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The Silent Struggle Of Postpartum Depression

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The Silent Struggle Of Postpartum Depression

During pregnancy, we spend our time daydreaming about how amazing we are going to be at this parenting thing.

We imagine all of the other moms oohing at our flawless breastfeeding skills. We envision them awing at the way our postpartum body looks somehow even better than its pre-pregnancy self. There is this incontestable reassurance that our baby will never cry because we will love it so much that there is no way it could ever be unhappy. Sure, we hear all of the horror stories about raw bleeding nipples, sleep deprived insanity and how a new baby will kill any romance left in a relationship, but it doesn’t scathe us. That’s because we have looked into all of the latest parenting trends and have read every article on child-rearing that Google has to offer. We are ready.

This described me perfectly mere months before giving birth to our son Lars.

I was young, in love, and blissfully oblivious to the absolute hell that was about to consume me. The pregnancy had been an unexpected one. Mine and Jamie’s history is a rather lengthy one. It’s been bumpy and real and magical and terrifying all in a matter of what seemed like minutes.

It was after a three-year break from the relationship that we ran into each other at a local bar in our hometown. Both of us, a bit wiser, older and utterly under the influence, decided it would be a great idea to try this dating thing out again. Why couldn’t we seem to make it work in the past? I’m not sure. Perhaps it was just us. We both are the type of people to wear our passion on our sleeves, which makes for awkward small talk.

In those first three months of the blooming relationship, we found that arguing was our favourite pastime. We yelled. We fought. We bickered back and forth until one of us got sick of the banter and decided to start kissing the other to get them to shut up.

Which brings me to the second thing we did best.

Sex. And with sex, sometimes it doesn’t matter how careful you think you are being—little surprises seem to pop up at the most inopportune times.

I showed Jamie the peed-upon stick and explained its implications. He then did not speak to me or anyone for the next six and a half hours. He broke his silence by saying, “Okay.” He was not angry or happy or manic by the news. He was reflective.

Years later he would tell me that he had been thinking of the true magnitude held in those two tiny pink lines. He knew at that moment his life had forever changed—he just wasn’t entirely sure how. Over the next few days, we spoke calmly about the fetus that was growing inside of me. Then we yelled. Then we spoke calmly again. And then we broke up for a day and a half. We cried and told each other how stupid we were being. Eventually we came to the realization that this child, despite his surprise appearance, was very much wanted.

I became overly obsessed with parenting information. I greedily devoured any article or book I could get my hands on. Jamie found comfortable work in something he was willing to make a career out of. We were on the straight and narrow with our sights set on family life. I had never been so excited about something so domestic.

The labor was shitty like all labors are.

The only difference was this labor, my labor, was real shitty.

Now don’t get your mesh panties in a knot — I know you had a lousy time delivering too. I’m not trying to belittle your thing. The OBGYN who had performed my emergency C-section had been working for 16 hours straight. By some unforeseen oversight, he had nicked an artery with the scalpel while digging around inside of me. This minor detail went unnoticed until long after I was sewn up and out of recovery.

As I held the boy I had worked so hard to bring into this world, I knew I should be feeling something more.

The pain they had promised would be gone by that point was still loud and oppressive. So I invented what I thought I should be feeling with smiles and kisses. Now, years later, I recognize that this was the beginning of my hellish descent into postpartum depression.

One moment I was looking into baby Lars’s eyes and the next I was screaming for a nurse to take him away from me. Vertigo washed over me, and I feared I would drop him as weakness assaulted my muscles. One of the last things I remember was Lars being wheeled out of our room in a clear plastic mobile bassinet.

A nurse was shoving a waiver form in my face telling me I must sign it. She explained that I would be receiving a blood transfusion because I had lost a lot of blood. I agreed to whatever the words on the paper said by drawing a random line across it.

Then I was out.

The ICU unit was where I remained for the next three days.

Isolated from family and the new baby after coming down with a case of pneumonia, I laid in my own solitary confinement. I fixated over the missed bonding time with my son. At the risk of sounding like a wartime movie, the days felt like weeks, and I was left alone with only my obsessiveness to accompany me.

All the research, anticipation and excitement had been for nothing. In every book I read, it stated that those first 72 hours of a babe’s life were crucial for bonding, breastfeeding and overall happiness.

I worried endlessly about what Lars was doing. How he was eating. What he was eating. Deep down I knew he was fine. The nurses were wonderful. Our support system of family and friends were incomparable, and without them I still don’t know how we would have done it.

Jamie and Lars were well looked after. Except it killed me a little inside that it wasn’t me who was looking after them.

The day came to be removed from the intensive care unit and be reunited with my boys.

I looked forward to holding my son and kissing my boyfriend and thanking all of the people who had helped us through this challenging time. I couldn’t wait to hug them all and be a family and just get on with the life that had been temporarily postponed.

Then somewhere between the elevator ride and the agonising transfer from a rolling bed to a wheelchair, my positivity vanished.

A dark stranger stared back at me from the reflection of a passing window.

She had a sickly, bloated look about her. The thick bags under her eyes made her indistinguishable. Her skin, dressed in pale green, was accompanied by greasy hair and an aura of hardship. This woman could not be me. This woman made me sick to my stomach.

As I was wheeled into the room, I saw a close friend of mine changing Lars’s diaper.

She glanced at me hastily, trying to hide the anguish it caused her to see me in such a state. She wasn’t fooling anyone. It wasn’t that facial expression of disgust, however, that hit me like a blow straight to the gut, it was the fact that someone else had changed my son’s diaper before I had.

There would be many more missed “first moments,” I would learn of in the coming days. Throughout the next 24 hours of catching up on current events, I discovered that my sister-in-law had fed Lars for the first time. He had spent his first night in the world cuddled with a nurse instead of his mother. His cries had been met with Granny or Granddad’s loving embrace when Jamie was not available.

However happy I was to have this support, I couldn’t help but feel disappointed in myself that it was not me who was there for him in those first pivotal moments. I stuffed those feelings down in an attempt to get on with life. I had to try to move on from this horrible series of events. The loss of blood combined with the post-op pneumonia did a number on me.

I remember a friend of mine coming to visit while we were still in the hospital and describing me as a swollen version of Frankenstein.

We stayed in the hospital for almost two weeks after I birthed Lars.

In that time, Jamie came through for our family in ways I didn’t know were possible. He took on evening shifts at work to be in the hospital during the day. He cleaned me in the shower when the nurses were unavailable and I was getting impatient. The second surgery to mend the wounded artery had left me feeble and, quite honestly, pretty pathetic. I couldn’t even drop myself onto a toilet without someone having to lower me onto it. That person was usually Jamie.

He participated in events that no spouse should have to in those first few pivotal years of a relationship. He never complained or recoiled at my ghastliness. He was always smiling warmly and kissing me on the forehead, telling me in his matter-of-fact way that we would get through it together.

It wasn’t just me who noticed his efforts.

The nurses, our family, and friends all noticed and were in awe of in his attentive nature when it came to Lars and this disabled spouse he had all of a sudden accumulated. He had a natural inclination with the baby and was immeasurably more comfortable holding and caring for him than I was. More than once Jamie would have to take Lars from me to calm him because my embrace, my comfort, would not suffice. Each time I was not able to quiet my child or place him to my breast to nourish him, a subtle resentment began to cultivate inside of me.

The day came to move home from the hospital.

In the weeks to come, visitors would pop by to see how we all were doing. They would come and see Jamie doing the work of five people. Washing clothes, cleaning floors, minding the newborn and me all at once. I’d be feeling helpless and sorry for myself, laid up on the couch doing absolutely nothing. This was the dynamic others would see while peering in at our lives. I was lucky to have such an amazing man. I was told this on numerous occasions.

It was from there that the resentment would ripen and begin to bloom. I was starting to hate the person who I had first laid eyes on in that floor-length window pane back at the hospital. However, now that person was no longer a stranger. It was me, and bitterness had trapped me there.

I quietly belittled myself with each failure when it came to my son. Every time I could not manage to get him to latch to my nipple and gave him a bottle instead, I found a little more disgust inside of me, feeling like less of a mother and more of an invalid each time I’d need to ask for help. “Jamie can you change the baby’s bum, the wipes are out of my reach,” I’d whimper as another wave of self loathing wash through me.

I tried to confide in my mom but upon calling her and hearing her strong voice, I withered away. How could I tell her that I was failing miserably as a mother? I was sure that motherhood was something with which she had never faltered. Therefore she would not be able to understand.

I drew inward.

I suppose the people closest to me would have seen it, but at the time, out of courtesy maybe, they said nothing. The full-fledged bitterness I felt was beginning to grow out of control. Jamie was who I set my sights on next. Fatherhood had made him so damn smug. Always wanting to spend time with the kid. The babe’s constant crying never bothering him. He was forever hovering over me when it was my turn to engage in my motherly duties. He must have been worried I would do something wrong. This is how I perceived it.

Our once endearing bickering had long stopped. Whether he was too concerned about upsetting me or I just didn’t have the strength to engage, I’m not sure. With the end of our passionate vocabulary exploits came the end of our bedroom ones too. Enough time had passed, my strength was coming back, but the urge to jump back into the sack with the man was null to nothing. I had gained a lot of weight during the pregnancy, I wasn’t feeling the desire, and I was sure he wouldn’t either. This threw me even deeper into my introspective pool of hopelessness.

I felt so hopeless. Hopeless that my son would never come around to bonding with me.

I envisioned him as a preteen coming home from summer camp, passing me by as he gave his father an enormous hug, spewing about how much he had missed him. Being the valedictorian in his graduating class and creating a heartwarming speech of thanks, in which I would not be mentioned.

I knew there was something wrong with me. I assumed it was because the labor was so difficult. If I waited long enough, all of my bad feelings would suddenly go away. So that is what I did.

I waited.

I waited to wake up one morning and feel happy and okay again. There was a time when I was so beautifully positive, it made those around me sick. I waited for that part of me to come back. I loved that feeling. I enjoyed making people around me nauseous with my overwhelming cheerfulness. Now I was the one getting sick from other people’s smiles. I knew I wanted to be that person again, but I just couldn’t get there. So I waited longer.

It had been five months since the birth when I realized how convincing of an actress I was. I smiled and engaged in play dates. We had family dinners with the in-laws and took professional photos that, from the outside, looked near perfect. I had begun actively losing the pregnancy weight, and although I looked better, I continued to feel horrible from within. The resentment that started out so small and innocent had grown into an entirely new entity.

Although I never had ill will towards Lars, I hated everyone else in my general vicinity.

Myself most of all. I had become a different person altogether, and it was beginning to take its toll. Jamie and I did not talk. I did not revel in the accomplishments of my 5-month-old baby as other mothers did. I felt that these issues of mine, the feeling of inadequacy and rejection from my son, were too embarrassing to verbalize. It felt as though I was so alone, and yet I had people around me at all times.

I’d like to tell you that I eventually got help.

I’d like to tell you I finally sought out the proper assistance to pick me up out of that terrible place. I’d like to say that with the right counselling I learned to understand those awfully lonely first months of motherhood. But I didn’t. I don’t know how long I was unhappy for because eventually, the feeling became normal. What I do remember is when I started feeling joy again. It was not overnight, but little by little, more things were beginning to make me smile.

Mostly things my son would do. He would grab my face and gave me the wet slobbery kisses that only babies can. Or how when the word “Mama” came out of his mouth, he would smile and point to me—excited to see my face. Slowly I recognised that he did need me, that I was of just as much importance in his life as anyone else. I discovered that even in missing out on those first pivotal days, there was so much more to come. I experienced my own “firsts” with him. We bonded when I allowed myself to open up for long enough to let go of the unpleasant happenings of the past.

Ten years later and Lars is a boy after my own heart.

He is an outgoing and eccentric kid who loves to be the center of attention, much like his mother. Lars and I have many qualities in common and we are forever bonding over the wonderful weirdness that is us.

Jamie and I are strong. After having gone through something like this so early in our relationship and making it out (almost) unscathed, we had a solid foundation to build from. Each day presents its own trials and tribulations, but we now know that being open and honest about what we are feeling is the only way forward.

I want to bring awareness to the silent struggle that so many women feel after birth. It can be a long and tiresome journey, especially when the grips of isolation take hold. With counselling, these feeling of inadequacy could have been much shorter lived.

Speak with friends and family about how you are feeling. Talk to a healthcare professional.

Because we are not alone; we are not unaccompanied in these times of suffering. It is just a matter of reaching out and allowing another person in to listen to your story.

Image Credit: RainbowSalt

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Read more: https://thoughtcatalog.com/lindsay-brown/2019/01/the-silent-struggle-of-postpartum-depression

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Best gifts for your mom: Gift ideas for the woman who brought you into this world

When it comes to buying gifts for your mother, don’t shy away from technology, gadgets, and trends. There’s an unfortunate narrative afoot that suggests that everything your mother might want can be placed in a kitchen cupboard or encircled in an embroidery hoop. While embroidery is rad, don’t let the standard mom gifts put your favorite lady in a box. It’s time to help your mama branch out. Make sure your gifts are actually gifts for her and don’t all have to do with serving others, an all-too-common issue with the more standard mom gifts. 

SEE ALSO: These are the best gifts for your dad

Your mom should revel in her own glory with gifts that make her feel smart, sophisticated, and valued. Consider what she does when she has no one putting demands on her time — then shop for those moments. 

And if she balks at a gadgety gift and says she doesn’t know how to use it? That’s where you step in and teach her. After all, she managed to raise you and that was way harder than computers or consumer technology will ever be.

Here are 17 of the best gifts for your mom:

Read more: https://mashable.com/gifts/best-gifts-for-mom/

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The Difference Between Relationship Expectations Vs. The Reality In 20 Illustrations

Big-budget Hollywood movies and polished Instagram feeds might give you the impression that romantic relationships have to be perfect. Well, they can’t. And when you let go of the popular obsession with unachievable idealistic love, you allow room for your perfectly imperfect relationship to blossom.

To highlight this point, Bored Panda has illustrated the differences between what’s usually expected of romantic moments and their true forms. From snacking in bed to sleeping poses and beyond, the outcome of your attempt to create something special doesn’t matter, it’s what you make of it that does. And there’s no better person to make the best of the mundane than your significant other. Scroll down to check out the images and fire up our other original series once you’re done (21 Ways Your Life Changes From Your 20s To Your 30s, 20 Brutally Honest Comics That Show How Your Life Changes After Having Kids).

P.S. Do not use this content without permission. For media inquiries, contact us.

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Read more: http://www.boredpanda.com/relationship-expectations-reality-funny-comics-boredpanda/

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5 things to know for November 8: Mass shooting, Sessions, Trump, China, Girl Scouts

(CNN)We begin the morning with news of yet another mass shooting. Here’s what you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door. (You can also get “5 Things You Need to Know Today” delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.)

1. California shooting

Twelve people are dead after a gunman barged into a bar in Southern California and started firing. The shooter is dead as well. This tragedy happened at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks as it was hosting a college night. People who were dancing dropped to the floor and hid behind chairs and counters in stunned silence, witnesses said. Others jumped over chairs and broke windows to get out. A sheriff’s deputy who was one of the first on the scene is among the dead. News of this mass shooting is still breaking, so click here for the latest updates.

      Father chokes up giving account of shooting

    2. Jeff Sessions

    The fact that President Trump fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions wasn’t a surprise (he’d strongly hinted at that for months). But no one expected it to come the day after the midterm elections. Sessions submitted to Trump an undated resignation letter — “at your request” — after being asked to by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly. Sessions was one of Trump’s first and most loyal supporters. But the President quickly soured on him over his decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation. Still, Sessions implemented Trump’s vision, rolling back Obama-era policies on immigration, police reform and civil rights.
    Matthew Whitaker, Sessions’ chief of staff, takes over as acting attorney general. And that’s already sparking controversy because Whitaker has spoken out in the past against the Russia investigation — which he will now oversee. Democrats already want him to recuse himself. Many fear the President is effectively trying to end special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into his 2016 campaign’s actions.

      Whitaker likes to talk about Mueller

    3. President Trump

    The White House pulled the press pass of CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta after he angered President Trump by asking questions at a post-midterms news conference. Trump insulted Acosta and called him a “terrible” person. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders then falsely accused Acosta of “placing his hands on” a White House intern who tried to grab the microphone from him. (He didn’t, saying, “Pardon me, ma’am,” as he held onto the mic; watch the video.) Acosta wasn’t the only reporter Trump tangled with. He described as “racist” a question he got about calling himself a nationalist and yelled at reporter April Ryan to “sit down” as she tried to ask him a question. The White House Correspondents’ Association called the White House’s actions “unacceptable,” while CNN said it stands behind Acosta and called Trump’s attacks “disturbingly un-American.”

      Trump clashes with Acosta in testy exchange

    4. Chinese exports

    The Trump tariffs on China aren’t having much effect on China’s exports so far. Chinese exports rose 16% in October, much more than analysts had predicted. It was also stronger than September’s growth. This is significant because October was the first full month during which new US tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods were in effect. And those tariffs will rise from 10% to 25% at the end of the year, so it looks like companies are ramping up their exports to avoid the higher duties that are on the way.

      White House trade adviser: Ball’s in China’s court

    5. Girl Scouts vs. Boy Scouts

    The Girl Scouts have had enough, and they’re going to court. The Girl Scouts of the USA is suing the Boy Scouts of America for trademark infringement after the Boy Scouts group said it was dropping the world “boy” from its name and calling itself Scouts BSA starting next year. The Girl Scouts say the Boy Scouts don’t have the right to use “scouts” or “scouting,” and allege that the Girl Scouts brand and activities will be harmed by the Boy Scouts rebranded program. The boys’ group has already begun to welcome older girls.

      Girls can join Boys Scout of America

    BREAKFAST BROWSE

    Not-so-friendly skies
    An airline flight crew was permanently grounded after its members were accused of faking a photo of themselves sleeping on the floor of an airport.

      Ryanair fires staff for allegedly faking photo of sleeping on airport floor

    Like father, like son
    Michael Douglas, who just got his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, gave us all the feels as he got emotional talking about his dad, Kirk Douglas.
    Baby talk
    Talk to your baby the way you’d talk to your dog? An expert says it’s a great way to help kids process language.

      The science of baby talk

    The robots are coming (again)
    Not only can artwork now be created by artificial intelligence, the paintings can fetch a pretty penny at auction, too.

    TODAY’S NUMBER

    $300 million
    The value of the contract that baseball star Bryce Harper reportedly turned down from the Washington Nationals

    AND FINALLY

      A walk in the woods
      This one’s pretty simple. Just a man walking his two cats, because we all need something relaxing like that in our lives right now. (Click to view.)

      Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/08/us/five-things-november-8-trnd/index.html

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      Government parenting advice ‘patronising’

      Media playback is unsupported on your device

      Media captionChildren, parents and grandparents have mixed feelings over the advice

      Have you ever been tempted to bite your child back, threaten to have the police take them away, use a put down or even tease them when they wet the bed?

      According to Welsh Government advice described by some as “patronising”, parents should not do any of this.

      Others have praised the idea, but criticised Parenting. Give it time for being inaccessible to those who would benefit from it the most.

      The Welsh Government said it was not intended as rules but rather ideas.

      The campaign is being launched to “help parents better understand the benefits of positive parenting techniques”, as the Welsh Government prepares to introduce legislation that would ban the smacking of children, said minister for children Huw Irranca-Davies.

      But the government has been criticised for some of its more basic advice, including:

      • If your child bites you, stay calm. Don’t smack or bite your toddler back. This will hurt your child and give them the wrong message that this behaviour is OK
      • If your child is wetting the bed, don’t punish, criticise or tease them for it
      • In responding to unwanted or problem behaviour, avoid put downs. Try to encourage effort instead
      • Threatening your child with scary things like “the police will take you away” may make your child anxious and may lead to more unwanted behaviour, not less
      • Children aged 18 months and younger should not look at electronic screens at all
      • Screen time should be limited to one hour per day for children aged between two and five years old, and children and adults should avoid watching screens before bed.

      What do parents think?

      Image caption Kirsty Maniatt said parenting styles are very unique to each family

      Kirsty Maniatt, who has a son, 10, and daughter, eight, said: “I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer – you do what you need to get through and what works best for your family.”

      Grandfather-of-seven Ken Frater said he appreciated that some people do not need advice on parenting while others do.

      But Fran Caunt said general advice on parenting for the whole population was “dangerous”.

      Image caption Fran Caunt believes a government suggesting how parents should parent is “dangerous”

      “I think all parents have their different style of parenting and that is what makes us all different,” Ms Caunt added.

      “I think it would be very difficult to come up with a set list of dos and don’ts because every family is different.”

      Grandmother Jean Williams used the example of physical punishment to argue that government parenting advice was a good idea.

      “If you smack children then the child will smack others back and also, if they bite a child. when they bite them then the child will learn to bite another child back.”

      Image caption Grandmother Jean Williams is more sympathetic to the Welsh Government’s advice

      Charlotte Harding, a parenting blogger from Cardiff, praised the idea but said most parents already knew the advice because it was “quite straightforward”.

      “Sometimes parents can feel like ‘why are they telling me this?’ It can be patronising to people who are experienced, but a lot of parents don’t know,” she said.

      Ms Harding believes the advice will be useful to some parents, particularly in more deprived areas, but said the “text-heavy” website was “inaccessible” to much of its target audience.

      “Some parents who find it hard and don’t know what to do, don’t want to read the whole thing because it is so long,” she explained.

      Image copyright Charlotte Harding
      Image caption Parenting blogger Charlotte Harding with her sons Harrison (left), four, and Ethan, six

      Responding to the criticism, a Welsh Government spokesperson said its website had been developed with the help of educational psychologists, health visitors and parenting experts.

      “We recognise that every child and every parent is unique and the website is not intended as a set of parenting rules that must be followed,” the spokesperson added.

      “It is intended to give parents ideas so they can make decisions about what can work for their child and family.”

      The spokesperson added that it offers advice in “a range of materials” including videos, and will soon be publishing blogs and “vlogs” – video blogs – from parents.

      Related Topics

      Read more: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-45992777

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      20+ Before & After Pics That Show What Happens When You Stop Drinking

      Changing your life around can be hard, especially when it means breaking an addition. However those who have done it will tell you it can make all the difference. The following stories of people who gave up alcohol show that while everyone’s reasons or journeys are different, the end goal is the same – a healthier life.

      However, sometimes it is hard to measure ones progress on the path to change, but the before and after pictures on this list are solid evidence. Some people are unrecognizable in their after photos, showing just how big of an impact physically alcohol can have. Scroll down below for some truly inspirational tales!

      #1 I Took The Picture On The Left Almost 17 Months Ago, Outside An Emergency Room, At Sunrise, Something Told Me I Didn’t Want To Forget That Moment. I Forget Easily. I’m Going Public With This Now Simply Because I Need To Advocate For Recovery More

      #2 This Woman, Who Was Dropped Out Of School At The Age Of 14, Battled Alcoholism And Depression To Become An A&E Doctor 15 Years Later

      #3 After A Decade Under The Influence And Not Taking Care Of Myself, I Am 3 Weeks Away From 1 Year Of Sobriety. 50 Lbs Lighter And A New Job Doing What I Am Passionate About. Life Is Much Better And I Definitely Enjoy It Now

      #4 I Gave Up Alcohol When My Daughter Turned 1. I’m 5 Years Sober Today

      #5 Left Is Me In The ICU From An Overdose. Decided I Was Sick And Tired Of Being Sick And Tired And Am 6 Months Clean And Sober Today

      #6 Lost 105 Lbs In 15 Months. First I Quit Drinking. Three Months Later I Changed My Diet (Cut Carbs And Portion Control). Finally, About 12 Months Of Working Out. Change Is Possible No Matter What Your Age Is

      #7 1 Year Without Drinking

      #8 A Little Over A Year Ago. I’d Had Most Of A Box Of Wine Earlier In The Day And Then Drank Around 12oz Of Whiskey On Stage (Stand Up Comedy) In Front Of A Crowd. Currently, Almost A Year Sober

      #9 One Year Of No Alcohol Has Changed My Life. I Lost 53 Pounds And I’m 1000 Times Happier. I Tried To Recreate My Bloated Pic

      #10 11 Months Sober And Life Has Never Been Better. I’ve Lost 20kg!

      #12 So Proud Of My Brother. Celebrated One Year Of Sobriety And Also Being One Person Lighter. Just Awesome

      #13 10 Years. Sobriety. Good Support Network. And A Firm Dedication To Being The Superhero My Dog Thinks I Am

      #14 I’m Coming Up On My First Year Of Sobriety. It’s Crazy What A Difference A Year Can Make

      #15 My Recovery Progress Makes Me Smile. 4+ Years Of Sobriety Transformation

      #16 Before And After 307 Days Sober

      #17 Doesn’t Seem Like Much To Some But 100 Days With No Alcohol. Don’t Let Fear Of Judgement Get In The Way Of A Better Life

      #18 The Progression Of Sobriety. 24 Hours/1 Year. One Day At A Time

      #19 Just Found A Old Picture Of Me On FB. I’m About 9 Months Sober From The Time It Was Taken

      #20 What A Year Of Sobriety And 60 Pounds Lost Looks Like

      #22 On The Left – 2009 During A 6 Month Relapse After I Left My Daughter’s Dad And Tried To Convince Myself That Without Him, I Didn’t Have An Addiction. On The Right – 2017 After Celebrating 7 Years Of Sobriety, Dropping The Weight, Accepting My Body, Exploring My Sexuality And Thriving In The Uniqueness That Makes Me, Me

      #23 Lost 170 Lbs In 18 Months. Sobriety, Diet, And Exercise Have Paid Off

      #24 2,5 Years Of Sobriety And Powerlifting

      #25 One Year Sober!

      #26 Today I Am Three Years Sober. This Is Day 1 After Being Assaulted And Last Week. It’s A Huge Relief To Know I Don’t Have To Drink Anymore

      #27 By The Grace Of God… I’ve Made It 4 Years. My Past Made Me Who I Am But I’m Never Looking Back. This Mugshot Was A Painful Reminder Of Despair

      #28 On The Left: 1-4 Bottles Of Wine A Week… Dayum, There’s A Lot Of Full Coverage Foundation On That Mug. Eeeek. On The Right, 9 Months Later: Lots Of Infused Water, Bb Cream & Some Contour/Blush. The Difference: Sobriety

      #29 What A Difference 10 Months Can Make. I Quit Drinking, Started Working Out, Got Divorced, Moved 1000 Miles By Myself, And Started A New Business. Happier And Healthier Than I’ve Been In A Long Time

      #30 The Beauty Of Living Life Sober Is Most Of My Struggles Today Are Based Around Amazing Blessings In My Life. Career Decision Struggles (But I Have Multiple Streams Of Income), Parenting Struggles (But I Have A Beautiful Baby Girl) And Struggling To Find My True Purpose In Life (But I’m Finally Asking Myself The Question And Pursuing Passions)

      #32 One Month Sober From Alcohol And Drugs

      #33 Celebrating Four Years Sober

      #34 July 2017 Vs January 2018. 120 Lbs Vs 160 Lbs. Depressed Vs Happy. Getting Sober Is The Best Thing I’ve Done

      #35 One Year Sober From Pills And Alcohol

      #36 Over 2 Years Clean And Sober

      #37 I Quit Drinking, Went Vegan And Started Running. Oh, And My Eyebrows Improved Too

      #38 6 Months Dry. I’ve Got My Eyes Back. Before Pic About A Year Ago

      #39 Just Over 2 Years Ago Now I Quit Drinking. Put Simply – It Changed Everything

      #40 Friend Of Mine Got Sober And Went From Looking Like Frank Gallagher To Matt Damon

      #42 On The Left I Was At The Lowest Point In My Life. On The Right I Am 3 Months And 22 Days Clean And Sober

      #43 I Remember Being So Annoyed With Myself Waking Up Every Damn Saturday Morning Hungover And Bailing Out On The Gym – And One Day, I Stead Of Saying “F*ck Itâ€, Everyone’s About To Meet A New Cass

      #44 Twenty Months Of Sobriety

      #45 One Year Sober And Being Healthier. I Feel More Like Myself Than I Have In Years

      #46 30 Months Without A Drink, And 2000 Miles Ran! I’ve Never Looked Like This

      #47 I’ve Been Sober A Year Today And A Lot Has Changed! It Started With Quitting Drinking, Then Off Antidepressants, Bought A House, Quit Smoking, Started Working Out, And Now Going Back To School! If You Want To Know What Your Future Looks Like, Look At The Decisions You Are Making Today

      #48 I Quit Drinking And Taking Pills All Together (Been Sober Almost 4 Years Now) I Started My Own Online Workout, Nutrition And Coaching Business To Help Other Women Make A Positive Change In Their Life Too

      #49 I’m A Year Sober

      #50 Sober And 20 Lbs Re-Gained

      #52 8 Months Clean And Sober

      #53 Lost 16 Lbs In 80 Days. IF And No Alcohol

      #54 5 Months Sober And Many More To Come

      #55 6,5 Months Of CICO, Sobriety And Running

      #56 500 Days Sober. 1 Year Of Lifting Weights

      #57 It’s Been More Than 5,5 Years Since I Gave Up Drinking Alcohol For Good! Finding The Raw And Vegan Lifestyle Helped Me Stay Sober Once I Took The Decision. To Kick A Bad Habit You Have To Replace It With A Good One!

      #58 My Worst Day Sober Is Better Than My Best Day Drinking

      #59 It Simply Amazes Me When I Look Back At Old Pictures To See What Was And Find So Much Gratitude For What I Have And Who I Am Today

      <

      Read more: http://www.boredpanda.com/before-after-quit-drinking/

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      Whats Wrong With Todays Society Captured In 25+ Brutally Honest Illustrations By Angel Boligan

      Art is a powerful form of expression, not just of beauty and aesthetic quality, but of ideas and protest as well. Cuban artist Angel Boligán is a master of this, delivering incredibly insightful critiques on the ills of the modern world within the confines of a single, beautifully drawn cartoon.

      Boligán , who now lives in Mexico City, has received countless international awards and worldwide recognition for the way he highlights the rampant consumerism, loneliness, addiction and over-reliance on technology in Western society. We here at Bored Panda have compiled a list of our favorite examples of Boligán’s work, cartoons that will make you stop, think and perhaps realize the absurdity of our selfish and wasteful capitalist culture, which is slowly killing our relationships, our mental health and the planet we all call home.

      Scroll down to check them out for yourself, and let us know what you think in the comments!

      #1 Last Bite

      #2 New Faces Of Politics

      #3 The Rest Of The World

      #4 Life’s Labyrinth

      #5 Playing Outside

      #6 Friendship Request

      #7 Water Business

      #8 Memories

      #9 Job Interview

      #10 Genders

      #12 Neighbours And Borders

      #13 The Sweetest Kiss

      #14 Fake News

      #15 Green Tears

      #16 Justice Taken Into Their Own Hands

      #17 Family Portrait With A Macho

      #18 Trap Touch

      #19 Divorce

      #20 Corrupt Public Worker

      #22 Displaced

      #23 Help

      #24 Parenting

      #25 Capitalist Pet

      #26 Interests Pushing

      #27 Socialism / Capitalism

      #28 Populism

      #29 Walls And Liberties

      #30 Alleged Offenders

      #32 Love And Generations

      #33 Bilateral Relationship

      #34 Anti-Corruption Spray

      #35 Prisoner Of Myself

      #36 Vampire

      #37 Reading Lesson

      #38 Republican Inspection

      #39 Soul

      #40 Migrant’s Destination

      #42 Grandfather

      #43 Access To Politics

      #44 Modern Times

      #45 Vegetarian

      #46 Excellency Prize At 18th World Press Freedom International Editorial Cartoon Competition

      #47 Power And Censorhip

      #48 Internet

      #49 Easy Meal

      #50 Health

      #52 Neoliberal Government

      #53 Freedom Of Speech

      #54 Anchor

      #55 Food For Kids

      #56 Displaced By The Gods

      #57 The Land Belongs To Those Who Labour It

      #58 Facenstein

      #59 Consumed Consumer

      #60 Souvenir

      #62 Duel In The Hospital

      #63 Masculine Conflict

      #64 The Old Tale

      #65 The Best Mirror

      #66 Future

      #67 Blacksmith

      #68 Readjustment

      http://www.boredpanda.com/satire-political-cartoon-illustration-angel-boligan/

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      Boy Cries Uncontrollably After Getting Bullied For Wearing Nail Polish, And His Dads Response Goes Viral

      Toxic masculinity has become one of the buzz concepts of our times, as certain ‘traditionally masculine’ traits and behaviors have been identified by some as a corrosive influence on our society. Aaron Gouveia, from Massachusetts and a father of 3, is the voice behind parenting blog Daddy Files, where he shares his experiences, thoughts and practical tips to being the best possible father while balancing a career at the same time.

      Recently he uploaded an angry and emotional Twitter thread about his middle son, Sam, being bullied at school for wearing nail polish. Sam hadn’t been exposed to overriding social expectations of gender norms yet, and was about to get a shock. “My wife and I spent five years successfully preaching tolerance, acceptance, and the importance of expression and your kids unraveled that in one school day,” Aaron wrote.

      Sam simply liked having his nails painted. His grandmother used to do it for a living and he thought it looked cool. Simples. He was blissfully unaware that these kind of things were supposed to be ‘for girls only,’ and that not following this ‘rule’ would leave him open for ridicule, even from his friends.

      After Sam came home heartbroken and in tears, Aaron decided that enough was enough. His passionate outburst quickly went viral and drew praise and support from thousands of people, impressed with the way he took harmful expectations of masculinity to task. And he is right. Of course there of some who take the concept too far, but some aspects of ‘toxic masculinity’ teach young boys to suppress their natural expression and emotions in ways that can be harmful later on, and this needs to be addressed.

      Meanwhile Sam, inspired by other men and boys painting their own nails in solidarity, went back to school with his nails painted and a newfound confidence to be himself. “Sam had a great, incident-free day at school yesterday,”Aaron wrote. “Also, the school’s response and the community’s outreach has been really heartening.”

      Scroll down to check out Sam’s kickass nails for yourself, and let us know what you think in the comments!

      This is Aaron Gouveia, dad of three boys and author of the parenting blog ‘Daddy Files’

      This week something happened to his middle son at school, which led him to post an angry and emotional outburst on Twitter

      People were really supportive of Aaron and Sam

      Image credits: irinibus

      Image credits: Grafxcowgirl

      Image credits: Kristan_Higgins

      Image credits: JerriSwann21

      Image credits: megrarick

      Watch this video to learn to stop bullying:

      Read more: http://www.boredpanda.com/dad-son-painted-nails-kindergarten-toxic-masculinity/

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      Moms who use egg donors lack confidence in parenting ability, study finds

      London (CNN)Mothers who give birth using donor eggs may react less sensitively to their babies and have a lower confidence in their parenting ability, a study says.

      The team interviewed 85 families who’d conceived using egg donation and 65 families who had children through the mother’s own eggs.
      They also observed mothersplaying with their children as they normally would.
        During interviews, mothers who used a donor’s eggs were more likely to express a lack of confidence in their own parenting ability, the paper says. Changes were not detected in fathers.
        The study suggests this may be associated with the older age of mothers who had used donor eggs.
        Other differences included how quickly mothers read signals given by babies, such as boredom, and the study also noticed that egg donor infants were “less emotionally responsive and involving of the mother” than babies who were genetically related to their mothers.
        “Egg donation mothers were responding slightly less sensitively and they were structuring their play slightly less” than mothers who had used their own eggs as part of in-vitro fertilization, the study’s lead author, Susan Imrie, a research associate at the University of Cambridge, told CNN.
        But the authors stressed that the overall cohesion and strength of relationships between mother and baby were not tested.
        “The main takeaway is that the parents and babies are doing well,” said Imrie. “Although we did find these subtle difference in the play task, egg donor mums and IVF mums did look more similar than different.”
        The authors did not suggest that mothers who used egg donors were less capable mothers, and the study is “no basis for saying anything much about child welfare,” said Ellie Lee, director of the Centre for Parenting Culture Studies at the University of Kent. Lee was not involved in the study.

        Sign up here to get The Results Are In with Dr. Sanjay Gupta every Tuesday from the CNN Health team.

        “These mums have no need to worry any more than they do already any more than they do already about themselves or their children,” Lee added. “Overall, it’s wonderful that technology allows women and men who otherwise would not be able to, to have children, and society would do well to keep its eye on this, rather than anything else.”
        An estimated 3,924 women underwent IVF using a donor egg in the UK in 2016, the last year for which figures are available, compared to 1,912 in 2006, according to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority.
          In the US, 76,930 total IVF births – including donor and non-donor eggs – occurred in 2016, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
          Since the procedure became available 40 years ago, at least 8 million babies have born using IVF worldwide. Today, more than two million treatment cycles from IVF and intracytoplasmic sperm injection are performed each year, resulting in half a million babies globally.

          Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/09/health/egg-donor-mothers-babies-bond-intl/index.html

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          Posted in Uncategorized

          A Facebook post arguing that men dont suffer drew a surprisingly thoughtful response.

          They asked her, “What are the benefits of being a woman?” How’s that for a conversation starter?

          One Reddit user shared the results after this question was posed to an anonymous person’s Facebook page.

          The question elicited a passionate response from one woman who literally said, “None. There are absolutely no practical benefits to being a woman.”

          She then linked to a study showing how teachers tend to “ignore” girls in favor of boys in early elementary school, implying a pattern that extends throughout society and something women must grapple with on a daily basis. After all, the simple act of not being heard is a system form of invisibility that women, and all marginalized groups, must deal with on a daily basis.

          Sometimes sexism, racism and other forms of discrimination are obvious and overt. But more often, we as a society are learning more about the built-in, institutional forms of discrimination that inherently create an unfair playing field for women when the entire system is seemingly set up to favor men.

          But maybe it’s not so simple.

          In a follow-up comment that has gone viral on Reddit, one man chimed in to point out that just because women have inherent challenges, it shouldn’t diminish the fact that men also suffer:

          In an extended rebuttal, the commenter lists a number of inherent disadvantages men face in their own lives: men are far more likely to be sentenced than women during criminal trials, less likely to commit suicide and are still too often “shunned” for expressing emotion and vulnerability.

          Much of this guy’s response is subjective and doesn’t hold up under scrutiny. For example, he claims that all men are considered “sex-obsessed monsters.”

          No doubt some people view all men this way but it’s an inaccurate stereotype to suggest that all men are viewed this way.

          Nonetheless, the writes raises some fair points about gender imbalances when it comes to parenting, human resources and the continued expectations on men to be “bread winners” even as we simultaneously demand equal opportunity and pay for women.

          The takeaway here is not to argue that men have it tougher than women because they almost certainly do not.

          But part of creating real change starts with finding real compassion for each other and not denying the challenges of everyone’s individual experience.

          We’re asking more of men these days. On one hand, it’s not much considering how little has been asked of them historically.

          But if men are being asked to evolve and create space for others, they have to be brought into the full picture and allowed to be fully formed humans in every aspect.

          Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/a-facebook-post-arguing-that-men-don-t-suffer-drew-a-surprisingly-thoughtful-response

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