Thank you, River! I have to say, it's very easy to be open in a context like this - this forum has such a welcoming and hospitable feel to it. I'm kind of surprised at how comfortable I feel, actually, and how much warmth and affection I feel for various forum members, even though I've never met a single one in person (for instance, there are about 20-or-so people such that, when I see that one of them is online, I think "so-and-so is online, right at this moment!" and feel very happy). Prior to the past several weeks, I had never realized how enthusiastic I was capable of feeling about an online discussion forum.
I so appreciate everyone's sharing a bit of themselves here, and I'm really grateful for all that I've learned from the posts.