Friday, January 31, 2014

Depths of Depression

Depression is so insidious.  One minute you feel like maybe it's gone and things seem hopeful, activities you used to love suddenly interest you.  You feel better and you smile easier, you relax better and the things you do are because you want to, not because you force yourself to do them.

When I started to feel better, I wanted to go out more, even to places of which I had been so deathly afraid.  I mean it wasn't like every bad thing was resolved because going into the house I was held prisoner in last year (emotionally anyway) still makes me very, very sad and emotional.  That takes a while to deal with after we go.

But like I said, depression is insidious.  It doesn't take much to throw you back into its clutches.  This whole synagogue thing has done that.  Intellectually I know I should just say screw them all.  When I was a member I was on the board and worked hard.  If they choose to not have me back, they lose don't they?

But emotionally it's exactly most of those words that have triggered my depression as well as a boatload of guilt I can't even process.  And to know that one person on this planet planted all these seeds to destroy me and it worked, well, that makes the veil even darker doesn't it?

So I am back to somewhere I was last summer.  Somewhere deep inside of me that says I am no good and everyone realizes it.  The people who think I AM a good person just don't know me although someday they will and then, they too, will run screaming down the street.  My closest friends aren't even sure of me.  My dad doesn't believe me and says it was all my fault my life went to hell.  How could anyone else believe in me?

And I imagine it's hard for Scott and Evan to have seen such progress, to have to realize such regression.  The exhaustion. The disinterest.  The pain I feel, the guilt and the feelings that I am completely worthless.  The things that don't get done or that I put off.  The fact that this is inside of my head and nothing anyone says can fix it although the support does make it less painful.

Depression is insidious.  That's just what it is.  And coupled with its best friends anxiety and panic attacks, it scares me.  I know I'll reclimb the mountain that I fell down so hard and so fast but it scares me to see how fragile my foothold is and how very quickly things can change.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Ultimate Cookie

Scott loves my cooking.  He absolutely adores my baking though and especially my cookies.  

I have to admit I just cannot find a recipe for the chocolate chip cookie of my dreams....gooey and chocolatey.  Mine tend to be cakey.  Edible but not my ideal.

The cookies I make that he loves are my basic no bakes, my Cape Cod cookie and my special lemon curd cookie.

The Cape Cod is like every cookie rolled into one.  I've doctored it a bit and made it my own but overall it has molasses, oatmeal, raisins, craisins, chocolate chips, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and cloves.

And it is ZOMG!

He LIKES that one but he goes insane for the lemon curd cookies that also do double duty as black currant thumbprints as well. 

Simple little butter cookie with the thumbprint baked in and then filled with lemon curd and topped with a Morello cherry from Trader Joe's.  He can't control himself when I make those so I try to do it mostly when he isn't around and then leave some out for HIM and freeze the rest.  I could laugh and say "for the next night" but, well, that's true.

I found black currant jam at Ollie's and pretty much bought all they had so when we are short on lemon curd I put the black currant in the thumbprint and it's another cookie lovers delight.

I also make pumpkin gingerbread and vegan applesauce cake which I freeze for that disastrous evening when the cookies run out.  I don't just buy a bag of flour....I buy a BAG of flour.

And the most touching thing for me is how grateful he is.  Even when something becomes totally FUBAR, he tells me how wonderful it is and how much he loves my cooking.  And that just makes me want to cook more :-)

I just made a batch of the Cape Cods so I am going to try to clandestinely freeze them before he gets a whiff but for some reason I am not anticipating much success.

A barbed tongue

I honestly don't understand people.  Especially people who are supposed to know certain things and then practice something else.  My example is that in Judaism, lashon horah (basically the evil tongue or gossip) is to be avoided at all costs.  The issues with it are immense.  

Do you know if what you are saying is true?  Are you seeing the whole situation?  Do you personally KNOW what you're saying to be true?  Will what you say lead another to have a view of the individual that is hurtful or incorrect? 

Basically, just don't do it and if you hear it....don't spread it and take it with a grain of salt.  Definitely don't judge someone based on gossip.

Our sages say that lashon horah kills.  And I have found that to be very real and very true.  The lashon horah I have experienced hasn't killed my body but it has destroyed my soul, my neshama, my reason to live.

I had an ugly separation from my husband in Israel.  Things were assumed by him that weren't true and that I always denied.  Things were told to me by authorities in charge of our autistic son that threatened my custody of him and I had to take action.  So there was a lot going on and a lot of reasons why we divorced.  I am not saying I made good choices but I AM saying that what he later said about me wasn't true.  What kills me to this day is that everyone he told chose to believe it.  Simply because once I had my get (religious divorce) I put it behind me and didn't discuss it out of propriety, I was viewed as guilty and in this case, I was presumed guilty of having had an affair - which wasn't true.

When he came back to the US he specifically made sure to tell everyone we knew including friends in the two synagogues we had belonged to.

I was placed in house without heat or water (my toilet was a bag and animal bedding litter).  He took my son and then told me because of my actions I couldn't see him or talk to him.  This was March so I lived in a bedroom with a space heater and an electric kettle.  I ate hot dogs and crackers when I could get them.  No one called.  My "best" friend finally allowed me to come to her house for a shower once my dad had given me a junker to run around in.

I planned my suicide, became severely depressed, anxious, started having panic attacks and couldn't leave the house.  I was afraid of seeing someone I knew.  I was also deathly afraid of having a seizure with no one around.  I'd had two grand mal seizures in Israel so it was a real fear.

This is how lashon horah kills and destroys.  

I talked to the rabbi at my former synagogue and was told that because of postings made by me on Facebook and, I assume, the gossip my ex spread, I was not welcome back.  Oh sure I could show up but he thought ugly things might be said to me.  I am still incredibly fragile and I knew this would do me in.  It did me in anyway.  Suddenly I wanted to curl up in my bed and stay there forever.  I didn't want to face the world ever again.  I thought I was better off dead.  I thought I couldn't be Jewish because no community would have me based on this gossip.

And that, in a nutshell, is why gossip or lashon horah is devastating.  You don't know for sure what you're hearing second hand is true.  You don't know what may or may not have happened.  You may even have witnessed something but you don't know the whole story.  I admit I was wrong and made very bad choices.  But does this mean I deserve to be vilified for my entire life?  Denied my heritage and a community of which to be part?

The people at this particular synagogue should be aware of this.  It's a central tenet of Judaism.  Always give the benefit of the doubt.  And no one can be condemned without three eyewitnesses.  There's a lot involved.

And the biggest wrong?  Why wouldn't this rabbi, at the very least, remind his congregation of all of this before He relayed this to me - before I was demeaned, blacklisted and made to feel less than human and better off dead?

Friday, January 24, 2014

Baby, it's cold outside!

Its cold.  I actually dreamed of a friend who is at a research station in the Antartic like it was normal.  The furnace stops running only at night and only because I can't sleep when it's hot so I turn it down to 64F.  Of course I do pump it up later when I get up but wow.

I have never had forced air heat before except for one short year in my previous life.  I always had electric baseboard heat or radiator heat.  Last winter all I had was portable space heaters which weren't really heat at all.

The thing I have discovered about forced air heat is that it dries you out. Every part of you.  My nose, my sinuses, even my skin and I am so itchy I can barely stand it!

Last night I put baby oil on after my shower before I dried off but by the time I was in bed...dried out and itchy.

I put lotion on my hands and then smooth my hair down.  I fold clothes which I washed with fabric softener and they stick to my shirt.

Next week is supposed to be colder.  Weather bug has an igloo icon that just seems to be a permanent fixture.  I mean, holy crap!  Schroon Lake, high in the Adirondacks doesn't even have a permanent igloo!!!!

Now is when you want warm casseroles for dinner followed by warm cookies or cobblers and hot cups of tea all day long!    I can't even look at a glass if cold water and consider drinking it.  I'm going to try yoga today but I am considering staying under the warm covers for a while!!!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Blood sugar problems

My sugar is low again.  This totally ruins my day.  I get tired afterwards and foggy during.  It just puts me in bed or on the couch.  It frustrates me and makes me mad.  I'm terrified it will happen again and it probably will sometime today.  All of this after a hearty bowl of oatmeal at 8am and it's only 10:30 now.

No wonder I have anxiety and depression.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Time Flies

I can't believe it's been almost 20 days since I last blogged.  Time flies I guess.  In this time I have discovered:

I rather like Downton Abbey, which I knew, but since I was rationing episodes to savor the deliciousness of each....I finally watched all of seaso 3 and I am quite besotted!

I made Scott love Doc Martin!!!!!

I also made him love Project Runway even though he'd never admit it but he's kind of dragging his heels on the new Tim Gunn show.

I have a seizure disorder.  Nothing new huh?  Now it has a name though.  Simple partial seizures with secondary generalization.  That means I have baby seizures before I have the BIG one.  Or auras.  Whatever you call them they basically can be anything and for me, they often seem like am out-of-the-blue panic attack.  Which, I guess, is how the neurologist identified them as seizures.  My nurse practitioner asked yesterday how I keep them from becoming the BIG one.  I don't have any idea because unlike a panic attack I can't identify a trigger.  I think I should have said prayer helps keep the BIG ones at bay but sometimes even that doesn't reach G-d in time.

I love my kid more than anything in the world and my guilt over things I feel I am responsible for happening to him will never ever go away.  That guilt combines with grief and devastates me daily.  My nurse practitioner said I "seem" better.  I tried to explain how I feel and how day to day it can be so different.  Hour to hour.  Minute to minute.  Second to second.  She didn't understand.

Most people don't "get" epilepsy of depression.  They don't understand how it feels to be unable to drive, to determine ones adult life and comings and goings.  I am so grateful to have Scott who so lovingly cares for us.  I still can't help but miss an independent life.

I miss my Jewish practice.  It's been so unbelievably hard to face people, the world, everything.  I freak when I have to encounter something old, something new, something familiar or unfamiliar.  I fear people I know the most.  I like slithering through life knowing no one, being a nothing, being invisible.  Some people don't like that but I find comfort in it.  Still I miss my Jewish practice so this Friday I am trying to attend synagogue.  I have a choice between a synagogue I have never been to and one I used to be on the board of.  It's hard.

It's snowing and I hope we get a half foot.  I'd love to take Evan sledding but for now I have to settle for a daily walk in the neighborhood, Wii games and watching "Say Yes To The Dress", which he insists he doesn't like but which he sits and watches with me.

So...that is what I have discovered.  Not much I suppose in the grand scheme of things but it seems a whole lifetime almost for me.  And I try hard to keep climbing the ladder even though there are days I slip a few or many rungs...the point is I keep focused on the goal.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Google's Cool Picture Today

Google has a cool Doodle today - check it out.

Ya gotta admit...she looks a lot like Queen Latifah (or to those who know her best, Dana!)

A snow, er, frigid cold day!!!!

I was granted a pass to stay in bed ALL day!  Of course, I could do this any day and sometimes I have to but it is especially delicious when I get permission.  It's like the proverbial "snow" day and I plan to enjoy it.

I was in a British kind of mood.  I went downstairs and made a cup of English breakfast tea and planned to have toast with orange marmalade.  Yes, that was until I couldn't get the lid off the orange marmalade.  This was probably G-d's way of saying Dollar Tree marmalade is sooo not worth it.

Next I came upstairs and turned the room pink with a little help from a Susan G. Komen pink lightbulb. I absolutely love it!!!  I lit a gingerbread candle and a sugar cookie candle and turned on Season 3 of Downton Abbey, took up the iPad which I usually leave to Scott now that he so wonderfully surprised me with an iPhone 5c for Christmas!!!!!, and started to blog.

I have to admit I am about ready to bring a box of tea, a contained of sugar and my electric kettle upstairs too but for now I will knit while I watch Season 3.  Incidentally Thomas is a real bulgar isn't he?

Baby, It's cold outside!

They are calling this a "flash freeze."  Scott, always the curmudgeon, thinks this is a made up term to generate more interest in the weather and to create sensationalism.  Maybe.  But I think it is actually very accurate.  Yesterday morning it was about 30F and this morning it's minus somewhere between 1 and 8. And then there's a 22mph wind.

That qualifies, in my little mind, as butt cold regardless of what you call it.