Insomniac

Night falls, I lay my head to sleep

Then the sedating silence is broken 

As thoughts begin to creep

Guilt calls, saying “It’s been a while

That we haven’t gone over failures,

Or the memories you had as a child”

Sleep’s gone, and so has the peace

If only our thought patterns had a switch

I’d turn off the anxieties

I’d rest my head on that pillow

And dive into a sea of tranquility

And while this body is weary

I can’t meet its simple needs

Because the heart is roaming freely

And the mind’s agenda impedes

Sleep is a necessity

Only when there’s nothing to miss 

When there’s no inspiration to guide you

Through a world of writing bliss

Sometimes I envy the oblivious

Who are not shaken or stirred

Their hearts are void of anguish

Their heads are void of words

That they must unload like baggage

Too heavy to carry around

If only I were just as unaware

If only the world just passed me by

Without a trace, without a sound

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

I am more

That day you provoked my demons

You didn’t know

I was more to what you were seeing

When you shot your arrow

You were aiming at my heart

But you missed it by far

You may have broken my wing

But you failed to see my claws

And just because I don’t roar 

Doesn’t mean I have no voice

And just because I don’t pounce

Doesn’t mean I had no choice

That day you called on your angels

Believing you were a saint

Was the day I decided I’ll never be afraid

I’ll never tremble under the pressure

To be what you want me to be

I’ll only seek my own pleasure

And fight for my own beliefs

My happiness waits for no one

Especially you 

Your doubts won’t shake me

I will pull through

I believe in the power of my dreams

And all the things only I can see

Someday, believe it or not, 

They’ll become a reality

“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

New Year, New Wishes for you ⭐️

Hello everyone, 

So this is going to be the last post of the year. What a great one it was. My first year on this blog is coming to end and I’m really glad I’ve made some accomplishments this year, both personal and professional. I wish you all a wonderful 2016. 2015 may not have been that awesome for some of us, but trust that there will be brighter days ahead. Have faith and you will see them with your own eyes. I hope you enjoy my last poem with my heartfelt wishes for you. Keep bloggin’, WordPressers✌🏻️

Goodbye 2015!!! Thanks for everything ❤️

There will come a day 

When you’ll say

I wouldn’t want it any other way

All the pain would seem

Like a hazy dream

And you’ll open your eyes

To a great reality

There’s wisdom behind the tears

There’s strength inside your fears

Your afflictions are blessings in fact

But you’re too consumed to realize that

All the prayers have not gone to waste

And finally you’ll get to taste

The sweetness of the fruits you reap

You’ve worked so hard and lost sleep

Over all those big things that now look small

In fact, they weren’t even there at all!

So go out there and stand tall

And leave your marks on the wall

Live the life of happiness you owe yourself

And don’t worry about everyone else

Today is yours 

Tomorrow may not come

Go chase the moon

Outshine the sun

Just be yourself

While you’re having fun

~ Zeina

What Makes Me…Me

What makes me me?

Is it a bittersweet reality?

A present smeared with history?

The fragments of unresolved 

Crises of identity

Unfathomed emotions, unrealized dreams

A motherhood, as unideal as it seems

The passions reminiscing

Of a long-lost career

The interests, cravings, scribbles

I like to call poetry

That speak volumes about

strength that’s found in fragility

What makes me me?

When there’s nothing special

About my life’s monotony

I fill my papers with the inks

Of my agony

But my imagination dwindles

As the years fly by so rapidly

As the year closes, 

these thoughts consume me

What makes me me?

The uniqueness I bring to the ordinary?

The reflections upon sentimentality?

Things that still mean the world to me

Now overlooked as trivialities

What makes me me is simply

What makes you you

What makes humane a humanity 

Strawberry Chocolate Tarte

I love recipes that are met with success, tremendous success. I love them more when they’re easy to make and hassle-free. Like this recipe of chocolate tarte adorned with fresh strawberries and dusted with soft flakes of powdery “snow” (I used powdered sugar for garnish rather than chopped nuts as the recipe calls). This tarte has “winter” written all over it, although I’m pretty sure you can enjoy it any time of year. It looks elegant too, your guests will think you’ve slaved away in the kitchen an entire afternoon making it. Honestly the only hard part about this divine chocolatey treat is waiting for it to harden in the fridge. With preparations taking a little under 20 minutes, I was a bit skeptical and unsure whether I was following the recipe correctly. I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome, a rich chocoholic cream dream with a crunchy Oreo crust and a touch of tanginess from the fresh seasonal strawberries. 

I know you and I hate reading long food blog posts, so let me end this torture now and tell you what ingredients you’ll need to satisfy your present craving. You, my chocoholic friend, must be salivating at the mere mention of “chocolate” I’m sure. 

For the crust

330g of Oreo cookies (approximately 32 cookies), crushed in processor

110g of butter, melted

Add melted butter to processed cookies and continue blending until they have a crumbly-doughy texture.

Press into tart or pie pan and freeze until you prepare filling.

For the filling

100g dark chocolate (I used a bit more)

200g milk chocolate (I used the hazelnut kind, and a little more of it too)

200ml heavy cream

Heat the cream and pour over chopped chocolates in a heatproof bowl. Let the hot cream slowly melt the chocolate for 10 minutes. (I was so impatient I had to use the microwave to finish the deed!)

Mix the melted chocolate and cream until they’re incorporated, pour over prepared frozen crust and place strawberries on top. Place in fridge for 2 hours at least or overnight. Try not to devour your slice(s) at once, I dare you. 😍

The recipe, naturally, is not mine. 

I found it on this site: 

http://www.homecookingadventure.com/recipes/no-bake-strawberry-chocolate-tart

It’s been circulating on Pinterest for a while. Don’t you just love this app? Please click the link above to get the author’s original recipe. In the meantime, enjoy gazing at my version of this chocolate-strawberry insanity! 

   
    
         

 

Have a great weekend, everybody ❤️

~ Zeina

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. 

Healing by Helping Others

My day started off on the wrong foot. Again. It’s just not easy to do this day in and day out. Dealing with behavior and impulsiveness issues every single day is draining, to the point of insanity. I do question my sanity sometimes, by the way. But then again, if I were as crazy as I think I am, people wouldn’t come to me for advice, would they? Like this mother who was referred to me by our family counselor. She finally made the call this afternoon to ask for doctor recommendations for her pre-teen. I was more than happy to recount our many-failure story and how we found our “happy ending” with our team of specialists who are handling our son’s somehow challenging case. I noticed how confused and hesitant she was, that was me five years ago. That’s me every day. There’s not a day that passes by that I don’t ask myself: “Am I doing the right thing?” But I know I am, because as a mom, you just “feel” when something is not right.

Ever since we started being consistent with behavior modification, my son has been showing tremendous resistance. It’s been disappointing to watch him act out all the time, and quite embarrassing to receive negative feedback from school, but this time giving up is out of the question. I know that, despite all this frustration I’m feeling, I just want to be over and done with this phase. So no matter how hard it’s going to be, the little guy is going to have to take it like a champ. And we’ll have to hold back the tears and do what’s best for him.

This painful experience we’ve been involved in for several years of our son’s life is bound to end. Nothing lasts forever. I’m more than certain that he’s on the right track and is being seen by the right people. I just hope I’ll always be in the right mindset to accept when things go slightly off track, which they will, at one point or another. He’s only human, and he’s just a child after all. Autism or not, he’s only a child.

Talking to this concerned mother reminded me of a very true saying which goes along the lines of “we heal by helping others.” And it’s just amazing how my mood shifted from down and desolate to uplifted and reinvigorated. I was reminded of my own pain and how little by little it’s subsiding. I’m actually healing slowly whenever someone contacts me to learn all about our son’s journey all the way from early detection, diagnosis and behavior modification.  Our story has inspired, it has moved, it has healed, it has shown us the good friends in our lives. It’s the door from which all the love and support comes pouring in, and out. We’ve come a long way and we must celebrate those little progresses as much as we can. It’s always the bigger picture that keeps you going, not the tiny day-to-day failures and mishaps.

I feel healed already, and for that I’m very grateful.

Do you have a story that has inspired others to make some decisions in their lives? Would you like to share it? I know I’d love to hear it ❤️

Have a great day,

~ Zeina