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what cant i see?
August 29, 2006
3:29 pm
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thumkin
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29-Aug-06

8-29-06

I was 32 years old before I learned that other religons dont honor Mary the way we do. I had just moved to a new area when these kids knocked on my door. They said they wanted to welcome us to the area. Then they said youre catholic right? I looked at myself and then at them and I really could tell no difference. I guess it showed on my face the incredulous how did you know that look. They pointed to my Mary statue. They were very polite and invited us to attend thier church. I just wondered how I could get to be my age how I could experience so much of life and have learned so little.

I feel so very ignorant so very often. Religon is not the only area my knowledge is lacking. Politics, science, geography, its like I only live in my own little world. Its amazing but I have a college degree. I dont know the differences between the republicans and the democrats. I dont know all the states capitals and I am not sure I could even name all of the fifty states. I dont understand taxes or even know which ones I pay. I know there are bad people in the world but I have never met any of them. That is very funny considering what I do for a living. (probation & parole)

I have begun to believe I am a little crazy. What other explanation is there for who I am. I have a horrible memory. Some things remain vivid in my mind, other things leave almost as instantly as they enter. I dont have a conscious fear of being alone, I have always felt alone, but I have never been alone. I feel as though I have searched my whole life for someone to love me. I have never felt that loved. I have always searched for that someone out there who would think I was really special, someone who would believe I was worth going that extra distance for. The golden rule states do unto others as you would have others do unto you. So I go. I put everything I have into making someone feel they are that special. I find myself waiting. Holding on to the hope that this time I have found what I am looking for. I have hurt people doing that. I would never intentionally hurt someone. Its just that I experience moments of sanity. I believe I am a good person. Sometimes it almost feels like I am the only one who thinks so. Helping others makes me feel good about myself. Its the definition of insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. But I know no other way. I encourage people everyday to adapt, adjust, change and grow. Yet my daily exsistence does not change. I do not deal well with change. I will stay in a dark room rather than move to a new one to avoid that change. I know what is in the dark room. While it may be bad and scary whose to say that the next room wont be worse.

I see the pain in his life. He has had more than his fair share. Alcoholism runs in his family. He began drinking at a very young age. His mother died of lung cancer when he was 16. His son died when he was only 18 months old of a disease he was born with. His father was killed or committed suicide. No one knows for sure. He was a suspect of murder when his fathers widow was found dead. He had to raise his youngest brother from the time he was barely an adult himself. He lost all contact with his two littlest sisters when his stepmom, thier mother was killed or overdosed, again no one knows for sure. He was sober for ten years. His wife of sixteen years came to him one day and told him she was leaving because they had grown apart and she didnt love him anymore. He never saw it coming. Anyone could see it coming when he fell off the wagon after that. He lost everything but his parents home in the divorce. After two years of bad crops they are now coming to take the home he grew up in away too. He is 35 years old. Because of everything he's gone through is not why I love him. He is an amazing person even after everything he has been through. He has never lied to me. Good, bad, or ugly he is always honest. He is very gentle and good. Everyone has some selfishness in them and he is no exception, but in general he is not selfish. He is not a mean drunk and he will pretty much say the same things when he is drunk as when he is sober. He has respect for women and children. and he is good to his daughter. He knows his drinking is not fair to his daughter, his self, or me and he struggles with that. But I know hes not to the place where he is ready to quit though some days he thinks he is. There is a darkness inside of him. You can see it in his eyes. He doesnt speak of that pain often. I believe it is killing him. He fights it the best way he knows how but there are times he just wants to give up and escape from it. I hate that darkness and dont understand why it has to have a hold on such a good person. He has taught me so much in the time I have known him. I have never been good at communicating my feelings. He wont accept my I dont knows. He has taught me to enjoy physical closeness. I was married for twelve years of my life and never snuggled, cuddled, or let myself be held. Never. He touches me and I dont push him away. He holds me and I dont freak out. I feel safe in his arms not smothered. I have always loved the outdoors but also had to sit on the sidelines and watch becuase I was a girl. He goes camping with me. He not only takes me hunting with him but he taught me to do it myself. He doesnt like fishing but he goes with me often because he knows I love it. He took me squirrell hunting once because I asked him to. It was pouring down rain most of the time but he took me. Then he let me go off on my own. I am a big chicken too. I love the woods but am very afraid of mountain lions and getting lost. That day I got scard. I know there was nothing there but I swear I heard something growl. I turned around and stated backtracking to find him, afraid that I would take the wrong path. And there he was not far behind me to offer that security he makes me feel. And he had me laughing at myself before I said a word. He knew I needed him and he was there for me. We looked like two fools Im sure standing there soaking wet in the woods laughing in the rain. He would give me the only blanket in the cold. He tells me I am a good mother when I doubt myself. He gets upset with me if I talk down on myself. He does not stand for anyone to say bad things about me. He is very protective. He tells me I am not fat and likes me just the way I am. He knows I am codependent and encouraged me to go when I said I wanted to go to al-anon meetings. And when I was too scared to go he talked to me about what it was like to attend AA meetings. He tells me he loves me everyday. He is good to my girls, they love him. He plays with all the kids. He tries hard to think of things for all of us to do together as a family. Things he thinks the children will really enjoy. Hes not afraid to do new things. He even tried eating my liver dumplins. He took me to deer camp where the men in his family get together one week a year. There is sooo much more to who he is and that is why I love him. I have this deep dark fear that one or both of us are going to be hurt so badly. I dont want to hurt him and I dont believe he wants to hurt me either.

There is the bad to go with the good. When he is drunk he wants me to drink with him and when I dont want to he pouts like a spoiled child. He is never mean or abusive but he trusts no one. He trusts some of us more than others but no one completely. Maybe no one trusts anyone completely but he is afraid of trusting too much. He has a sister that he is VERY close to but I have noticed he doesnt even trust her completely either. I dont know if he is bipolar or just depressed. But I believe he is one of those. I would guess that he just has a major depressive disorder and the times it seems like he is manic just has to do with his drinking because he doesnt seem manic very often at all and he is often depressed. But I love him. Even knowing that his uncle committed suicide and his father may have, I love him. I pray that I do not have it in my head to try to save him. I dont think I do. The thought of him ending his own life, the thought of him no longer on this earth causes me to have an anxiety attack. The thought of never seeing him again, knowing hes there also causes me to have an anxiety attack. I want so much for him to be happy, to find happiness. I know there is nothing I can do to make him happy or healthy. I know that is something he is going to have to find on his own. But I see him trying. Am I naive in believing he will. I know he is one of God's children too. I know God surely wants some good in his life too and God loves him too. Surely God crossed out paths for a reason. How do I answer him when he asks me why life has to be so hard.

Just really been thinking way too much lately. I am so afraid the best thing would be to let go. But I feel like Iwould be letting go of the best thing. You should feel the peace when the six of us sit down at the table together to eat.

thumkin

August 29, 2006
3:29 pm
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thumkin
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I thought that when I started this thread it was just a way for me to put the things in my head in print and I would find some kind of answer after going over it again and again. But right now if anyone has the time I would really appreciate an outside view. Like a teacher grading a paper, what is it here that I am not seeing that should be covered. I know there is some kind of answer to be found.

August 29, 2006
3:49 pm
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Thumkin:

I understand how you feel about not knowing anything about so much. I was raised quite sheltered myself and I didn't know what a bad person was. Everyone was equal in my folks' eyes.

The only thing I knew was Republicans were elephants coz they had great minds and Democrats were just jackasses. lol. This is what I wqs told as a child.

Anyway, I'll be here appx 15 min if you want to talk more.

August 29, 2006
3:50 pm
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southgoingzax
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thumkin,

not to downplay your relationship or demean it, but your codep tendencies are very evident in your posts...are you going to al-anon? It sounds like this man is your whole life. And while that is definitely an exhilirating feeling, it's not the healthiest. Both of you should get some counseling, if possible.

It sounds like you two are two halves trying to be a whole...does that make sense? He needs you to keep him sane from all of his past,and you need him to need you. IMO, you seem very sad, too, with the situation. I don't know what to tell you but to start thinking what you really want for yourself out of life, and if you are going to get it staying where you are.

zax

August 29, 2006
3:55 pm
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thumkin
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Thats just it at times it does feel like we are two halves trying to be a whole and I know that is wrong. But when Im not thinking about that or any of the problems in either of our lives we go so good together. I dont think I really need counseling. I think that is why I am so sad. I know what probably has to be done. I am just desperately trying to figure out if there is any way for the two of us to get healthy and stay together. I just want someone to tell me that is possible. If we as individuals can work on being healthy can we as individuals have a healthy relationship or will we always be unhealthy together? Does that make any sense?

August 29, 2006
4:04 pm
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Makes sense.

I would say it all depends on how much you and he want to work on a relationship. It takes 110% on both sides to make a healthy relationship. One word of caution tho. Normally, what you have not is what you will have in a relationship. You must go into this relationship knowing that you cannot change him. That being the case, Can you handle the relationship as it is? I am married to an addict for 14 years now. It's been a total roller coaster ride. He's ok then he's not; he's ok then he's not. I have to say that I stay w/ my addict for many reasons, but the main one is because when he falls he truly tries to stay straight. He's been straight now 3 years and thqt's the longest.

August 29, 2006
4:26 pm
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thumkin
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I can handle the relationship as it is BUT not if it is going to hurt my girls. I cannot seeing anything being done that is different, out of the ordinary, or going to hurt them but what if I am missing something. I know this sounds horrible but their dads drink all the time too so if they see him drinking it is nothing new to them. But I need to know for sure that they are not being hurt. Also whose to say it wont get worse 10 years from now. Would I be able to handle that? If he were to ever become abuse either verbally or physically NO I could not handle that.

August 29, 2006
4:48 pm
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Shaney
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Hi thumkin... I actually have a lot to say about what you wrote... but I'm going to have to write to you a bit later when I have more time. One thing, is that you're definitely not crazy. So many of those things that you mentioned (politics, science, your education, geography, memory... so much of it) are thoughts that I have had at one time or another in my life. No lie. If you were standing in front of me, I'd convince you that you're not crazy. I'll elaborate later, but my h was addicted to drugs and I used to feel the same way as you. Everything was pretty great, but I had this dark cloud hanging over me that it could all go to hell in an instant... and what if? My h isn't drugging anymore... but there are no guarantees about what the future may hold. I've learned not to anticipate doom. It never did me, or anyone else, any good to worry about something that may never happen. That's no way to live. My h and I got through it all, but I suspect that other things may come up in our future... they always do. And we'll take care of them when they do - and not until then. You sound like you have a good foundation from what I've read. In fact, I can relate to many of the things that you hold dear, when it comes to your husband. I've got to run but I'll be back. You're not crazy and I wanted you to know that :o)

Love - Shaney

August 29, 2006
4:51 pm
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thumkin
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Thank you Shaney. You really just made my day feel a little bit better. I will be heading home soon but will check back in the morrow to see if you had time to reply.

August 29, 2006
5:53 pm
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southgoingzax
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thumkin,

it IS possible that you two can work through his addiction and your codependency...you don't HAVE to end the relationship...but it will take a willingness to commit to change on both of your parts, otherwise you will always be waiting for that dark cloud to break open.

I would, however, worry about your children - what message is it sending them that dad drinks all the time and there are no real consequences? Just something to think about.

It's fine for you to love this man and want to keep things together. It's possible to do, but if you are wanting things to get better, you have to start trying to be a whole person, not just a support for him,

zax

August 30, 2006
1:48 pm
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Shaney
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Hi thumkin :o)

On knowledge: Until I was about 35, I felt just like you. I always thought to myself, "Why don't I KNOW more?" But that knowledge doesn't just fall out of the sky and into your head. For years, I was busy with school, a career, establishing myself, moving, growing up - just surviving! Surviving is hard, and stressful, and there isn't much joy or peace in struggling to survive. I finally woke up one day and thought that I was letting an enormous world, full of STUFF just pass me by. So I started reading more, which I was never really interested in, or felt I had the time to do. I read, and I retained. There's no other way to get the info you spoke of without either researching it, or travelling the world and discovering it. I get on line, and look up world maps to just see where thiings are! But if you asked me to name all of the states capitols, I couldn't. I like politics now... but I've delved deep into conspiracy theories... and found it a fascinating subject. So now I can hold a conversation with someone about politics. I took a religious philosophy class... it was amazing. Take a road trip across your state (I don't even know where you are), but travelling opens your eyes and your mind. Find something that interests you about any of these subjects, and read. It fills you with info other than what is right in front of you. It makes for great conversation. It relaxes you.

You wrote, "I have always felt alone, but I have never been alone. I feel as though I have searched my whole life for someone to love me. I have never felt that loved." I read this, yet the largest paragraph in your post talks about all of the wonderful things your husband does to show his love for you. You obviously do feel loved by him, otherwise I doubt that you would recognize his glorious efforts in such detail.

On tortured souls: My h is tortured as well, and is prone to being depressed. And when he was drugging, he admittedly said he did the drugs to "escape." Now, his past is in no way as tragic as your husband's - in fact, I can't even imagine how your h has managed to maintain his loving demeanor, aside from the drinking. My h, is a firefighter, and sees more human suffering than any person should see in their lifetime. His mother is addicted to prescription drugs and stays in bed all day blowing his dad's retirement on bullshit items from QVC. His father is the most codependent enabling person on the planet, and taking care of his wife's addictions will probably end up killing him. My h carries this weight with him as well. But like your husband, mine is wonderful in every way. Then there was the drugging. I don't care what anyone says, addiction is hereditary. As much as he despises what his mother is doing to herself, he's just like her. He pulled himself out of it, luckily. I did give him the main push and the support that he needed, but in no way, shape of form, did he do it for me. He's the one who had a lot to lose, he's the one who had the reputation to maintain, and he's the one who would have had to live with the consequences of everyone finding out. To him, all of that was harder to stomach, than quitting. Will he go back? Maybe. But like I said, we'll cross that ugly bridge when we come to it. Since he's quit, he's replaced the addiction with other things... healthy things (which I have helped him do, and encouraged wholeheartedly regardless of the expense sometimes). He still needs to escape, we all do, but now he dirtbikes instead of doing drugs. See, we can still escape and have our vices - but it's what you escape to. By saying all of this, I'm not implying that you shouldn't deal with what is causing the depression. Therapy, faith in God, having a wonderful home life and supportive family... those are all ways to lighten the load. The "load" will never go away, but learning how to create a soft place to land when you're feeling that weight, can make a world of difference. You said, "Surely God crossed our paths for a reason." I feel the same way. Although I don't feel like I can SAVE my husband, I will sure as hell take advantage of my God-given right to make my husband's life as wonderful as possible - as long as I feel that the effort is mutual. And I don't think that is a codependent statement in the least (I'm sure there are many that would disagree). In my opinion, love, support, and a home and family that lightens our load, is what marriage is meant to provide.

From experience, I feel that your situation can improve. You have a good foundation. But the addiction needs to be remedied. If you're interested, I can share with you, what I said to my husband, before he decided to quit. That's a whole other novel :o).

Love Shaney

August 30, 2006
2:29 pm
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thumkin
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So much is running through my head right now. Thank you so much for your response. You are right he does make me feel loved. I suppose what I meant by that statement is that I had never felt that love before. I guess I am afraid that if we cannot ever have a healthy relationship I will never find this (what he and I have)again.

How did you get into reading books on things like politics? I love to read but if I am not really into the subject I cant read more than a few chapters. I do believe though that as I dont want to feel this ignorant anymore I will definately start reading more subjects. I love the road trip idea. I live in Missouri but there is a lot of it I still have not seen. Since I met him though I have seen more of it than I ever did in my life before him.

I think it is wonderful that you and your husband have weathered everything you have and still have a strong relationship. I know when he was sober for the ten years he did have his other vices (racing and hunting) I also know he was so proud of himself for that accomplishment. He still carries his coin though all the wording and picture has been worn down so much you cant read it anymore. When he unloads his pockets at night if the kids play with his change he always makes sure they know they can only touch that coin if he is right there.

I would be very interested in what you said to your husband before he decided to quit. I dont want S to quit for me. But I do want him to be healthy and I know he wants that too. I also know that his daughter HATES it that he drinks and I know he loves her more than anything in the world and when he is drunk she stays with her mother or her aunts or anywhere but with him and he hurts when she does that. So if you are willing to share I would be greatful. He and I have talked about his drinking before, not the you have to quit talk. Mostly he talks and I listen and I tell him I will support him and stand by him when he talks about going to rehab.

August 30, 2006
5:00 pm
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Shaney
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Hi thumkin -

In my opinion, unless there are other things that I don't know about your story, it seems that you already have a healthy relationship. It's his drinking that isn't healthy. Do you feel that you're enabling him, or not doing enough to get him to stop, or what? Because, from what I'm reading, I don't see you as having the problem. Maybe you can explain that to me more. Does he just get totally obliterated or does he just have a drink everyday? I guess Im just trying to understand how bad this is and the specific damage that it's doing.

When my h was drugging, I would come home from work and find him completely unconsious to the point of my not being able to wake him up. When I would shake him he would convulse and twitch around, but he wouldn't wake up. I would sit there until he woke up, the whole time making sure that he was still breathing. We've had pool parties where he would get to that same point, while in the pool, and start to pass out. I was his constant babysitter. His friends and I would drag his ass out of the pool and put him in bed, soaking wet. Keep in mind that we're adults, here - 35 to 40 years old. Embarassing, huh? His friends would laugh it off and think I was crazy for being so concerned. That's until I left them all there with the responsibility of making sure he didn't stop breathing. I left and didn't come back. Reality hit them all pretty hard that night - they finally got a taste of what I was dealing with. But that was only that particular group of friends. We had so many other friends that would never have believed that he did drugs. His family and the guys at work didn't know either. He hid it from everyone and so did I - talk about codependent. One day, enough was enough and we sat down to talk about it. At that point everything that I said to him, I meant... nothing was said that I wasn't ready to see through. In a loving way, I told him the following:

1. When you choose this life for yourself, you choose it for me too. The seedy friends, the fear that you might die before my eyes, the fact that we have drugs in the house that we could be arrested for, the drug dealers that drop by, the sleepless nights while trying to hold down a full time job... the list goes on. This is my home and my life now, not just yours. And this isn't the type of life that I want to live.

2. I'm ready to tell the people in your life, about your addiction, that don't know, because you're being selfish. They think you're someone that you're not. People have a right to know who you really are. It would kill your parents to know that their only son doesn't value the life that they gave him, and that there's a very real possiblity that they may lose you. The guys at work rely on you. You save lives, but you're slowly taking your own. You've worked many years to get where you are, but in an instant, it could all be gone. Your friends look up to you and seek your advice. I'm just asking that you live up to the person that you pretend to be - the person that you were before the drugs.

3. There are only three things that would make me leave you. Lying, cheating, and drugs. I'm prepared to leave if the drugging doesn't stop. It will be hard to leave, because I love you, but it's harder to stay and watch you kill yourself, and what we've built as a couple. Do this for you, because my life will go on regardlass of what you decide to do.

SO he quit. Not without some struggles and setbacks, but he quit hanging around with the druggie friends, and started hanging out with the friends that raced and rode dirtbikes. We attended bible study together, because it brought that element of accountability to his life. We just concentrated on making our lives take a different direction. We started to value simple things more - our dogs, family, and quality friends. The whole experience brought us closer together. It can be done... I know, because I've lived that hell.

Your husband has already been there. The fact that he still carries around his chip, proves that he still values that man who accomplished that sobriety. I think he can get there again and I think he wants to. Just communicate - that's the only place I know to start.

August 30, 2006
5:09 pm
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thumkin
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I see it as unhealthy because the counselors tell me I am unhealthy if I stay with him. Not to mention his drinking is unhealthy. Yes I hide it from my girls the best I can. I dont want them to see him when he gets really drunk. Hes not mean or stuid or anything like that and it doesnt happen daily but there have been times hes gotten to where he couldnt walk with out help. And I am watching him ruin his relationship with his daughter. I just worry that what if it gets worse and not better. I guess thats what you were talking about when you said in the future if that happens youll cross that bridge then. My counselor told me to analyze is to paralyze. Guess I have a bad habit of doing that. You have been wonderful. Thank you so much.

August 30, 2006
5:33 pm
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Shaney
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It's really easy to be on the outside of a relationship, and tell someone to leave. It's an entirely different story when you are living smack-dab in the middle of it. Only you, yourself know what you can and will tolerate, and when you've had enough. Trust me, most of us don't leave until we've had all that we can take. I'm not sure how healthy that is, but I think it's human nature to give it everything you've got, especially when you're married and have a family. There are certain things in a relationship or in a person, that CAN'T be fixed, period. But then there are things that CAN be fixed - and if both people are willing to make the effort to bring about the change, then why wouldn't you? People are too willing to bail out at the first sign of trouble. You have all of the elements of a good marriage... and a man who displays wonderful qualities toward you and your children. He's got a drinking problem that he fixed once, and most likely will fix again. It doesn't make you an unhealthy person to be supportive through that change. In fact, if you both get through this successfully, you'll both be stronger because of it. Worrying about what MAY happen in the future will never solve the problems that you have now. It will only add to them. My suggestion is to nip the drinking in the bud BEFORE it gets worse, not after. Save the both of you some future heartache and do something about this. That's just my opinion based on my own experience. Whatever you decide, be convinced that you can live with your decision. Leaving now may be premature, but only you know that for sure.

September 1, 2006
8:44 pm
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Shaney
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How are you doing this weekend, thumkin?

September 5, 2006
11:44 am
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thumkin
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I have been doing pretty good. Thanks so much for asking. I have decided or am pretty much trying not to analyze everything so much. I am just living one day at a time. I am paying attention to what happens but not trying to figure out what may happen. This week he is going to the doctor, which I am happy for him because I think if his doctor gets his meds lined back out he will feel much better. I am feeling pretty good for about a week now. Since I have quit worrying about the future so much and I have started mailing out my resume. I am hopeful that I will get a phone call for an interview or two but I am still looking for other opportunities to send more resumes out too. I actually got a lot of my house cleaned on Friday last week. I think it is still a wreck but a much more manageable wreck. I have not had a fight with the girls dad in at least three weeks which is great. I dont think I have been nearly as out of it with the girls (no laying in bed all the time) and I havnt been yelling at them much lately. I have been more consistent with discipline and letting them play outside etc. I am happy right now. Part of me is still worried about my finances but I am doing what I can and not panicking. I have even been following Worried dads thread on war trying to understand more about the differences between liberals and conservatives.

The wierdest part is I am happy right now and I love that feeling. It is so wonderful not to feel so sad and hopeless. It feels like I have lost 20lbs and I can breath easier.

I havent been to the diet thread recently but I have lost 2-3 lbs. too which feels pretty good to know.

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