Thank you!

curlymirimocha In 2012, I started writing online via WordPress after my Mister snapped this photo of me on our coffee date. Curly Miri became an outlet for me to write and overcome my battle with depression.  A lot of my writing is derived from experiences in my first romantic relationship with a man from the age of 16. I left New Zealand to live with him in Washington, fast forward I’m now happy to be back in NZ.

I have now extended my writing to Instagram.   I love meeting new people, and I cherish the relationships with amazing souls I have met in the writing world. As an example, I wrote a blog post about moving into a new home and a reader sent me a painting for our home all the way from New Orleans!  You can find the beautiful work of Nancy Wolfe Kimberly (Gator Girl Art) here.

At times, I fear that allowing you to roam in the realm of my thoughts is a vulnerable gesture on my part. However, it is the genuine connections that you establish with my words I am most grateful for. Thank you for supporting my writing journey. Much love to you all.

Find me on: Instagram and Facebook

Love & laughter, Curly Miri (Miriama C.T.)

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The D Word

Image: Source

Anthea is a Journalism major at university.  Her love of nature, animals and travelling is evident in her home full of fresh flowers, foreign artefacts and her two Labrador’s roaming free in the beautiful garden of her humble abode.

Anthea has a bright and bubbly demeanour, a caring nature and an unspoken sense of intelligence.  However, look closely and you will see sadness in her eyes.  A sense of melancholy that she effortlessly disguises.  She will hug you and make you feel so welcome and loved and yet everyday she struggles to feel the love that she permeates within others.  Each day she battles demons within her mind that tell her she is not good enough, that spark anger and anxiety.  In essence, these difficulties have hindered her ability to thrive in her studies, and have also damaged the core of her relationships with her spouse, family and friends.

The following is an interview with Anthea, offering an undeviating and direct perspective of what it is to live a life that has been overshadowed by depression.
*Names have been changed.

Depression.  What does this mean to you?  When did it all begin for you?

I have had two miscarriages and I believe this is where I began to change emotionally and mentally.  Prior to being diagnosed with depression, I wasn’t entirely aware of what depression as a mental illness entailed.  Depression is to have the desire to live a normal life, striving to be happy but not having the mental or physical capability to do so because the lack of personal strength and overwhelming sadness that suppresses your being.  It is an endless battle of self-doubt and wanting to feel loved so completely but always questioning the motives of those around you.  Depression to me is feeling emotionally crippled.  It is like running a marathon and never reaching the end because of pure and utter exhaustion, and because you’re crying, yelling frantically, tripping over, and being pushed down.  You’re trying to finish the marathon and you’re trying to make it but you’re constantly struggling and asking yourself, “What is the point?”

What has been most difficult for you as you battle your demons?

Hearing loved ones call me crazy.  Having the people I love give up on me.  Seeing other women with babies.  Feeling useless for not being able to have a child.  Losing my friends because I can’t stand to be around them.  Getting out of bed every morning.  Trying to be happy around the people I love so they don’t get hurt or feel sorry for me.  Not graduating with the rest of my university class because I have not been successful with my studies despite previously being an A student.  Sometimes I fall asleep and hope that I won’t wake up.  I even have my funeral planned out because I feel that I will die young.  I have my life insurance set up, this was a difficult process because I realised that I do not have what I truly desired before depression hit me.  I don’t have children to give anything to.  I haven’t been a mother.  What is the point in living to not have what truly matters?  A loving home, a family, a career, and a purpose.  This is what I struggle with every single day within my mind.

Regarding my emotions, when I know I can’t handle or contain my anxiety I do try my best to contain my anger and overwhelming emotions but it is like I’m aware that I’m getting myself worked up but I can’t stop.  I’ll cry endlessly in the middle of a mall, in front of anyone, yell and have an anxiety attack without fully knowing what is happening until much later as I have to also suffer the consequence of my actions.  It is difficult because this is not the person I am and this is not the person I want to be. 

How has depression affected your relationship with your spouse?

The effects of my depression on our relationship have been detrimental.  *Jacob was the one who took me in to see my doctor as my condition worsened.   I couldn’t get out of bed, just unable to move, crushed by sadness in a foetal position crying and wanting to end my life.  Prior to being diagnosed with depression my relationship with *Jacob had suffered due to my episodes of anger, sadness and inability to live in a normal and happy state of mind.

I constantly fought with *Jacob and felt my self-worth was diminishing and our relationship was on an unpleasant plateau.  He told me constantly that he loved me, that together we would work towards a happy and successful life.  My desire to have children has been so strong but I truly feel this will never happen after being diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and now having to overcome depression. 

*Jacob is the love of my life but my mind has been so clouded, unable to see or feel his love the way I want to.  Initially, I always craved for him to love me with everything he had, to not ever give up on me no matter how difficult the situation became.  I just wanted *Jacob to love me and not ever make me feel alone.  I have felt so alone.  It is like being in a room full of people, so boisterous and pleasant but still feeling so empty inside.

My mind kept telling me that he could never love me the way I loved him.  Our relationship has suffered because of the way I have been thinking.  My mind constantly switches to thoughts of no matter how much I try to explain my emotions I always feel like no other can understand what is happening to me or what I am thinking and feeling.  This is a constant battle because I feel judged instead of heard and that what I say doesn’t matter. 

After being assessed by my doctor and being on anti-depressants, *Jacob said he saw a change in my character, that I was back to my usual happy self.  I did feel a change in my thought processes.  I started to notice and enjoy a lot of what I had taken for granted; flowers, reading, smiling, laughing, making love, spending time with loved ones.  *Jacob’s patience and unconditional love has been important in my journey of recovery.

What support systems have been helpful towards your recovery?

I grew up in the Pacific Islands with a culture that has not gathered a concrete sense of mental illness.  A culture that is reserved and deals with issues with the mentality of “Get over it” or “Forget and move on”.   The lack of knowledge within the Pacific Island community is worrying and has not been helpful towards my recovery.  My parents migrated to New Zealand from a Pasifika community that places much pressure on children to perform and provide for the family.  Essentially, my success is my parents success, however taking into account my mental illness I have reached a breaking point.   My parents actually said I’ll get better once I stop caring about the insignificant, and one relative even told me to “Harden up”.

Counselling has been helpful as opening up and talking about issues have been integral in my attempt to overcome my struggles.

My partner, *Jacob has been supportive.  He has been with me to see my doctor and has encouraged me to do what I love and to not give up on my studies or goals in life.  I do my best to do simple things that make me smile.  I love flowers so I’ll arrange them in vases.  I take a lot of photographs of nature and do my best to love, just love.

Where to from now, Anthea?

I feel the road to recovery is an on-going process.  I am grateful for all the support that I have and my only desire right now is to get better and to accept the love and support of those around me.  I must let go of my pride.  I do understand that my mental illness is not easy for *Jacob or my family.  I have been off anti-depressants for two weeks and I feel the need to see my doctor to go back on the medication.  The meds make me extremely tired, however I do feel the meds have helped in the sense of allowing me to have a clearer state of mind.  I just want to be happy and I want those around me to be happy, too.

What would you say to others who are going through depression?

There is support out there for you.  www.depression.org.nz is a website that features a New Zealand sporting legend, John Kirwan who has been through depression.  I have known about his programme for over two years, however it was not until two months ago that I checked out the website, a great help.

Do not give up.  Love yourself and you will be loved.

Thank you, Anthea.

Love & laughter,
Curly Miri

Need A Baby Name

My brother and his Miss are due to have their baby in the month of August and are struggling to find a name for their baby boy.  Many have offered name suggestions such as Micah, Declan, Joshua-none of which they like.

Maybe you can help?

My brother’s name is Anthony, a Sagittarius with a caring, selfless and very bold nature. He has a passion for history and classics, especially regarding the culture of ancient Greece and Rome.  Anthony is loveable has a laugh that can be heard a mile away.

Rebecca is a Gemini and is of a strong, independent, protective and loving nature. She is a perfectionist and is one of the best cooks I know.  Rebecca has a passion for people and she is a lover of the finer things in life.

Hopefully this will somehow allow you to conjure up a few name suggestions.  I am all ears!

Infidelity On Your Doorstep

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A friend, *Michael is having an affair with a married woman.  On the outside looking in he has a promising career, and a beautiful home with a loving wife and children.  He lives a facade of joy with a married woman who also has children of her own.  His moments of happiness with the other woman are overshadowed by a realistic sense of disloyalty and disdain.

The following interview encompasses only one perspective of a man’s infidelity.  I was with an unfaithful spouse in a previous relationship so I was unsure of how I would feel about what Michael had to share, but I still had to ask.

This interview is a curious glance into the life of a man having an affair.

*Names have been changed.

The Interview:

How did you meet the other woman?

*Lisa was my high school sweetheart.  At one point we contemplated marriage however my parents didn’t approve of our relationship so we went our separate ways.  

When did the affair begin?

Five years ago at a party, I saw Lisa out with our mutual friends.  We partied all night together and I ended up in her bed while her husband was out of town.  We’ve been seeing each other on and off again for the last five years.  In the last two years we’ve seen each other once a month as she lives overseas.

Why are you having an affair?

The feeling of being with another woman gives me a sense of excitement and thrill.  My wife and I, we’re complete strangers in our home and we haven’t even slept in the same bed for over a year.   I’ve always fantasized about having sex with Lisa from when we were together in high school.  It’s not always about sex though, we can talk for hours and we make each other laugh.  We share moments like these that are lost with my wife.

Do you ever think about the consequences of the affair?

Yes, of course.   I know that I could lose my family, my wife and everything that I own like my house, but I can’t stop.  Lisa makes me  feel so much of what I don’t ever feel with my wife and at the end of the day she goes back to her life and I go back to mine.  It’s a convenient relationship.  Lisa works a high profile role in government and if our affair ever became public the implications on her career and her personal life would be drastic.

How do you feel about your wife?

Of course,  I would do anything for her and our children but in any relationship there are four important concepts of success: money, sex, compromise and communication.  I know that I cheat on my wife because our marriage doesn’t have any of these four aspects, it never has.

What does the future entail for you and Lisa?

I dont’ see a future with Lisa as she has her own career, her husband and children.  I could say even though it sounds blunt, that I’m only with her for the sex, the thrill and convenience of the relationship we have together.

Do you feel like you are living two separate lives?

Indeed.  It does get tiresome and my stress levels have sky-rocketed as I’m constantly lying to my wife.  I do feel a sense of guilt but obviously its not enough to make me stop.  I just can’t stop.

Where does your family and her family come into all of this?

Nobody knows about our affair.  Lisa and I have discussed ending our affair because we know it’s not right and we both have careers that we need to focus on.  

Will you tell your wife about the affair?

Probably not.  At times I wish she would just find out so  we could get over the fake charade of a marriage that we display to our family and friends.

If you could go back ,would you do anything different?

The problem is, Lisa has always been on my mind since high school.  She was the girl I wanted to marry.  I look at my wife and I see a stranger and I wonder how long I’ve been living this lie.  I know that this affair will cause a lot of damage, but I also know that my relationship with my wife needs to end regardless of this affair because our marriage is unhappy, and unhealthy.  However, I know that this does not justify having an affair.

Why are you still with your wife if you are unhappy?

Our marriage is convenient.  People look at us and think that we’re the perfect couple, living in a beautiful house with two children and two dogs.  I only married my wife because she fell pregnant with our child at the age of eighteen and I felt obligated to be a man and step up to the role of fatherhood.  I’ve had a successful career for the past six years and I’ve built a home for my family, and I don’t want divorce to take away all that I’ve worked hard for.

Where to from here, Michael?

I know that my relationship with Lisa has to end.  I also know that I can’t keep lying to my wife or stay married to her.  I’m meeting Lisa at the end of the month and although I’d like to say that I want to finish our affair, it’s difficult because every time I see Lisa I’m reminded of  so many happy memories we’ve shared together.   Lisa has asked me to leave my wife and has said that she’ll leave her husband but there is too much at stake.  I can’t just throw away the five years we’ve had together.  I just can’t let her go.

Love & laughter,
Curly Miri

Curly Sock Bun

I’ve seen a lot of girls with straight hair rock the Sock Bun and always wondered if it would work with my curly hair.

A tutorial for the curious by MrKate

I didn’t realize how easy it was to complete the hairdo using only two hair ties, a sock and a few bobby pins.  After about a minute my Sock Bun was complete and left me feeling quite elegant.  An updo that I would wear out to dinner.

So yes, works great with curly hair!

Love & laughter,
Curly Miri