Why I took a blogging break

I’ve been taking a blog break. It was all about me; I needed to slow down and put some things in perspective. I struggle with writing when my head is clouded with emotions. As a writer, most of what I put into my blog is somehow connected to who I am personally. From food cravings to holidays, I write about what I know. And what I knew was that I needed a break.

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2017 sucked!

This year has been a tough one. I was faced with lessons that I thought I’d mastered, but when tested, I failed over and over. I've cried ugly tears and spent too much time thinking tornmented thoughts.

I’m tired. This year just made me feel like I kept tripping over obstacles one at a time.
I started off this year with so much hope and excitement. I was ready for a fresh start and hopeful about the future of not only my blog but my side business ( my embroidery shop), and now I sit here looking at the last few weeks of my blog and the closure of my shop after 5 years, and I’m frustrated.

Treat each other with kindness, asshole!

One of the biggest lessons I faced this year was about how people choose to treat each other.

No, I am no saint. I don’t beat around the bush, and I don’t do well with small talk. I like to get right to the point. Sometimes things just are black and white to me, when maybe they could have been other shades.  Maybe I am just tired of shallow conversations and tip toeing around real conversations. Maybe I am just surrounded by people afraid to be real and aching for depth.

But without question, I will do everything I can to be a good friend. This year I learned what it felt like to have someone you trusted twist your words around and make fun of your weaknesses. Even when I refused to fight back the waves just kept coming. I learned not to trust a friendly face, wolves hide in pretty faces and fake laughter.

I forgive you for being a bitch. But go away!

I also learned that not everyone is supposed to be in your life for a lifetime, sometimes they are just there to lead you to the next step.

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I met someone I thought was going to be a good friend, someone I could relax around and be myself. However what I couldn’t see was that everything I thought was just fake and when it came down to actually being a real friend, this person couldn’t handle it. And I was left standing there doubting everything I once knew about friendships.

Hey, remember me?

Here’s the thing though, as much as this year taught me about the lifetime of friends. It also renewed old friendships and healed over some rough edges. I needed to take a blogging break when I realized that everything I wanted to write about was about pain and depression.

Depression and Anxiety, the two friends you wish would hook up and move far far away.

Like many people, I struggle with anxiety and depression. It’s something that has run in my family for generations. I lost an uncle to suicide after years of fighting his depression and multiple suicide attempts from other family members through the years. So when I saw that I was grieving and deeply sad, I needed to switch lanes and do something different.

Things had to change, and I needed a break.

I took a new job, something different than I’d ever done before. I accepted a role as a social media manager/ communications director. It’s hard, it’s frustrating. And I love it.
But it also gave me something different to call my own, and I’m learning how to accept it.
For so many years I struggled with an identity label.

From teacher, housewife, Nanny, Embroidery Artist, Writer, Blogger, to “retired.” I have struggled with my introduction. Hi, I’m Crysta, and I am a… was always difficult. But Social Media Director actually works for me, and I enjoy the job.

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So the new job has kept me busy. Taking some time to slow down and try to wrap my thoughts up in a pretty bow has been good.

To be honest, I’m still struggling a little. The holidays are always hard for me. From thinking about the people that I’ve lost this time of year and miss so much to the holiday rush. I always fight to stay above water.

What I’m doing to fight depression

Here in Seattle, the days are shorter, the darkness lasts longer, and the cold and rain has settled in for the winter. The dark season is here. It's cold and dreary, fighting sad thoughts is hard.  More B12 is needed and I've upped my Vit. D too.  It's a constant effort, but well worth it.


I’ve pulled out my daylight lights, helpful for those of you like myself who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder. I’m making more coffeetime chats out of the house with friends for quick catch-ups. And I’ve made a new playlist of music that gets me up and moving.
There’s no secret to fighting depression or shitty days; you just have to commit to keep fighting through it.

Sometimes you just need to take a break and try something new.

So I’m back to writing. I have some new ideas for 2018, and I’ll keep on exploring and bringing you my adventures of traveling with Lyme disease.

Thanks for sticking with me,
Crysta

The 9’s

I know I am comfortable with my life these days, more than I have ever been. I still ask myself if I am sure there isn’t  someone who will one day wake me up from my dream and tell me it’s time to go back to chaos. But for now, it’s my world and I am happy here. I look back at the last 40 something years and see that the dragons that stood in my path have always been about the 9's.

Let me go back, I should tell you what exactly the 9’s are.  The 9’s are 19,29,39,49 ect…  that year before the big change in your life.  That year when you try to wrap it all up and make it look like the last 9 years you spent doing something lasting and memorable, those are the 9’s.

When I was 9, I was still in the 3rd grade. I was a child, small and fragile. Yet already I had known about death, loss, betrayal, and longed to run away from it all. 9 was when I would wander away from home, wait until almost dark, and dance wild and free with the fireflies. I found an abandoned house deep in the woods, climbed inside and considered making this my home instead of returning to the house that I had ran from. I wanted to be a lost girl, alone in a lost house.  I would dance naked with the wild beasts, free from shame.

19 was big, I wasn’t going to get away with being a child anymore. I was finished with high school and looking to college.  I didn’t have the ability to put on the breaks and turn around and run back to my childhood.  I was going to have to embrace the fact that I was no longer going to be a teen and I was going to have to accept that responsibility with my head held high and my fears pushed behind me.

I had to face a small town that didn’t know what to do with me and in trade pushed me into the darkness.  I suppose that the choices I had made the previous 19 years had also put me in a different position that the other 19 year olds around me. I cried tears of longing for my old friends and ways, missing their laughter and coolness in the summer heat.

In my world, 19 was more about letting go of my teenage hurt and Fidget Cubetears and moving on with my life.  It also was taking a deep breath and knowing that I wasn’t just a 19 year old, I was also a mother of two.  My boys were counting on me not to screw this up.  Each day was one step at a time towards the 20’s.

 29 came fast.  I was just starting to enjoy my 20’s when before I knew it they were over. Darn it I wanted them back!  I wanted to have the time to dance under the moon and howl with the others in my pack.

I didn’t want to face 29 that asked me what I was going to do with the rest of my life and how I was going to work being a mother, a wife, and so much more.  I found my dance, free as a wild bird and I really didn’t plan on giving that up without a good fight.  I was surprised when 29 came at how many things had changed and how many things were just beginning. I was ready for the big changes in my life as the 20’s ended, yet reluctant and scared of them at the same time.

 My 20’s  gave me the greatest blessings in life that are still most important to me now.  I left the life that I was afraid of as child and a teen, learned how to be alone, grew sad at the way life can quickly become so stale, and uneasy about the future.  I started college and finished new adventures there. I had my heart broken and found friends who became my angels to mend it. I learned not to be afraid of my past, to embrace it for who it was making me into. I found that sometimes I hid behind walls and I was terrified of change.  I took risks and accepted the consequences, then took bigger risks and loved the results.

 

I was hurt deeply by some I trusted, I hurt some who trusted me, and I tried my hardest to keep both from never happening again. By the time 29 came, I had married my knight, gave birth to an incredible daughter, watched my sons grow to be strong and brave, and learned to accept myself for who I was becoming.  I left behind family who never really wanted me in their pack and rebelled against a family who was so different from my own that I didn’t know how to be a part of them and pulled away.

 39 came and I didn’t master any great skill or win any big award.  But I did raise 3 incredible sons who have left now to become their own men and tackle the world on their own.  I hope that I have given them as much wisdom as I could to make their lives better, enough love to keep their hearts warm and gentle, enough strength so that they will also know the world and be brave enough to stand strong in it.

I can still snuggle my little girl, but only for a short time as she’s growing into her own independence now that she’s crossed her own 9 and inches close to the next.

I learned to give up my fear, the safety of my own little shelter was comforting and hid me away from the rest of the world. My fear of leaving home and traveling was great for a while, now I pack my bags for another adventure.  My husband reminds me of my strength and encourage me to take more chances to explore. I love the adventure of exploring new places, excited by what I might find around the next corner. Each trip becomes easier and I learn to relax a bit faster.

Though I still long to discover a lost house in the woods and claim it as my own, to dance naked and wild with fireflies in the comfort of the night. Perhaps when I am 49 I will.

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When hot gets a little cold..

firefly_night_by_zefiraelrainThere is a song, “When Hot Gets A Little Cold”
by the amazing Cyndi Lauper, that always pulls so many thoughts into focus when I hear it.  Makes me look at all of the things that I thought were so hot, things that I knew I could do, the life I thought I was leading.  Sometimes it's so easy to let things burn hot.. then let them fall away.  Like a hot match, you hold it so tight, fearing it will fly right out of your hand and burn you if you don't hold it tight. But that spark only lasts so long if I don't find a way to hold on to it.

There are so many things through the years that I've been passionate about, but it grew cold so fast and I've almost forgotten about them now. What does that say about me? How do I keep from burning that fire so hot that I can't hold that light long? Can I be a writer, a crafter, a mother, a wife, a friend, a blogger, a vegetarian, coffee lover,  a woman… and so much more, without losing something?

Perhaps it's fear.. fear of losing the ground I'm standing on in order to take the chance of leaping. Instead I look around and wish I was fearless and could be great.

 

Craftsy

Prayers for Peace

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I've been trying to put together thoughts about the recent bursts of tragedies.  But it's hard when day after day there is another attack, another tragic and pointless event happening not only around the world but here in America. It's hard to even form a decent thought that isn't full of anger, heartbreak, and truthfully fear.  I fear for my children when I am not with them.  I fear for my husband when he goes to work.  And that is truly the point of terrorism, to cause fear.

Today, once again gunmen have walked into a public area and terrorized our country.  At least 14 people won't be coming home tonight or ever again.  I am sickened by this, by our lack of action to stop these things from happening again when it just happened last week and the week before.

This has to stop.

I don't want my children to become desensitized to this violence! Yet, I don't want them to live in a state of fear and panic.

There is no quick answer.  Placing blame on any particular faith, country, or gender isn't solving the problem. We are living in a very violent time. Something is going to change, and sadly change never comes easy.

I don't have a simple answer, or even a plan.  I only know that tonight I want to hold my family close. Let them know that I love them.  And most of all I pray for Peace, not just here in our small corner of the planet, but around the world for all mothers who are fearfully trying to hold their families together.  For the fathers trying to be brave and do anything they can do protect those they love, I send my thoughts.

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I don’t want to go!

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I’ve seen dozens of doctors. Neurologist, Endocrinologists, Cardiologists, Pulmonologists, Gynecologists, and more. And it never fails to scare the hell out of me before I get in the door.

When I was a kid I was terrified of doctors. I had all out screaming fits when it came time for shots. I would get so scared that I would shake until I threw up. This wasn’t the best way to start a visit, but I was terrified.

When I was about 5 I had stomach problems. I remember being taken to the hospital and four nurses and two doctors demanded that I swallowed the barium syrup so they could watch it go into my stomach on the x-ray. But the sight of all of them coming at me made me just go into an all-out survival panic. They held me down and tried to pour it down my throat as I screamed, spit, and begged to be free. Then forced to stand there as still as I could while they tried to get the scan. I’m pretty sure they didn’t get it.

Having Lyme Disease, I see a lot of doctors and I have to go often. And I am always scared to walk in the door.

Today I am going back almost 40 years later to see what exactly is going on with my stomach. I need to see the gastro doctor and try not to feel like a scared 5 year old girl.

Maybe it is the fear that they will find something worse that what they have already discovered, I’m not sure. I just don’t want to go in there and tell another doctor my Lyme story. I don’t want to be looked at again like I am crazy for having esophageal tremors or like a science project. Truly, I really just don’t want to go.

But the thing is, I know that I won’t get better and my issues will get worse unless I get help. And not knowing what is wrong is always more terrifying in my head than the actual problem.

So, okay.. I’ll put on my big girl britches and head to the doctor. But I really don’t wanna!

We are powerful beyond measure – Marianne Williamson

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
—                   Marianne Williamson                  (Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”)

I’ll remain unbroken

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I’ve been there, in those moments of the greatest despair. I’ve sat there in the dark, pistol in hand and thoughts fighting demons. “How fucking dare you! I didn’t deserve that!” I snarled as I shook my head and screamed at the ministers of hate that wanted to destroy all signs of light left in me.  But they were already gone, moved on to the next innocent quarry and I was left there to clean up the stains and try to find all the pieces of my damaged soul.

You thought you left me broken, you won’t ever know how that dagger only sparked me to fight harder. You might have thought that I was screwed, penniless and pathetic.  I was just waiting for the wounds to scar over.

I’ve been there, wondering if I should just give in and let go. Perhaps the next life would be something better, perhaps there was nothing on the other side and I could just stop hurting for a little while. I felt the words echo in my tears. “You are such and ungrateful bitch! I gave you everything!” Absorbing the words like a rose in the desert.

You laughed as you watched me disintegrate, feeling potent with your authority. You just taught me to be more than a child. You would have savored the limelight of my tragedy. You nourished the soil of melancholy and waited for the opportunity to become more than you were with the news story of my melodramatic end. You weren’t so lucky, I wouldn’t be vanquished by someone so simple.

As a babe, the veil was lifted from my newborn eyes and I saw the world without the glamour of fairy spells. Born old and aware. I made it through the years of youth, fought my dragons young and now settle into my success fueled by the knowing that I will find my way through the mist unbroken and better than before.

Nobody should ever have to accept rape and abuse. Mental illness and depression is not an excuse for ignorance and selfishness.

I am not alone, there are countless others out there who have had to endure the shame of their situations.

We have a choice, we can close our eyes and pull the trigger or we can get up and be unbroken, fearless, and ready to become something more.