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From: Annette (
Subject:         Checking in - a bit long!
Date: June 26, 2006 at 8:02 am PST

Well, I almost always hit the board here when misery and discouragement strikes. It's great to know there is a supportive bunch of ladies that know exactly what it feels like to be in my shoes, and who have conquered the same or worse setbacks.

So, today, I'm just checking in, nothing devastating to report. On the contrary. I have had very low points in the past 2-4 years, and I think I started to scrape bottom from a discouragement standpoint, this past winter. This spring, I noticed an improved mood when the weather changed and the sunny days began. I determined to make the most of it and used it as a spring board to make many other positive changes.

Despite my fibromyalgia, I finally found a way to exercise, and have been eating very healthy. As a result, I've lost weight and have MUCH more energy, and much less pain. (And my clothes fit, not just the two big elastic waist-band pants from Walmart, which were beginning to slip off my round belly!). I cannot remember a time in over 20 years that I have not felt constant miserable pain, spiritual, emotional and largely physical. Additionally, I had begun to have severe, vomiting migraines again, and they too have disappeared and now I have only my monthly severe headaches/mild migraines (right on schedule). Additionally, for the first time in over 30 years, I did not have extreme mood swings/PMS this month. PRAISE GOD - I have been discouraged for years about this and its negative impact on my life and my family.

I have a much more positive outlook, though essentially my circumstances have not drastically changed. I still live hand to mouth and wonder if I'll ever catch up on all the bills - the past due ones, that is. I am making progress, though my purse and cell phone were stolen about three weeks ago.

I also had a heart to heart talk with my former spouse in March and apologized for being less than gracious in accepting what he brought to our marriage - that we both did our best, and that's all anyone could expect. I thanked him for his shaping influence in my life, as I would not be who I am today if it weren't for his input, as I've known him longer than the time I spent at home with my parents.

While I can't change the past, and I can't control the future, I am working very hard to focus on positively impacting the present moment. I have lived with the burden of extreme stress far too long and am looking forward to tossing that load bit by bit, and day by day.

One last comment. Occasionally, new ladies observe that not everyone here is single or homeschools. The Marines have a saying "Once a Marine, always a Marine." I feel that once you've struggled in the trenches as a single parent, you never lose your heart and compassion and identity/memory of that time/role in your life. A remarried single parent will probably always feel a kinship with those moms who are still single. And the same goes for those moms who have a heart for homeschooling. While I'm still divorced, I don't still homeschool. Homeschooling is a huge part of my family's identity and has greatly influenced who we are and how we function together even today. And like many other former homeschoolers, we hope that one day we will homeschool again, either in this generation or the next.

Blessings to you all. For those having a tough day, hang in there, my heart goes out to you.


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