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Rachel, a 40-year-old mother of two, says she's noticed many changes in her body. "Physically, I feel tense all the time. My body hurts a lot. I have massive headaches and vertigo," she says. "I carry a lot of tension, I guess, in my shoulders and, you know, I've had chronic back pain. I don't sleep very well at night. When I do sleep, I've just been having many dreams lately where I'm just struggling, you know, and just fighting people and that's kind of out of character."

Looking back at old photos of cross-country ski trips and dances, Rachel says she isn't the happy person she used to be. "The Rachel of 10 years ago was more optimistic, and the whole world was like my oyster," she says. "I walk around with just resentment and envy. I feel like I give a lot to others and don't get much back. I feel like I've lost my passion and compassion, especially for my husband, my partner. And I feel numb a lot of the time."

Her husband, Joey, says he's noticed a change in Rachel. "She's not the same outgoing person she used to be," he says. "She gets angry a lot. It seems hard to please her."

Rachel says she knows her stress affects her family, even though she pretends it doesn't. "Everyone walks around on eggshells wondering what's gonna make Mom blow?" she says. "Something's missing. I guess it's joy. I think if I had some of that, it would be a lot better around here."
FROM: The Big Wake-Up Call for Women with Dr. Christiane Northrup
Published on January 01, 2006