Depression

It’s not something that you can just get over. It’s not something that is short lived. If you’ve never experienced it you cannot fathom how horrible it truly is.

When I was 15 I attempted suicide. I hated myself, I hated my life.

As I got older I began to get a better perspective of things, but the beast would rear it’s ugly head yet again during the years of abuse.

About 18 months or so into the messy relationship, I was diagnosed with clinical depression and put on anti-depressants. I had no support of family–well, I did, but there wasn’t much support that could be given being 2100 miles apart. I was a mess.

After the relationship dissolved and I started the healing process, I took myself off the medication. I was feeling better, but I also could not afford the prescripts anymore.
From time to time I still fight the ugly battle. Sometimes it’s easy and the feelings only last a little while. Other times it’s more difficult and those ugly feelings last for days.

Lately I’ve been dealing with negative feelings again, and they got me to thinking. I did a little soul searching and decided to write a poem in hopes that it would help others to see and maybe have a deeper understanding of what it’s like for people who suffer with depression. I’m not saying that everyone will feel exactly the same, as each case is different, some being more severe than others.

It is my hope that this post will help others to reach out to people around them. People who have depression may look OK on the outside, but hell is on their doorstep on the inside. For those who suffer from this beast, I would like to encourage you to REACH OUT and ask for help. Talk to someone, a trusted friend or family member, a counselor, a pastor, a doctor… Someone who can offer love and support and/or who can find help for you.

DEPRESSION…

The bottomless pit
Devoid of any light
Darker than dark
Blacker than black

From deep within its walls
I SCREAM
It’s echo… infinite
yet no one hears, but me

I grope around in the abyss
searching for a way out
But all I feel
is the slimy filth of emptiness.

I am alone.

xCraftyChickx
9-27-16

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Recommitted–Twice Over

Weight Loss… it’s a difficult road. If you are overweight you know exactly how hard it is.

If you’re one of my usual readers you know I have struggled for years. You have read my unfinished story. The saga continues…

It has been a few months since I have worked out. I’ve become lazy and more sedentary. (not good!)  I have known just by the way I feel that I have been gaining weight and needed to do something about it. I’ve been angry with myself. I’ve felt discouraged because I hadn’t seen any results when I had been working at it after having been so sick. (My family and I had had terrible colds, lasting many weeks, thrice over the past 2 years).

For the past couple weeks I’ve sat knowing I need to change my habits and get back into my fitness routines, yet at the same time I was thinking, “What can I do? How can I change this?” Then I remembered some wise words I had spoken to others–JUST MOVE!

Yeah, I was taking my own medicine.

This week I jumped off the self-pity train, recommitted myself, and got back on the Fitness Wagon. For the past 2 days I have been kicking my own behind. Do I hurt? Oh yeah! But I’m not going to let that stop me. It’s a good pain.

This morning I did a weigh-in. I didn’t want to do it, but I knew I had to. I was shocked. I knew I had gained, but it was more than I thought I had.

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I’m glad that I made the choice to do better for myself. Not only that, I have a family that needs me too.

With all of that said, last week I recommitted my life to Christ. I had not walked away from Him, I just wasn’t as serious in my relationship with God as I used to be.

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Maybe you’ve been struggling with losing weight or to break a bad habit. Or maybe you, too, haven’t been totally committed in your relationship with God.
Don’t be dismayed. Recommit!
Smile and hold your head up high. You can do it this time! If you happen to fall along the way, get up and keep going.
You only fail if you quit.

Now I’m off to plan my workout for today.
Much love and God bless you. ❤

Deep Fried Calamari Rings

I have been thinking about a food that I used to enjoy when I lived in Canada. Every so often I’d go to a local Chinese Buffet and they had a really good calamari dish. There was a background flavor like egg yolks, and it was cooked with sliced onions, broccoli, and seasoned with chili flakes.

I loved it.

For a few years after moving back to the states, I tried finding a recipe. I even tried to contact the restaurant to no avail.

A few days ago I brought it up to my husband and he went and bought a package of frozen calamari rings with tentacles. I had never cooked that sort of thing before, neither has he. So we did some research and tried our hand at making deep fried calamari.

Last night we tried. And failed… miserably. It was like eating breaded rubberbands.

I asked some of my friends that I knew enjoyed cooking and  there were a few suggestions made. More research was done on my part. It seems most recipes I found, they marinated the calamari in buttermilk or milk.

We didn’t have buttermilk, but I knew you could make buttermilk. So tonight I tried again, and OYM!!! (Oh Your Mom!!!)

It. was. awesome! So tender and good. Hooray! No more eating breaded rubberbands! It didn’t taste like the calamari I had in Canada, but it was still good.

So, without further ado…

Deep Fried Calamari Rings with Tentacles

3 cups buttermilk (or homemade buttermilk–3 cups whole milk + 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar, stir; let rest 5 minutes, stir)
2 lbs. frozen pre-cut calamari rings with tentacles, thawed/drained
3-4 eggs
2 cups Flour
Seasonings of your choice (I used paprika and sea salt)
Vegetable oil

Thaw frozen calamari under cool running water; drain.
Prepare buttermilk if you’re making your own.
In a medium or large bowl, add thawed/drained calamari and buttermilk; cover & refrigerate for 4 hours.
Add oil as directed for your deep fryer; heat to 360′ F.
Drain calamari well.
In a small bowl beat eggs. In a medium bowl mix flour and your spices. (OR you could use flour only and add a touch of salt after cooking).
Dredge calamari in flour mixture, then in eggs, and back into flour mixture coating well; shake off excess flour.
Fry in small batches until golden. Serve as desired.

We cooked angel hair pasta, added marinara sauce, and topped it off with calamari rings.

These can be eaten as a snack or as part of a meal. Enjoy!

There’s Not Enough Time in the Day

I haven’t been doing much writing as you can see. It’s been nearly three months since my last post and honestly it feels longer. Part of me hasn’t felt like writing, but I have also been busy with other things. And that part of me says there isn’t enough time in the day to do everything that I want and need to do.

I guess that means I need to start scheduling my day again.

During the school year it’s easy. We have and stick to a schedule. Now that it’s summer we’re able to be more spontaneous and do what we want, when we want to do it.

But what happens when you want to do everything? (Not literally).
What do you do when you have things needing to get done, and have other things that you would like to do? For the most part I do okay with that; just not lately.

The housework calls, the kid’s need me for something, I’ve got to read my email, time for lunch, crocheting beckons, the many books I have are screaming to be read, start cooking dinner… the list goes on.

Time to sit down and get myself organized. It’s time to make a schedule.

[My Journey] From Hell to Healing (Part 2)

I remember it as if it just happened yesterday…

~May 2003~

I boarded the bus and found a seat away from the other passengers. I didn’t want to be seen or spoken to. I wore a hat or maybe a hood to keep my face hidden from the pain and the tears.

It was a long, 3 day journey home. There were many times I broke down in tears. I felt broken, empty, numb, angry, and yet somewhat happy.

I had heard before that divorce is an unexplainable pain.
It isn’t. It’s very explainable if you’ve experienced it.

The Bible says,  “a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife. The two shall become ONE FLESH.”
(Genesis 2:24;   Matthew 19:5; Mark 10:7; Ephesians 5:31)

Merriam-Webster should define it as this:
DIVORCE–the tearing away of two hearts, two lives, leaving open, gaping wounds to the very soul.

I physically felt like I was being torn apart from the inside out.

I will admit reading the Bible was something I didn’t really FEEL like doing, but I kept my Bible close by my side and read it often on the way home. I also read it a lot after arriving home.
I could have easily been mad at God and blamed Him for not changing my ex-husband and saving our marriage. But instead I knew that I needed God more than ever if I was to get through this and heal.

I started going to church but avoided any emotional and physical contact with people, even my own parents. I didn’t want anyone to hug me. I felt worthless and unloveable. And I knew that I would never find love again, or if I did it would have a less than happy ending and not last long.

A few weeks after being home and going to church, it was announced one Sunday morning that “Cleansing Classes” would be starting toward the end of summer and a sign-up sheet was put up. I wanted to go, it sounded like something I really needed. However, I was not working, had no money and there was a book for purchase for the class. As it turned out, I was supposed to go through those classes; someone got the book for me.

I was still very hurt and broken. I seemed unable to function in a normal way towards other people. I had been so hurt that I forgot how to love. I avoided it at all costs and got angry when anyone would attempt to show me love or affection. Whenever someone told me they loved me, I rolled my eyes and said, “No you don’t!”
I couldn’t even be in a room with a lot of people or where there was a lot of conversation going on; it would give me headaches.

~Fall of 2003~

My dad and I were talking while doing yard-work one afternoon and he went to hug me before going inside for dinner. Instantly I got angry and started screaming at him and I threatened to hurt him. That wasn’t like me at all.

What the hell was happening to me?

No. It was what HAD happened to me.
I was a broken, wounded soul that needed Divine intervention.

God please help me!

While going through those classes, although they didn’t fix me as I supposed they would, they opened the door to start my healing. A few long months later I was doing better. I was able to accept love and affectionate without reacting negatively or pushing away. God had done something in me, and no one can tell me any differently.

Several months later I met my now husband. We married about 2 years later.
(We just recently celebrated our 10th Anniversary)

I have to say that I am not totally healed yet. I am not the people person that I used to be, and I still keep mostly to myself; more introverted when it comes to social gatherings. I always stay near my husband and/or kids.

With that said, I know that God is faithful and He will continue the good work that He has started in me. Amen!

[My Journey] From Hell to Healing (Part 1)

Initially I had planned to write this in book form, each segment [or chapter] in it’s own post, but today it hit me that it might be better to do it all in one or two posts and to exclude the heaviest details.
This is my story as a survivor of domestic abuse.

~January 1999~

I was 24 and living with my parents.
My dad had bought a new computer for the family for Christmas; our first time using the World Wide Web.
I was excited. I had read about chat rooms, websites and about the many things that the web had to offer. I had even heard about some chat room horror stories.

One of the first things I did was get an email address. And then I went in search of a Christian chat room. I was hoping to find some of my friends from church and maybe make a few other friends from around the world.

I found a couple of decent chat sites. One of them I chat in almost daily.
I was getting to know people and I became good friends with a few. Started private chatting with one in particular to get to know each other better.
He was from Canada and a couple years my senior. He seemed fairly nice. Eventually we exchanged email addresses and were chatting everyday. The relationship started to progress, as much as it could over the internet.

A few months later…

One day I logged in at my usual time and he wasn’t on, so I asked if anyone had seen him. “No”, came a few replies. A short time later he logged in, or so I thought. We started chatting and things went from normal to really strange. I ended up getting angry and logged off, then decided to email him exactly what I thought about the previous conversation; I didn’t mince words.
He responded not so kindly, which led me to reply in an equally negative way, to which he nearly demanded to have my phone number so he could call me and resolve the issue.
(I do not remember much detail, but it ended up being resolved. He said that the person I had chat with wasn’t him; all was eventually forgiven. And so continued the relationship, now including long distance phone calls).

The relationship continued for months and he ended up proposing marriage. I was hesitant to give a response. Although I was enjoying this relationship, I still had some feelings for someone else, whom I had been in love with for the past 10 years. But it appeared that all hope was lost for a potential relationship with him, so I continued the current relationship.

~December 1999~

Around Christmastime I received a call saying he wasn’t sure he could continue the relationship; he was becoming weary.
I felt in my own heart like I should have agreed with him, but I was afraid. I had never had someone care so much about me, and I was afraid of being alone.
So I tried talking him out of it. I cried. I begged. He was still unsure and hung up.
I went to bed in tears expecting never to hear from him again. But a few days later he called to say he wanted the relationship to continue and proposed marriage again.

~Early Summer 2000~

My parents and I went on a week’s vacation to Canada, finally meeting him face to face. He still seemed to be genuine and an all around great guy.
He introduced me to some of his family & a few friends while I was there.

Shortly after returning home wedding plans began.
But somewhere in between all of that, he got into a big fight with a long-time friend. He told me that I should cut off contact with her, so I did.
She tried calling; they were ignored or blocked.

~Early Fall 2000~

I traveled to Canada again; this time for good.

We got married in late fall. Had a small ceremony with family and friends in front of the Justice of the Peace.
I thought I was finally happy; it wouldn’t last long.

For the first little while things were OK, but sometimes he would get pushy and manipulative. Often times he would just brush off things that I would say.

There was one night we were talking and he wasn’t listening to me. I was so frustrated that I slapped him; he slapped me back.
I was stunned.

From that night on, whenever he was irritated or angry, he acted out in belligerence toward me, slapping me across the face or hitting me in the head with a closed fist.

There was a time when we were babysitting a neighbors 2 month old baby. I couldn’t get the precious boy to stop crying. I tried everything I knew to do: diaper change, a bottle, rocking him…
Big Mister decided to call his mother for advice because I wasn’t smart enough to figure it out. I told him I didn’t need to talk to her, he dialed the phone and put it in my face… I was still holding the baby.
I told him I didn’t need to talk to her and I hung up the phone.
He got cheesed off and punched me in the face, knocking me AND the baby to the couch. Thankfully I was able to keep a hold of the screaming baby.
With tears streaming down my face, it dawned on me that the baby just needed to be burped a little bit more.
(I had a black eye for a week).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
NOTE:  I was 2100 miles away from home, I had few friends of my own, and was not allowed to work because I had not yet been approved as a permanent resident (immigrant status). He was not only physically abusive, but he was verbally, mentally, and sexually abusive; a complete control freak.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

One evening he was angry at me about something, and I had gone into the bathroom to take a shower, locking the door behind me. While in the shower, he came pounding on the door saying he would knock it down if he had to. He got the door open and dragged me, soaking wet, out of the shower and slapped me across the face and nose.
I could taste blood in the back of my throat.
I was crying and I was angry so I spit it at him.
With my hands covering my face, I screamed, “You broke my nose!”
He tried to remove my hands from my face, and started yelling at me to let him look. I didn’t want him to look. I didn’t want him near me.
He pulled my hands away and it was bleeding but wasn’t broken.
He pulled me close and hugged me, saying how sorry he was and that he loved me.

There was an evening while he was working that a friend came to visit.
She asked me how I was and how things were going. I was afraid, but I told her what had been going on.
She invited me to come stay with her family for awhile.
(I don’t remember but I may have declined this first offer).
There were at least 2 other times she offered and those times I did go stay for awhile. The 2nd time was just before our first anniversary and I ended up going back home to Michigan for a month.

My pastor told me to cut off all contact with him. He said, and I agreed, that we needed to go to counselling.
I did not talk to my husband until he finally said he agreed to go to counselling and contacted the local church pastor.

Upon my arrival back in Canada, he read me the riot act and told me how stupid I was for leaving and that it could get me in trouble. And then he changed his mind about going to counselling.

For another year and a half, even after my permanent residency & work approval, I put up with his abuse.
Every time he hurt me it was always the same; a hug, an “I’m sorry” and “I love you”.

I don’t remember how it came about, but he eventually decided to try counselling.
We fought the first week and I decided I didn’t want to go; I ended up going anyway. Then for the first while the counselor wanted to talk to him alone and he refused. We went for a couple of weeks and then the counselor went on vacation saying that she would call when she returned to set up the next appointment.
She returned but never called. When I called her she said, I’m sorry but blah blah blah…. I can no longer counsel you.

W H A T?!?!

Months went by… more garbage, more verbal insults and physical assaults.

By this time I was tired of all the garbage; I had had enough.

He came at me one night, pinned me down on the bed (his usual routine) and somehow I managed to get out of it.
Then I did something that scared the hell out of both of us.
I pinned him down and I screamed,
“When I say leave me the **** alone, I mean leave me the **** alone!!” and I walked out of the room.
Never before have I been so angry.
Never again have I been that angry.

For weeks he didn’t come near me.

I know that God hates divorce. The Bible says that a man should not give his wife a note of divorce unless there’s been marital unfaithfulness.
I debated with myself and with my mom over the phone for weeks.
She kept telling me how I had tried over and over again to get help and that he just didn’t want to change. She told me that God would understand and that He would rather see me safe and in a loving marriage.
She reminded me that even if there was a divorce that God could restore the relationship down the road.

~April 1, 2003~

After so much fighting, arguing, abuse, and little help from any outside source…
And after a lot of prayer, I made my decision.

“I want a divorce.”

He looked at me and said, “You’re joking, right?”

“No, I’m not.”

He looked heartbroken.
I didn’t care. I was bruised and broken; body, heart, and spirit.

(At the time I had not realized the date I had chosen to break the news).

One of the days before I left, he looked me in the eye and said:
“Because you’re a big girl, no one will ever love you as much as I do.”
Then he hugged me.
I felt empty and numb.

~May 2003~

Forms were filled out, more promises were made that would eventually be broken, papers signed awaiting the judge to rule the marriage over.

He brought me to the bus station and waited with me for my bus.
He actually tried to talk me out of it.
Are you sure you really want this? You don’t have to go, I can change.”
Yes I want this and I do have to go.
In my mind I thought, “You’re so full of ****. You’ll never change.)

As my bus pulled up, he hugged me one last time.
I just stood there, empty and numb.
Then I turned and boarded the bus.
I was going home.
I was finally going to be safe.

The Farmer’s Almanac and the Weather

I don’t often put my trust in the men and women who predict or forecast the weather, especially winter storms. In years past, the Farmer’s Almanac was usually pretty darn accurate. So when I heard that they were calling for colder and snowier weather for my area of the country this winter, I was pretty happy. (We haven’t seen much snow for the past few winters).

Since mid-November we have gotten a few storms, but they were nothing to sneeze at. An inch or two, a dusting…

“COME ON!! WHERE’S THE SNOW?!?!”, I thought.

Several winter storms later, some that never even reached the East Coast, here comes Winter Storm Iola. They started saying there’s a HUGE Nor’easter on the way with the potential of upwards of 8″ of the fluffy white stuff. We were ecstatic!

“YES! We’re finally going to get some snow!!”

For the last 3 or 4 days we’ve kept our eyes on The Weather Channel–still calling for loads of snow. We’ve also been keeping an eye on our weather app: Accuweather. According to the app it has flip-flopped from 1-3 inches to 4-8 inches. Then earlier this morning it said 1 to 3 inches possible with a trace of ice accumulating.

SAY WHAT?!?! Are you KIDDING me?!

This is EXACTLY why I don’t put my full trust in meteorologists or Punxsutawney Phil.

I do enjoy some shows and a few personalities that work at The Weather Channel, but I have always said, “They’re from Georgia. They couldn’t forecast themselves out of a wet paper bag.”