How to write a suicide letter

Have you got your pen and paper ready? Your take-your-own-life device? Wait, you haven’t planned how you were going to do it yet? Ok, never mind. Let’s just write the letter. 

Dear —- (that’s gonna be the first loved one to find out you why you did such an major act, so they’ve got to be special)

Explain your terrible state prior to the act. Use words such as tired, fed up, exhausted, worn out, beat up. Don’t be afraid to use exaggerations and hyperboles, afterall you need to make it seem logical. They won’t believe you had been in such a terrible state all along or that you’d actually do it but you have to convince them. 

Now start reminding that person of all the amazing things they had done for you and how utterly ungrateful you are for turning your back on them. Tell them you have reached a point where your reasoning has failed you; where you were so depressed and lonely that nothing and no one even mattered. Not your parents, nor your siblings nor your spouse and children, if any. All you could think of was a way out. Even if that way defied your own destiny. You couldn’t fight anymore. You didn’t want to hold on to any more hopes. Nothing and no one gave you hope. You had eyes that could see but you didn’t want to look out for the light. You had hands that could hold but you didn’t want to reach out for help. You wanted to stay where you are. You chose desperation. Yes, you chose it. Desperation didn’t choose you. You decided to curl into fetal position and cry. You shut the world out. You turned your back on life. All you could see where the thorns on the rose, the greyish skies where rainbows hide.   You may tell them you’re a failure,  not for the many times you failed, but actually for failing to find the will to try within you. 

And just before you think I’m judging you for your suicidal thoughts, I just want you to know that I, too, have had them. We all have them. Yes, we’ve all been so low that we could no longer bear life’s afflictions. Everybody is prone to depression, anxiety, mental illness. You’re not a weirdo and you’re certainly not alone in this. The only difference between someone who acts upon these thoughts and someone who refrains from cutting their own rope is how hopeful they remain. The despaired aren’t weak. You aren’t weak for seeking help. You aren’t weak if you cry. You aren’t weak if you’re burnt out, broke, jobless, divorced, betrayed. You are stronger and more free when you understand the wisdom behind your affliction. 

I don’t know what would make you want to read a “how to write a suicide letter”. I don’t know why I’m putting myself in this position where I might be misunderstood. But I’m writing this for somebody, anybody who needs to read this, to know they’re so loved and cherished. You need to know you are an indispensible person in someone’s life. You mean the world to somebody and it’s not up to you to decide to leave them. No. Your time has not come and don’t ever think that by taking the nearest exit you’ll rid yourself of heartache. Don’t ever think that by writing a suicide letter you’d justify yourself to your loved ones. 

Don’t think that by escaping your brokeness you wouldn’t break someone else’s life. 
*To someone I love, someone I don’t even know, hang in there

Advertisements

Cinnamon Roll Biscuits – A simple warm delight

The comfort of home is written on every buttery bite of these moreish doughy cinnamon roll biscuits. Served warm with a powdered sugar glaze, they’re guaranteed to please the sugar craver in you. Make these for breakfast or as a hearty snack and be prepared to bake another batch the very next day. They’ll be gone before you can say cinnamon roll bisc…. 🙂

Good evening, everybody!

Nothing warms you up in this extremely cold stormy weather hitting most cities of the world quite like a warm sugary treat. I must admit I haven’t been watching my weight much lately. It’s always harder to stick to your health goals in winter than it is in summer. Blame it on the cold! But I know a little sugar will sweeten up my family’s smiles and that’s why baking desserts is one of my guilty pleasures. 

Yesterday I picked up my notebook on which I stored some really old recipes I’d gathered since my newly-wed days. I quickly skimmed through the pages in search of my cinnamon roll biscuit recipe. I remember that recipe being a big hit on the Blackberry Messenger cooking group I was a part of some 5 years ago (seems like ancient history now!) The ladies in the group quickly adopted my recipe claiming it was a massive success with their kiddos and families, and developed sweet and savory variations with my tasty dough base. I really don’t remember the author of the recipe nor the link where I got it from. It really just says “cinnamon roll biscuits” in my notebook and states the ingredients only. The preparation method is also missing, so I’m taking that I either must have been in a hurry to copy the method or thought I was too smart to follow instructions to the letter. Well, either explanations reflect me. Guilty!

The whiff of cinnamon in this recipe is breathtaking and what makes it even more appealing is the texture of the dough. It is neither too soft and soggy nor cookie-like hard. It rests in that comforting middle, bringing delight to every sense that savors it. I’m not really a good candidate for preparing doughs, I actually hate making dough altogether, but this simple minimal-kneading dough makes the process so much fun and enjoyable. I felt like a pastry chef dipping my fists into it, gently squeezing it and forming it into a ball. If you’re not confident about your dough-making skills, this recipe will give you a boost! 

I know nobody likes all the blabbing that precedes a much-awaited recipe ingredients section, so I’ll just cut to the chase now. Don’t forget to share this recipe with the ones you love, you’ll be tempted to eat the whole batch by yourself. Trust me on this one 😉

Cinnamon Roll Biscuits

Ingredients:

For the dough:

————-

2 cups white flour

1 tsp baking soda

3 tsp baking powder

2 tbsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

2/3 cups of milk

1/2 cup of cold butter, cut into cubes

1 tsp vanilla extract

For the cinnamon sugar filling:

————————–

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup white sugar

3 tbsp butter, melted

To prepare the dough, mix all the dry ingredients first, cutting the butter into the mixture until it’s crumbly and gradually adding in the milk. Knead a few times. If the dough gets warm, form into a ball and place into the fridge for 20-30 mins. 

Make the cinnamon sugar mixture by adding the sugars to melted butter in a separate bowl. Set aside.

Roll the chilled dough on a floured surface with a rolling pin, thinning it out as much as possible. Slather some melted butter on top of the dough and spread your cinnamon sugar mixture evenly to cover near the edges as well. Carefully roll the dough to form a cylinder shape. With a sharp knife, cut cylinder into circles 3 cm in width and place on ungreased cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Place in preheated oven at 180 degrees for 20 mins or until bottoms are slightly browned. Don’t overbake. 

Remove sheet from oven and allow to cool slightly before removing cookies. Store in an airtight container. That is, if they last that long, hehe 

N.B. Please note that ovens may vary so keep an eye on those babies. You don’t want to ruin your good work! 

Serve warm drizzled with powdered sugar glaze or just the way they are. They’re awesome either way. 

If you ever try this recipe, please do let me know in the comments below. 

Have a warm and restful Monday eve. 

Lots of sweet love, 

~ Zeina

   

    
 

  

No day is ever guaranteed

Good morning, Sunday!

I’m filled with gratitude to be alive on this beautiful yet rainy day. The rain instills a sense of comfort within my soul, somehow. It’s the fact that I’m living on this very day that I’d like to talk about. The fact that no day is ever guaranteed to us humankind, and yet we take each and every one for granted. Every breath, every ray of light that hits our retina as we sleepily open our eyes and snap out of our drowsy  daze. They are not ours for the taking, yet generously given away by the Creator of life; To test us, perhaps, to examine our gratitude further with daily pressures and mishaps; to remind us that, despite the illusion of control we feed with organizers, checklists and strict schedules, things can and will go off track, not necessarily to our disadvantage. It is our attitude that shouldn’t change with every endlessly changing day. The faith to accept the unseen. The gratitude to embrace each moment, painstricken or painsfree, and take the day with a smiling heart. 

Today is Sunday, make it worthwhile; spend it wisely, playfully, freely, generously, spend it with family, kids, friends, colleagues. Don’t let any gloomy weather discourage you from spotting colorful rainbows. 
Have a great day, everyone

~ Zeina

“Back in the old days”…

With all due respect to the elderly in this society, but they all just need to chill! As a parent, albeit it a young thirty-something parent of two children under 10, I believe I have the knowledge and ability to run my life along a safe course. I don’t do drugs, I don’t commit crimes, I don’t feed my kids litter, I don’t keep them awake till after midnight, I dress them in clean clothes, etc… Basically, I count as a good candidate to parent, thank you very much. If that’s what’s considered “mothering”,  I surely can’t be doing it all wrong! Right? 

This short-sighted vision of parenting, however, does not work very well with today’s definition of the term. To be a good parent you have to be a lot of things, not just a housemaid who slaves away in the kitchen cooking, baking and scrubbing floors, or a hermit who severs social ties to raise a family. 

I’m so tired of hearing stories about how moms did nothing but handwash fabric diapers or those obnoxious braggeries about how they potty trained all their children by 12 months in that golden era. You can forget about stating facts and relaying scientific data related to the physical readiness to potty train which most children exhibit by age 2. If you decide to wait it out against your elders’ recommendations, you’ll be looked down upon as the lazy mother who’s too busy texting and tweeting to notice the signs (because, obviously, children at age one SHOULD already by ready to tell you “verbally” that they need to go.) Trust me, your great aunt is more experienced than your pediatrician. 

I’m really tired of all the well-intended yet unwelcome tips and endless guilt trips the nice old ladies take you on with their remarks. Why can’t they just let this generation of mothers be whatever they choose to be? Whose expectations should we be living up to, theirs or our own? Yes, their days are definitely different, perhaps they did have better days back then. Times have changed, and this stressful lifestyle demands a change in approach to parenting, caregiving and house management. The comparisons make no sense when it comes to multitasking, for example. Mothers in the olden days didn’t have the same tasks, interests or passtimes. In defense of moms like myself, I believe we’re all doing an outstanding job surviving this wretched heartless world while teaching our children all the necessary lifeskills to ensure a safer, brighter future for generations to come. More educated conscious moms means higher awareness (and earlier intervention) to issues that require special attention, like learning difficulties, delays and impairments, or physical disabilities. 

They say we should respect our elders, but how about  a little appreciation from our elders as well? How about the respect we deserve for trying to fix a world our predecessors have left broken? We are certainly not the only generation of parents responsible for the moral degredation we witness today. Instead of constantly grieving over the past, we’d be far better off with a little more help and a little less meddling. It’s our time to make mistakes, just like they did, and our chance to learn the lessons they obviously didn’t learn: To live responsibly and teach responsibility, to raise well-rounded personalities not puppets we boss around at will. We don’t want our children to be us, we want them to be better. As a parent, I want to make sure I’ve left no stone unturned, no study unresearched, no effort unexhausted to see my children blossom. I want to bask in the satisfaction that I’ve done all that had to be done so my kids won’t be disappointed that I’ve been a neglectful parent. If that’s not enough for the generation of mothers before me, I might as well blame my inadequate parenting on every war that has plagued this country, wars that were caused by our elders’ unwise elections and re-elections of corrupt figures of state, rather than statesmen. At least we’re trying to change something instead of whining incessantly.
I will always pay much respect to every mother on this planet who would blindly give up anything to secure every child’s need, no matter what her age is or where she is from or how mean she can be to younger inexperienced mothers. We’ll always need to learn vicariously from parents who have longer years of experience in this domain, but we, too, can learn a thing or two on our own. That’s called life, and no one can live it for us no matter how knowledgeable they think they are. 

~ Zeina
Image credit: adweek.com

Aren’t We All?

You say you’re tired

You say you’re confused

You say you’re distressed

And all your energy is consumed

Well, aren’t we all?

You say you’re disappointed

Things didn’t go as planned

You think you’re lonely

No one holds your hand

Well, aren’t we all?

Aren’t we all looking

Aren’t we all searching for

This place called happiness

But is it worth waiting anymore?

Sometimes I wonder

Why there’s delay

Waiting in hope that someday

This chaos rests forever

Perhaps this day is nearer

Perhaps the things we desire

Aren’t really what we need

But will that quench the fire?

All I can say is there’s no way out

But to push away the fear and doubt

And hang on to that silvering ray

On every cloud heavy and grey

Perhaps then what we need

Eventually finds our way

What is Regret?

Regret … is the words 

You can’t take back after they’re said

Regret … is the aftermath

Of a rush of blood to the head

Regret … is all the chances

You didn’t dare to take

Regret … is all the decisions

You were too afraid to make

Regret … is the price you pay

For all your thoughtless mistakes

Regret … is how I feel

Everytime I hear your name

Regret …. is my consciousness regained

And facing your truth again

Regret …so intense it feels like a heartattack

Regret …. is all the tears

That won’t bring my love back

Putting parenting into perspective

I try to remind myself each day that my kids won’t stay kids forever. The tantrums will finally subside, the power struggles will end, they’ll eventually understand that rules are rules and they might actually like structure in the house (or so I hope). The whining will cease, the crying fits and sibling fights will no longer be. I am being a little too optimistic  right now, but I really have no choice but to adopt a more positive attitude through all this. If I keep reminding myself of all the things I should be doing but fail to do, or keep beating myself up for not coming any close to the “ideal mother” image in my mind…I’ll just subject myself to more stress than my body and mind could handle. I’m trying. I’m always trying to make things better. I seek perfection sometimes which is a very bad thing to do. Well, I’m trying to recover from this perfectionism. I’m trying. [Say “trying”. One. More. Time!]

Well, it’s true. What is parenting but a long tedious trial and error process with a few sporadic fun breaks? Stress on “few” and “sporadic”. LOL. You try a few disciplining theories, a couple of sleep-training techniques, some tips to banish picky-eating, and you either fail or succeed. That’s it. But you’ll need a whole lot of patience and effort at remaining consistent while you apply any of the above. AND…If your heart is not it, you’ve already set yourself up for failure. Parenting shouldn’t be this hard and a lot more fun but the truth of the matter is if you want to raise happy, successful children there’s a dear price to pay. Your comfort and sanity. Maybe I’m exaggerating here, but I honestly don’t think I can have a clean, quiet home and happy, obedient kids ALL at the same time. It just won’t work. I would be asking for too much if I expect that they’ll choose to play quitely in a tidied up room over chasing one another around the house making silly loud noises. They will want to defy the house rules at some point.  It’s getting them to comply that’s the trick.  Getting them to like being neat and tidy is one way of teaching them how to become more organized, paving the way for a successful responsible adulthood. Which reminds me of how hard my mom has tried to teach me to become this organized, to the point of OCD. And yet, I have my flaws. Perhaps I try to make up for my absent-mindedness and attention-deficit by being a picky perfectionist. So how can I expect my journey through motherhood to be any less hardwork? I am really disciplining myself and my children at the same time. I’m learning to control my temper and tame my reactions as I teach them to control theirs. I structurize their day aiming to have many valuable lesson ingrained in their lives early on. 

When my mom reminds me of so many negative incidents that have happened in my childhood, she recalls them in so much detail while I remember only the highlights. I sense the pain of her memory. I think of how long that day that I vaguely remember must have be for her. I imagine how worried she might have felt, how disappointed or frustrated. “Will she turn out OK?” She must have thought. These are now my everyday thoughts, at least. “Will they turn out OK?” And while nothing can guarantee that except my deep faith in God guiding me through this whole parenting quest, I can be certain that these long long days will soon be just memories. No matter what feelings they’ll evoke, they’ll only take me briefly back to a time when my babies were young and needed me the most. I’ll miss that feeling of being called upon to zip up a jacket, tie a shoelace, or fetch an object out of reach. I’ll miss the tiniest of details which I probably won’t be able to recall vividly as I age. 

It won’t be long before our kids launch into life on their own. The years are indeed short once you put things in perspective. All I could pray for is remembering these seemingly long days in good light. 

Because Someone Cared Enough

We are often disappointed by people. We feel let down, at times even betrayed, when all of a sudden they just disappear. We talk about those who’ve shown very little care to the relationship, who are inattentive to our needs and all those small details that mean so much. We complain about the insignificant efforts they make to stay in touch. We don’t talk much about those who cared enough. We’re the ones who are often inattentive to those who make our lives a little better just by being there. Do we ever wonder why we are the adults we are today? Because there were two loving people, two devoted parents, who cared enough (and much much more) to teach us everything they knew and whatever is required to be functional moral human beings. Do we ever wonder why we have certain passions that ignite our creativity and energize our souls? Because someone, a teacher or a mentor maybe, cared enough to educate rather than dictate. Do we ever wonder why we don’t feel so lonely and forsaken in hardships when we have every reason to be? Because someone, a friend, a sibling or a spouse maybe, cared enough to support, listen and console. Do we ever wonder why, when everything seems to be going wrong in our day, we somehow find peace in the understanding that no matter how bad things may go, there’s always something to be grateful for? Because someone, a religious scholar, spiritual coach, or a pious grandparent maybe, cared enough to deliver the words of God in the most memorable manner to cultivate faith within our hearts. Do we ever wonder why in times of great need, when the whole world turns its back on us, help arrives out the blue? Why we even have a good parent, kind friend, loving partner, or amazing role models to look up to? Because God cares enough – nay, He cares the MOST – to make the entire earth, with all its resources and riches, subservient to mankind. But we forget. How rarely do we remember the blessings amidst the hardships. How seldom do we recall the good people when we’re haunted by memories of the bad. Isn’t it time for our unforgiving hearts to soften in remembrance of all the countless blessings and He who bestowed them upon us?