, I'm rubbish at explaining stuff, but I hope you get my drift...!)

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Bev Mattocks, mother of 23-year old male DX with RAN 2009, now recovered. Joined this forum in 2010 - it was a lifesaver.

Please do check out my blog: https://anorexiaboyrecovery.blogspot.co.uk/
Get free PDFs of my past blog posts 2011 - 2016: https://bevmattocks.co.uk/blogspdfs.html (Easier to read; more linear than clicking around the blog itself.)
Download a PDF of the slideshow from a presentation I did for parents in Edinburgh in 2016: https://bevmattocks.co.uk/blogs/Edinburgh_talk.pdf and read a transcript of the presentation itself here: https://bevmattocks.co.uk/anorexia_talk2.html
'Friend me' on my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/battymatty76
mjkz

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Reply with quote  #83 
One thing that has helped me is to ask myself what I get out of viewing myself as a failure.  People don't do things without getting something out of it.  Being sick is no fun but there are rewards too that can keep people stuck in a sick role.  What do you get out of dwelling on what you see as failures?  I know for me it gave me a sense of control over something I had no control over. If I was to blame and I failed, then I had some control over it. 

This may not be a popular thing to say here but I was very angry at my daughter.  I know the ED was not her fault and yet I was so angry about all the time I lost, my marriage, etc.  I had to work that out for myself in therapy but there is no way you can be human and not resent how much of your life you lost to this disorder.  For me, hanging onto that anger and dwelling on the past kept me from moving on with life in the present because I didn't know how to do it.  I had spent so much time with my sick daughter that now that she was doing well I had no clue how to move on and get back to my own life.

Maybe none of this fits but I do believe that people hold onto their perceived failures, etc. because they get some benefit from it consciously or unconsciously.  That is not said to blame anyone because I did it too and still do at times.  For me it was important to realize what hanging onto that baggage did for me in the present before I could start letting go and start living.  It was no more my fault than my daughter's Ed was her fault.  It was simply making what was unconsciously holding me back conscious so I could work with it and move on.
DolphinUK

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Reply with quote  #84 
Hi Mjkz,

I definitely agree with you about the control thing? I have discussed this at length with the counsellor. It was her who suggested that I might be feeling a loss of control now that D is well. Throughout her illness, when it was needed, I eventually "took control of everything food related" this was a long slow process with mistakes along the way but it became a way of life and something she eventually "allowed" me to do for her. This sense of being out of control myself at the moment could perhaps stem from this? This process became a way of life for us as a family and lasted for about 3 years as it does for many of us. I suppose it is inevitable that there is some fall out from this. Like you have suggested, I do think it holds some purpose for me, the failure thing, but I am not yet clear on what this might be, hopefully this is something I can work out with support?

Love
Dolphin

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mjkz

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Reply with quote  #85 
I have total confidence you will work it out.  One other things that has helped me is realizing that any family that has gone through a major illness of any kind experiences what we are experiencing, even illnesses that can't be a parent's fault.  I have a friend whose daughter has leukemia and even though her daughter is in remission and doing fine now, it was 3-4 years of chemo, relapses, etc. etc.  She started out following her daughter everywhere she went-seriously spent the day sitting outside the school, watching her all the time to the point she never slept after her daughter was doing well.  Then when it became obviously she couldn't keep doing that, she became agoraphobic.  End result? Her daughter stayed home with her so she could watch her constantly.  None of it was conscious but she blamed herself for not being able to leave the house which reinforced everything.  It took her two years to untangle all of it and she and daughter worked with a therapist so that her daughter checked in frequently and her mother knew she had to let go some.  They found a system that worked for them and they are both doing well now.  It was watching her go through everything that she did that led me to start looking at what I was doing to myself.

There is not a person here who has gotten their loved one to a good state that I wouldn't count myself lucky to have in my corner should I ever need anyone.  Even those who have lost their loved one to suicide-I'd still be honored to have their support at any time because the only way you can fail your loved one is by not trying to help them get better.  I was given bad advice at first not to be the food police, etc. and thankfully I realized that wasn't going to work.  My mantra is I did the best I could with the knowledge I had at the time-and that was good enough. 

I hope/know you will get to the place where I see you right now.  Everyone made mistakes and that's fine.  You don't learn how to be better if you do it perfectly the whole time and perfect is not the goal.  You do that best with what you have/had at the time and that is what got your loved one through.
tina72

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Reply with quote  #86 
Chopin said at the end of his life: My try are in accordance with the fulfillment of what I achieve was possible. I hope that is translated right.
Thats all. We try to do our best. We win sometimes and we fail a lot. But we did our best.
Tina72
DolphinUK

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Reply with quote  #87 
Mjkz and Tina,

I cried when I read your reply... especially when you wrote about what you were doing to yourself.
I am realising how much damage we do to ourselves by having these ideas about being unworthy, not good enough etc... so much harm we are doing to us, by us.

Despite knowing this, it is really hard to stop? Its almost as if I am punishing myself for something and that I convince myself I am not worthy. Its almost selfish? a deep need for others to approve of me somehow?
I think this must come from way back in my past when I must have felt shamed, and not "good enough" and has stayed with me all these years. When D was ill, I felt not good enough, helpless etc for a long time and working with ED clients now has somehow released these emotions and intense feelings from way back which I had thought were dealt with. Intense emotional feelings of being afraid, useless etc are things I am trying to deal with at the moment and understand.
Thank you for believing in me.

Love Dolphin x


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You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore
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mjkz

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Reply with quote  #88 
Quote:
it is really hard to stop?


Yes it is really hard to stop.  The good part is that I think you can stop without always knowing the why.  Sort of like the ED.  You don't need to know the whys to get better.  I know for a long time I had this thought that because I have a mental illness (depression) that I should have known better how to get my daughter better or never let her get sick in the first place.  Now I've really stopped shoulding myself because I truly believe that if something is meant to happen, it will.  My brother was in the military and said if a bullet had his name on it, he was going to die no matter what he did or said.  Thankfully he never found one with his name on it but I do agree with his thinking.  We can't change what is going to happen and all we can do is deal and smooth the way.  I think some of the research that I've seen showing that ED prevention with kids is not really very effective.  Kids still get EDs and the place to focus is helping parents and clinicians realize sooner what is happening.

My ex-husband was a doctor which I'm sure led to a lot of his guilt and the fact that he couldn't logically talk her out of the eating disorder was hard for both of us.  I think we are all our own worst critic.  The phrases I should have and I could have need to disappear from our self talk.  Not that it is easy but the more practice you get, the easier it gets just like any skill.  For the first few years all I could do was tell myself to stop when I started coulding and shoulding myself and when that didn't quiet the voice in my head, I put on her headphones.  Anything to stop me from beating myself up-I am an easy safe target for myself unfortunately.  I did at one time write down what I was telling myself and nearly cried it was so awful.
DolphinUK

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Reply with quote  #89 
Hi Mjkz,
it sounds like you have got a good handle on your feelings and have worked through some of your thoughts successfully and that is so good. I think I am just starting this process but it is like a mine field to me at the moment. I have so many thoughts and feelings whizzing in my head I genuinely feel exhausted. Today is a particularly difficult one, the worst yet I feel. I agree with what you say about your ex-H, I think they do want to try to "fix" everything and when they cant it feels terrible for them and for us too.

Today the pain is almost intolerable, I am trying desperately to distract myself but the thoughts and memories are so strong they keep breaking through. I am having a "pity" day!I am sorry. There are so many people worse off than me and D is well! I can not comprehend why I am feeling like this? Its all so muddled in my head. I have seen the consultant nurse at my GP today, she was amazing and so compassionate, she just "cared" about how I was feeling and I sobbed for half an hour lol Just her empathy was too much... She has asked me to come back to see her on Friday.
Woke feeling terribly anxious this morning and this has continued all day, like a huge ache in my heart that wont go away.
I am trying to sort the negative thoughts I have about myself but its too strong today...

Thanks for being here.
xx
Dolphin

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You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore
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BattyMatty_UK

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Reply with quote  #90 
Quote:
I can not comprehend why I am feeling like this?
Dear Dolphin, my belief is that you are suffering from C-PTSD and that is why you are feeling like this. As I said to you, PTSD is a "normal reaction to abnormal events". The watchword is NORMAL i.e. you are not crazy, not should you feel guilty at something which is a normal reaction. And it can be fixed, given the right treatment for you. But it is punishingly awful when you feel like this, I know. xxxx

__________________
Bev Mattocks, mother of 23-year old male DX with RAN 2009, now recovered. Joined this forum in 2010 - it was a lifesaver.

Please do check out my blog: https://anorexiaboyrecovery.blogspot.co.uk/
Get free PDFs of my past blog posts 2011 - 2016: https://bevmattocks.co.uk/blogspdfs.html (Easier to read; more linear than clicking around the blog itself.)
Download a PDF of the slideshow from a presentation I did for parents in Edinburgh in 2016: https://bevmattocks.co.uk/blogs/Edinburgh_talk.pdf and read a transcript of the presentation itself here: https://bevmattocks.co.uk/anorexia_talk2.html
'Friend me' on my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/battymatty76
melstevUK

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Reply with quote  #91 
Dolphin,

Are you on an ssri?  Are you on any medication?  Your symptoms sound so much like my own when I was clinically depressed during my teens through to my forties - my self-esteem was zero and self-hate was the norm.  I did have a lot of psychotherapy which was amazingly helpful, but only when I was prescribed an ssri did I feel suddenly that my brain was finally 'in the right place'.

I have learned over the years not to do guilt and to treat myself as kindly as I would other people.  I also read many years ago Bruno Bettelheim's book called 'A good enough parent'.  I love that phrase 'good enough'.  It is all we ever need to do and be.

Sometimes I think that we can see the perfectionism in our children - but we cannot see it in ourselves.  How many of us want or expected 'the perfect recovery'?  It didn't happen - but we do our best.  I never set out to hurt anyone, I aim to be as good a parent, partner, friend, daughter and sister - and when I was working, employee -  as I can.  I don't always succeed because I am human and I only have enough strength and resources to do what I can.  But if we do this - is it not enough?  You did amazing things for your daughter struck by a horrendously difficult illness to understand, get your head round and fight effectively. It is not surprising that you are exhausted and questioning everything that has happened.  But it may be helpful to see the doctor and get some kind of treatment other than a talking therapy type support.  Bev has fought hard to get whatever support and treatment she needs - and you must do the same.

But try not to beat yourself up - it helps no one, and you don't deserve for any critical voice to treat you this way.  Hugs.  Everyone gets it.  None of us wanted to be here.  But we survived.  

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mjkz

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Reply with quote  #92 
Quote:
I am trying to sort the negative thoughts I have about myself but its too strong today...


I agree with both Bev and Mel.  I know on days like you describe, I focus mainly on just getting through.  For me that was just stopping the thoughts and doing something to distract myself.  I set a timer at times and let myself cry for 15 minutes and then I had to do other things.  When you are in the middle of a hurricane like you are, you don't pick that time to start remodeling your house.  You batten down the hatches and survive until the storm has passed before looking at it and deciding what you may do differently next time.

I found on really bad days that just getting out of the house and being around people focused on something else worked.  I walked my neighbor's dog.  I weeded the garden.  I watched a movie at the movie theater.  I just got out of my own head and focus for a little time on something else.

Also I don't think it helps to discount your trauma.  Yes, people may be worse off than you in your view but at that just gives you something else to beat yourself up with.  What may have been easy for me may be really traumatic for you and vice versa.  Just realize that things are better than they were but don't lessen your experience by thinking others have it worse.  One thing I've learned is you never know what is really going on with someone else just looking in from the outside.  It may look like they have it better or worse but you never know!!
DolphinUK

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Reply with quote  #93 
Dear Mel and mjkz,

Thank you for your replies. It is really true that knowing others feel the same emotions etc really does help. We are like one enormous family here, a family that has and is dealing with huge trauma that is unfair and horrendous.. so thank you.
Mel, I am not taking anti depressants currently but did discuss with counsellor yesterday regarding Beta-blockers to help with the anxiety. I will talk to the nurse about this on Friday.
Today I hope will be a better day.

I do wonder if I might be depressed?

Much love
Dolphin x

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You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore
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tina72

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Reply with quote  #94 
Hi dolphin,
I think you surely are kind of depressed, the question is it is on a normal level ("normal" in according to what you have gone through) and wether it needs to be treated with medicine. Some PTSD things are quite normal when you think about what abnormal things you have gone through.
You can make today a better day. My d is still sufferung from depression and I experienced that she feels better if she has something to do and not only sitting around and waiting the day to end. Clean your windows today. Meet a friend. Talk to a lonesome old neighbor. Do one thing outside the house. If its sunny, have a walk.
I ´m sure it could be a better day today.
Send you a hug!
Tina72
DolphinUK

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Reply with quote  #95 
Thanks Tina,

Today has been a better day. Been to the seaside and walked by the sea, watched people ,  on the beach and in the town, which has helped calm my brain a little.
Felt "spaced out" for much of the day but much calmer. Not had so many unpleasant feelings and memories today but have had some new memories that were deeply buried and that I had forgotten regarding D. Interesting how powerful our brain is and how clever it is at finding ways to heal us?

Much love
Dolphin

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You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore
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tina72

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Reply with quote  #96 
Hi dolphin,
that sounds nice, I wish I could have a walk on the seaside too. I love the sea and its calming down just to sit or stand there and watch the water and the birds. Try to do this as often as you can. Our brain is powerful, and it can stand a lot of horrible things. It just needs time and then it will heal. You have done a marathon and your body and brain is still a bit breathless. Try to be confident. I´m sure it will get better. You just need to learn that the marathon is done now and you could just have a walk now.
Tina72
DolphinUK

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Reply with quote  #97 
Yes Tina, I have to learn to walk now....

I have been trying to sort out some more support for myself via NHS which is not easy! I am trying to arrange CBT which might be helpful and EMDR as Batty Matty has suggested that has helped her so much. Its just so difficult to access as the waiting times are so long in the NHS.
I am also looking at private help.
xxx

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You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore
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toughbattler

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Reply with quote  #98 
Hi Dolphin,
If you suspect you might be depressed but are unsure about SSRIs it could be worth finding a really good herbalist, as you are considering private treatment. The experience of caring for our loved ones depletes most of us physically, particularly our adrenal and thyroid system. Most GPs are hopeless at recognising these borderline dysfunctionalities but complementary medicine can help, particularly as treatments focus on restoring functioning rather than alleviating symptoms. This could help boost you while you await other treatment.
DolphinUK

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Reply with quote  #99 
Yes Toughbattler, thank you, I have a mindfullness book I am reading and have thought about other things that might help to soothe. I have been contacted by NHS and they would like me to have an assessment at the end of August so not too long away.
xx

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You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore
Christopher Columbus
DolphinUK

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Reply with quote  #100 
Beginning to realise just how much I have not been taking care of myself? For years and years.... Why have I done this to myself? Its almost as if I have been punishing myself for something but I dont know what this is?

Now when everything should be getting back to normal, my own tiny little world is falling apart....
x

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You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore
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