I feel so much shame about my disease and the pain I have caused my family and friends. I am trying to make things better now, and hopefully I will be able to beat this disease for good. As they say in the meetings: “One day at a time!”
Dear Dr. Yael: I have, Baruch Hashem, a beautiful family with children and several grandchildren. I am fortunate to be close with all of them. I also work and take care of my parents, like many others in the “sandwich generation.” While I love my life, I am constantly exhausted and overworked.
Dear Dr. Yael: Your recent column on “The Wrongs Of Onas Devarim” (Dear Dr. Yael, 12-28-2012) was, for me, the worst column ever. Here’s why:
In the 1950’s, bestselling author Rudolf Flesch offered to give a friend’s son, who was a struggling reader, some help with reading. He soon discovered that the problem did not lie in the boy’s intelligence, but rather in the way that reading was taught to him in school. To set out his reading principles, Flesch wrote a now famous book entitled, Why Johnny Can’t Read – and What You Can Do About It. In it, Flesch outlined the basic approach of phonics, an effective and important manner of teaching reading.
I have been promising myself that I would write about the death of my twins when I was ready. Ever since that fateful day more than 11 years ago, I have tried to write, dozens of times, but my attempts have drawn many tears and very few words. I tried again very recently, but didn’t get very far. And then the school shooting in Newtown changed everything.
Avital walked into the test feeling great. She had studied the night before and she was sure to ace her grammar test. But, suddenly, when her teacher passed out the test paper, Avital found her palms sweating and her heart racing.
Dear Dr. Yael: A few years ago, our family went through a very traumatic period of time when my wife was diagnosed with a brain aneurism. She has suffered through so much pain and rehabilitation, and things have not returned to normal.
Dear Dr. Yael: My seven-year-old daughter is having a very difficult time socially in school. Another girl is making fun of her, and I do not know how to fix the problem. Because she wants to be friends with this girl (although I am not sure why), she puts herself in situations where she is the target of the girl’s ridicule.
Meet Noam, a ninth grader I worked with several years ago. Noam came to my office because he was struggling with his biology curriculum. Though Noam was extremely smart, he had ADHD, which made it hard for him to focus on all of the material presented during class. Before we even looked at the material together, I asked Noam how he learned best. His face was blank as he responded, “Um, Mrs. Schonfeld, I really am not sure.”
Recently, there a number of articles dealing with the difficulties singles are having getting married have appeared in various publications. Unfortunately, many young people in their 20’s (and some even in their 30’s) are struggling to find their bashert.
Ms. S. is 31 years old and has been hearing voices for the past 10 years. The voices come almost every day and they tell her that she is a failure, will never amount to anything, no one likes her or respects her. Ms. S. was diagnosed with schizophrenia. At the age of 21 she was told she has a disease of the brain and will need to take medication for the rest of her life.
Dear Dr. Yael: I am the oldest child in a family of seven; one of my sisters is a year younger than me. Even though we basically have the same responsibilities, somehow I always get stuck with all the household chores. My sister has a tendency to take her time, all the while doing one job. Honestly, sometimes it takes her three hours to do the dishes. She says it is because she is a “schlep.” She actually gets angry with her when I ask her to move quicker, saying that “I am not understanding of her feelings” and “she needs time.”
Dear Dr. Yael: I am part of the “over 50” crowd and am having a really hard time with computers, cell phones and the rest of the modern-day technology. I work as a well-paid secretary, but am stuck in the same position with little room for advancement due to my poor computer skills. All the while I see all of my younger colleagues, with less experience, getting raises because they are more technologically advanced. Despite taking courses to improve in this area, I am finding it hard to succeed.
When an opportunity for a fresh start is handed to us, when that new door opens, it is often viewed as a gift from Hashem. In most cases in order to completely realize it, we must fully embrace it. For people transitioning into marriage the second time around this is often the reality they face: a new opportunity seldom comes without a price, without us having to, in some way, compromise the life we were accustomed to. Seamlessly blending “pre re-marriage” life with “post re-marriage, new blended family” life is difficult at best and often times takes many years to sort its’ way out.
Dear Brocha, Hello! My name is Dovid* and I am a Gambling Addict. I am 37 years old, with bli ayin hara, three wonderful children, and a special wife who is the source of my strength and recovery.
One of the most powerful dimensions of a successful marriage is a couple’s ability to keep focused on each other's good points and unique personality traits. Too often, people become fixated on the negative, sweating “over the small stuff," and forgetting the positive points that brought them together in the first place.
Conversations in my head always there but never to be said, Can't escape my childish dreams, my fantasies, the unreal realities, Talking to myself again no one seems to be around, I hide myself inside myself, never thinking I'll be found… -Jamie Sue Reinhart
In Part I of My Soul Is On Fire, I told my readers about Allan, a very distraught nineteen year old who, in a moment of dire pain, told me he felt his soul was on fire.