There Will Be Days You Will Feel Lost

Deborah Ruth Ross Memorial Service 2019 First Baptist Church Barnesville Georgia. Loved you yesterday, Love you still, Always have , Always Will

Today I sit here on the 15th Floor looking out over the cityscape. I can’t seem to find my groove. I was headed to Downtown to meet a friend for lunch at her work. She could not make it, so I decided I would putter, sip on a cup of coffee, and rifle through my files for an unfinished project. With my morning plans settled, I picked up my phone to check the time, and of course, social media. The Captain alerted me to the dog and cat that he and I share this apartment with decided they would make a mess. It was not to be a quiet morning. When all crisis was averted, and the phone stopped ringing, I headed to the shower and made some coffee and a little breakfast afterward. I sat down with my laptop to dig through google drive for my unfinished novel.
After I located it, I read the chapters to see if my characters would begin speaking to my imagination again. There was no such luck. So I did what any self-respecting author would do…. Text my co-Author and sister Leona Windwalker/ Loretta Johns. It was a short chat she has edits she needs a hand with. I am glad to do them, but they won’t be ready today.

Here I sit with a half of a day over waiting on The Captain to come home for lunch. That will be an hour that I can snuggle and distract myself from the reality of my situation. For you see, I am lost. I am displaced. Inside of me is deep feelings which are stunted. It is not as though I don’t want to deal with them. I am, after all, a counselor with an arsenal of healthy coping skills. But these feelings refuse to submit themselves to me at the moment. There is no quick fix. Numbness and this slightly uncomfortable feeling is something that I have to walk through. It is not going to be rushed. I feel the disquiet in my very being. I pray on purpose, despite that the feeling doesn’t let up.

So today, it will just be what comes is what comes. The dog will need to walk, and after my sweet gets home from work, we will go to the store, grab some hot wings for dinner and eat in bed. We have our thing. We will watch Star Trek The Next Generation. Then it will be time to sleep. I dread that moment as well. All distractions are gone, and grief comes to greet me as I close my eyes. If I am lucky, I will sleep. If I am not, I will still sleep with the help of a prescription.

The Bottom line is I miss Her. The presence of Deborah, the reality of her, was more significant than I realized. It wasn’t that I took her for granted. We talked every day. It’s not something you think of because you are bouncing along in life with the good and the bad ….. But not so bad because you have that unfailing support. It was beautiful. As strange as this may sound, her loss is when I need her the most. Just to see the words on paper, there is no way to convey the weight and meaning to them.

Deborah Ruth Ross and Stacia Barnesville Georgia . We both loved Yellow. Deborah more than me.

The Holy Spirit in me assures me there is a purpose just as Ecclesiastes says to everything there is a season. What purpose does this have? I do not know. I can only say that I feel she is worshiping in Heaven and still interceding in agreement with Yah for my life and those she loved.
But despite that today, I am lost just wandering around in these 24 hours clueless, somewhat lifeless inside.

Grief is not a linear thing. It is not pretty, and for those around you that are not affected, they may feel helpless to comfort you. They most certainly feel scared when you don’t want them to comfort you. When you are quiet and tears stream down your face, a simple I am with you, a hug or a hand on your back is the thing we need. Those silent moments or moments of gut-wrenching sobs of tears are sacred, for we must feel the pain it’s all we have left at the moment. We can’t enjoy the memories just yet. And even when we do remember the good times we the survivor may laugh and smile only to meet with tears again.

Deborah’s kind of love you will not find every day. She was a very rare individual, and we were benefactors. Someone and something that supporting that glorious can not be grieved lightly or easily.
So when you feel this way or your friend or loved one is grieving, know that this is part of it. I have no doubt because I have Yah, a loving husband, children, siblings, and friends that I will find my way forward. It just doesn’t compute right now. It is a faith statement.

Shalom
Stacia
TheCoffeeHouseCounselor.com

The Day the Whole World Went Crazy

Deborah Ross holding Stacia thecoffeehousecounslor.com Circa 1971

I was going out on medical leave and was pretty much asleep when the World decided to close. The first few weeks of Covid 19 quarantine and world closure found me sleeping from complications from a TBI and resting from the stress of a hostile work environment that caused the complications. I did not notice the change at that point . 

Then when I returned to work it found me working from home. I know that during that time I was blessed not to be laid off  and remain thankful for it .  However I did the only thing you can do when the world around you is turned on its ear. I looked to my environment and began to take stock of things. Losing my sister Deborah just enforced to me that Family is the most important thing. My sisters and I talked more because losing one makes it only more poignant . I let the grief out. I did not have to show up for people, all my work was through email so I made myself feel .  I lost my parents to age and that carries its own grief. However I can say that it matters how a person dies because that affects how one grieves.

My beloved sister was 18 years older than I. My mom took on me and my twin brother as infants. The baby of the family was 15 at the time with Deborah being 18. My mom tells me that Cheryl who is 15 years older than me wanted a baby brother and Deborah wanted a baby sister. With my parents having nearly grown kids my two sisters were only too happy to have two more in the house . Deborah was a mom and a sister. She was my Champion. Deborah was sensitive and shy as Cheryl was bold. 

My mama was a good woman but she was critical. I realize now that is from the hardships she endured . Deborah was my shield from it.  My twin had more health issues and mama also favored boys over girls . So my sister again was my barrier and my go to.  Deborah did not finish high school. She did later return for her GED. She worked because our family was poor. She helped me and my nieces and nephews with the things that were needed. Our family helped each other. Deborah laid down her life for the care of me and many others. That was just her way. 

We could not afford lavish vacations or any vacations for that matter. So what would my sister Deborah do? She would put up the pop up camper my mom bought second hand in the back yard and get us a cheap pool . We moved into the back yard and we were on vacation.

Later on my mom bought this big glass pig and our family put all the change we found and earned and it was enough to get us to Florida with mama’s used Grand Torino Station wagon and a second hand pop up camper.  

Deborah inherited genetics that led to a heart attack before retirement age. We almost lost her a few times. She always managed to pull through. She went on social security and moved to Government housing. My husband and I never had much money and when we were called into ministry my sister gave me 100.00. That was a big gift . I did not want it yet she made me take it. Later as our finances stabled out I was able to send her money. She would never say anything but I knew and would do what I could. It felt so good to do for her , the person who gave up for me. Even though my life was not to be near her she traveled with me. With the invention of video chat and facetime I could take her anywhere. I always got cards from her on birthdays and just because she was thinking of me.. I knew without really being conscious of it that I had Deborah’s loving cocoon around me. When I came home to visit our thing was HGTV and busting up our diet plan. I would go to the store and stock up for her , with her protesting the whole time. But it was something I could do for her.  She did not think she was owed anything but I understood that she deserved the whole world if I could have given it. That is how much I love her . That is how much we all loved her. 

Finally Home Deborah Remains with Mom .Daddy and my Brother Warren on the Opposite Side. Our family is no stranger to loss.

 Oct 23,2019 Deborah Ruth Ross was killed in an auto accident. I was told at work . I hit my knees. I could not stand. It was God’s grace that I made it home. Oct 23,2019 is when my world suddenly stopped making sense. Oct 23,2019 is when for me the world suddenly went crazy. That’s all I can write for right now on the subject.  But this has a purpose. First, using what little presence I have online to honor my sister and two to let those of you out there know that behind this beautifully designed WordPress is someone who is human and just like you suffering. Someone whose life may have beautiful surroundings but is far from picture perfect. I am not a world renowned Counselor , instagram star, just a lady who is half a year away from 50 who loves people and wants to make things brighter.  Just someone who wants you to know that you are not alone . There is no special formula or pill that can fix this messy life. Just , you me and God on this journey . But the good news is I know Jesus makes beauty from Ashes . Right now for me I’m still in the Ashes season where Deborah is concerned. 

Shalom 

Stacia A. Martin TheCoffeeHouseCounselor.com

Hello Old Friend

Good afternoon, It has been a while. I took an outside job as a Veteran’s Service officer. It demanded much of my time. While working as a Service Officer my mother died, I was in a car accident and sustained a TBI and spinal damage. As if that was not enough my sister was killed. It has been a rough year. I hope that what little audience I had on Facebook and blog posts can forgive me. I look forward to writing again and for helping others. I have new-found skills to add. I hope to redesign the page and add a Veterans corner. My husband or The Captain as I call him is a disabled veteran. He is an Operation Enduring Freedom Veteran that served in the Air Force. Although I do not work as a Service Officer any longer, I have the skill to assist freely any veteran to obtain their disability but it is hard work.

Photo by Allie on Unsplash

Grief or shall I say complicated Grief has been a constant companion this last year . One could say that I have at least earned a Life Diploma on the subject as there is no school that can teach you about devastating loss.

Ill end my blog post with It is good to see you again and look forward to updating my blog skills and fellowshipping with you.

Sincerely,

Stacia A. Martin TheCoffeeHouseCounselor.com

CPTSD Counselors are not Immune

CPTSD

Some of you may know me because I am your Facebook friend.  A few  of you may know me by my Facebook page or discovered my blog.  If you are just finding me I am Stacia A. Martin , owner of The Coffee House Counselor. I am also the face of CPTSD. Counselors are not immune to suffering either.

CPTSD
CPTSD

Yucel Moran

A  year ago I became really ill. It was thought to be a life threatening disease and so I was sent to counseling to walk through my new reality.  It was there that I was diagnosed with CPTSD.  Not only was my body ill but my spirit was suffering as well.  I am a survivor of sexual abuse, domestic violence , a serious accident with fatalities and several losses (deaths) of key support figures in my life.  Those things add up.

I have had lots of counseling for these issues over the years , but the heart and spirit heals on its own time table and only as much you grow to handle the new reality of walking in wholeness.   I recently shared two  videos on face book and I will put it here as well. I hope that these videos bring you hope and healing that  you are not alone.

Keto Top 5 Reasons I Like It

Keto
Top 5 Reasons I Like It

Keto Diet is now all the craze and the rave. I have been following the lifestyle for almost a year. While weight loss is the target, I began keto for serious health reasons. Keto has been very good for the inflammation in my body and of course taking off 3o lbs has helped garner me a new wardrobe. My keto journey has not been linear. Weight loss rarely is. But keto is always there like an old familiar friend. I always see results when I am focused. Here are the top reasons to do keto.

Five

1 .You count macros not calories
2. If you are exercise shy you will still lose the weight
3.The food choices are simple
4. The Keto Support Groups are amazing
5.  My husband likes the choices on Keto

1. Macros are stand for Macronutrients. There is a simple mathematical formula to follow on Keto. As you lose you can adjust your macros. The formula for Protein, Carbs and fat is very simple. You take the number of inches you are over five ft tall. You then multiply that by 2.3. Then add that to 45.5 and that is your protein. Here is an example of my macros.

I am 5ft 4 inches. So I take 4x 2.3 =9.2
9.2 +45.5 = 54.7 Protein
Carb 20 grams

Fat should be calculated two times your protein 109.4 grams which can be adjusted up or down for hunger.
(If you are male use 50 instead of 45.5 in your formula)

2. When I became ill exercise could not be part of the plan. But I had a wonderful response to keto, in weight loss and inflammation, so that I am now able to walk. So if you are having mobility issues keto can give you a measure of success without heavy workouts.

3. Simply by googling or looking on Pinterest, one can find recipes and visuals aides to the keto lifestyle. There are plenty of infograhics available via the net to get started with basic grocery shopping of low carb fruits and veggies. Keep in mind your serving size.

4. Facebook Support groups are amazing; I belong to quite a few. The coaches there are ultra helpful. Keto coaches are there full time or for second job of blogging and coaching on all things keto. You can simply join read the pin post and asked questions. Someone is always there to help after you do your research to clear the muddy waters of information overload.

5. My precious other half is very picky. If he finds things we both like I am super happy. I am glad to say that there is plenty on the keto menu my hungry guy will eat. Picky eaters , Vegans, Vegetarians  can thrive on Keto.

Fat Head Pizza is one of his favorites. There are plenty of recipes out there but this is the one I have adapted.

The Crust :
1.5 cups of Almond flour
¾ Cup of Mozzarella shredded
1tbs Cream Cheese
¼ tsp baking powder
1 Tablespoon of Onion Powder
1 tablespoon of Garlic Powder

Combine and microwave in 30 second increments until the cheeses have melted. Mix into a dough ball and let cool. Cooling the dough is important or it will cook the egg you are about to add.
Add medium egg and finish mixing the dough ball
Put dough on pan lined with Parchment Paper This is Super Important. Then cover dough with another piece of parchment paper and roll out with a roller, can or use your hands. Bake 400 about 8 minutes. Keep an eye out so it doesn’t burn.

Sauce:
For Sauce I use No sugar added tomato paste, salt, ground oregano, and Italian season blend. Your favorite blend will do as long as it has no hidden carbs. I put it in the magic bullet and blend. Sometimes I will throw in two tablespoons of goat cheese to the sauce as I am blending.
Then I top with Boars Head Turkey Pepperoni and choice of cheese, because we are not pork eaters in our home. There are many variations to topping your pizza of course of course. To find your macronutrients per slice measure your ingredients and plug them nutrition Calculator. I suggest Sparkpeople website as they have recipe calculator. It will populate you nutrition label as you plug in each ingredient. Again, always measure your serving size and you can’t go wrong.

I also suggest for Cravings Freedom Flowers Crave Control blend. I have that in my medicine cabinet . Just mix with water or  your favorite drink  and sip.

  Crave Control was created for, but not limited to food cravings. This is not just another appetite suppressant.
“Craving Control” helps foster a healthy mindset, proper motivation, and addresses the emotional aspects of stress eating, addiction and self-medicating.- Freedom Flowers

Happy Keto-ing
Shalom,
The Coffee House Counselor

Keto Diet: How to Support Yourself

Keto Diet: How to Support Yourself


Keto is now all the rage in the health and fitness industry. So in this article I show you common complaints and solutions for your new lifestyle change. Keto was designed originally to control seizures but, within the Keto community itself, we see actual success stories of keto’s ability to combat inflammation, cancers, autoimmune, heart disease and diabetes.. There are many people achieving great health benefits. Keto is not a temporary diet solution, it is a lifestyle change, especially for the ones who are critically ill. I, myself, am an avid keto lifestyler. I am active in more than a few groups. Over this past year I have devoted myself to the keto groups for support, recipes and also to help my fellow keto lifestylers. Within these groups I see these three common grievances.

1. My Partner won’t support me even though they need keto as much as I do.
2. My kids/partner eat my expensive keto food.
3. My friends and family sabotage me.

These are not just diet issues these are actually relationship issues. Keto has become the great equalizer in the home. I have seen Keto break relationships and cause frustration in the home. But how do you combat these issues? Let’s break them down by number.

Keto Diet
Photo by sydney Rae on Unsplash

1. My Partner won’t support me even though they need Keto  as much as I do.

The first complaint is a twofold problem. First we have to separate our issue from our partner’s. Your health issue is your own and your responsibility to take care of. Your partner has a right to reject Keto just as you have a right to embrace it. Their diet is their choice. No one force fed you when you were not on Keto. So why would you try to force feed them now that you have gone Keto? It would be nice if your partner took you into consideration. This does not mean that their lack of participation is about you. It is about them. If you depend solely upon your partner to agree with everything, then perhaps there is some over-expectations and or codependency in the relationship.

My sweetheart was not on board the Keto train at first, but he came around. If you cannot get support from your partner, online groups abound. Facebook and Sparkpeople are two great places to look. There are many in your shoes. No one person can fulfill all your support needs, you are designed to operate in community. Finding support in online or traditional groups gives you the reinforcement you need and frees you to see the other wonderful things that your partner brings to the table. The best ways to win them to keto is never debate or argue. Let them see your success. Nagging will do the opposite of what you are trying to achieve. When they see your weight-loss, blood work change, and your commitment over the long haul, they will take notice.

2. My kids/partner eat my expensive keto food.

Keto food can be expensive up front but once you become ‘fat adapted’ the cost goes down. At this point, you tend to eat less frequently so your food dollars stretch further. This, however, means nothing when you are on a tight budget and trying to make every dollar count. Also, if you are very seriously ill, then keto food is actually medication for your body to heal. So, number two on our list is a boundary issue. Ask yourself: Would you allow your child or partner to go into your medicine cabinet without asking and take your prescription that is saving your life? Would you allow your child to just go into your purse without asking and take out the equivalent in cash for your groceries without asking? Even if you can replace it, does the taking without asking make it right? Believe it or not, it is the same principal. How would you handle it? It’s up to you to enforce your boundaries.

3. My friends and family sabotage me.

Number three is heartbreaking. Deliberate sabotage is a form of betrayal. No matter what form it is in, it still hurts. This is where we have to make some serious observations. Why would someone do that to a person they love? Maybe they are insecure. You can reassure a person, but at the end of the day, never take responsibility for their issue. They may fear that you will leave them even though it is actually your intent to be healthy so you can enjoy a longer life with them. Some people genuinely are super-sensitive to change and react very negatively. As they watch you grow and succeed, they will come to realize that they are safe. This area is why you need your support group the most. Be patient. If a friend or family member is just outright hostile, no matter your effort, cutting fellowship with them until they are safe to be around again may be your only option. They may even cut fellowship with you. Chalk it up as their loss, not yours. You gained some peace of mind. Your keto diet flushes toxicity in your body and your life. If it is your spouse or partner that is deliberately sabotaging you, then this is a serious relationship issue and a marriage coach, pastor or counselor should be consulted . Your domestic partner should have some respect to at least minimize your exposure to trigger foods, even if they are not on the new eating plan.

Keto is change, and any change affects the family dynamic. Change can show you weak areas within yourself and your family dynamic. This is why we call it a lifestyle change. Keto gives us an opportunity to be healthy in our bodies and relationships. I pray your keto journey will be successful in every way!
Shalom
Stacia Martin
The Coffee House Counselor .com