My Kids Hate Me

You learn you are expecting a child. Whether that child is coming from your own womb or the womb of another, you are about to be a parent. And then, the day comes when the baby enters the world. You marvel at how this tiny human was created. You dream, even plan, of how you will be the most amazing parent ever. You will guide, protect, and be patient and gentle. You will not yell or allow anger to take over your parental decisions. You will raise respectful children who are always kind to others.

Then the tiny human begins to grow. Then one extremely early morning, you wake to find that tiny human has grown into small human and has escaped from his crib only to stand next to you and scare the living crap out of you with the words, “I jump!” Yes, ladies and gentlemen, small human is a climber. Did I mention small human also puts everything in his mouth? Yes, that includes his pee soaked diaper insides that exploded since he slept through the entire night. You learn that the people who work for the Poison Control Center are fabulously understanding and most importantly, that small human will be okay. You learn to be thankful for non-toxic everything.

Ahh, but don’t forget you have another small human, the one who was here first and wants nothing more than to see slightly smaller human destroyed. So one day, you turn your back for a moment and find that small human has convinced smaller human to climb from the upper deck onto the roof. After a minor heart attack, you safely maneuver smaller human back onto the deck.

These small humans have very little understanding of the word “danger” until they experience pain for themselves. Parents know nothing. Experience means little. 


“Let’s keep him. I want to take him home.” – Hudson (age 2 1/2…proof he liked baby brother at one point)

So now I am mom to two medium-sized humans. Two boys to be exact. I laugh at my parenting plans before I actually had to do my best every day to attempt to keep these children from injuring themselves or others. I remember saying I would never spank. I remember saying I would never yell. I remember believing I would just know what to do. So here’s the truth now, as our boys will be ages 10 and 7 this year. I spank. I yell. And I have no idea what I’m doing or how to handle most, if not all, parenting situations.

So here’s the reality today. My kids generally hate me. They want to eat junk all day long; we don’t let them. They want to eat and run; we make them eat dinner with us as a family most days. They want to pee all over the toilet seat and expect mom to clean up after them; we make them clean it up themselves. They want to stay home on Sunday mornings in their underwear and play video games; we go to church as a family. They want to get angry, scream that I am a horrible mother, and then go back to their video games; they get grounded, spanked, and don’t get video games for a week. They want to forget their manners; they lose Kindle time. They want to destroy their bedrooms and expect mom and dad to clean them up; we shut the doors until they run out of clothes and are forced to clean. They want to be rough on toys and expect mom and dad to just buy new ones; we make them work to earn their own money by doing chores and use their money to purchase replacements. They want to try dangerous stunts; we let them within reason…they learn. They want to play video games all day long; we cancel cable in the summer and only allow television time in the evenings after we’ve been outside all day long. They want to be the first to run in everywhere; we make them hold doors for others. They want to do wrong and blame others; we teach them how to accept responsibility and fix mistakes. They want to have things and favors handed to them; we teach them to work hard and help others without expecting in return. They want to goof off in school; we teach them to respect a solid education and the teachers giving it to them.

They don’t yet understand what we are trying to do…that we are just trying to help them grow into respectful and responsible young men. We don’t know what we are doing as parents, but we do know we are trying our best. Yes, I yell. Yes, I allow anger to control my parenting from time to time. Yes, I will spank our children if the situation warrants it. No, I do not know if what we are doing is working. I believe my roll is to parent and pray; that’s it.

A woman once said to me, “Free will trumps good parenting every day.” This is so true. And honestly, it makes me feel so much better. I will do my best as their mother. I will raise them in a Christian environment with the knowledge that we respect and love others, we treat women with gentleness and admiration, and we share responsibilities in the home. We work for what we get in life and we do not expect handouts. We believe in education and using passions and God-given talents to help others. So at the end of the day, our kids still have to choose. They still have to make their own choices. We can’t be there always to be sure they are following through with what we are teaching. Free will trumps good parenting.

Parent and pray. That’s what I’ll keep doing every day. It’s worth it. I just pray we are doing right by them. Parent and pray.

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Like Jeremy and Bailey on Facebook to learn more about our story and daily life. We are Christian advocates for mental health and Jeremy has survived multiple suicide attempts and lives with severe depression. We run a support group, Anchoring Hope, in Cozad, Nebraska for those suffering from mental illness or supporting a loved one. Be sure to check out our website at to find more and even link to purchase our book, “Never Alone: A Husband and Wife’s Journey with Depression and Faith.”

Forgiving After an Apology You Never Received

It’s a fine line – apologizing and forgiving versus ignoring. But I’m willing to bet I’m not the only one who struggles with this.

As a Christian, I know the importance of forgiveness. Trust me; I know. I’ve learned that my inability to forgive some only makes life worse for me. I’ve learned my inability to forgive hurts nobody but myself. I’ve learned this. I get it.

But my knowledge of the importance of forgiveness doesn’t make forgiving someone after an apology I never received any easier. Especially when the hurts just continue. Especially when nothing has changed. And especially when those I love continue to be hurt.


I struggle with this. I have never been good at ignoring problems. I’d rather address them head on. I was taught this concept growing up. And you know what? It works. You say things rather than holding them in and allowing them to eat at you. You get hurts out, and you begin to heal. But most importantly, you help those who hurt you grow too. We all need a little help sometimes. How can you fix something you truly don’t know needs fixed? How do you wholeheartedly apologize for a hurt you didn’t know you caused? That’s why I believe in honesty rather than ignoring.

But I get it, not everyone is comfortable with this honesty thing. So at what point do you just ignore? At what point do you just learn to forgive and accept someone as they are – even if they continue hurting you and those you love?

This is my struggle. Because even after complete openness and honesty, some just refuse to change. Some just refuse to accept the fact that they have hurt, and continue to hurt, others. Some refuse to accept help.

It’s really hard. It’s hard to understand the importance of forgiveness while also understanding the importance of no longer allowing the same harmful behaviors to continue day after day. Does ignoring make anything better? Does it help anyone? Am I even capable of forgiving someone who refuses to accept any wrongdoing and continues to hurt myself and those I love? Should I be expected to when the hurt just doesn’t stop? Right now, I can’t say I have the answer. But I can say I’m constantly praying for clarity with my role.

I’m trying. I’m praying for the ability to forgive after an apology I never received, but right now I’m not sure I can. I pray for God’s strength and knowledge to flood me, even to change my heart if that’s what needs to happen. I just don’t know right now. So for now, I’ll hold onto my cross and I’ll talk it out with my person, my husband, Jeremy. Clarity will come in time.


Follow our journey on Facebook at Jeremy & Bailey Koch: Anchoring Hope for Mental Health Ministry. Visit our website at to learn more about us and purchase our book, “Never Alone: A Husband and Wife’s Journey with Depression and Faith” in eBook or paperback.

Secret to a Healthy Marriage? Playing and More.

Well, I guess I can just stop typing. I already gave away the secret. But I guess I could tell you why I believe this is true. Remember, I’m a blogger; I’m not a journalist bound to report facts. I report opinion. And my opinion is this…

The secret to a healthy marriage is the ability to play with each other (take that however you want), to laugh with each other, to stay immature sometimes, and to find the humor in the horrible.

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This is my hubby and me this evening, and this is the post I put on our Facebook page. This is us, folks. Take it or leave it. And this is why we are okay even though a big part of our lives involves walking through Hell on Earth. Today, we bit the bullet and bought a dual reclining loveseat from our local Furniture Mart here in our favorite hometown of Cozad, Nebraska. Why? Because we didn’t like being far apart from each other (you know…like 10 feet) in our separate recliners every evening.

The bottom line is we don’t like to be apart. We like to mess with each other and share funny stories. We like to find jokes on the Internet and immediately share to invoke gut-hurting laughter. It’s a goal. And it’s a good one…one we fully believe keeps our relationship healthy. We are business owners and often (like always) work late into the evening on ordering, inventory updates, advertising, etc. It’s a heck of a lot easier to work well together if we are right next to each other. So this will be fun, right? Right.

So while I’m not telling you the secret is to buy a dual recliner, I am telling you it really has brought a lot to my attention about what makes our marriage healthy (in our view). So I’m gonna make you a list. Why? Because I’ve learned in my blogging world that humans like lists. Lists get attention and I may be able to help some realize you just may be taking your relationship and life in general way too seriously. So fine, I’ll make you a list.

Now remember, Jeremy’s and my relationship has been anything but easy. We’ve certainly had our ups and downs, but we have found the humor in the horrible. Jeremy was diagnosed with severe depression in 2009 and has survived multiple suicide attempts, medication failures, inpatient mental health hospital stays, and a near-death car accident. We’ve been through a lot together and we’ve learned not to take each other for granted, so that is the main reason we still like each other; we know what life looks like without each other. I was a single parent for many years; Jeremy was here, but he also wasn’t. Physically he was here, but mentally he was gone. Her View From Home made a wonderful video of us telling our story, just so you know where we are coming from.

Our website is and you can go there to learn more about our whole story and even purchase our book in eBook on Amazon or in paperback directly from us. “Never Alone: A Husband and Wife’s Journey with Depression and Faith” was officially published in 2015 and is our whole reality. We share because we have a lot to thank God for, especially for keeping Jeremy here on this Earth with us after so many times of depression telling him otherwise. We are survivors. Together we refuse to let depression win.


“#projectsemicolon is a global, nonprofit movement dedicated to presenting hope and love for those who are struggling with mental illness, suicide, addiction, and self-injury.” – A semicolon represents a place in a sentence when a writer could have chosen to end the sentence, but chose instead to continue it. God placed Himself so strongly in front of Jeremy during suicide attempts that Jeremy ultimately decided to live. In thanks to Him, these are our matching tattoos designed by Jeremy.

So now you know what we have fought, and continue to fight, as mental illness doesn’t just disappear. We either learn to laugh and deal with life, or we cry, curl up in a ball, and live in a world of lies. We’ve done the second, and it doesn’t work. Somewhere during the trip down that road, somebody cracks. If you don’t grow together, you don’t grow at all. So in marriage you learn to embrace the good, deal with the bad, and find hope in everything…all together as one. United. Marriage take three.

So here is our list for a healthy marriage for you. This is what we have figured out. This is why we are okay, more than okay. This is why we are happy. This is why we are still together even though mental illness wants only to make us miserable.

  1. Fight for each other.

    We all have challenges that come in so many forms. Mental illness is ours. Yours may be financial, parenting, blended family troubles, etc. It. Doesn’t. Matter. Deal with it…together. Counseling is good. Counseling has saved us over and over.But you have to learn you are both dealing with issues because of challenges. You both deserve to be heard, to be respected, and to heal. Just do it together and don’t allow your challenges to tear to you apart. Be honest. Be open.

  2. Talk.

    Tell the truth…the whole truth. Jeremy lived because he wrote me a suicide note. It was going to be the end of him, but something happened he didn’t expect. He healed while he shared. For the first time, he was completely honest with me. I could have freaked out learning the truth of Jeremy’s suicidal thoughts, but I didn’t. Why? That was God and only God. He gave me strength to know Jeremy needed my full support. Talk everything over together. You are put on this Earth together for a reason. Who do you trust more in the world? I hope it’s him (or her). Your “person” is your spouse. Your God is your God.

  3. Put God first and spouse second…children third.

    Yep. By far the hardest one, but also the most important. Think of the best gift you could possibly give your children. Got it? I pray it’s the chance to truly understand faith and love by seeing the example every day. Enough said.

  4. Play.

    You knew I was going to get to it. Because, yes, I believe this is key to keeping our marriage healthy and vibrant. We have not stopped dating each other. We crack jokes. We find time to play, even if it is a trip to Menards. Do you know how much fun you can have with items in Menards? Sure, some may look at you like you are crazy. But I’d much rather be looked at as crazy than completely unaware of my husband’s needs and desires. We love to play. We love to share jokes and laugh.

    Just yesterday, I brought home a sign for Jeremy for our sign wall that says, “Embrace the crazy.” We laughed so hard because Jeremy literally got out of our favorite mental health hospital, Richard Young in Kearney, Nebraska, a couple weeks ago. We know how the world wants to see us sometimes. A medication failure caused Jeremy to believe he was God, I was God, water was the reason we were together as a couple (you know, because I like to do dishes and he likes to do laundry and they have water in common) and unicorns and rainbows were everywhere. Jeremy lost his collective mind for a while until our favorite professionals straightened out his medications again. We can either laugh about it or be bitter. We choose laughter.
    Then I came home yesterday and Jeremy had bought me this sign.

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    Lol. That’s funny right there. It’s a sign that’s funny, and it also shows his respect for me as an equal partner in this house.

    And tonight, our son (a third grader) had a little girl clearly flirting with him, so I text my husband to tell him. And this is what our conversation turned into…

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    Give and take, right? Lol. Jeremy was too shy to ask me out when we were in high school, so I did it. And he still hasn’t lived it down almost 16 years later. But in all fairness, he did ask me to marry him. 😉 And that leads me to my next point…

  5. Share words of affection.

    Knowing your spouse still loves you, appreciates you, and even still thinks you’re hot never gets old. In that text, I told Jeremy I would say yes again. Knowing everything we were going to deal with, every challenge we would be handed, I still wouldn’t change a thing. Jeremy needs, and deserves, to know that. And I deserve to know Jeremy doesn’t think I’m only here to cook him food and clean his dishes. He sees me as an equal and makes it clear, especially since he does all the laundry! And again…that goes to the next point.

  6. Share responsibililities.

    I do the dishes and cleaning for the most part. He does the laundry for the most part. We both talk about how we will discipline, or more so how we will try (key word) to go toward proactive positive reinforcement before having to discipline. We do it all together. Kids will try (this may be a shocker) to separate you so they get their way. Be proactive. Talk and share responsibilities. Show your kids, and the world, that you have respect for one another and that you are in this together. Life will be a lot easier.

  7. Pray together.

    This changed our world. It changed our relationship. It changed everything. I know it can feel uncomfortable at first. But just trust me (well, technically trust Him). In bed at night, hold hands and pray. We learned fears, anxieties, desires, and so much more. We learned to pray for each other, for our marriage, our kids, and our families. We learned to be here for Him first, for us second, for our kids third, and for our mission, work, and families after.

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We also work together while we play. So I’ll leave you with this. That’s Jeremy driving the fun loader while I got stuck with the rake; he doesn’t live that down either. It’s all fun and games kids. Be happy. Enjoy marriage. It’s a pretty awesome gig. ~ Bailey



What does an “Anchoring Hope” support group meeting consist of?

The “Anchoring Hope” support group of Cozad began in January of 2016. For the very first meeting, we had four people (including Jeremy and I). Steadily over the weeks of meetings, more and more people have joined our discussions. So now, the most common questions we are asked include:

“Who attends Anchoring Hope?”
“Is Anchoring Hope the right place for me?”
“What does an Anchoring Hope support group meeting consist of?”
“Is there a charge to attend Anchoring Hope?
“How do I stay up-to-date on meetings and any changes for Anchoring Hope?”

So I’ll start to answer your questions by telling you a bit about us. Jeremy and I (Bailey) have been together for over 15 years and have been through a lot…like A LOT. In 2009, Jeremy was diagnosed with severe depression. Since then, he has survived five suicide attempts, multiple medication failures causing him to be hospitalized in Richard Young Hospital (an inpatient mental health facility in Kearney) three times, and a near-death car accident. We have learned to find humor in our reality. Why? We tried it the other way and it didn’t work. We have learned to embrace the crazy (Haha…get it? Cause society would love to believe Jeremy’s just crazy rather than having a legitimate brain disability?). And most importantly, we have learned that we are still here on this earth together for a reason – to help others who struggle to understand mental illness the way we once did. We share our reality to help you; God has made it very clear to us that we have work to do in order to help you understand you are never alone.

Anyone is welcome to join us at Anchoring Hope. We meet every Monday evening from 6:30 to 7:30 at United Way in Cozad, 105 East Highway 30 (the train station).

Now let’s officially answer your questions:

“Who attends Anchoring Hope?”

At Anchoring Hope, you can find those who struggle with mental illness themselves, others who support loved ones struggling, some who just want to understand mental illness on a deeper level, and ones whom are suffering from the loss of a loved one to suicide. We often have individuals who visit from the healthcare field in order to get a better view of how to help their patients with mental illness and we welcome them in to our discussions as well. We have some whom have struggled with alcohol, drug abuse, or self-harm because of many of life’s difficulties, from mental illness to hardships. In short, all are welcome and none are exempt.

“Is Anchoring Hope the right place for me?”

From depression, bi-polar disorder, and schizophrenia to alcoholism, grief, and the quest for understanding, you have a seat at Anchoring Hope.

“What does an Anchoring Hope support group meeting consist of?”

When you attend an Anchoring Hope meeting, you’ll be greeted by Jeremy and/or Bailey. While we try to both attend weekly, sometimes life happens, but you’ll at least get one of us. The most important thing to understand is that Anchoring Hope is literally just a place to get together and talk. We usually start by sharing a little bit about ourselves. For example, I would share that I am Jeremy’s primary support person and I also struggle with control issues and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) as well as Celiac Disease. Jeremy would share that he is diagnosed with severe depression, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), sleep apnea, and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and has survived multiple suicide attempts, hospitalizations, and (this just in) a paranoid schizophrenia episode. But remember Jeremy and I have grown very comfortable with sharing our reality; we also remember what it was like to not be so comfortable with it. You only have to share what you are comfortable sharing. You do not have to say a word if you are first just wanting to take it all in. In time, your comfort level with adjust. You will learn to understand we have a safe and nonjudgmental environment at Anchoring Hope. You will learn to understand your feelings, experiences, diagnoses, etc. are all very real and very okay. You will learn to be open, but it takes time. We will never push you to share anything and we will never share your name or information with anyone. Trust is key at Anchoring Hope. We just talk. As conversations continue, it’s always easy to tell who needs to talk more that week. At the end of the hour, we share what we are most looking forward to that week. It’s important to end on a positive note, and I never let that one slide. There is always, Always, ALWAYS something to be thankful for…something good.

“Is there a charge to attend Anchoring Hope?”

No. Jeremy and I began this mission out of a desire to help others who may be struggling the way we once did. I wouldn’t pay to talk about stuff I used to not want to talk about. Why should you? Additionally, we are extremely blessed by United Way as they have allowed us their facility to use as a meeting place weekly free of charge. We meet because we care about you, plain and simple.

“How do I stay up-to-date on meetings and any changes for Anchoring Hope?”

Like our Facebook pages. I’m much better at putting everything on “Jeremy & Bailey Koch: Anchoring Hope for Mental Health Ministry” than anywhere else. Also like “Anchoring Hope” specifically for group information. If we have to cancel a meeting due to weather or any other reason, you’ll find that info on both of those pages. But you can pretty much count on the fact that we will meet every Monday evening from 6:30 to 7:30 in Cozad at United Way. Join us.

You can find more information about us on our website at On that site, you can also link to purchase our book, “Never Alone: A Husband and Wife’s Journey with Depression and Faith,” in eBook on Amazon or in paperback directly from us. Follow our blog here at I write randomly and about whatever I want so I hope you enjoy it; it’s my own therapy.

We would love to welcome you to our Anchoring Hope meetings. As always, please do not hesitate to message us on Facebook or email us at if you have any questions at all. Remember, Anchoring Hope meets every Monday from 6:30 to 7:30 at United Way in Cozad, 105 East Highway 30 (the train station).

Finding the Culprit: Food Allergies and Infections

Well today was full of great information, most completely unwanted, but still great information.

For 31 years, 32 next month, I’ve dealt with a lot of intestinal issues. Flare-ups would come and go, and I just kind of adjusted to life with near-constant tummy troubles. However, this last time Jeremy had to be in three different hospitals in two weeks was enough stress to send my system into complete freak-out mode. Essentially, it started with a nasty cold that turned into a nasty sinus and ear infection. From there, I started some antibiotics, and while those infections improved, my intestinal issues worsened. To this day, my issues continue to worsen. But it appears I am on the way to healing.

A couple weeks ago, my doctors performed a scope and officially diagnosed me with gastritis. During that time, they also took a sample to check for bacteria. But then my doctor went on vacation. They instructed me to call if my symptoms worsened before I see him for my follow-up this Friday. So today, I made a trip after my allergy appointments.

But let’s back up a bit. SOMETHING causes gastritis, and food allergies/intolerances were suspected. Our oldest son suffers from food allergies too and he needed a follow up appointment; so today, Hudson and mommy had a date with the allergy doctors.

If you can’t tell, we have some allergies. Hudson is highly allergic to milk and corn (which we’ve known for a long time but had allowed him some in his diet in order to minimize the chance of reaction if any gets in his system…our method failed miserably). So Hudson’s allergy symptoms have continued to get worse and testing today confirmed why. He can have no milk…none. We had hoped he was growing out of it. Again, nope. Sorry buddy.

On the bright side, however, Hudson thought it was pretty cool mommy had to go through the testing this time too. While I’m not allergic to milk, I do have a severe intolerance to it, especially with my intestinal issues right now. So no milk for mommy either. However, most interesting for mommy, and terrifying, is the fact that I came back as extremely allergic to yeast. You guessed it…Celiac Disease. A blood test may or may not confirm (as the blood tests are highly inaccurate), but they sent off my blood anyway because of the large connection between yeast allergy and gluten issues. Even if it does come back negative, I’m to stay completely gluten free.

It’s quite overwhelming. But it’s also exciting. I think back to certain things I have eaten and immediately have had issues; those memories always seem to have one or two connections…gluten and dairy. But I also must say this…gluten free is not a fad as I once believed. Celiac Disease and gluten intolerance are real and miserable. I’m willing to do anything to no longer feel like this.

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Very thankful for our local grocery store, Sonny’s in Cozad. Walking the aisles with tears in my eyes and they stop me to tell me where everything is for gluten free as well as let me know they can get special items in for me if I ask them to.


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And thanks, Cheerios. There’s just something comforting about a bowl of gluten free cheerios with soy milk. Happy Bailey.

But there’s more to why I feel miserable lately. After those allergy tests and results, Hudson and I went out to eat. Immediate issues. EVERYTHING I eat lately gives me immediate problems. I was sick of it, and my doctor said to call if symptoms get worse. So I went to Urgent Care to see my friend and doctor, and she took care of me. It makes sense that my symptoms got worse. She spoke to my doctor, who just got back from vacation, and I am filled with infection…colitis in addition to my gastritis and possibly enteritis. That’s a lot of itis. They are doing even more testing, but they are putting me immediately on strong antibiotics to get these infections gone. So antibiotics and probiotics it is for me in addition to completely adjusting my diet. I hope to start feeling better soon. Crazy thing is this is even affecting my eyesight (lots of floaters in my vision), and that’s a huge indicator of infection too.

Basically, I’m a mess, but at least we have answers. I feel like crap, but I’ll get better. I’ve been dealing with this stuff for a long time; it’s just been a heck of a lot worse these last six weeks. I’m over it…ready to feel human again. Next steps are likely colonoscopy to keep diagnosing everything correctly and more specific bacteria tests.

As always, we share because we know many other people struggle with similar issues. So please feel free to share advice or tips if you have any. I’ll gladly accept any tips! I’ll especially accept prayers! Thanks, friends!

~ Bailey

An Overwhelming Truth: Food Allergy Diagnoses

So the last month has been pretty horrible concerning stomach pain and intestinal issues in this family. We know what caused Jeremy’s and how to heal him, so now it appears it’s my turn. I have dealt with pretty severe stomach issues my entire life. But the stress of Jeremy being in the hospitals last month was enough to throw my system into complete meltdown-mode. So it was time to do something.

A simple stomach scope procedure immediately revealed results, so it was nice to know we didn’t need to go further to look into the problem. At least not right now. Last week, I was officially diagnosed with gastritis. Basically, it’s severe inflammation of the lining of the stomach. My stomach gets very angry and is extremely sensitive. We have to plan trips around bathrooms and I have always had to be very careful of what I eat when we will not be at or around home. It gets annoying, and I’m kind of done dealing with it.

But yesterday, my world took another turn. Essentially, gastritis is caused by something. There is something constantly in my diet that is causing the severe inflammation. Now we have to figure out what it is. While I will go on Monday for official testing, we are pretty certain at this point (based on other tests and food trials) that I am both gluten and dairy intolerant. If you didn’t know – gluten and milk are in A LOT of foods.

So yesterday, I cried. It may sound silly, but I was completely overwhelmed with this news. One part of me was angry with myself for not having tried to figure this all out a long time ago; I could have saved myself and my family an awful lot of grief. Another part of me was scared of what family members and friends will think. Will they think I’m rude if I respectfully decline dinner invitations or attempt to politely ask what will be served so I can bring my own food if necessary? Is that even okay? I used to think gluten intolerance was just a fad for a lifestyle adjustment; will my family and friends think I’m making this up? Why am I worried about what others think of my intestinal issues?

I know living with food allergies is doable. Thank God for my friend, Tasia. I text her immediately when we found out this is a pretty strong likelihood. Her family has been dairy, gluten, and egg free for years because of Celiac Disease, especially in her boys. She’s basically a clean-eating rock star. So talking to her made me have more confidence. I also know quite a bit about milk allergies since we found out a few years ago our oldest is allergic to milk. I’m pretty awesome at reading labels. But even with that, after a while we started getting more relaxed with allowing Hudson to have some milk in his diet. However, recently his symptoms have really taken off in the wrong direction, so that will be changing again right along with mommy’s new way of living. It seems elimination is the only way Hudson and I will be able to get any relief from the intestinal issues we are suffering from. I hate taking medications long term; so if we can control this with diet, that’s the way we will go.

Monday, we go in for official food allergy testing. Hudson will be re-tested, and mommy gets to have the testing done for the first time. We are confident we know what results will be based on other tests, but there’s still a chance we could have more or fewer allergies than we think. And on the bright side, I have been really careful this weekend, only having certain things every now and then to see how my body reacts. And guess what? I feel really good. When you notice the absence of stomach pain more than actual stomach pain, you’ve been living with something you shouldn’t have to live with for too long. So that’s where I’m at. A short time ago, however, I had some sour cream with chips and salsa. That did not go well. My body immediately became very angry with me. So I am positive I have the milk allergy my son has; and I’ve known that for a long time. I just kept eating it because I like it. Smart, right? I know. And gluten. Oh man gluten is yummy stuff too. But I’m quickly learning my lesson there too based upon an elimination diet.

So that’s where I’m at. I’m overwhelmed but also glad to know healing will happen. My husband is such an inspiration for this stuff. He lives with depression and he fights it. We do everything we can to help his health improve. I’ve kind of ignored and neglected my own for quite a while now through nobody’s fault but my own.

I’ll know more after Monday morning, and I’m really glad of that. There may be more in my diet I shouldn’t be eating that may be causing my gastritis to flare up. Knowledge is power. Clean eating is good. I’m on my way to health.

If you would, friends, please send up some prayers for Monday’s appointments to bring even more clarity with this overwhelming gluten and dairy information. And also, I’m sharing because I would gladly accept any advice any of you have if you suffer from these types of food allergies. So please share with me. I’m an open book and am having to really dig into my research skills right now.

Thanks so much. ~Bailey

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I’m solar powered and today is beautiful. Sunshine heals. 😉


Learning to Live for Others

I’ve learned sometimes we have to suffer. Sometimes we have to truly believe there is no hope. Sometimes we have to hit rock bottom.

I do not know who said, “Out of the ashes we rise.” But now, I understand it completely. For years, I prayed God would just take Jeremy. I prayed He would allow him an escape from the misery he lived in caused by his severe depression and suicidal thoughts and attempts. After I truly began to understand the reality of Jeremy’s brain, God gave me more strength than I could have ever imagined possible. I came to the conclusion, and total understanding, that I had zero control over the possiblity that Jeremy may take his life. I received the strength to know that I would be okay; I would become a single mom and I would raise our boys by myself with the help of family and friends. I would never remarry. Why? Because there was no way, no conceivable way, any man could love me as Jeremy did. There was no way I could give myself in that way to another man. Jeremy was my soul mate. I said till death do us part and I meant it, both of us.

Yes, I had to embrace this truth and this reality. And I still do. I do not have any control over my husband’s brain. I cannot be where his hope of healing lies. Hope lies far beyond me, but it took us many years to understand.

True hope lies in Christ. True hope lies in understanding that God will take what was meant to be evil and He will use it for His good. True hope lies in learning to live for others.

I could tell you our whole story again, but I’m not going to today. Today, I’m going to tell you to read more of our story in past posts (I will place links at the bottom of this post). From suicidal thoughts to attempts. From a medication failure resulting in a blackout at the wheel of a truck going 60 mph straight into a semi on the highway to a medication failure resulting is paranoid schizophrenia. From believing all hope was lost to learning God’s plan was so much better than we ever could have dreamed. Our story is worth hearing; I promise you. It’s true. It’s real. It’s raw. It’s full of self-destruction and power struggles. But most importantly, our story is full of hope for healing and two people who God placed together with a strong love and for a beautiful purpose. Jeremy and I are learning to live for others; we are learning to take our experiences to never shut up.

So today. Today, I focus on hope. Today, I tell you to go back and read our story. Today, I tell you to truly let it sink in and relate it to your own life. In some way, we are connected. In some way, our story will help you. I know this because God put it on my heart to write this. My therapy is writing; He heals me as I type, as I release the truth about our reality. But my husband’s therapy is different, yet the same. Jeremy’s therapy comes in being open, in sharing his experiences to help others.

We discovered it in a suicide note Jeremy left me in 2012. He had every intention of ending his life for good that night. He opened my laptop and typed in our book, “Never Alone: A Husband and Wife’s Journey with Depression and Faith.” He typed this…

I can’t do it anymore. I live with this day in and day out and I don’t know what to do. This is what goes through my mind and I can’t stop it. I changed my career. I can’t stop it. I love my wife and my kids. I can’t stop it. I have an amazing life. I can’t stop it. Is my roof high enough? What if I jump off? Would it kill me fast enough? I don’t want to be paralyzed and make Bailey take care of me for the rest of her life. What if I lit the garage on fire? Would they find me? And what if Bailey really knew about the other times? The time I put the bag over my head…that felt weird. But grandma showed up just in time and I put it away. Then there was the time I locked myself in the garage with the diesel loader running…the exhaust burned my lungs. But God entered my mind and I began saying a prayer. I jumped off the loader and hit the garage door opener with such force I could feel the pain come out my fingers. I rushed into the open air and gasped, God had saved me again. But why? Why does He keep saving me? But this is it.

I love you with all my heart.

I just don’t understand this.

Have them find me in the garage, please don’t come in there.

Love, Me.

Powerful, right? It’s powerful because it’s real. These words are straight from Jeremy and straight from our book. Who can we help if we aren’t open? Both fortunately and unfortunately, I found this note before I found that God had saved Jeremy’s life yet again. After moments of terror and panic, I tripped over a pile of laundry in our home and found Jeremy sleeping on the couch. We embraced and we made a commitment that night. We were done living in this fear. Something was going to change. And you know what? It did.

We began learning to share in an effort to help others. Jeremy writing that note brought him out of his severe suicidal thoughts. It was word vomit. It came out and he was better. For the first time, Jeremy told me the truth and no longer took his whole reality on himself. He learned he was not alone and that many others suffered just like he did. It took us three years after that night to finish writing and publish our book. Setbacks happened, as they continue to today due to this little thing called life. We began writing and sharing. And you know what? We began healing.

Watch our interview with Her View From Home here and learn more about our back story.

And last night, we learned yet again why we have been through what we have. After years of figuring out our mission and purpose, we began a support group, Anchoring Hope, in Cozad, Nebraska for anyone suffering from mental illness, supporting a loved one suffering, mourning a loss from suicide, or even just needing to understand the reality of mental illness on a deeper level. The following are words from a Facebook post I wrote last night on our Jeremy & Bailey Koch: Anchoring Hope for Mental Illness page.

“I have both a praise and a prayer request to share with you. This evening, during our Anchoring Hope support group, one individual whom has attended three times felt comfortable sharing with us that she is having horrible suicidal thoughts, is not eating, and generally is feeling unsafe in her own body and going home alone tonight after group would end. We are so very proud of her for sharing, and especially for accepting help. Jeremy and two others in the group are currently on their way to take this individual to get help. And Jeremy is in the role of the support person. That’s huge. She understands she is not alone because Jeremy is with her and has been there.

Support. No blame. Accepting the good God is placing in your life. Understanding mental illness is not your fault. This woman graciously accepted help and got in the car. So. Very. Proud. So humbled. So thankful. I’m so overwhelmed with feelings of gratitude that God used this group to get one of His children help tonight. Please praise God and pray for her as she fights with the help of many helping her to stay safe. God bless you all and praise God!”

Jeremy and I, when we began sharing, made a commitment to each other to give this our whole hearts. We knew God wanted to use us because this verse kept popping up everywhere…

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.” Genesis 50:20

Jeremy knew God had chosen him to suffer in order to help others. He believed, for the first time, that there was hope for healing, that living with this beast was possible. Jeremy would begin learning how to truly live, not just stay alive. We began learning how to live for others, and it has saved our lives over and over in multiple ways. In learning how to submit to God’s will, find good in this evil, and share our whole reality, we have begun healing ourselves. The power that comes in seeing others heal and accept help because of our story and now through our support group is immeasurable. It’s humbling. It’s beautiful. It’s what life is about. It’s God’s work; we are solely a method for Him to help others see Him and we feel beyond honored and blessed.

Depression, suicide, and suffering from a complete loss of hope are the best things that have ever happened to us. They are what led us to begin learning how to live for others. They are what led us to our faith. What was once believed to be a horrible fate in life became an enormous blessing.

“To all who mourn in Israel, He will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for His own glory.” Isaiah 61:3


Below is our brochure for our Anchoring Hope ministry, especially our support group that meets Monday evenings from 6:30 to 7:30 at United Way in Cozad, Nebraska.

Follow us on Facebook for our daily journey.

Visit our website to learn more about our story and link to purchase our book in paperback or eBook format.