May 29, 2018

Nostalgia

I'm tired of adulting. Do you feel the same way too?

Heard of stormy rains and floods happening in India and instead of feeling sad, I actually kind of miss the whole shebang, that my good old days as a student.

People often say, do not dwell on your past or look back. Work on your present and your future will come out just fine. But I say why not. If me remembering my past brings me peace and joy and a little sadness, why not dwell on it for a while there. having spent my entire life, minus 10 years, in the middle east, my love affair with the rains is something I reminisce always.

The prayer bells of my neighbours at 4am in the morning and listening to their puja...
The rain beating down on my window...
Listening to the sound of drizzle ...
The smell of fresh wet earth...
Standing on my balcony and looking at all the trees and plants...
MAking and drinking hot milk tea and feeling all fuzzy inside...
Aaah! What a life it was!

I have no complaints with my present life except that its missing something. Something vital I feel at times. I cant open my windows for the next few months as its going to get unbearably hot. There are very few trees. And whatever gardens are there, its filled with super noisy kids and crying children and frustrated parents and it's just boring.

Everyone seems tired and pissed. Being an adult sucks. You have to be intelligent, you have to be on your toes serving your boss at work or your family at home. As we get older, we mature and lose the silliness we had for life. People are lost in their mobile phones. That's their only escape I feel. Looking at pictures and videos or chatting.. trying to escape their demanding reality and seek solace in a digital world.

My escape is my memories, which I have stored away in some secure part of my conscious mind. Every time I feel the pressure is too much...I close my eyes and drift back to 1997. 20+ years ago.
I loved that year. Even though I had loads to study and loads to do the entire day, I dedicated an hour to watch the sunset. I dedicated a few minutes at night to watch the starry skies. I got up early to sip tea on the balcony. I even stood to listen to the neighbours' bhajans and puja paat. If it rained, I would stand by my window and dedicate time to listen to the showers. I went for walks when I could, just to see the trees dancing in the wind. I visited the market to watch smiling women selling vegetables and fish. People would smile and talk. It is not so here.

No one smiles at you. No one tries to strike up a conversation.  Middle eastern life can totally suck. With all the crimes happening, people just avoid contact. Sad really. This world is all about working, earning money, resting and getting stuck in traffic jams and losing half your body water content on a daily basis. People are so tied up with their busy lives, that they are literally angry all the time.

Sometimes when I'm at a beach, I want to just lie on the sands and roll around. I want to throw sand at my husband...I want to build sand castles, I want to scream and sing a hideous song. But I cant. I'm 40 years old and I cant act like a child anymore. The people around dictate how I should act. Its the same in most places. Not just here. 

4 years ago, I had been to this beautiful beach in Mangalore. If it wasn't for my dad who kept saying, we need to hurry back home, mothers waiting over and over again. It would have been perfect. They are not beach people. 

The wind was right, the tide was low, the beach was like a mirror...will insert a pic when I find it. Absolutely amazing ...which had to be cut short as my dad had to get back to my mom. Like I said,

Adulting sucks.








May 1, 2018

Silent RA

Sometimes I just want to scream out loud...
sometimes I want to know if anyone can really see me...
Sometimes the pain is too much to bear...
As my body shows no signs of repair.

It's not fair I kept thinking every night in bed...
what has life wanted but haven't said?
I crave for love from my own...
But they have failed miserably
And left me alone.

I was brought into this world with love and wantedness
But the very same could care any less.
I sought to love with my man...
And my family put my existence on a ban.

And as if that was not enough abuse...
Life gave me more challenges to accuse.
It told me you are strong and brave...
You will but only crave.

So now after decades of this so-called life...
I'm but an empty hole inside.
Now I battle with myself everyday...
Wondering what is all this trouble and struggle going to pay...

..................................................................................
 I didn't complete my poem that day. My husband came in and I had to serve lunch. Actually, I'm glad I didn't complete it. Maybe this will serve me as a reminder. A reminder that everytime I hit rock bottom, I manage to dig myself out, all on my own.

I had not been feeling well for over a month. A regular cough and a bad chest infection had been driving me crazy. Plus recovering from it made my Rheumatoid arthritis worse. I was in pain 24/7 and always stiff. I couldn't speak it out to my husband as he has heard it a whole lot of times, me talking about my pain and complaining of loneliness. and he is now almost immune to it. That makes it worse for me, as I seek support and don't always get it. Which means I have to manage my suicidal thoughts and try to get out of it on my own.

Anyways, I spent a day with my nephew and sister at home and repeated my craziness and story. She at least has the decency to keep quiet while I vent out and once I'm done ranting, I'm good.

The very few things that cheer me up are beaches and children who are super excited to see me.

Anyone out there going through pain or feeling down, remember all this will pass. These thoughts these feelings...it will all pass. Give yourself a chance to resolve it. It might seem like the end of the world at times but then comes a new day. I always tell myself that It's hurting today, in a week the pain will subside a bit and I will be normal again. This fatigue and stiffness will pass. I tell myself, if I can bear this much pain and go through life like a normal person, I can definitely get over these negative feelings and seek positivity or some form of sanity as well. I tell myself Im strong. I tell myself Im the captain of my broken ship but I can definitely sail through these waters I can repair myself to some extent to stay afloat. If no one is there for me, I can sit and talk to God. I'm not ashamed or feel weird to cry and talk to God. I tell him he hasn't done justice to my life and then I can hear it...in my mind.."Sweetheart, I love your voice when you call out to me. I will set things right but I need you to have faith. Don't shake that faith off. This is happening for a reason and you will see why, when the time comes."

So don't lose hope. I was down in the dumps for a month. Contemplating the forbidden. But then the sun shone through and I was lifted from that dark space. Tell yourself you are strong. I tell myself this when I have no energy to even sit straight in a chair.

Look in the mirror...

Repeat...

I'm a strong woman. I'm brave. I can do this. I have seen worse, this cant be that tough. You are better than the way you feel.

Then I get up and go about my day. Not a single soul ever gets to see me at my weakest point. Everyone I know says the same thing...You are a strong woman. You can handle so much. MAy God give you more strength!  But deep inside I want to held n arms, held close to someone who kisses me a million times and says baby, I'm there for you. Its ok to cry. its ok to be less brave. Anyways, I'm okay. Everyone cannot feel bad and sad for you everytime you have an episode. It's my silent war with myself, my mind.


















Apr 25, 2018

Fighting my Demons

Scars

© Laura R


Published: October 2015


Here on my arm lies a mark that I made.

When I was so low, I cut with a blade

To punish my body for being a mess,

Though here is my testament, I must confess...


That seeing these scars left on my arms, legs, and chest

Makes me realize I was in a place of no rest;

I feel guilty inside for leaving this token.

Now I will see and remember that I was so broken.


But seeing these scars helps me see

That I survived so much trauma and now I am free.

So I ask you now to stand with me and fight,

To show all these demons what they're doing is not right.


You won the battle of good versus bad.

You are still alive and are no longer sad.

Here on my arm lies a mark of survival.

I got through my hate and beat my self-rival.




Source: https://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/scars-18

....................................................................


Demons Of Darkness
© Olivia B

Published: September 2015

She stood on the bridge 
In silence and fear
For the demons of darkness
Had driven her here

They cut her heart 
Right out of her chest
Making her believe 
That the demons knew best 

They were always there
Sometimes just out of sight
Waiting in the background 
till the time was right 

These demons were destructive 
Knocking down the life she knew 
Hating everything about her
She hated herself too

These demons can't be seen
But they're far from fairy tales 
They live inside your mind 
Their evilness prevails 

So on the bridge, she stood
About to end the fight
Then she stopped and thought
I'll fight them one more night



Source: https://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/demons-of-darkness

...............................................................................

Feb 28, 2018

Rheumatoid arthritis and diet

When I was first diagnosed  years ago, I was not put on any specific diet and started right away with Plaquinal. I will not  be talking about the various treatments I have had, as those who suffer from it, know them by heart. The treatments given across countries is almost the same and except for Humira, I tried the rest and finally gave up.

When these medications were working no more, my husband was like...where you have dedicated 3 years of your life to this treatment, why don't you give Ayurvedic treatment a chance. So that we know we have tried everything that's out there and nothing worked. Whenever I even mentioned Ayurveda treatment, my Doctor would just snap and say that line of medicine is all hocus pocus and don't even mention it here in my office.


I don't see the hatred here. My life in 3 years was non existent. I wasn't able to walk. I broke up with every friend because I as angry. Angry with my disease, angry with my life, Angry with God. I was angry, depressed and  I could barely move, I just wanted to die. That could not be called living. That felt like wrath.....


Moving on, I went to India , consulted an ayurvedic doctor. She explained there is no treatment to stop or end this disease but we can slow down and with proper strict diet, maybe you could salvage a few joints and prevent further damage. Again I will not be discussing the medications, as its best inspected and treated by one. Some places they will try to loot you, some places they will just give you the medications.


The most important  thing about ayurvedic treatment is the diet. She told me if i abide by the strict diet , I could help in reducing the symptoms. She told me it will take a year to actually work but since there are no side effects to it or not as much as western medications.....


The first thing to stop is Yogurt / curds. She said any yogurt products like in the middle east we have Laban, and greek yogurt and lassi and what not...she said just stop it. She said I could drink only butter milk. When they churn to make butter, the liquid that's left when making the butter... that has superb cooling effects and that I could drink that as much as I wanted. But no whey , no lassi.


The thing with yogurt is, and this is not a scientific explanation, yogurt is very cooling. Plus with the prebiotics, its one healthy natural dosage of nature you can eat to add to your health. Ayurvedic medications are heaty. As in they make the body warm inside....and like me if you live in a country where 55 Celsius is the normal temperature... you are literally being cooked inside and out. Buttermilk is not available outside Asia I think. AT least in the middle east, its not available.


Second thing she asked me to cut out from my diet was red meat. I'm guessing it includes lamb, mutton, beef ,organ meat,etc etc. She was like it would help you immensely if you quit this totally. But just in case, you dont have the power of will, you can have just a small portion once a week. Now with RA, most become anemic. I'm anemic too. Iron deficiency Anemia. Even though I have been taking folic acid with iron mix, I'm forever anemic. I'm in my menopause right now and still am anemic. Red meat provides that yummy portion of Iron but she was like look for vegetarian substitutes as well or just pop a pill to make up for it. We cant have it all right ! So now I eat meat once in  weeks or when I feel the Vampire in me will turn me and force me to feed on someone. Also....it all comes with experience. Like I might have to indulge in a few brands and have flares before I realize I cannot eat that brand anymore. As in frozen chicken or sometimes even fresh meat or chicken. I'm guessing it has to do with the feed. Sometimes I don't have flare ups at all. and sometimes, just one bite will lead to me blowing up like an air balloon.  This goes for chicken too. She asked me to eat just a portion of chicken as well. And the same math applies with chicken. Some brands I can eat without an issue and some I just cant.


Now She asked me to strictly rule out canned and preserved stuff. No spam , no sausages or links, no hams or mortadella, nothing smoked, nothing cured. She told me that this I had to give up. Luckily I had this one spam I liked and wasn't eating the other things at all. SO giving up on that one product was easy for me. Sometimes, I do feel this urge to eat a bite of sausage or a rasher ...but then the pain has always been unbearable. No canned fruits or lets simply put it...if its in a can..its a no no.


NOW lets come to the part that shocked me She said should cut cheeses and dairy products. She said go for skimmed milk, which I presume she said looking at my curves ahem ahem......But she asked me to skip cheeses. I eat a bit of cream cheese in my breakfast and right now slice cheese once a week. 


Vegetables that are gassy... there was a list alright... I don't remember half of it...But it was any kind of beans. Kidney beans, chick peas, garbanzo beans mean the same, green beans,yard long beans....All these beans are gassy. Anything that's gassy should be avoided and not eaten. Even lentils like urad dal , chana dal should be avoided. But since I already follow a list of food that includes nothing, I do eat a few dals that I truly love like mung beans or moong dal, horse gram, and masoor dal or pink dal as I call it. When I prepare tempering for these dals I include - Ajwain or caraway seeds( this I boil with the dal) , Cumin seeds or jeera seeds , black mustard seeds or rai, And among a few other things Hing or Asafoetida. These  3 things will get rid of the gassiness within you when you eat these things.  I even add jeera or cumin seeds in my boiling rice water and you can munch on fennel seeds or saunf or drink ajwain  or caraway seeds steeped in hot water. It will help in easing up the gas issues.


Of course, i9t goes without saying, that any kind of soft drinks like Pepsi and the likes of it... should be completely avoided. Even if you don't have RA, its not a healthy drink anyways. But if you are addicted to having those, cut them down slowly... like you would taper your prednisolone doses. Once in a blue moon ok....but cut down on junk food and other things. 


This advice I follow as strictly as my mind allows. Sometimes I indulge. I'm a human being after all and being a foodie doesn't help even a bit. But I don't deny myself anything. Once in 4 or 6 months, I will eat KFC. Or maybe a burger instead. So I try to buy things by reading their ingredients. Thanks to Oprah, in one of her episodes, she mentioned things you should simply not buy. Look for those few ingredient names like hydrogenated anything or artificial flavourings or fake butter or what not, I read my ingredient list and buy products which don't have them. even the burgers that I buy , I make sure have only natural spices and stuff and without preservatives. Again...I have tried quite a few brands before I declared these are RA friendly for me.


Its not the end of the world, and my heart goes out for those who are going through severe symptoms. i have been there like I mentioned initially. To the point of wanting to commit suicide to end it all and Im the kind of person who can take a lot of pain. Im not the kind who will easily complain of illness even to my husband so skip out on chores. This ayurvedic treatment start actually producing results after a year and half. I have to get these medications from India on regular basis which is pretty difficult for me but Thankfully being an Indian helps. My wonderful friends always get me my supply when they visit. This way I can take them regularly. There are more syrups or kashayams as they say it to be taken, but there is a limit to how much medications can be brought in your luggage here. So I stick to the 3 meds which I take without fail. 


After a year and half, I finally started walking again. I finally could eat with my right hand regularly, my mouth could open wide enough. Im thankful to God, Alhamdullilah, for being there for me when I lost all hope. Im even thankful for my wonderful husband, Mehmood. The man has been my rock. He never ever complained when I lay immobile for months. he supported me and loved me without bias through it all. He is always checking my shopping cart and making sure I dont buy junk. He makes sure I go all vegan when I have my flares. He cut down on meat and stuff so that I wouldn't lose control. 

Feb 18, 2018

Series and dramas

We all have those shows we love to watch. We love the way they make us laugh or reminisce  or the morals they teach or the fact we need something to get through the day.

My first series is a Kuwaiti series. Its not very new and if you can understand arabic..it is a must watch. The series talks about people and their relationships. Each one with their own take on what they feel life should be. One being about a couple who haven't got pregnant over a long time but are content and so much in love. I loved her character . She is a wonderful woman, classy, puts her husband and his family above herself and has so much love and attention to shower among the relationships around her. 


I want to be so much like her. Poised and well spoken, soft and dispersing of beautiful love every now and then in doses. In the series, an old flame takes over their marital bliss and destroys everything to get her ex flame back. The man gets weak in an instance over a woman thrusting her good looks and beautiful empty words of love and he gives up on wife and he tumbles onto a cross path when he , being a writer and poet, cannot distinguish between true love and infatuation. 


I couldn't imagine being left by my husband over another woman. Its a nightmare. Especially if you don't have anything else in the relationship like children. Its so easy to get bored and move on. She too faces this very fear and life gives her another shot at it and what a wonderful change it turns out to be.


The one thing I always tell myself is, love yourself. Admire yourself for the truth you have in you. Focus on doing good deeds and on the deeds and goodness of others. We strangles our mental existence with what rubbish jealous people pour into our lives. Instead of letting it go and keeping our calm, we tread on wards to spin the tempest of lives. But what is life if not testing us during storms. How are we to know what our strengths are if we have not searched for it during that harsh 10 seconds of brutal rage that is life struggles. 


The series showcases another stubborn and hard man to love, who is a dad to 4 kids but thinks showing his love is a form of weakness of a man.


 It shows a couple, wherein a wife simply doesn't respect her husband and appreciate the love he has for her and every time he professes his love or excitement with a new venture, she ignores him, shuns him and utters not a single word of courage or positivity. A woman who doesn't value the love she gets from a faithful man. 


It showcases another woman, who is greedy and jealous and envious of other women. Simply because her purpose in life seems to be only to bicker, ruin the lives of others around her rather than working on her own family. In the end she loses it all...and her demons take hold the better of her.


The series is simply 30 episodes and is a beautiful. It gives one a glimpse of the kuwaiti lifestyle. I must the one thing that the series didn't portray the number of maids. hehehhehhe... Its the truth. 


I putting the url below... incase if anyone is interested..to watch it. Its in arabic.


https://shahid.mbc.net/ar/series/ذكريات-لا-تموت/series-227156


Dhikrayat la tamoot. 

Means Memories never die.

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