Ok, I’m depressed…

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I saw Angela on Wednesday.  And last Wednesday, and the Wednesday before that, every Wednesday this year, and last, save maybe one where we changed it to Friday instead.  I am not blaming Angela.  In fact, I think there has been progress there and I can’t blame her for how I am currently feeling.  But the fact is, that I am depressed, feeling hopeless and doing all the things I shouldn’t do, all the things that will spiral me deeper into my private Hell.   I see myself doing it.  And I am doing it anyway.  

I watched a seminar today for therapists working with trauma victims.  This lady,  Dr. Janina Fisher, was talking about how trauma plays into fragmentation.  How dissociation has a lot of negative connotations, and that we should be happy that we can fragment because it helped us to survive.  She says that we have two main sections of our brains: the part that lets us move along and do what is necessary for normal life; and the part that holds the emotions and memories associated with the trauma.  She talks about 5 responses, fight, flight, freeze, submit, and cry out.  This is only a synopsis, but she talks about what each of them looks like in therapy.  

Fight holds the anger and the wanting to be in control, the suspicion and inability to trust and stuff like that.  Flight is when we use drugs or food to numb out the feelings and emotions of our body, and when clients come to therapy once or twice and then skip.  Freeze — shoot my brain must have frozen during that one because I cannot remember it.  Submit is when we continue to feel the shame, and we feel helpless and hopeless, a lot of depression here.  And then cry out is when we are asking for help, need the connection with the therapist.   She kind of explained it a lot better.  The freeze, I think was when we come in terrified, afraid of the emotions, afraid of loss.  

One of the things she said was that we are the clients that have been largely ignored or considered unhelpable (is that even a word?), or that we are difficult to work with because of the way the fragments are constantly fighting with each other.  We want to trust and have a connection, but we won’t allow ourselves to trust.  One week we seem to want to live, and the next we want to die.  But she said we must remember that we are there, we are coming in, the normal side is getting us there, so it is only a fragment of ourselves that wants to die.  

In the Q&A portion of the hour-long seminar, someone said that we should separate further the clients from the therapists, because therapists are also clients.  And she said that in her seminars over the years, she would ask a group of 200 or so, therapists, if anyone of them grew up with secure attachment and still chose to become a therapist, to please see her at the break, and invariably 1 person would show up.  So yes, so many of the folks doing the helping are actually people who have also had trauma themselves or at least grew up in an environment that did not support a healthy attachment.  

Someone also asked about psychosis and trauma, and she said that a lot of people are misdiagnosed who have had trauma with personality disorders and psychosis.  

The seminar did not make me feel depressed.  I have been working on this depression for weeks, maybe months.  I mean, I have been chronically depressed forever, but then I have dips in that, and I’ve been dipping for quite a while.  Being in pain and on medication is part of it.  All I want to do is sleep.  I have puppies.  And that is good.  I have a very old bitch, Odessa (Odie) who is failing.  She is over 13 and it is to be expected, but it is still hard.   I cleaned my house for four days so my sister, her roommates, and her kids could come over and see the puppies, and they had dinner, which is good.  I wasn’t able to do just the little job I had set up for this weekend, which is bad.  

Much of the depression is that I am really accepting that it was really that bad, what happened.  I used to think it didn’t affect my life, because I am not dead and I am not addicted to drugs or alcohol.  But I do have all kinds of negative symptoms, that have taken on a life of their own and will have to be dealt with on their own, just like a drug addict won’t be cured of their addiction just because one of the driving forces to escape, say is no longer there, they will still have to manage the physical addiction to drugs to become and stay sober.  Well, I have kept myself a good hundred and fifty pounds  overweight, and just giving up the reasons for carrying the extra weight, isn’t going to quiet all those fat cells from demanding to be fed.  And all the physical issues that I have caused due to over-eating.   Today I hefted a 40 pound sack of dog food across the snow and squeezed myself and it through the gate to my front door (the frozen snow preventing the gate from opening wide).  And I thought, that is what I choose to carry around with me, three or four times that, everywhere I go, of course I am tired, and putting a strain on every organ and system in my body.  And the anger comes in, why should I have to fix this!?!   But nobody but I can.  

When I think about all the things that I must address and work on, and yes, the injustice of it all, it’s overwhelming, it’s depressing.  

I think I mentioned I hung up on my pastor a few weeks ago, because he started attacking the former president in our discussion.  So I hung up on him.  I kind of expected him to call and apologize for overstepping himself.  He hasn’t and that has also made me rather disappointed.  We are having something  called, zoom church, and for Lent, we are doing a study.  Only he says people can only do 45 minutes at a time, so we are having a 45 minute service/study on Sunday, and 45minutes on Wednesday evening.  Of course with my work schedule Sunday at 10am, I should be fast asleep, and wednesday evening I am at work.  And they have a gathering time prior to the 10AM service, but afterwards they cut it off.  So I feel totally removed from the service, and from the gathering.  I can’t do this from home, so I have to get up, take care of the critters, get dressed, get the car out of the driveway in the snow, drive to my parents’, and boot up this computer which takes for ever.   So, I am lucky to get here 10-15 minutes late.  Before, we had church and then a coffee hour of about 15 minutes before the adult SS class, where we actually had some connection with people as it is interactive.  Now, there it is, 30 minutes with limited anything.  Just the liberal pastor using his pulpit to slip in his liberal ideas into the prayers and stuff.  Everyone tells me to find a church that is more in line with where I am, and it is all so hopeless, I am still going to miss anything that happens during the evenings.   I am still going to miss Sunday services when I don’t get up.   And I’ll have to learn a whole new group of people.  I’ve been associated with this church on and off for 30 years, so it is damn hard to think about putting myself into a group of folks I do not know at all.  It would be a loss.  Perhaps a necessary loss.  But another loss.  I think he should apologize for trying interject his political views onto me, and I am guessing he thinks I should apologize for hanging up in his ear.  

Well, there it is.  I am depressed.  I am depressed because my family really isn’t what it still claims to be.  Because I continue to be affected by trauma that ended nearly forty years ago.  Because I am facing massive hurdles that if I clear them all, I will still have massive debris that needs to be pulled together and put back into some sort of shape.  Because I still love my family and I can’t stand the anger and frustration that I continue to have.  Because the trauma started so early that it is hard to know who I was/would be without it, and without it I will somehow be diminished to nothing.  Because there was so much learning that just happens for normal folks that I didn’t get at all, like, I am socially retarded when it comes to relationships with men.  I see no way that will change, and I foresee a terribly lonely existence.  Can I manage it?  I really don’t know.  

And the side that must get on with normal life, plods on and on and on.  

I said in someone’s post that there are things that we do that we can find meaning or joy in, that we must grasp and hold on to.  The pup I bred is a K9, got his first bite and did great.  He is cleaning up the streets of drugs.  Another of my pups is making an old couple so happy.   Another is being trained to alert if their little boy has trouble breathing in the night.  That’s scary.  What if he fails?  But, what if he succeeds?  A lady is using my dogs to help developmentally challenged people.  A young teenaged girl didn’t commit suicide because she had one of my dogs and didn’t want to leave her for others to take care of.  My little nieces will have their own GSD in another 4 weeks.  Two, maybe three of the others are going to repeat customers, and another is going to a lady, my age, a nurse.  It is worth it.  It gives me some meaning.  And I help folks with their dog-problems. 

Well, thanks for reading my long, long story.   

Join the Conversation


  1. Neesha Volunteer

    Hi Solongago,
    Thank you for your continuous updates, I look forward to seeing how you are doing. I agree with the fragmentation reaction as a way to compartmentalize trauma.I when through cycles of depression as I learn to integrate and accept my past. I think the depression you are experiencing is part of the healing process.

    Sometimes we don’t get the apologize that we want either from someone stepping over our values or our families never being as safe as they say. It pretty hard, not getting the amends that we deserve. I’m sorry that you have to deal with that.

    I know the road isn’t fun, but you’re making progress and you’re doing great.

  2. slozoya1120 Volunteer

    Hello Solongago,

    I want to first say thank you for sharing your story with all of us, and thank you for the great service you do to all of those people that are in need of your pup’s for help in their own lives as well, that is amazing work! I am sorry that the pastor hasn’t called back to clear things up. I think you have the right to think freely and believe in whatever you like in politics. Watching seminars can be very informative, and you absorb so much knowledge, that is great! Trauma materializes in many ways, and it sounds like you work very hard to help yourself. I think you are doing something amazing in helping others, I hope that that also helps you. You have a big heart. Stay strong! And please use the resources in the “Find Help” tab on the site if you need to.


  3. music2799 Day Captain

    Hi Solongago,
    The seminar you watched sounds very interesting, and it sounds like you learned a lot through that session. Sometimes it can be helpful to learn more about why we might be reacting or feeling a certain way.
    I don’t blame you for feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. You’re experiencing many changes while processing your past and getting through the day-to-day tasks. As for switching to a new church, it makes sense that it would be a loss for you. Would it be possible to attend other church services as a guest (for some time) to see if you like the communities and the faith leaders? You could see if other churches have service times that work for you, and if you don’t like any of those churches, you could stay at the church you’re currently attending.
    The feeling of hopelessness can be so strong sometimes. I tend to feel this way when there’s a lot going on, and I feel like I have to do all of it right away. It sounds like your experience is similar right now. I just want to tell you that you don’t have to do everything right away, and you can take each hurdle one at a time. You may find that your hurdles are interconnected, so as you get through one hurdle, it might help with some of the other hurdles you’re facing. There’s nothing wrong with you for being affected by your trauma, and there’s also nothing wrong with you for feeling angry and frustrated with your family while still loving them. As we heal, things can change a lot, and you never know what may happen in your future.
    I’m glad you’re finding meaning and joy through breeding your pups, and I believe you’re spreading positivity in this way. Keep finding those beacons of light in the darkness. Thank you for updating us, and we’re glad to read your stories. We’re here to support you throughout your journey, and you can always write back whenever you like. You are making progress, and you’re doing great.

  4. Chris Volunteer

    Thank you for the update and sharing your story with all of us. I am glad you are seeing and experiencing joy such as the case with your K9 Pup. Congrats on the first bite and that is so amazing you are helping provide great K9s that save lives to our law enforcement! It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to something like that. When you mentioned Dr. Janina Fisher I was instantly excited to hear what you thought about her ideology and stories. She is one of the most interesting modern Psychotherapists of today and her book on war exposure really helped me out of a jam back in 2017. I am sorry to hear about the situation with your pastor. Politics really shouldn’t be anywhere inclusive in the sort of discussions you were having with him let alone using his pulpit as a foundation to share his political opinions in hopes of swaying people of the church. Your concern about maybe making the jump to another church is a tough decision I am sure, but one that I recommend praying and thinking hard about since you have so many roots there. Whatever happens, I am sure you will find a community perfect for you. I am so glad that you are finding joys in life even while clearing all the hurdles being thrown at you. That shows an incredible strength to continue showing positivity through all that. I love hearing from you and reading your updates. Keep up the incredible work.

  5. betterdays1

    There is a lot I want to say but I want to start by thanking you for sharing your story with us. You taught me a lot in this post. I did not know about the five responses, it was very interesting reading these concepts, as well as the two sections of our brains. You seem to know yourself pretty well. You know how to identify your emotions and know why you are feeling the way you are. You might not see it but that is a very good process, some people cannot identify how they feel or why. The last part of your post made me really happy. You are such an amazing person. You are dealing with your own problems but you are bringing happiness to other people. Don’t overwhelm yourself with too many things. You are doing great. One thing at a time.

  6. aegardiner Volunteer

    Hi Sue,

    I really do enjoy hearing your weekly updates – I feel like I’m hearing from a friend every week. And for that matter, it’s hard to hear when you’ve had a hard week because I so much want things to go well for you. It sounds like Dr. Fisher’s work resonated with you and it was a helpful addition during a topsy turvy week and not having your regularly scheduled appointment with Angela. I’m sorry to hear that the depression has been especially bad lately. Things have been complicated and bad for you from such a young age that so much of that is part of your identity. I know you want to be able to heal and not have the events of the past have such a hold on the present – it can just be so hard to reconcile the two when they’re intertwined as they are. It’s understandable why the depression hangs on. It’s really hard that you have a community within your church but that you are feeling alienated and that it is challenging to find times to meet. Perhaps there’s another church out there that has more flexible hours with your schedule and then when you have the time you can pick and choose how you interact with the members of your current church? It’s really about finding things in your life that bring you peace, joy, and stability and if your current church can’t do that fully maybe another can. Cutting your current church out of your life completely and losing the sense of community you have would be a challenge and not one that you may want to embrace right now. It’s good to hear that the puppies are keeping you busy and that they’ve all been going to wonderful homes and helping their new owners so much. I’m sorry to hear about Odessa – I hope she can hang on for a bit as long as she’s feeling okay. Anyway, when times are tough, you’ve just got to focus on the good stuff where you can and it sounds like those puppies are doing that for you now. Take it easy and remember you’re allowed to feel all the feelings you need to. You’ve come so far and in the short time I’ve been hearing from you’ve weekly I’ve seen the transformation in you.Take comfort in the fact that you have so many people who care about you here. Take care!

  7. Amysue43 Volunteer

    Thanks for sharing and keeping us updated on what’s going on. It seems like you have been pulled in all directions recently. Depression can be scary and I think that you have created good outlets for managing it. You use this platform as a resource, you have Angela, you have others things you are involved with (I.e. raising pups), etc. I like how you are venturing into seminars and how informational they can be. It seems like you learned a lot from a simply 30-40minute video and you were able to reflect on this could apply to yourself and what you’re going through.
    Stay strong <3

  8. SarahLove Volunteer

    Hi Sue,
    Thank you so much for the update. I am so sorry that you have been feeling depressed and hopeless lately, however, I am glad you are keeping busy in a positive way. Healing can take some time and it can be challenging at times, but that is completely fine. You are taking the right steps and we are always here for you.

    Stay Strong,

  9. Marissa Day Captain

    Hey Sue,

    Thanks for giving us more of an insight into how you’re feeling. I really like the quick synopsis you gave about what Dr. Fisher’s seminar was about. I might have to look into that more. I think it’s really helpful to understand why we are the way we are, as people. So thanks for sharing!

    Have you considered looking into support groups for how you’re feeling about your body? My sister goes to an amazing gym where everyone lifts each other up, no matter your body type, size, whatever! It’s pretty intense but I’m sure there are other groups you could look into. She has lost ~75 pounds and has gained an incredible amount of confidence. It sounds like it might just be helpful for you to surround yourself with people who feel the same way that you do, that way, you can hold each other accountable and lift each other up when you’re feeling down! Of course, getting into the habit of working out is much easier said than done and I know it’s hard to put yourself out there.

    Speaking of putting yourself out there, I wanted to touch on how you’re feeling about the church you attend. It’s healthy to engage in conversation with people with opposing views, but if it’s causing you so much stress, it might be a good idea to look into another congregation. Another “easier said than done” situation but you might really find a group you enjoy a lot more! And even if you don’t, that doesn’t mean you can never go back to the church you go to now. There’s no shame in doing a little searching for something that aligns more with your views. Either way, I’m sorry you’re having such a hard time with your church. It should be a place where you feel safe and it doesn’t sound like your pastor is taking into consideration your feelings.

    Yay I love hearing about your dogs!! You’re doing such an amazing thing and I’m so glad you found your calling. Keep up the good work! Let us know if there’s anything we can do to help you 🙂


  10. JudithT Volunteer

    Hi Solongago,
    Thank you so much for sharing your update. Healing can take a long time and things can get better and then worse and then better again. It’s normal that the effects of trauma are still with you today, but even though it affects your life, it does not define you. Feeling overwhelmed and hopeless sounds exhausting, but you do not have to “fix” everything right away. Things can take time, and that is okay. Disagreement with your pastor sounds frustrating and the online format of Zoom church sounds impersonal, but I imagine it is difficult to find a new church community right now, especially when you’ve been with this one for so long. It sounds like you have found meaning and joy in your dogs, and through them you are helping to change and even save lives. That is amazing! You’ve been able to help others and I trust that, step by step, you will be able to find the strength to help yourself. Hope to hear from you again, we’ll always be here for you!

  11. candyappleb Volunteer

    Hi solongago,

    I’m sorry you’re feeling depressed recently. It can be a lot to take in as you continue to work through those fragments and put the pieces back together after trauma and coming to terms with the truth of your childhood. I remember also going through a period of depression after coming to terms with my family dysfunction. Take the time you need to sit with these feelings. I think it’s great that you can acknowledge them. Thank you for sharing the information you learned in the seminar. It sounds like it was very interesting! I’m sorry that church is not working out right now. Zoom is unusually challenging. I hope you can find an alternative until you can return to normal services. I am so glad that your pups are doing well and all have wonderful jobs and owners. Looking forward to hearing from you again soon.

    All the best,

  12. lizzi

    Hi Sue,
    I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been feeling depressed lately. I wish that you had the ability to change your family into exactly what you need them to be, and to be there for you. I wish we all had that power to get exactly what we need from others. It’s okay that you’re still affected by trauma after that many years, but you also deserve people to support and help you through it. I hope you always remember that you have us, and we’ll support you every day, week, month, or year in the future that you need someone. I hope that you start to feel less depressed soon, as that can be a tough feeling to sit with.

  13. haesol Volunteer

    Hi Sue,

    Thank you for the update. I’m really sorry you’ve been feeling depressed lately. It’s okay to experience those feelings and acknowledge them, you’re a human after all. I think it was really strong of you to share these introspective thoughts with us, to know the bad feelings while also relishing on the good ones.
    I hope church gets better for you as it sounds like that community means a lot to you, maybe with time it’ll feel alright for you again.
    It’s so nice to hear how well you’ve raised the dogs to become a light in other people’s lives, that’s such a wonderful thing to do.
    I hope you’re taking care of yourself and enjoying those pieces of life that bring you comfort. We’re always here for you!
    Stay safe.

  14. brookeallnutt Volunteer

    Hi Sue,

    Thank you for updating us on how you are doing. I’m sorry that you are feeling depressed and hopeless. It’s not your fault at all that you feel this way, and it’s totally okay to not be okay. However you do definitely deserve to be happy, and I’m glad that you were able to reflect on some positive things. It’s amazing to hear about the impact you and your dogs are having on other people’s lives! That is so meaningful, and you deserve to be proud to have bred such wonderful pups!

    I look forward to hearing from you again. In the meantime, take care!

  15. Northlane1991 Volunteer

    Hey, Solongao Thank you for giving us an update on your life. I am so sorry that your depression is still present but I am glad you are trying to keep yourself busy in positive ways. if you need more resources please click on the help tab we are here for you.

  16. Tokyo_Kaneki Volunteer

    Hi Solongago. Thank you so much for giving us an update on your life. I am so sorry that the depression is still present but I am glad you are trying to keep yourself busy in positive ways. The seminar you briefed us on sounded interesting! I had no idea of the 5 responses associated with trauma, and i’m glad you took the time to educate us all on that topic. I know that sometimes things may seem overwhelming, but you are truly strong and brave for fighting and pushing through, day by day. If it ever becomes too much, our “get help” tab on the top of the page might provide some helpful resources for you. I also saw that the dogs you train have helped out so many people, wow! that is amazing and inspirational. again, thank you so much for updating us and for training your dogs to help out so many families. We are here to listen and support you, please update us soon. Sending you love and support!

  17. jenniferb Volunteer

    Hello Solongago,
    Thank you for trusting and sharing this with us. I am sorry to hear that you have been struggling with depression recently. The healing process is long and it is often difficult at times, and that is normal. It is nice to hear that you are watching seminars. The information about the five responses is interesting, so thank you for sharing that. The work that you are doing with puppies is amazing, and you are helping so many people. As you said, it is good to find something that someone can find meaning and joy in. You are doing an amazing job, and I hope to see another update. Send you lots of support. Stay safe.

  18. jcas120 Volunteer

    Hello Sue,

    I am so sorry to hear about your recent realization. I hope that coming to these conclusions can help you continue your healing journey. You have been through so much and you are making great progress. I know it may not feel that way sometimes but you have come a long way and I hope that you continue to see positive changes. After all, you are very smart and self aware so I think you will reach your mental health goals. The trauma you faced was impactful no doubt but I know you are strong enough to face it, as that’s what you do every day!

    I hope your next session with Angela this week goes great and I am happy to hear about the dogs you have raised doing good things.

  19. AlisonDKaufman


    Thank you for sharing with us again, it is hard to make the effort to share how you are feeling when you are truly feeling down – as I have said in the past you are incredibly strong! You clearly have the strength to get through the hard days of your therapy to find positive days.

    As always we will continue to be here for you and appreciate you sharing.
    Also, continue your good work with your pups and all the people you are supporting.
    Thank you –

  20. lilyk Volunteer

    Hey Solongago,

    It’s so good to hear from you. The healing journey is so difficult, and my least favorite thing about it is that it isn’t linear. It’s so hard to remember, but it will get better. You have to get through the bad days to have the good ones. Thank you for sharing all the information about the seminar. It’s interesting to hear about the ways the 5 responses come up in therapy, the more I think about it, the more it all makes sense. I hadn’t thought to look at it through that perspective. I’m so happy to hear the puppy update! It is amazing that you are able to truly help people with these dogs. Can’t wait to hear from you again!

  21. Caitlin Volunteer

    Hey there,

    It’s not easy to share when you are down. I am glad you did. It is so easy when you are down to have everything really pile up on top of one another. I know you mentioned some thoughts that you feel like your progress is moving slowly, for healing, for “feeling better”. I know it is so hard. I think it’s great you are looking for other ways to gain information and understand what is happening. Have you talked with Angela about the seminar you watched? Your pups really do bring you joy! That is for sure! I love hearing you talk about them! You have such a gift and so many people benefit from your hard work!

    Try to be easy on yourself.


  22. ajklessig Volunteer

    Hello solongago,
    I am sorry you are feeling this way. Being depressed is not at all your fault. You are going through a lot and trying to take on a lot all at once, which can be really overwhelming. You are doing the best you can, and that’s all you can ask for yourself. Even though you recognize yourself falling deeper, I think you are also taking the right steps to help. You are consistently seeing Angela, which gives you the ability to express how you are doing. You also deserve to give yourself a break. It’s okay to take time to do something you love just to escape for a little while. For instance, your dogs could be a great escape. I know that is not going to heal everything, but it is a great step towards a moment of peace. This year and last have been hard, but I hope that things soon start to improve for you. We are always here to support you!

  23. chompyapple1 Volunteer

    Hello Solongago,
    Thank you so much for sharing with us.It must have been difficult and I am so sorry that you are going through all this. But acknowledging it can be better towards helping yourself, and I am glad that you are taking the initiative towards healing. I am also so glad that you have found joy in helping others by raising those pups that might one day save someone’s life. We are always here for you. Stay safe!

  24. jyoung Volunteer

    Hi Solongago,

    Thank you for sharing how you’ve been feeling as well as continuing to update us. I’m sorry to hear that you have been struggling with depression recently. The healing process can be very inconsistent, full of ups and downs. However, it’s really great that you’re continuing to talk with Angela, and I’m glad to hear that there’s been progress. I know it can be challenging, but I’m proud of you for continuing to push yourself. You will get through this, and we will be here supporting you the whole way.

    Sending love and support,

  25. KatherineL Volunteer

    Hi Sue,

    I appreciate the update. It’s great that you’re taking advantage of the resources available to you like the seminar you attended. Interesting stuff, thanks for sharing what you learned. I hope it was helpful. Regarding your depression, I am confident that you can pull through this and manage this. Hang in there.


  26. colton95 Volunteer

    Thank you sharing! I hope that you will be able to find inner peace and fight your depression. Stay safe and strong!

  27. CSUN Student1 Volunteer

    Hello Solongago,
    I would like to start off with thanking you for taking the time to share your story with us and its a great way of letting off whats in your heart. I am very sorry that you are going through depression, but I am sure that you are a strong person that will overcome that and always remember that you are not alone. It is great to hear that you enjoy breeding dogs which I believe is the greatest thing you can do to help others and as you said how the dogs you had all have helped other families and have been a positive outcome for others. We are always here for you and you have our full support whenever you feel like coming back and giving us update or just chat with us.
    Thank You

  28. Pamela Z Volunteer

    Thank you for sharing what you have learned in the seminar. I think having your sister, her kids, and roommates come over is a good way to keep you company. You are going through a hard time, but you are not alone. Those bad days are hard to overcome but know that you are strong and we have amazing resources that you can look into, you can find it in the “Find Help” tab. I am glad you keep posting and updating us. I am glad that your puppies are helping you and others. We are here to support you.

    Sending love,

  29. karinakalke

    Hi solongago,

    I’m glad that you are still able to find joy in breeding dogs, and I hope that Angela continues to be a helpful presence in your life. I’m sorry that you’ve been dealing with depression recently. I know that can make it harder to want to do the work in therapy. But please know that you are not beyond help. The path of healing isn’t linear. You just have to stay on it, which I know is easier said than done. Thank you for sharing your progress with us. We are always here for you.

    Sending healing and strength,

  30. Araceli1090 Volunteer

    Hello Solongago,
    I am sorry that you are going through depression. Things would get better for you. Its easier said, but you are strong enough to overcome those bad days. You can manage it.
    I like how you mentioned that “we can find meaning or joy in, that we must grasp and hold on to.” Even though you are going through a difficult time, you still do things that you enjoy. I’m glad that you breed dogs, they are great companions.
    You must be proud that you are helping those around you. You are making a positive change in their lives. We are here to support you. We hear you.

  31. alexiswilliams


    It sounds like you are very busy. Sometimes, just taking a few minutes a day to reflect and listen to your body can make a huge impact on mental health. Be sure to do things that make you feel good and give yourself a break. When I feel depressed, I like to be proactive by taking a bath, journaling, listening to music, or baking, although it sounds cliche and may not solve all of your problems, these things have brought me peace.

    Sending love,

  32. 123Ahmet Volunteer

    Hello Solongago,

    I want to make sure that I say that we are all here for you during your situation and always feel free to come here and talk with us. I am sorry that you are experiencing issues with depression. Even though you have your down days always remember that it does get better, it is normal to have happy and sad days. You being a dog breeder is especially great for your mind and health, playing with dogs and in general interacting with them is a huge stress reliever and it eases depression. You are taking the right steps in order to live a happier life and that’s all that matters, this shows your courage in taking control over your life. It is important to find things that make you happy in life which being around dogs is one of the best ways to do that. I know trauma can be very tough and dangerous due to the fact that it can keep popping up in your mind here and there, but for your mental and physical health, it is always good to occupy the mind with things you like to do. Thank you so much for sharing your story and about yourself.


  33. Jiggy Volunteer

    Hey Solongago,
    I am sorry that you are experiencing dips of depression, I could not imagine what that must feel so I am sorry. But you are strong as you seem committed to get better. The journey to a healthy life is often hard and different for everyone but it is worth starting. I thought it was interesting when you mentioned the 5 responses as not many people consider or are even aware of freeze, submit, and cry out. Many people tend to focus on fight or flight, as they are very action oriented but the other 3 are mainly about the mind so people tend to forget about that. I think it is because of the focus on fight or flight that the other three are left out, they are not as “flashy” as fight or flight. The mind is not that simple, there are various ways for a person to process events and it is a shame that so many responses are left out.
    I think it is pretty cool that you breed dogs, must be very enjoyable to see very tiny puppies. It is good to have found meaning in your life as it can give you the strength to wake up each day.
    Hope for the best!!

  34. Bluebell13 Volunteer

    Dear Sue,
    It is good to hear from you. Thank you for sharing with us even though things are difficult right now. Winter can be hard, this year has add 100x the reasons for people to feel depressed, and understanding your trauma can be overwhelming at times. Thank you for sharing what you learned in your webinar, I will look up the speaker and add her information to my own trauma toolbox. Healing is hard and looking at the big picture can be daunting. You are taking it on, one step at a time! It is okay to talk about how hard it is and it is normal to feel discouraged. We are here for you as well as Angela. You are making a difference for others by sharing your journey, support others on their journies, and raising your dogs.
    Sending you love and strength,

  35. Starling Volunteer

    Hi Sue,
    Thank you for continuing to share your story with us. I’m sorry that you’re dealing with depression at the moment. I hope that sharing this with us and talking to Angela each week is helpful to you. I’m glad that your dogs have been so helpful to others. That is definitely something to be proud of and to look forward to how your other dogs will be helpful in the future. If you ever need anything, let us know. We’re always here for you.

  36. musicislove

    Hi Sue,

    I’m sorry you’re struggling with this dip in your depression. I know you’ve been through more trauma than anyone deserves, but the fact that you’re still here fighting and working to be happy is amazing. The webinar you mentioned dos sound interesting, I like the points you included I think a lot of people can benefit from that. I know it’s so frustrating when you love people that have caused you pain, and having them be family is even harder. It’s also infuriating to never know how you could have been if trauma hadn’t been such a big part of your life, I struggle with that a lot when I think about my own experiences. I am glad you are finding meaning and joy in things like the dogs you’re bringing up, I’m sure it’s great to know that they’re helping people. Please share again any time and never worry about the length of your stories, we’re always here to read and support you however we can.


  37. Alyssa Day Captain

    Hi Sue,
    I’m sorry that you have these dips of depression. I know having depression can be extremely hard. I have it to so I know how you feel. What helps me is similar to what you said you just have to find something that makes you happy, like your dogs and run with it. Sometimes you have to push your more than other times to do what makes you happy, but that’s okay.
    What you learned from the online webinar sounds very interesting. I learned new things about the whole flight, fight, freeze, submit, and cry out.
    You never have to apologize for a long story. You can say whatever is on your mind and we will always read it. Thank you for updating us!

  38. coachdiggs Volunteer

    Hello Solongago,
    First I wanted to say thank you for sharing your story. I also wanted to say sorry that you been going through time in the recently. It is good that you had Angela to help you out when you are not in the mindset. I do wanted to say I glad that seminar that you caught did not make you feel depressed it is good that it make you feel better at that time. After that seminar help with your depression. It is good for a couple of days you was going to focus om yourself. I also glad you start working out and want to kept your self busy. It is good that when church was being negative you did not let it bother you and did not want any negativity in your life. You got to keep that negativity energy out of your life and let the positivity be there. It is good that your dogs is helping you out with your depression by being with you and keep you active with them. Again I want to say thank you for telling your story.

  39. CarmenR Volunteer

    Hi there solongago,

    Thank you for this update and for sharing about your week with us. I am sorry to hear that things have been difficult recently. Depression can be really hard to deal with, but I am glad you have Angela to talk to. I hope you know that you are not alone, and that the feelings you are having are normal. One way I have found to cope with my own depression is to journal. I often write down three things that I achieved for within the day. Sometimes its something as small as a good dinner, and other times it’s an achievement, like a productive work day. You have the amazing work you are doing with your dogs, and I think that is something you should definitely be proud of. Remember that healing is a lifelong process, and some days will be harder than others. We are always here for you. Stay strong.


  40. jcastle38 Volunteer

    Hi solongago,
    Thank you for your update, I look forward to hearing from you each week. I am sorry to hear that you are depressed, but you are doing a lot to get you to fully heal. Talking about this with us and with Angela each week I hope is a great step towards healing. Healing is a strange thing, and is never the same for two people. I understand how depression goes, having been through it. Take it one day at a time, each day is a new opportunity for improvement. I hope you find some peace sharing with us each week, and I hope you are able to heal after all you have been through. I am rooting for you, we all wish you the best and send you lots of positivity! Hang in there, it gets better!

  41. dzreid Volunteer

    Hi Sue,
    I know you say your depressed but you came back to give an update, that alone is a step in the right direction. Sometimes when the depression bug hits, things seem to be more of a challenge, & tend to move more slower. I can relate to being depressed. It’s ok to have periods of being depressed. You can rise above this period of depression. Take things day by day, & some deep breaths. You got this! I am glad you have your puppies, & that your puppies are in good homes. Your story or up dates are simply that. It doesn’t matter how little or how much you share, it’s your story/updates. I’m just glad that you do share!

  42. sarahj Volunteer

    Hi Solongago —
    Happy to see your update this week, I was kind of wondering where you were! Although, not so happy to hear how down you are feeling. Depression is.. absolutely dreadful. I can relate to a lot of what you shared here.. in more ways than you’d probably care I share. The information you shared about the seminar you attended was quite interesting. I studied psychology in undergrad with full intentions of becoming a therapist myself. That goal shifted towards the end of my undergrad career and I found myself somewhere a little different – though still along the lines of helping others. However, I do feel like, partly.. because of my experiences, I wanted so badly to be a psychologist (particularly pediatric) to help others heal. I remember having a professor once note (while we were reading through disorders in the DSM) to be sure to “not see ourselves in the pages”. I think many people in the psych field have experienced personal trauma that has led them there.. and so, it is true — therapists are clients, too. Kind of a strange thing to think about.
    I am so very sorry to hear how you are feeling right now. I empathize with your sentiments. This year and this winter in particular have been trouble for me. I do hope that you find somewhere to put those feelings, a way to turn them around into a more positive perspective — but I know sometimes it is awfully bleak. I am happy to read you are still able to identify some positives in your life, despite the overwhelming feelings of negativity. I hope you can focus on those and bring yourself up and out a bit. I know you are strong and I have faith you are more than capable. Will you have a chance to discuss these feelings with Angela Wednesday?
    Praying for you and sending you love,

  43. Erin O'Callaghan Day Captain

    Thanks for coming back to share with us. I’m sorry you’re having such a hard time right now. With the pandemic dragging on and this really rough winter, I know I have been feeling a mental health struggle myself. I hope it helps here to share with us, and that maybe talking about this with Angela may help.


  44. Ramon Moran Volunteer

    Hello Solongago,
    I appreciate you so much for sharing with us what you are feeling right now, and I want to let you know that we hear you and acknowledge you. It is very brave for anyone to share their story, and that is a big step. Your choices will and have made a difference in someones life and they will help more people in need in the future. The healing process is different for every one so take your time. You do have meaning no matter what happens. Keep up the good work and stay strong.

  45. Karenv12 Volunteer

    Hello Solongago,
    Thank you so much for sharing with us what you are feeling right now, I know it must have not been easy and I am so sorry that you are going through all this. But acknowledging is the first step to being able to help yourself, and I am so glad that you are taking the step to help yourself. I am also so glad that you have found joy in helping others by raising those pups that might one day save someone’s life. you are doing amazing an I want you to know that you are never alone, we are always here for you.

    sending you love an strength,

  46. t3nnis_player18 Volunteer

    Hey Solongago,
    I am so sorry this past week has been so emotionally difficult for you. I’m glad you don’t blame Angela for this feeling but you also shouldn’t blame yourself. You have been through many difficult times and experiences and you are trying to work through them which is amazing. As much as a healing journey is helpful, it can also be very challenging at times but these challenging times can make you strong when you make it through it. I think it would be good to find a church that is more align with who you are as a person but I also understand not wanting to leave the one you have been with for so long. The only advice I can give you is to do what you think is best for yourself and to go easy on yourself when these emotions surface. You are doing the best you can to get through this and we are all here to help you in any way we can. Remember to be kind to yourself and to try and find little things throughout the day that make you smile. I love that your dogs are helping so many people and you have that to remember when you are feeling down. You are helping people and that is amazing but also remember to help yourself. Please stay strong, we are here for you in every way.