Colorado Life Coach: Dealing with Doubt

Image Created by Eric Phillip Einarsen on a Canon EOS Rebel T2iMy book Relinquished: When Love Means Letting Go is out there.

It’s my personal story through the most difficult time in my life. I truly believed I needed to, and wanted to write it. It was healing for me. I hope it will bring healing to others.

Any yet, I feel doubt.

Did I do the right thing?

Will this cause more pain?

What about you? Have you ever done something you know you should do, but once it’s done you doubted?

It’s a pretty vulnerable place to be. I almost feel naked, because it’s all out there now. I don’t know who will read it, or what their reaction may be.

Most of the comments have been very positive:

“I just got the book and couldn’t put it down! I’ve been highlighting MY LIFE that I read in it.”

“Truly grateful for the courage it takes to reach out here, and bring these issues to light.”

I knew all the feedback wouldn’t be positive. When we relinquished our child, there was horrible judgment, and I knew we might face it again with the release of the book. It didn’t make it easier to take.

First came the newspaper article. Yes, I knew the journalist could write whatever he wanted, but I truly didn’t like the title of the article: Mom writes book about giving up child. Yuck! How about: Mom finds new home to give child another chance at a family?

I was uninvited from a radio program because of a newspaper article. The host felt I had put my son at risk because of the details in the article. All of a sudden, I was filled with fear.

Did I just ruin everything?

What if I truly harmed him?

What was I thinking? I never should have done any of this!

Oh the fears. I can feel so sure of something before doing it, then all of a sudden the fear takes over. The week before the book came out, I had a few panic attacks out of the blue. I experienced this one time previously, so I knew what it was. It was weird because I wasn’t even thinking about the book. Once I was driving and listening to music, when this anxiety crept up from my stomach, through my throat, and made me cough. Another time, it woke me from a sound sleep. It hit hard, and actually hurt-like I had been coughing from Bronchitis for weeks.

I knew I wasn’t in any danger. My head knew. It felt as if my body didn’t know.

That’s the way it is with trauma. You can’t talk yourself out of it. Even if your brain knows you’re safe, your body tries to protect you. My counselor (yes, I’m in counseling) said I could handle it, and as I felt my strength rise, the panic would subside. That’s exactly what happened. The panic stopped, but the doubts remain.

So I pray.

And God reminds me that he asked me to do this. He reassures me that I didn’t mess up, but even if I did, he could use it for good. He calls to my memory that my desire is to bring healing, and that he had the power to warn me or stop me, and he didn’t. He knows my heart. He says it will be OK, and that he’s in control.

As I finish giving God all my doubt, and having him fill me with peace, I hear him say, “I love you, sweet Caroline…bum, bum, bum.”

The doubts are gone, for the moment. If they sneak back in while I’m not looking, I’ll just go back to God and have him take them away again.

You can order Relinquished: When Love Means Letting Go on Amazon, or here if you’d like a signed copy!

This post written by Colorado Life Coach, Carrie O’Toole, M.A.



  1. Carrie, I saw so much of my own experience, of parenting a wounded Attachment Disordered child in through reading your book. So many of the same experiences, fears, frustrations, judgement of others, lack of understanding in professionals, teachers, friends, etc.
    I truly believe your book will be beneficial for those parents who are thinking of adopting a foster child or a child from an orphanage. There are so many things you don’t think about when adopting, so many things your agency will not tell you. Even if you are fortunate to have read up about RAD, as I was prior to adopting, it is one thing to know what a RAD child needs, but another to provide what they need and remain sane yourself and keep your family unit from suffering. These kids behaviors can wreak havoc on a family and everyone who is thinking about adopting needs to know the good side of adoption and the bad side. It is a rewarding journey and not all wounded kids exhibit the same behaviors. Even though our son did not stay in our family, he is making great strides in his forever family and I do not regret the 3 years we had with him, as I believe that loss what a contributor to his recent breakthrough and heart change that he has had. God knows what each child needs. Thank you again for sharing your painful journey with us all. God will use it to help others!

  2. Carrie,
    I know you are aware that you can’t please everyone all of the time. There will always be people that will judge you and your family. They will project their values on you even though they have never walked in your shoes. You have shared your true story of something that no one ever wants to go through, and you have done it with honesty and a desire to help those that may be struggling in the same way. Be strong!

  3. Thank you Chris. I appreciate your comments. I know I’ve done what I needed to, and the fears may creep in. I will keep turning to God when it happens. Thanks for being an encouragement to me! Carrie

  4. Kim, Thank you for your kind words. Would you be willing to post something similar to your comments here in a few places: as a review on Amazon, and on the RAD facebook pages you’re on? I think it gives more credibility to the book when the words come from someone other than me! If you’d be willing to do this, maybe it will help others who have been through similar journeys. Thank you for your encouragement! Carrie

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