Don’t Let the Bastards Grind You Down

As I type this, I am in pain. I slipped and fell on my kitchen floor today, not fun. Besides that, I’m in emotional pain from a particular individual I work with who is cruel and miserable. Her harsh words triggered a depressive spiral that I haven’t been able to come out of. I’m actually surprised by the level of this depression. It came on suddenly and is painfully insidious. I’m having very dark thoughts and I am finding day to day duties difficult to complete.

I usually find some solace in one of my many hobbies, but I’ve lost interest in most of them. I know this is most likely temporary, but it is still disheartening. I am having trouble in regards to conversing with God, as well. My mind is too crowded with doubts and insults. I try to comfort myself with knowing that no matter what, God does still love me and I’m nowhere near as awful as my mind (and some people) would like me to believe.

I am afraid there is no feel good takeaway in this post, I just cannot summon brightness in the midst of this dark depression. But I will keep holding on, ignoring the lies depression tells me.

Why I Left

This is a difficult post to write, one I’ve debating writing for some time. But recent events have brought new light to bad memories and I feel I should take the opportunity to share my experience, so that it might help others.

I am a survivor of domestic violence. Ten years ago, I dated a drug-addicted, mentally unstable young man who attempted to control my life through various means: threats, emotional manipulation and outright violence. When sober, he was charming and brilliant. When he was in a bad mood or had been drinking or using drugs, he was a monster. Because it could trigger memories for readers who have been there or readers suffering from PTSD, I will spare you the gory details. Suffice to say, it went from a relationship with a coworker to a complete nightmare that had me fearing for my safety and the safety of my family.

I am not sure how I feel about this whole #WhyIStayed/#WhyILeft hashtag thing. Domestic violence and spousal abuse is so much more than you can fit into 140 characters. Hashtag activism will not help this. What will help is a different attitude towards the issue, meaning not blaming the victim and giving the abusers a pass. I don’t know it all, I have never claimed to, but I do know from my own experience that domestic violence is a complicated issue with no one size fits all solution. It affects all economic classes, all social classes, everyone. It causes a strain on our legal system, our medical system and our social systems. The current goings on in the NFL show that it happens to even financially well off couples.

I guess I could tell you all what I learned from the situation, which is that I am a human being deserving of respect, just like you. I am now a much more cautious person, less trusting and I don’t care much for being near drunk or aggressive people. It’s had a negative impact on my mental health that I try to counteract every day. However, it has made me a better health care worker, it’s easy for me to put myself in the shoes of an abuse victim. I find that despite my mistrust, I’m a little less judgmental of certain situations. With all the media coverage on the Ray Rice incident, the prevalent question has been “Why did his fiancee marry him?”. It’s a loaded question. We have only seen one incredibly terrible part of their relationship. And I know that within my own personal experience, I stayed for a while because I felt he needed me. Janay Rice has her own reasons for staying and I personally am not going to judge her for that.

Much like mental illness, you can explain domestic violence clearly to someone who has never experienced it, but it doesn’t mean they will “get it”. There’s no way to express the fear for your life, the mind games, the financial controlling, all of it. I really don’t know how to help the conversations happen, besides the obvious advice of simply starting the conversation. I guess all I can conclude with is that if you find yourself in the situation of domestic violence, you aren’t stuck. It won’t be easy, but you can have a normal life again. And most of all, you are, in fact, an amazing, wonderful person who deserves to be treated well.

I welcome your comments and emails, as always.

Stormy Weather and the Return of the Paramour

It’s been a gloomy past few weeks. Migraines have been sidelining me and just when I think things are calming down, something pops up.

The Paramour and I had a major falling out months ago and we really haven’t spoken since then. The primary reasons for our argument were his alcoholism and his inability to accept my mental illness. I tell myself to forget about him, but once I care about someone, it’s nearly impossible to just turn those feelings off. So when I do run into him at work, it’s always a mess of emotions that I struggle to handle.
I heard from the Paramour’s  co worker that his drinking is worse, to the point he could lose his job. Paramour looks awful, swollen, exhausted- nothing like the handsome, mischievous guy I fell for so long ago.
Besides praying for him, I don’t know what else to do. I don’t know what to do with my feelings for him. I do not want to try to save him-that is his choice and responsibility. I feel like we are both treading water and losing sight of the shoreline.

Rustico

I’m still battling a multi-day migraine, but I wanted to post a review on the second Counter Culture Coffee I tried, which would be Rustico. I found Rustico to be a much “easier” drink than Equilibrium. There were less tangy notes, not to say that Equilibrium wasn’t good, it just had a less sour taste. I found Rustico to be smoother, with a more pleasing body. The aroma, again, was wonderful and it had a great aftertaste. Overall, I’m impressed with both coffees I’ve tried from Counter Culture.

I again freshly ground the beans, but went with my Hario V60 pour over to brew. I have found through all the coffees I’ve tried so far that they all taste better with a pour over brew. It’s definitely an  option to look into if you are serious about your coffee.

I’m also pleased to see that Counter Culture offers decaf options in their coffees. As a bipolar migraine sufferer, too much caffeine can trigger either a manic phase or a migraine, so I have seriously been looking into cutting back on the caffeine, without sacrificing flavor.

Again, if there are any coffees my readers love, let me know! Email me or comment below!

 

Equilibrium

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I’m excited to review Counter Culture Coffee’s Equilibrium today. I want to state for the record, I am not a professional coffee taster/sampler/cupper/roaster/barista. I’m simply a coffee fan looking for amazing tastes. I plan to blog about the coffees that really stood out to me.

Counter Culture Coffee has so many awesome blends and varieties of coffee. It was nearly impossible to pick two to test out. I heard a lot of buzz about Equilibrium, and I also purchased Rustico  (which is next on my review list). First off, Counter Culture is a great resource for all things coffee, They are committed to responsible, sustainable coffee sourcing and to great variety and quality in the coffees they feature. They also have impressive resources as far as learning about coffee, and offer classes on roasting, brewing and more. Subscriptions to the coffees are available and you can also purchase wares and equipment. In short, Counter Culture Coffee is moving fast up my list of favorite coffee companies.

Now, on to the coffee itself. I brewed a single cup of Equilibrium after grinding the beans. The beans had been roasted shortly after my order, so I had great fresh beans to use. I brewed with my Aeropress and tried the coffee without any cream or sweetener (though I never use any kind of sweetener). Equilibrium’s notes are fig and tangerine, and you definitely taste the tangerine on the sour tastebuds. It’s not offensive or too sour, but you definitely get the notes. The fig comes in more on the aftertaste, giving it a smooth finish. The aroma of Equilibrium is ideal and the mouthfeel (a weird coffee tasting term) is great. This was definitely more sour than what I am used to (overall I don’t care for sour tastes) but the fig helped balance it out and a bit of creamer made it more palatable to me. In all, Equilibrium is a tasty coffee with unique flavors that make it stand out from other brands. I am looking forward to trying the Rustico as well as several other choices on Counterculturecoffee.com!

 

Coffee, the Nectar of Life

It’s no big secret that I am a coffee lover. Since I’m allergic to beer (so, so sad but true) and wine triggers my migraines, my refreshment of choice is coffee. There’s really no wrong time for coffee as far as I’m concerned. I’m always interested in finding new coffee brands to try and different brew methods. A few months ago, I reorganized my cupboard because the bags and containers of coffee were taking over. As I was organizing, I thought that it would be a fun project to see just how many different coffees I can try. As far as brands go, I’m not sure how many I have tried at present, but my estimate is 27. As far as brewing, I have four different methods in my home: Keurig, a Hario drip, an Aeropress and an old school percolator. I’d like to try making a kind of Turkish coffee in an ibrik next.

Since trying new coffee brands is my new hobby, I’m going to share my findings with you my dear readers. I think it will be a fun thing to write about, to break up the seriousness of my other posts. In short I have moved on from trying out bath/body products and moved to drinking as many different kinds of coffee I feasibly can. But I would love to hear what your favorite brands and brew methods are! Send me an email at latebloomlisa@gmail.com or just type in a comment below!  

The Return

I’ve been absent for a while, things have been crazy to say the least. For now, it seems my health issues are starting to get under control. My antipsychotic medication reduces my white blood cell count, and as a result, I got a virus over a month ago that I’m still getting over. Add into that one visit to the oncologist to determine what was going on with my blood cells and two broken friendships and you have a recipe for a depressive episode. Surprisingly, I’m doing well mentally. The support I have from my family and (true) friends is amazing and God is always there for me. 

I’ve really made some strides in regards to my own self worth and the impact I allow others to have on me. This has caused me to view a lot of things differently, and I hope to reflect those changes in upcoming posts. The topics range from serious to goofy and I’m excited to start blogging more frequently. Thanks to those of you who reached out to make sure I was ok, I appreciate it!