Poetry Friday: Pockets of sunshine

Hello and welcome to my blog! I’m feeling extremely happy this morning. I don’t know how to explain it (the poem below explains my feelings), but I felt this way yesterday too.

I played Ludo and Uno with my son several times yesterday and just admired how he talks and plays and I let go of the neurotic side of me for a bit and I was so happy. Then the moment I tried to read blogs, my son switched to annoying mode and the happiness was gone. Then someone else ruined my mood further and I sulked the evening away.

I even woke up at dawn crabby and went back to bed, not wanting to be productive. Then I woke up at 8am, in a bad mood, but 5 minutes later, my son woke up and he was in a really good mood because he saw what was for breakfast and was so happy for the surprise, so he said.

This instantly put me in a good mood and I’ve been in a good mood ever since. My birds are tweeting. I had my coffee and enjoyed it. I feel like I’ve never been happier.

That’s how it is with me. When I’m happy, I’m on top of the world, and when I’m sad, I’m in the trenches. I know something or someone may come along at any moment and spoil my mood, but I’m riding this high for 2 hours and counting. I was even in such a good mood that I drew my son an astronaut and a rocket (if you’ve read my previous blogs, you know how much I don’t enjoy drawing).

I am only sharing my happiness here on the blog because you are my safe space. The situation in Lebanon is worsening but right now, I’m safe at home, with my adorable son, and I will enjoy this feeling for as long as I can. It’ll probably end when I have to convince my son to finish his breakfast (he eats in intervals) and to do his homework (he hates homework).

Pockets of sunshine

I got pockets of sunshine
Up my sleeve
I use them when I try
To be happy

When I’m living in the moment
And my heart feels so full
I just slow down and own it
Because it feels so good

Don’t feel the need to share
I’m living without a care
For a minute or two
Because pretty soon

I’ll be wrapped up in anxiety
And weighed down by depression
My thoughts will get the best of me
And they’ll come out in aggression

So when I have a moment of joy
With myself, my husband or boy
I will keep it to myself
Won’t tell anybody else

Nobody needs to know
When I heal, I grow
I can count on my fingers the times I didn’t feel inferior
These pockets of sunshine are ethereal*

I gaurd them with my heart, try to lock them with a key
But like a butterfly, they tend to come and go
So I cherish every moment as they come to me
Embracing all the highs and treading** through the lows

  • *ethereal means extremely delicate and light in a way that seems not to be of this world.
    ** treading means walking on or along.

I hope you enjoyed this poem. Another poem will be posted tonight (I wrote it a few days ago and scheduled it for tonight) so stay tuned.

Click here to read more of my poems.

Transformation Tuesday: Controlling my Emotions

Hello πŸ‘‹ reader and welcome to my blog! Today I’m going to talk about my lifelong efforts to control my emotions.

I’ve always been over sensitive, and over emotional. I’ve always been full of insecurities and fears about not fitting in and I’ve always reacted rather than responded (later on I found out I had anxiety). I cried easily thoughout high-school so much that I become known for crying a lot, but when I was at university, I learned that I must bottle up my emotions. By 3rd year university, I hid my emotions so well that my friends would tell me that they were surprised I never got mad. Little did they know that I let out my emotions in the comfort of my dorm, crying and on occasions yelling to let it all out. After I graduated, I got better in public, but at home, everytime I got upset, I cried.

When I got married, my husband was horrified by my tears. They angered him because this was something new to him. He has sisters but apparently they don’t cry, at least not in front of him. It took my husband years to accept that sometimes I just need to cry to feel better, but he still acts like I’m an alien everytime I have a mental breakdown, so I try not to have them in front of him.

Bit by bit, I learned to hold in my tears, but that built up emotion turned into anger. Not being able to be vulnerable and honest about my emotions was overwhelming, cue the raging hulk. Every once in a while, I’d snap, explode, and just rage on like a storm for days. That’s exhausting too.

This rage was making me feel like a bad mother and wife and I knew that I had to deal with my emotions in a healthy way. I read about how to control my emotions, how to focus on self care, healthy ways to let them out, and how to let them go. I’m still working on putting these things into practice. I think that I appear calm to the outside world. But then again, an aquaintance of mine once told me she could see anger festering beneath my calm exterior. I have this constant fear that I’m not enough for my husband and son, and I don’t know how to make that feeling go away. I also still have this feeling that I don’t quite fit into society or belong anywhere.

It’s been a goal of mine since November 2020 to control my emotions (I literally wrote it down on paper). I have no problem identifying, analyzing and expressing my emotions. I just don’t know how to regulate my emotions or let go of negative emotions.

I read that the signs of emotional immaturity are trust issues, lack of adaptive coping (failing to look after the self by not eating well and exercising, lack of communication to friends or family for support and an inability to foresee stressful events), self-blame and the lack of capacity to stay calm.

By all accounts this means I’m very emotionally immature but I’m trying not to be.

November 2020 I failed to control my emotions with my husband and son. I went full on Hulk at every inconvenience.

December 2020 I focused on not losing my cool at my son and halfway succeeded. I don’t even remember how I was with my husband.

January 2021 I went back to trying to control my emotions with both my husband and my son. With my husband, I succeeded 63.5% of the time. With my son, 58.2% of the time.

Now we’re in February, and I’m trying so hard to focus on controlling my emotions with my husband. No yelling or crying. But with my son, I’m yelling till I’m blue in the face, but I’m also making it up however I can. However, my success is 28% so far, meaning I’m failing miserably.

I’m so burnt out and as a mom who has no job to occupy her (I have my blogs and they’re a big help but still) and nowhere to go (in the middle of a pandemic, teaching my son online) and nobody to go with (I’m bound by my sons online hours and his homework responsibilities and the lack of a car of my own doesn’t help).

I’m not giving myself excuses to keep blowing up or breaking down. I need to grow up and mature emotionally and learn to stop my automatic negative thoughts on my own and not crumble every other day.

I’m trying to be okay. I really am. I’m trying not to play the victim. I’m trying to create my own happiness, but everytime I create a bubble and hide inside of it, it bursts and the reality seems too unbearable.

I’ve been practicing gratitude and meditation. I’ve been reading and writing. I’ve been working on my goals, but I still can’t seem to manage to control my own emotions. Instead, they’re controlling me.

My strategy is basically to keep myself busy (with purpose because boredom is a petri dish to negative thoughts), avoid burnout by attending to my self-care (I’m working on it), increase my self confidence by doing a self confidence challenge and focusing on my strengths, create my own happiness, turn anger into compassion towards myself and my husband and son, focus on the positive attributes of both my husband and son, socialize more (difficult to do in these circumstances) so I don’t rely on my husband to give me all the TLC I need, and last but not least work on strengthening my spiritual connection through prayer and reading quraan.

The goal is to become emotionally mature so I can regulate my own emotions and let go of negative feelings and challenge negative thoughts on my own. I even have woeksheets I’m yet to fill out and more worksheets I’m yet to print.

Happy Monday πŸ™ƒ

Good morning!

How are you doing today?

I have a migraine as usual. I’m trying so hard to to go with the flow, not planning, but believe me this week has been bizarre and part of the reason I think is because I’m trying to be spontaneous and not plan. I feel like “who am I if I’m not a planner”? Do you know what I mean?

Anyway, so my efforts to let loose haven’t been so great. I was still using my to do lists some days, and I still have this application called Habit Bull that keeps track of how often I brush my teeth, read Quraan, read from a book, exercise and shower. They wouldn’t let me put more than 5 (if they did I would obviously).

I just finished drinking coffee and eating pancakes. I enjoyed them very much.

I can’t force inspiration. I want to write several blog posts but I keep procrastinating. I had time yesterday but I didn’t have the positive inspiration to do so and I keep getting migraines even though I’m going to sleep early around 10 p.m. and I’m waking up at a reasonable time, like today I woke up at 7:30 a.m. but still I feel I’ve been walking around for the past 2 days with a brick on my chest, so to speak, and I have come to the realisation and hopefully the acceptance that I will never be happy in certain aspects of my life because this is how my life is and I can’t change it.

I know that contradicts with everything I normally say but it align with the serenity prayer:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.

Reinhold Niebuhr

Seriously, there are some aspects of my life that I can’t change, like I can’t control the economic and political situation in Lebanon. You might argue that I could travel but I can’t travel because my husband doesn’t want to travel, so I’m stuck here.

I’m stuck in a life that I don’t want but must learn to appreciate and I have to make myself happy however I can, through writing, reading, watching tv shows, drinking coffee, eating carbs, etc.

So I’m going to do the little things that make me happy since the big things don’t make me happy. There you have it. I have to go now. Have a nice day.

I felt my biggest fear materialize

A friend of mine asked me yesterday “how is not venting going?” and at 1st I thought to myself “I don’t know” but then I started realizing that it’s not going well.

With not venting, my loved ones have no idea what’s on my mind, and then when I get mad at them for not being considerate, I realize that they have no idea what I’m going through because I didn’t say. This is besides the fact that I’m not sleeping well, I have migraines all day, I’m edgy all the time. My ears are ringing, I started getting pain in my legs and my back, my shoulders are tense, I’m spending 7 to 9 hours on my phone a day, and the negative thoughts swimming in my brain are not being challenged because they’re not being vocalized.

I feel more communication problems arise, more resentment and exhaustion. And as my exhaustion increases, I feel that my presence is not that important anymore. I can imagine them fine without me, and it terrifies me because I don’t feel irreplaceable anymore.

I try to vocalize my fears but I don’t see any willingness to listen. Why would they subject themselves to my negative thoughts again? They have been freed of this burden. They have peace of mind, while my thoughts eat at my mind and body and suck the energy from my soul.

I was supposed to write a blog about Aya Sofia today, but my migraine has got me keeping my phone at a distance, so it’ll have to wait until tomorrow.

I just wanted to write that I will go back to venting because it is how I process my emotions. Sometimes I will vent to my husband, like I did just now and he reassured that I am not replaceable. Sometimes I will vent to a close friend, or to my sister like I did on Saturday. Sometimes I will vent on the blog. Sometimes I will vent through poetry. It depends on my mood, energy levels and what I’m venting about.

I think it’s safe to say we are all struggling with our mental health in these circumstances, and I want you know you are not alone. If you need to vent, I am here. If you need validation or advice, please let me know. Any blog topics you would like me to discuss, let me know in the comments.

Update!

I’m finally all caught up with week 1 of October posts. I just saved posts from after that. Won’t be reading them today because I am going to watch a movie now.

Nancy Drew and the hidden staircase

So what did I learn from 3 days of reading blogs?

They are all good advice, things I mostly knew, in addition to personal updates of stranger’s lives, which was really interesting to read.

I’m glad I didn’t write during these 3 days because I was a bit messed up inside, and I don’t like to preach about positivity when I myself felt like I was failing at life.

So today I literally cleaned the dirt off my windows, to get a clearer view, and figuratively, I felt a deeper insight to what was going on inside of me.

I’m always reading so much and feeding my mind with podcasts and youtube videos and blogs and books (currently reading The 7 habits of highly effective people) that I don’t give myself the time to reflect and act on them.

I have this fear of missing out, but not on parties and going out. I feel like I need to fill myself with as much information as I can, because there is so much information out there, it’s exhausting to try to keep up.

I also realized something else in these 3 days. I don’t have many friends, not in the real sense. I think everyone I communicated with, I reached out to them, even my sister.

It’s sad, but don’t feel bad for me just yet. I kind of connected with my son and husband more. Kind of. It’s a process.

I’m basically trying to be a better human, and I’m trying not to complain. I slept well last night, but I still got a migraine from being on my phone too much.

So what to expect from me in my next blogs:

I’m going to lay off giving advice until I get myself together, but I enjoyed talking about Turkey so you will see more posts about my time in Turkey in 2016. I will try to post 1 blog post per day. Let’s see what happens.

My stats suffered greatly from my lack of blogging for 3 days. They were booming and then they shrunk. I expected my friends to keep up with my blogs during these 3 days, but they didn’t so… I know they’re busy but still…

Anyway, I need to remind myself that I’m blogging for me. Here’s something interesting, not blogging made me feel so confused like I couldn’t explain how I feel. Now I feel like my thoughts are stale and stagnant.

I don’t know what I’m doing wrong but I am taking it one blog at a time.

Pros and cons of wearing your heart on your sleeve

To defer to a classic idiom: It’s a day to wear our heart on our sleeve. We use the phrase casually, to mean exposing our true emotions, making ourselves vulnerable and letting it all hang out. We all want others to see us happy, partly because society is unacceptive of mood swings, associates them with craziness, and partly because we want to spite our enemies. But we aren’t happy all the time, are we? Some people have a negative mindset and find the problem in every solution, and some have a positive mindset and find a solution to every problem. That’s not what this post is about. This post is about vulnerability and expressing emotions. Do you wear your heart on your sleeve? Or are you more gaurded and secretive?

Contrary to popular belief, wearing your heart on your sleeve is actually a good thing. Many think wearing your heart on your sleeve is dangerous, risky and most importantly, the easiest way to put your most vital organ in jeopardy of getting severely injured. That is true, if you open up to the wrong people. Some people can fool you. They can appear to be kind and benign and so friendly. Some people have that magnetism where theyare really good listeners and they know how to get you to open up. Then once they get to know you, out of curiosity for the mystery that is you, they either leave you hanging or sell your secrets, or they just ghost you. You served their purpose. They were curious about you and then you gave them what they needed and they move on to their next victim. Some people will only talk to you when they’re bored, to try to find out what’s going on in your life. Some people only talk to you when they are feeling down, try to find out your problems and the drama going on in your life so that they feel better about their own lives. I’ve dealt with all kinds of people, enough to want to isolate myself and never open up again, so I open up on the blog instead. Ironic.

Wearing your heart on your sleeve shows courage. Anyone who says that wearing your heart on your sleeve is a sign of weakness is likely to be someone who has a fear of expressing their emotions β€” even to those they hold near and dear. The thing is, many people don’t know why they do the things they do. They live on autopilot, unaware of the damage they leave in their wake. I’m too aware, of the damage I do and the damage done to me, it gets too much sometimes. Which is why I decided not to open up as much anymore. It’s not working though. Basically I’m avoiding the people I don’t want to open up to entirely. I feel unable to hold a basic how are you conversation while keeping it light. I can’t tell a story without going into too much detail. As a result, I either bore the listening ear or reveal too much or say the wrong thing.

You wear your heart on your sleeve, which means your emotions come deeply and quickly, leading to possible last-minute decisions based on your feelings. You allow your heart to guide you through life, which means you don’t think much about your choices – you just allow life to happen and respond to it. That’s pretty much the root of all my problems. Feeling everything so deeply is both a blessing and a curse. It helps me process my feelings and work on self improvement, but it exhausts me both physically and mentally. Hopefully it makes me more emotionally intelligent.

In order to hide my true feelings from the certain people I don’t want to open up to, without ghosting them, I will try these tactics I found on Google :

1. Place your tongue on the roof of your mouth. ‘This is an exercise used by audiologists and speech pathologists to relax, and it’s also a yoga exercise used to center and calm. ”
2. Watch where you’re leaning.
3. Relax your mouth.

Sounds like mumbo jumbo but I have nothing to lose, right?

Healing isn’t linear

It’s confusing when you don’t know why you feel the way you feel. It’s easy to blame your feelings on the world, on the circumstances, on other people. But we’re adults now. It’s our responsibility to self regulate, to process our own emotions and take responsibility for our feelings. So it’s up to you. You can say “he makes me angry” or “i need to create healthy boundaries with him”.

We all have been subjected to things that have traumatized us, as children or as adults, and it’s hard to just forget. We could be doing fine and then suddenly get triggered by a word and fall apart. Healing isn’t linear. So what’s the cure? Find healthy coping mechanisms. Replace emotional eating with walking. Replace binge watching tv shows with reading. Find what works as medicine for you, and do it. Incirporate it into your routine. There is no magic wand that will make all your trauma disappear. Trauma lives in the body, in the subconscious. You just need to acknowledge that you’ve been traumatized and that you’re in the process of healing.

When you feel a deficiency symptom, do something that would increase that hormone

Can I vent without receiving unwanted opinions?

A lot happened today. Too much to pack in a post. Besides, I don’t want to tell you what happened.

I just wanted to tell you a sentence that was told to me today

When you tell someone about something that happened to you or something someone did to you or for you, you are inviting them to give their opinion about what you said. So if you don’t want people sharing their unwanted opinions with you, stop sharing information with them about things you know they disagree with.

I’m translating from Arabic so these weren’t the literal words

So I will try from now on to pay attention to what I write or say.

I may fail miserably, especially since my blog is basically me venting about my life, fellings and thoughts, but I’m going to give it a try…

Do you agree with the advice I received today?

Do you tend to vent then get shocked when it backfires?

I can’t do this anymore…

This is all too much for me.

Yes, I know the world is falling apart and I’m absorbed in my own personal drama. It feels selfish to be so angry at things that maybe won’t matter in a few years, but maybe they will.

It’s hard for me to let things go, to not take things personally, and when I’m under stress, my mind thinks of all the ways I can flee.

I think about packing my bags and leaving everything and everyone behind. I think about starting over in a new country. And there are other much darker ways I think of to escape my reality, but I settle to reading a book or watching a movie.

This situation in Lebanon is difficult for everyone, but I refuse to be an emotional punching bag, even though I use people as emotional punching bags sometimes.

Is this karma coming back to bite me?

Have I been such a terrible person to deserve this?

They say you settle for the love you think you deserve, so how low must I think of myself…

Is everyone else struggling with their loved ones like I am? Or did they choose more wisely?

I know I will get through this.

I always do.

I just got to be a little dramatic first…