Virtual hug, DDT. I'm so sorry you are in such a tough spot.
DDT, you're an amazing person.
Great answer, Dan. You really are a sweetheart.
They've made some pretty serious advances in anti-depressant medication in the past 12 yrs. Unless they've already tried making adjustments, it looks good that there's some help on the horizon. Switching meds can be scary for people, especially when their meds have been so effecive and they're under a lot of stress (like caring for a sick child).

By the way, this has got to be the storybook case for why research on a "female Viagra" needs to continue.
you could still give him an old-fashioned 1-2 mornings a week. think of it as a medical procedure.
Wow, heavy-duty stuff. And no, there's no "easy answer." But Dan's advice, as is usual, is about the best you're going to get anywhere.
Speaking as someone who took years to finally hit upon the right combination and dosages of head meds, I know just how inexact that science can be. I strongly suspect that DDT needs an adjustment. However, her heart is definitely in the right place.
I'm seriously hoping that with age, things get better for them. I'm HOPING that when the kids go away to college and she and her husband have more time for themselves that things will get better for them. Big hugs for the whole family.
dan, please jump on this STAT:!/note…
I have a number of friends with depression & extended medication issues. One thing that many people don't know is that it can take a SERIOUSLY long time to get the right combo of meds. If you're on depressants and STILL depressed, you & your doctor(s) should still be working on finding a good combo of meds. If you *are* doing this, do hang in there! I can tell you that it can take (frustrating) years to find the right balance. It's not just you. There are so many advances & changes and so many variables, there just isn't an easy set of antidepressants to "just" use...
If you Google "Women Who Want to Want," there's a really interesting NY times article from last year:… about therapeutic intervention for low sex drive, and the difference between spontaneous and responsive sexual desire. For some women who have low sexual desire, they don't have spontaneous desire but if they experience arousal they can have desire follow arousal. So if she allows her husband to get her ramped up first (maybe sensual massage as foreplay), desire may click into gear after she begins to feel aroused.
Damn it, Dan! Your advice made me cry! YOUR FUCKING ADVICE.
I can't bring myself to use the appellation "DDT" (toxic and all that), so I'm going to refer to the letter writer as AWIC (Alive Where It Counts).

AWIC, have you considered that you feel guilt over your sick child and have wordlessly told yourself that you don't deserve pleasure, space, or time when he/she is in pain?

Please talk through this kind of issue with a therapist, and if you have not done so, please, please seek out and make time for a support group for the specific illness your child faces, or a general caregivers/parents of sick children support group.

You're doing everything you know how to do for your family, but in addition to your loving spouse you need outside counsel and comfort. Please do this. Every caregiver needs comfort and respite. The best to you.
The positive here, DDT, is that, despite everything, it looks like your husband really, really loves you. While sex means a lot, sometimes love means a lot more. Good luck with everything. And depression comes wth guilt--try to remember that you've done nothing to feel guilty about; the depression is just making you feel like you've done something bad.
Hang in there DDT. You are important.

Thanks for posting this letter Dan and your kind response. Sometimes life and family gets complex and doing what you have to do doesn't allow you to be all that you can be. Especially with kids, and even more with a special needs kid, if you are decent parent, it will be exceedingly unlikely there is somebody else that can substitute for you even if you are unhappy on a personal level.

Better watch out though Dan, if you start answering too many letters like this you are going to disconnect from the Stranger's target democraphic.
Yeah, her #1 job should be treating her depression.
@12, Yup, I'm crying, too.
Make a deal. He and you get a night out at a hotel to pamper yourselves. Sometimes all we need is time to relax and regroup. And the two of you need time alone together. Get a sitter.
You get an A+ for this one, Dan. You hit all the points running through my head while reading DDT's letter. I'd especially emphasize the advice for her to talk to her health care provider about her meds. Things change. What might have been an appropriate medication or dosage a year ago may not be appropriate now.

I'll just send good thoughts and a virtual hug to DDT. I wish her the very best.
Been there, DDT, if not so direly. Anti-depressants, check; special-needs child, check; no energy for anything beyond the basics of just getting through the day, check, check and check. Fortunately (?) my wife was also dealing with anti-depressants so our libidos were both more or less at a low ebb.

Here's my message, and it's to your hubby--from one husband to another: You strike me as an understanding, loving person. If it is within your means to hire a baby sitter on a regular basis or get some sort of respite care, do it! YOU make the arrangements. Have a date night, even if it's elsewhere in the house just talking or spending time together while your help is here to take care of all the kiddos' needs. Kindness and doing things to help relieve your wife's stress won't magically solve everything, but it might help give her sexual drive a boost.

I'm sending good thoughts your way, DDT, with hopes for brighter days ahead.
Hang in there, DDT.
DDT, talk to your doctor about tweaking your medication, and do something, anything, that makes your feel prettier: buy and wear daily a necklace that you like or some earrings that make your eyes sparkle. That stuff helps more than you'd think.
I feel for you: sometimes there aren't solutions to our problems. Does your husband complain? If not, don't assume he is miserable; maybe he's struggling with similar issues and feeling equally guilty for not being more of what *you* need.

Dan, you're on fire today: short, funny, biting, to-the-point answers for the idiots in the column who deserved them, and a sensitive and thoughtful response to the SLLOD--and no recylcling, either!

Max Solomon: she doesn't want to have *any* kind of sex at all, and you're proposing 1-2 times a *week?* I don't even know what snotty thing to say to you.
Wow, damn, AWIC (I too am not gonna call you DDT!) that is a tough situation. And you are such a tough, resilient person, even if sometimes you don't feel like you are. Your love for your children and the way you cherish your husband are incredibly beautiful.

Please oh please oh please speak with someone about the fact that your meds aren't alleviating your depression and occasional suicidal thoughts. Yes the situation at home sounds tough, but your treatment regimen for the depression seems like it's just not doing the trick, and there's stuff that can be done about that. Sometimes it takes people a long time to find the right combo of medication, and I implore you to try out something new.

I have had serious issues with depression before, and when I read things like "I feel so bad for my husband having to put up with me" it reminds me a lot of the downright lies my depressed brain would come up with to torture me. If that kind of guilt for a situation that's NOT YOUR FAULT keeps rushing through your head, you might want to consider speaking to a therapist, maybe someone who does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy - someone like that could teach you to banish the thoughts that torment you.

Maybe you feel like your most important duties to your sick child, to the rest of your children, to your job and the household chores and your husband, and your own mental and physical health are not the highest of priorities. That is very understandable. But it isn't true.

Please, please, please, care for yourself, too. I'm rooting for you.
I had a friend in this position, sort of (ailing mother living in their house, mismatched libidos).

One day she and I had a frank talk about sex. And she began crying because she felt so much guilt about not being "enough" or good-looking for her husband.

Sometimes it's good to remember that guilt makes things worse. Instead of guilt, she should feel loved. There is a man with a high libido who loves her enough to stick with her through all of this. With a little confidence (that elusive thing), this can be turned into a positive.

But that can't happen while you think in terms of how you are disappointing those you love. Switch it around. Refuse to play by life's games -- if you were 15, not yet a mother, just dating, what would you do for fun? Take a moment and do it. Share it with him. Take times when you pretend it's just you and him, you're both in love, and you spend 30 minutes just loving life together. Eat a good meal. Indulge in cheesecake. Go to Trampoline World or sit in the woods, listening to the quiet.

Everyone's different, but this attitude change really helped my friend. She'd been married for 22 years and depressed for about 10. It's hard to grasp "confidence" but it's worth it to buck the guilt.

Guilt doesn't own you. Tell it to knock it the frack off.
Sometimes the most important duty IS to a child and an adult has to get help, not give up today even if help doesn't work, not break down today, give up that dream for today, etc. That is just life. Sometimes that is just the nature of the kid or the status of your life. It is one of the reasons people don't have kids.

Hey, I have a child who faced a serious illness (the big C) as a baby and has lived lifelong with the ramifications including disability and developmental delays. I hear you sister. I divorced my husband just a year after my son finished treatment because he wasn't a good teammate, so I'm really glad you have that. It sucks either way, but in a different way if you're on your own.

I spent a decade after my divorce without any sex partners, and with masturbation only once in a while. I battled depression, my weight went up to 240. Now in my mid-40s (late mid-40s) I have gotten my weight under control through diet and exercise and that is helping keep the depression at bay. And I'm getting laid again and LOVING it.

My son still has serious special needs and I haven't found a permanent new life partner (I put the words "special needs child" in my on-line ad and actually found a man who didn't feel sucker punched by the idea, but who knows if that will stick) but I am back in the frame of mind where I know I deserve all of the manifestations of love and affection, including sex. Feeling pleasure is ok. Even in the midst of the shitstorm, it is ok.

So I mention this because I hope you can keep sight of some vision of the future where you are able to enjoy the full range of life's joys as well as the ample dose of its sorrow you currently are sampling. What I hope you might find helpful is the idea that maybe you're not done yet. It took me a full decade, and for most of that time I was dead down there too. Seriously, that is the least important thing right? Well, it is until you decide you want that part back. If you remember one thing from this letter, I hope it's that if you decide you want that part back, some lady you never met promised that you can get that part back.

It's not easy, and I don't need to tell you that. There was no miracle of a new man who came into my life and took away my burdens so that I could focus on some me-time. It was just a gradual realization that my life and my needs mattered enough that I could prioritize them - sometimes. They matter enough, not always, not unconditionally. But after I was able to successfully carve out a little bit of space/time for taking care of me without my child relapsing or coming up with some new dire issue (cause let's face it, there's that superstious place in my heart where I thought that I needed to fully sacrifice all of me to keep the gods from taking my kid instead) then I had more confidence to say "this taking care of me needs to be a regular part of my life".

Whereever you are right now in your child's (all your children's) upbringing, I hope you might be able to allow for the idea that in the future, life might be different and you might be able to get a little selfish about taking care of you. I hope you might use that as a way to remember that you didn't do one damn thing to deserve the challenges that you or you kid face, and that taking care of yourself isn't selfish at all, or at least not in the selfish way that you need to stop it.

I've heard all the "you gotta put the oxygen mask on yourself first" b.s. from people who haven't been there, and so I want to affirm that where you are right now, that is where you need to be. Hang in there sister. You're doing everything right, including reaching out to Savage to see if you can make your life better for your hubby. Blessings to you both, and your kids.
Immediately what came to mind is The Beattles song "All You Need Is Love".

I'm sending all my best wishes to you DDT/AWIC for health, happiness, peace and love. Take good care of yourself please, there is no other YOU.
Shrinks will often not take the complaint "I have no libido" seriously, it seems, especially from women. Do Not Tolerate That Shitty Attitude. Your doctor is there to help you. If they can't, find a med shrink who can (I assume you have a med shrink as well as a talk shrink? If not, you need one. All they do is meds, and are better at it than a GP).
One serious issue to think about: ALMOST all anti-depressants are supposed to be used on a strictly short-to-medium-term regime. I've been on a bunch myself. I've run into a couple of doctors who just wanted me to find the right one and stay on it, but when I read the info sheet from the manufacturer, they invariably said that they were intended for courses of between 6 months and a few years. They all specifically warned against long-term use.

This confused me. How do you deal with long-term depression when the drugs are all medium-term? I changed doctors a few times, and eventually got referred to a really good psychiatrist, who explained it all. I'm paraphrasing, and he said there were very rare exceptions, and I'm not a doctor, so use this advice with caution (and preferably under the supervision of a really good psychiatrist).

He told me that the moment you go on anti-depressants, you should start working to get off them. Anti-depressants treat the symptom only. He asked me a whole lot of questions about my life, and sent me along to a psychologist who he thought could treat my cause. He kept up-to-date with how I was doing with the psychologist, and as soon as he was confident that I was addressing the causes of my depression properly, he started to wind back my medication. A few years later, I'm completely off any sort of meds - my psychologist helped me to fix the cause, so there aren't any symptoms left to treat.

Later, he explained the reasons: when you're in the grips of the worst of depression, it's almost impossible to work with someone to treat the causes - the symptoms get in the way. You take anti-depressants to deaden the symptoms, see someone to help fix the causes, and then carefully go off the meds gradually, seeing someone regularly to make sure you're not relapsing.

At least think about it, ok? Every time I hear about someone on long-term anti-depressants I shiver to think that I could still be there too.

I'm so sorry. I recognize the vicious cycle that many females have found themselves in for various reasons. Sadness and/or feelings of unattractiveness chills the desire for sex and it becomes more and more overwhelming and you feel more and more guilty and broken. Sex is now another obligation and the longer you go without it the harder it is to get back up on that horse so to speak.

Don't let sex loom over you anymore. It's not as big or scary as it feels right now. Even though I know you feel like it's a repulsive thing to do right now, once you break that cycle it won't haunt you and the act itself will never be as bad as you're afraid it will be. Let yourself off the hook. Just because there's been a huge build-up doesn't mean you need to feel pressure to perform and to not make mistakes. Your husband sounds awesome and I don't think he's judging you half as harshly as you're judging youself. He's not going to leave you after all you guys have been through after one lousy silly night. Because sex is silly-- but right now it doesn't feel like that.

Dan's advice was great. However, I have a feeling that you're never going to be at peace with sex totally off the table. No matter what anyone says (including your husband and Dan) it's going to weight on your mind.

Here's something I really believe will help: just because you're not cool with full-on sex acts right now doesn't mean you can't be a part of your husband's sex life. Do something low-impact but intimate like cuddle and let him maybe touch your boobs while he masturbates (I do this when I'm too sad/weird for sex and it makes me feel very sexy and sometimes actually turned on despite myself) or let him look at your butt while he does it (or whatever he's most excited by). Or maybe take a cute flattering sexy picture that makes you feel good about yourself and text it to him. Bring back that spark so that you can have a little something special in your home life that is as far removed from your tragedy as work is.

It will probably feel awkward, weird, and upsetting to force yourself to take even one of these small steps-- I'm not saying it's easy. But I also know that it will make you feel better and you will feel so much relief. It's so important right now to take a moment to feel sexually attractive instead of feeling like you're broken. Please give yourself that.
Beautiful response Dan. Also, there's loads of research for the benefits of exercise in alleviating depression (not to mention lowering stress levels AND making you feel more attractive which *may* kickstart your sex drive....)
Good luck, DDT/AWIC.
Toward the end of your wonderful comment, you said what I was sort of trying, and failing to say: 'I've heard all the "you gotta put the oxygen mask on yourself first" b.s. from people who haven't been there...'

Thanks for jumping in.

If she doesn't have the money for paid help, does she have a room to let? In this economy, rent in exchange for help would be an offer that would be pounced upon immediately.
I'm going to suggest two things. First, consider reading my book The Orgasmic Diet. Many women who have gone on it have found that the diet also helps with depression and have either lowered their antidepressant dosage or gone off them all together under the supervision of their doctor. The high dose fish oil improves neurotransmitter balance along with improving libido.

Second, if your husband isn't offended by the idea, consider getting him a Fleshlight or two. And of course what Dan said too.
Also, make time to get regular exercise in the sunlight. Studies have shown that regular outdoor exercise helps with depression as well as an antidepressant, except in the most severe types of depression. You owe it to yourself and your family to take care of yourself so that you are functional.

Maybe you could go for a brisk walk during your lunch hour? Regular exercise will also help you reconnect with your body.
I don't really have very much to add advice-wise, so I'm just going to add to the chorus of virtual support for DDT/AWIC. *E-hugs*

I will say, though, I've got an ex-girlfriend/current friend who's been bouncing around from antidepressant to antidepressant - she'll find something that works for a little while, then inexplicably either stops working or causes some horrible, prohibitive side effect. It's really rough, but constant contact with a psychiatrist who can find the right drug and/or combination of drugs is the only way you'll find something that starts to help. It might not bring back your libido, but it can at least address suicidal urges.

Finally, please try to take the time to take care of yourself too - and I know, far easier said than done. I can't imagine the pressure you're under with a sick child, but you won't be doing the poor kid any favors if you push yourself to the breaking point.

*More e-hugs*
Kudos to DDT for sending this and Dan for printing it. No easy answer is right, but the least that comes out of this is that someone in a similar situation will see it and understand they're not alone, either.

That may not be much consolation to DDT, but it's a good thing nonetheless.

And all the best in getting through this.
As a fellow sufferer of chronic depression, I just want to say to AWIC (DDT) that I know how impossible it can be to take care of your own self when so overwhelmed.

I hope that you will, please, ask for help. Because help is out there.

It may be a change of meds, or seeing a therapist, or arranging child care once a month for some fun/relaxing alone time with your husband... doing whatever is pleasant for you both.

Take care, and remember that you are not alone!

I've believe I have been in the same frame of mind as DDT. If so, perhaps my advise will help. What DDT is feeling is that sex is just one more "burden/responsibility" that she has to fulfill in a life already overwhelmed with doing things for others and responsibilities. It's one more thing on here to-do list that makes her feel guilty about failing to do.
I think what DDT really needs is non-sexual sex. She wants to cuddle naked or semi-naked but WITHOUT the expectation that she has to put out. Make a deal with her husband that he will be intimate with her, without asking for, or insinuating that, he wants sex. SHE NEEDS TO BE IN CONTROL OF THE SITUATION. She still need the warm, naked body of her husband, but not the expectation or responsibility of sex. Soon enough, when she feels the control and the intimacy of the situation, sex will return. But only when she initiates it and feels like it is her idea.
When she says giving her husband a handjob is an anathema to her, DDT's situation sounds more severe than feeling the need to be in more control.

Hypothetically, if her challenges create the circumstance where she's disgusted with her own femininity, what kind of impact would creating a "make-out lab" with her husband as her proxy, and another man as her husband's, make? At least then her husband will have some kind of access to her experiences to where they can talk about what her natural role should be. If it helps her embrace her femininity enthusiastically, then by definition the exercise would qualify as heterosexual, like anything disgusting men do to establish their masculinity.
Good response. I'd just also say that there are other types of medications that don't have the low libido side-effect. I took paxil, prozac, a few other medications and it didn't seem to do much except make me less anxious and scared, which was good, but also lowered my energy and libido, so I never stuck with them long. This went off and on for about 10 years, and because my depression/anxiety is not severe and is almost entirely correlated with particular stressors (sickness and death of family members, bankruptcy of parents, etc.) I really just thought that I was stuck with this somewhat frustrating cycle. Finally a really good doctor (after a series of pretty bad ones) asked me about my full history and picked up that maybe the class of drugs I had been taking didn't work for me.

I started taking wellbutrin, which actually can INCREASE libido, and a lot of people who take it lose weight. In my experience I think it is it cuts out on any interest I have to eat for emotional reasons, and it increases my energy level so that I have the little bit extra which gets me to the gym or running. And while I don't know yet if it's increasing my libido, it certainly isn't repressing it like with other drugs.

Obviously, I can't advise on which meds to take, but I'd just encourage you to explore a lot more of your options.
Please be very careful in considering adjustment of medication if you're feeling suicidal, take it very seriously, because switching meds, taking them inconsistently/with drink or suddenly stopping can make you delusional enough to actually attempt suicide, I've seen it happen to three family members as well as myself. For some, not taking any medication at all and learning other ways of coping with depression is best, at least for a transitional period when in a severely depressed and suicidal frame of mind, because you never know how your mind will react to a whole new medication, suicide is actually listed as a side effect of antidepressants for that reason. but whatever you do, don't suddenly stop taking it, you have to step down gradually, although I'm sure you know that. I hope things get better for you.
unfortunately there are a lot of psychologists who are untrustworthy so be wary.
You know how when you get on a plane and the flight attendant explains how seat belts work? And then they say something like, "in the unlikely event of a loss of cabin air pressure a mask will drop. Put on your mask before assisting those sitting near you." DDT you GOTTA take care of yourself. Even if it means neglecting those around you at times. Cause you can't help anyone if you crash and burn. Tiny steps. Do something good for yourself. It will help your whole family.
She feels energized at work... Because work is a different world from home...

DDT should 1. get her hair done (or whatever simple thing would make her feel a smidge more attractive) 2. go to work wearing her closest-to-sexy suit and some daring underwear 3. leave for a "business lunch" with a "contact" (really her husband, also in business gear) 4. give it as much of a go as she can without either getting fired or arrested 5. go back to work.

She'll be energized from work. She won't be thinking "I have to go home right after this."
If you feel even a twee suicidal, you must tell the psych Dr or your psychologist that your head went to some very dark places. If they know, they can help you. But you must tell and then take the roller coaster risk of new ones and tell again if they take you to a dark place. I wholehearted agree with trying new treatment plans as #29 suggests. I'm now off those emergency meds (short term use) but make sure you make time to just find some time to enjoy something you like to do and take those baby steps toward finding happiness. Even if the only thing you can do is just look at something (not make art or craft or anything "constructive") Just Be. I found that looking at the moon (and stars) for a couple of minutes each evening was so liberating. The night sky made it OK to feel small in the universe which made my probs easier to deal with.
Wish you the best!
I just want to echo something that @18 said. The writer said that she feels energized at work because she's away from the miserable home situation. It doesn't seem like the husband is the problem with the home situation, so maybe a small vacation would make you feel at least energized enough for a little fooling around. I know it has to be very difficult to get away even for a night or two when you have four children and one has serious medical issues. But it's something you should really try hard to do--for your husband's sake, because he deserves to get some, but also for your own sake, because it sounds like it would be really good for you, too, and you deserve to have some more positive times. It might even help you deal with the home situation a little better when you get back.

I don't know enough about the mental heath side of things to offer any advice on that, but I certainly wish you and your family the best.
Her SI is so much more important than the sex or her family/life/husband stress. I'm the adult daughter of several generations of suicide moms. IT IS REAL. No matter how successful or happy your life- YOU GET A FREE MOTHER FUCKING PASS TO SUICIDE when your parent does. I commit to break the cycle- if only to not be a fucking stat. I'd love to talk to you- and I'm soooooo sorry
If the side effect of an anti-depressant is a low libido, doesn't it kind of defeat the purpose? I'm always so indifferent to the use of those medications, but really I'm just thankful I've never felt like I've really needed them, to be put into a box between wanting to feel alive and have sex is unimaginable for me. I hope science helps you better in the future.
What a wonderful lady! And a man that seems to understand. Lucky, the pair of them.

DDT, having been EXACTLY where you are (save for the sick child and I wish the wee one the best) I worry that you are just a tad too focused on looking after others rather than yourself. You run the risk of crushing yourself under your own laudable desire to care for others. See to the time for yourself, including exercise. Lack of exercise worsens depression, worsens your looks and thus worsens your self image.

Trust me, I've been there. Good luck.
That's a rough situation. I'm sorry.

A suggestion based on my experiences, but only try this if you won't feel guilty about not wanting to proceed to sexual contact: try other ways to be intimate without having actually having sex, such as non-erotic massage or just plain cuddling. At the least, you'll have some peaceful alone time to bond, and at best, over time, it might help your libido a little. My husband sometimes has trouble achieving orgasm because of antidepressants, so when that happens, I'll give him a back massage so we can continue to be intimate without pressure on either of us.

I played the other side of this coin for a while, not for length though. Handjobs and cuddles really do make a world of difference. Sex for guys serves two purposes: 1) it's an itch that gets out of control if it doesn't get itched (That's the most anyone seems to give it credit for though, which brings me to) 2) to feel connected to you in a relationship. I don't know why, but no amount of reasoning can take away the creeping primal sense that you don't love him if you never engage any sexual touching. It's sounds shitty, but that's the way it is. It's hard to feel loved without sex, perhaps across the board, but for sure as a dude.

Absolutely, and I think this is true for most women as well. Sex results in bonding hormones, which create a sense of safety and connection. Arousal/orgasm is tangled up in the dopamine pathways that can energize and relieve depression. With the right person, sex can really help with mental well-being on a bunch of levels. Dan's sweet, compassionate advice seems very practical to me. But I think there's another angle, and perhaps a good, selfish reason not to let go of the sex. Like exercise, it can be hard (read: feels impossible) to get going with it when depressed, but it is really important for mental health. Doing it when you don't feel like it can make you feel better so you do feel like it.

Also: Wellbutrin. In addition to, or instead of. It can be a very helpful drug for people who don't do well on SSRIs for a variety of reasons.

Also: life is hard, and I'm sorry.
I read somewhere that Viagra, though it doesn't help most cases of female low libido, can be very helpful in cases where the low libido is due to antidepressant medication.
Get a second opinion.

No-one can really explain why SSRIs work, and there may be alternatives to try. Having your husband to support you makes all the difference.
My mom has depression. (You sound a lot like her, actually. She's very giving and loving, and willing to exhaust herself for the needs of others, sometimes at the expense of her own needs, especially when she's feeling the most depressed.. anyway). I love her dearly, depression and all.

Here's one thing that really helped my mom to start creating time for her own needs, while also caring for several kids and moving and work etc.: Your children will mimic your attitude towards taking care of yourself; someday, they'll have that same attitude about taking care of themselves.

When my mom realized that I'd grow up and behave how she was behaving, it really helped her focus on taking care of herself, to know that someday, this would be me taking care of myself. It became a way for her to take care of future-me, so that she could focus on it even when she was feeling too depressed inside to take care of herself for herself.

She changed her behaviour around when I was a teenager, and thankfully, she created a positive example instead of a negative one, and now she does it for her own good as well as for mine. And I take care of myself too, thanks to the new example she gave.

Nowadays, I *love* when my mom talks about taking care of herself, it makes me feel so good that she's doing it, because I love her. I am thinking of you and sending love your way, too. <3

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