Poetry Friday: From screen to screen

I’ve been laying in bed for an hour

Scrolling on my phone

My body is devoid of power

And I’m feeling alone

I do this each night

On my phone all night

Tell myself I’m alright

I’m too scared I can’t think right

During the day

From screen to screen

If I’m alone with my thoughts

I just might scream

All the thoughts in my head are depressing

I keep going on my phone, it’s addicting

Too tired to do soul searching

Something somewhere is hurting

Listen to the pain in my soul

Can you hear it roar?

Don’t be fooled by my smile

Or the timid look in my eyes

Because there’s a raging storm inside

And the waves will break any ship that tries

Throwback Thursday: Villanelle Poetry is my new favorite

Hello and welcome to my blog! Welcome to Throwback Thursday where I bring back a post from a year ago and give my thoughts about it.

This is what I wrote a year ago today: Villanelle poetry is my new favorite kind of poetry

I usually write freestyle poetry. I don’t follow any rules. I just write what my head comes up with. A while ago I took a 3-day course in creative writing and ever since, they’ve been sending me suggestions and tips for writing. I usually don’t have the time or energy to do them, but a few days ago I opened one of their emails on how to write villanelle poetry, and I’m so glad I did.

This is my 2nd attempt at villanelle poetry. Don’t be alarmed. I’m not going through depression or anything, although I’ve been extra moody these past 3 days, I know why.

I need to get back to reading. It usually fixes my mood. Until then, enjoy my 2nd villanelle.

I don’t really feel like a ray of sunshine
I don’t feel like I’m walking on clouds
I feel like I’m “fine” but I’m not fine

My thoughts are like a maze in my mind
Don’t feel like crying or screaming out loud
I don’t really feel like a ray of sunshine

I want to watch movies to numb my mind
Otherwise, I think I’ll start freaking out
I feel like I’m “fine” but I’m not fine

I know the world’s falling apart, I’m not blind
But I really miss having fun and going out
I don’t really feel like a ray of sunshine

I’m crashing like the economy on the inside
Trying to climb my way out
I feel like I’m “fine” but I’m not fine

I try to be positive, productive but I can’t hide
My feelings are finding their way out
I don’t really feel like a ray of sunshine
I feel like I’m “fine” but I’m not fine

This is exactly how I feel right now! Except now I think I am depressed, because I’m not enjoying the things I used to enjoy as much, like reading and watching movies. Speaking of movies, I watched The Wife yesterday and it was a masterpiece! I loved it. I have a lot of thoughts about it. Maybe one day I’ll write a movie review.

As for villanelle, I wish I had done more villanelle in the past year but I think I only did one more. It takes a great deal of energy and concentration to write this type of poetry. My usual poetry is more free-flowing, almost effortless.

The situation is Lebanon is terrible but many people are coping. The problem is that it’s not only the government that is corrupt, but the people got so used to corruption it’s ingrained in their system. For example, when waiting in line to fill their cars, it’s expected that those who know the guy who owns the station personally get serviced 1st and they will make a fuss if they don’t get special treatment. People operate on the “serve family and friends 1st and with a discount” and will insult you if you break the code.

It’s one of the reasons why I never opened a pharmacy, besides the 5000$ I didn’t have which you need to get permission to open a pharmacy, and the fact that I didn’t really enjoy working in a pharmacy. Friends and family members would tell me while I was still studying for my degree:

When you open a pharmacy, you’re going to give us medicine for free or for a huge discount, right?

As if a pharmacy is a charity, not a business.

Anyway, I’m getting off-topic. Everything I wrote in the poem a year ago still rings true, especially the part of wanting to go out and have fun. Except everything is expensive and I don’t have many friends.

Have you ever written villanelle?

Storytime: I cried today

I feel like I’m writing a war journal. God forbid this turns into a war. The 4 hours without electricity have extended to 15 hours without electricity. We don’t know for how long. Other areas have no electricity for days at a time. I fear if this gets worse, all the meat in the freezer will go bad. Must we salt our meat from now on? Or maybe we should go vegan.

Thankfully, we still have water. My parents haven’t had a single drop of water for days. Their motor is ruined.

Also, we are still able to turn the AC on in the few hours of electricity. My parents only have 5 Amperes so they can’t.

What really made me cry today was that there hasn’t been wifi since last night. I’m already having trouble coping with everything else, the expensive food that I can’t buy anymore, the lack of electricity, the fuel crisis. I have no idea how I’ll make it to my parents house tomorrow. There is a line as far as the eye can see from the gas station, people waiting to fill their tanks, but there is no benzene. If I stay home, I’ll go crazy. I need to see my family, maybe take a walk in the heat and try to breathe.

It’s almost September, so the heat will die down. There probably won’t be school, or maybe it will be online, but how? With no wifi nor electricity.

I have the urge to spend all my money, and go down with a bang. But I know I must save it, for difficult times lie ahead.

I’ve been up since 4 am. At 1st I sat on the balcony in the cool breeze, no electricity, and watched the sunrise.

Then I read Quran, then read from Rollerskates by Ruth Sawyer, and did some housework. Electricity came 8:22 am. I had been waiting for it, so I could read blogs, post a blog, post on Instagram and tiktok, but the wifi wasn’t working.

At 10 am, the electricity went again. Then it came at 2 pm. Still no wifi. During those 4 hours, I got a lot done, but I also cried, because my husband said the wifi problem will keep getting worse. This is awful. I can’t imagine how it will get worse. Ohhh.

At least we have food, right?

I have to wonder, though, whose fault is it? I’m not one to assign blame, but rather look for solutions.

The solution was to find jobs online, but how? No wifi. No electricity. I can’t even make designs on Canva to promote my books! Whenever there is wifi, it’s so slow it’s practically non-existent.

I don’t want to complain, but I need to let it out. Blogging is really important for me. It’s my outlet. If my wifi doesn’t come back, I’m going to have to go to a cafe that has wifi, and I’m going to have to buy something outrageously expensive, like I did last time (a few days ago, during my sons karate class, since there was no electricity at my house, I went to McDonald’s and bought a happy meal for 38,000 LL. It used to be 6,000 LL a year ago), just to be able to post this blog, and post on Instagram and tiktok.

If this situation persists, I’m getting internet on my phone. I used to have internet before on my phone, but 2 years ago, my husband discontinued it because he didn’t feel the need to pay for it when we were quarantining at home and we had unlimited wifi. The wifi we have now is limited and awful.

Who is holding me back?

I wonder who I am sometimes. I am full of contradictions.

I keep a lot to myself, but I also give away too much.

I keep pushing forward, but I also fall into depression and become a couch potato.

I inspire and motivate, but I also fail to motivate myself.

I try to be a good person, but I hold a lot of resentment.

I hold myself accountable, but I also blame others, and sometimes blame myself.

When I let myself dream, I imagine myself in a beach house in my name in Antalya. When I think of actually making that dream come true, I think of the lack of money to buy said house. I tell myself I’ll save money to buy a house there, but then realize my husband won’t let me go. He won’t even let me buy the house, even with my own money. If I do manage to have my dad buy the house for me with my money which I would have managed to save without letting my husband know how much money I had, it would make my husband angry for hiding things from him. If I insisted to go (for vacation of course, as I’m not comfortable living in a country that speaks neither English nor Arabic) and asked him to come with me, he will insist to bring my in laws, which is totally unacceptable to me. If I go with my dad, will my dad leave his elderly parents and go? Very unlikely. Besides, my happiness wouldn’t be complete if I went without my husband and son, at least not without my husbands consent. I’m codependant like that, I can’t be happy if my husband isn’t happy with me.

Even my fantasies are tainted with the bitter reality of my lack of freedom. The thing is, I chose to stay in this marriage, because I’m not exactly miserable and because I don’t want to break up our mini family. I’m just extremely lonely. I don’t feel respected and understood and accepted, by anyone actually.

My fantasy is always to run away, but I can’t run away from myself, can I? I must say, I don’t really enjoy my own company. Even alone, I distract myself with books, podcasts, movies, blogs, …etc. When I sit with myself, I immediately spiral into depression. That’s why I keep myself busy, to prevent the spiral. When I sit still, my chest tightens and I feel sick to my stomach. My heart races and I feel like I’m going to die.

When I think of death, I think of all the material possessions I have, what will happen to them? I don’t worry about the people I’ll leave behind. They’ll be just fine without me. It’s not like I have much of an impact, except on my son. I worry about how he will turn out. I’m instilling great values in him, and I’m teaching him a lot. I worry he will turn out like the people I try so hard to not let him be influenced by.

I won’t miss my son driving me crazy with being bored all the time, even interrupting my blogs like he is doing now or waking me up from my naps just to tell me he is bored. However, despite all the stress my son brings me, he washes away my sadness. Just holding him or seeing him smile brightens my day.

Back to the topic at hand. I wonder who is holding me back. Is it my husband with all his rules, not letting me drive or travel or buy anything and claiming to not control me when he doesn’t let me make any decisions on my own because he deems me incompetent? Or is it my son who limits my freedom because he doesn’t like to go on walks and makes every outing with him a nightmare? Or is it me because I chose to stay or because I haven’t figured out how to indirectly get my rights and keep running into a brick wall every time I demand my rights directly? Or maybe because I can’t seem to manage being tolerant, compassionate, patient, and content?

Do you know how I was able to publish books on Amazon? I made a plan and bit by bit I was able to get my book out there. I now have 10 books. When I made my podcast, I didn’t even tell my husband until after I made it. Even the blog, he didn’t know about until after I had been blogging for 3 years. I realized if I kept asking permission, the answer would always be no. I love writing so much because it is the only area in my life where I am granted freedom But travelling and buying things, there is no way around those without asking for permission.

The question is: why do I need these things so badly? Is it to win back my autonomy? Or is it because I want to prove a point? Or do I just want to run away just like I felt when I was single at my parents, dreaming of the man who would grant me freedom from my parents only to find out I was going from one prison to the next.

The ultimate question is: will I ever be free? And if I am able to obtain my freedom, at what cost? What will I lose instead?

Update. I just did a yoga session with my 6 year old son (courtesy of the boredom jar we made) and I feel so relaxed now. It kind of makes me want to take back everything I wrote earlier, but I know the feeling will only come back later. Right now, I revel in the temporary inner peace I feel.

Random thoughts on a not so happy Monday

I have a lot on my mind, but I don’t know what to say.

Happy Monday?

I don’t know. I’m trying so hard to be happy, but today I watched a scene on The Good Doctor that touched me. I have been learning a lot about human relations from this show. Sean’s girlfriend told him that she was sad and that when she sees him happy, it makes her feel worse. They both went through the same ordeal (I won’t give spoilers) but he coped by focusing on work and distracting himself with other things, but she kept getting stuck in waves of sadness and nothing seemed to help.

This reminded me that my husband has been restless and moody ever since the revolution in October 2019. That was almost 2 years ago. He acts normally sometimes, but 90% of the time, he is in his man cave; on his phone, or watching tv shows I don’t like. Me on the other hand, keep pushing through. I can’t mope with a 6-year-old around, nor am I comfortable sinking in depression. When I feel myself starting to sink, I panic and go into anxiety mode, which is to be better than depression mode because yelling occasionally is better than crying.

When I get depressed, it makes my husband very uncomfortable, and my son clings to me even more. I’m not depressed right now. I enjoy watching tv shows alone and going for walks and eating ice cream. However, I noticed I become restless around my husband and son. My son asks me to sit with him while he eats because my husband rarely eats at home nowadays (he eats at his mom’s. Don’t ask). But when I sit with my son, I bring a book or my phone. I’m unable to sit with him undistracted. He strikes up a conversation with me and usually I get annoyed and ask him to eat, or I leave the table completely. I hate that I do this.

I’ve lost a lot of weight recently because I have little appetite and I hate my body. Instead of worrying about me, my husband is pleased and wants me to lose more weight. I’m going on a tangent here. Back to the table conversations. Today, when my son talked, I listened. He was opening up to me about his karate class (which the coach told me about today that he is rocking it). My son is secretive like his dad and I’m so happy that he began to share with me. I thanked him for sharing with me and I told him it meant he trusts me. I explained to him that he can’t trust everyone though (I don’t want him to go from secretive to wide open).

I honestly don’t know where I was going with this post because my son just asked for fruits and I forgot my train of thought.

Anyway, Lebanon is going through a big crisis and it’s estimated that we won’t get out of it until after 10 years. At 1st, I wanted to spend my money like there was no tomorrow because the Lebanese lira was losing its value. I honestly don’t know at what value it is now but the average is 1$ to 20,000 when it used to be 1,500. The problem is the bank gives people their money at 3,900 and people who collect rent have to collect at 1,500. I don’t want to give a news recap about everything going on up until now, but it’s not safe here anymore. There is no war, yet, but there are many robberies and killings, and break-ins happening in my city. I keep jumping between sadness, mindfulness, and anxiety. My biggest concern, after doing everything I can to be grateful and mindful and escape reality when necessary, is how this will impact my son.

I went to the supermarket today and was shocked at the prices. What cost 11,000 almost 2 years ago costs 120,000 today. You do the math. My stomach hurt just seeing the prices.

I’m going to stop writing now because, at this point, I lost my main point. I don’t even know what I’m going to name this post, so I guess I’ll name it random thoughts.

I’m praying for forgiveness, patience, wisdom, protection, peace, and much more. May we come out of this stronger and in one piece.

P.s. the people I interact with are some of the two kinds: either happy-go-lucky people who always see the bright side or overdramatic people who keep acting like we are going broke and are going to starve and start begging on the streets.

Poetry Friday: Insecure Thoughts

Hello and welcome to my blog! Welcome to Poetry Friday. We are going through tough times in Lebanon and things just seem to keep getting worse. My husband is always deep in thought and it seems like he is angry when he is like that. I try to make conversation but it only backfires.

My attempts to help him end up seeming like cries for attention which get pathetic after a while. My attempts at being “the good wife” are not being validated so I feel I’m being taken for granted. Cue more nagging. I’m also frustrated with my 6-year-old who isn’t taking my escapism coping mechanism very well. Who knew binge-watching The Good Doctor and staying on my phone all day would yield negative results?

To make things worse, every time I see a post of someone I know on social media doing something I want to do but can’t, I start to spiral. I’ve been seeing videos of someone who is currently in Turkey. It made me want to look at the pictures and videos of when I went to Turkey with my mom, dad, and siblings (half of them actually). It was fun at 1st, but then I compared it to my reality and, although my reality is pretty good compared to others, especially since I went to the beach 2 days ago and swam for 6 hours, I felt a pang of sadness and longing to go back to Turkey. I’ve been there 4 times and I got used to the concept of going every summer. Then came covid and then the economic crisis, and my husband says we will never go again, but I still have hope. We have the money, he just wants to spend it wisely, especially since we have no idea how long this crisis will last.

All this has me pretty anxious, and being anxiously attached, I cling to my husband for emotional support. He is anxious as well, but being anxiously avoidant, he distances himself when he is overwhelmed. I’m trying to give him space but I still get insecure every time he seems in a bad mood. So just a reassurance, even though I know nobody cares, my marriage is not in shambles, we just both react to stress differently. We will get through this. I just needed to let my feelings out in a poem in order to feel better.

Could you be a dear?

And tell me how you feel

I’m picking up on your vibes

And I don’t like the way they make me feel

So tell me if it’s I

Who’s got you feeling so down

Tell me how can I?

Make a smile from that frown

The voices in my head are telling me

That you’re feeling this way because of me

And the tightness in my chest is making it hard to breathe

I’m trying my best not to, but I keep telling you my fears

I’m afraid that you’re unhappy with me

I’m afraid that you’ll stay and settle for me

I’m afraid that you’ll want to leave

I’m afraid that I’ll want to leave

My cup is running empty

I don’t know how to fill it up

I want to fill your cup if you’ll let me

But I feel like you’re giving up

I don’t want to settle

For a mediocre life

But what if it’s you who’s settled?

For me as your wife

I know you love me

I know it deep down

But my insecurities

Make me hard to be around

I’m always second guessing

Trying to figure out

Exactly what you’re thinking

And it freaks me out

If I keep these thoughts inside

They fester and they grow

But when I let them out

It’s never nice to show

That I’m not confident

In everything I am

That I’m not competent

To be who I am

Am I alone in this or do you also have a partner with the opposite personality traits? How do you communicate your needs?

Peace, love, and joy

I don’t have much silver and gold, not because I was never a fan, but because we couldn’t afford it. I got my 1st silver set from my friend, a necklace and earrings. I got my only gold earrings from my mom when my niece was born. I got a few more as gifts but I never actually bought anything silver or gold, besides my gold simple wedding ring. I was too shy to ask for these things when I 1st got married because I wasn’t used to them. I regret not asking, but the past is the past and now in this economic crisis, I can’t ask anymore.

Anyway, I have accumulated a lot of faux bijoux over the years. I gave away half of them when I got married, but then bought more later on. I haven’t bought any faux bijoux in 3 years. I have a varied collection. I have hearts, butterflies, stars, and other shapes and sizes of necklaces and earrings. I have one bracelet which I rarely wear.

Every once in a while, when I’m feeling girly or when I want to cheer myself up, I put on a necklace and sometimes even earrings. Even though I have a wide variety, there are only a few my husband likes, so I reserve the ones he doesn’t like to when I visit my family or when friends come over. I wear silver when I go to my grandparents, otherwise they would make snide comments about how my jewelry is obviously fake.

I have a necklace that has 3 pendants on it. The 1st one is a circle with the word peace written on it, the 2nd one is a heart with the word love on it, and the 3rd is a star with the word joy on it.

I wear this necklace when I’m severely depressed, like right now. My husband doesn’t like it, and requests I remove it every time he sees it. I don’t know why. It’s my favorite necklace. I love shirts with quotes on them, and necklaces are no different. When I wear this necklace, I immediately begin to repeat the words as I rub the pendants.

Peace

Love

Joy

It works as a mantra to help me tune out all the bad things that happened during the day, like my son breaking my favorite cereal bowl and spilling cereal all over the kitchen (the floor is still sticky after mopping it 3 times), or the drama I created with my husband for no reason, or my lack of energy and my apathy for everything lately, including spending time with family and texting friends, or the economic and fuel and political crisis in Lebanon.

Peace is my ultimate goal. To find inner peace despite everything going on around me.

Love is what I try to give and I’m learning to accept it in all its forms, even if it’s delivered in a love language different than mine.

Joy is the mindset I aim to have. I don’t want to chase happiness like I’m chasing a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. I want to find joy, even in moments of sadness and distress.

With peace, love, and joy, I will now go and be a better parent, a better wife, a better friend, a better sister, a better daughter.

Have a nice day, with peace, love and joy…

Can people change?

Theoretically, I have been on a self-improvement journey since 2016, and I’ve read self-help books, listened to podcasts, done quizzes, made charts, downloaded apps, all to give me the premise that I am changing.

Practically, though, I’m still standing with the set of flaws I started with 5 years ago. I still have the same dissatisfaction with my life, the same intolerance to those around me, and the same, if not more, level of complaining. So have I changed? I don’t think so. I tried. Maybe not hard enough.

I expect people to act a certain way, and when they go off-script, I become angry or unhappy. For example, I sit next to my husband because I feel like spending time with him. He is satisfied just sitting in silence on his phone holding my hand because he is stressed and tired from work and the situation in Lebanon, but I want to engage in conversation. However, there is nothing to talk about because he doesn’t care about what books I’m reading or what shows I’m watching, or how my blog or podcast is doing. I want to know how his day was but he doesn’t like to talk about his day, at least not to me. He may share an anecdote from his day with a friend or his mom or sister, but not with me. He doesn’t care how my day went. He just cares whether our son behaved and ate his meals or not.

I like my life, kind of. I’m comfortable in my house. I have my routines. I thank my husband when he helps me out. I’ve been on my A-game in parenting lately, but when it comes to my marriage, I don’t know my head from my heels. I can tell my husband is unhappy, and I know it’s partly because of my nagging. I want to stop nagging. I want to be a ray of sunshine. I want to make him laugh, but he doesn’t like to do the things I like, like going out and playing board games. We have different senses of humor. To him, riling me up is funny, unless I get too angry and explode.

I don’t know what to do. I want to be a better wife, a better person.

Tell you a secret? Sometimes I feel like I don’t like people at all, and I fear I may be antisocial. I’m reading a book called “How to make friends and influence people” by Dale Carnegie and he said that to get people to like you, you must like them 1st and give them what they want, but I noticed that I’m the type of person that if I see you giving me, I’ll give you back tenfold, but if I feel like you’re not giving me enough or I’m unsatisfied in the relationship, I feel reluctant to give. Or am I? I don’t know…sometimes I feel like I’m a nice person and sometimes I feel so selfish.

So my question to you is:

Do you think people can change?

Because there is a saying that people don’t change, they just show their true colors over time. In that case, what ARE my true colors?

Theoretically, I know if I stop nagging, things will get better, and when I nag, things don’t improve. It just creates drama and heartache. I keep poking the bear, even though I know I shouldn’t. I keep trying to make my marriage superb instead of settling for an okay marriage where we get along more than half the time. Why do I do this? Is it my perfectionism? Theoretically, I know once I accept my husband as he is, he will start to improve, but if only I could stop complaining, criticizing, and condemning him…

I did a poll on Twitter and it was a unanimous yes that people can change, so there is yet hope for me…

Throwback Thursday: Anxiety and Depression Self-reflection

Hello and welcome to my blog! Welcome to Throwback Thursday where I bring back a post I wrote exactly a year ago, sometimes 2 or 3 years ago, on this date, and reflect upon it (after fixing the mistakes using the Grammarly keyboard).

Today I’m reflecting upon a post of self-reflection. How poetic is that? Did you know that when you remember an event, you don’t remember the event, but you remember the last time you remembered the event? It’s mindblowing, right?

Reflect upon a recent victory in your life:

I need this pep talk. I do. I can’t think of a recent victory. Yes, I published a few books during March, April and May, but it’s July now, almost August. Besides, barely anyone bought my books and I can’t help but feel bitter about it.

It’s just my luck. I publish a book and the world goes into chaos a week later. A pandemic breaks out, the economy falls, etc. Chaos began in October 2019, after my 28th birthday, with the political situation and riots. Oh well, we’re supposed to be talking positively here.

Another recent victory:

I watched 4 seasons of The Vampire Diaries and 2 seasons of Gilmore Girls, but that’s hardly an accomplishment. I feel very useless and addicted to dopamine shots because of this.

I read over 30 books in the past year, but I need something recent.

I haven’t had a meltdown in public in over 2 weeks. That’s pretty impressive.

I started reading Anxiety and Depression for Dummies recently and so far it’s quizzing (if you know me, you know I love quizzes). “The negative thinking quiz” and “The distraught behavior quiz,” say I’m a bit anxious, but not too anxious that I need medical attention.” The sad, stressed sensations quiz,” says my body is feeling sad, but not entirely depressed. “The conflicted connections quiz” indicates that I’m a bit isolating myself, which I am, kind of.

What was a recent victory in your life?


I’ve had some victories and losses in the past year, but on the top of my head, I’ve published 10 books so far, between poetry, self-help and autobiographies.

I’ve also read some books and many blogs.

I’m also growing my blog and I even created a podcast.

I’m working on my marriage and my parenting, so there are some small victories there, and a lot of room for improvement as well.

What are some recent victories you have had?