Add to Technorati Favorites

Monday, February 14, 2011

"For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings That then I scorn to change my fate with kings." ~Shakespeare

Today is Valentine's Day. Much has happened in the past week.

Darrin has his blood tested every three months. I do it annually, partly because I think it's good to have an idea of what's happening inside me and for a baseline comparison should anything go awry, healthwise, and partly to keep Darrin company. We went to have our blood drawn two weeks ago. On a whim, because I had heard there is a link between low levels of Vitamin D and depression, I had them take an extra vial of blood to check my levels. I also noticed my blood was not the dark purplish color it normally is, but rather a lovely shade of bright red.

My tests came back, showing me to be one of the healthiest people on this planet--except for a couple of things:
1. I'm anemic.
2. My Vitamin D levels are alarmingly low.

And so I have been prescribed a daily dose of Vitamin D which I'm certain is toxic. I was told I should feel a difference in a number of odd symptoms I've been experiencing within a couple of days. I felt a difference in a couple of hours.

For the past five days I've had such a drastic decrease in depression that today it has become difficult to remember how it felt. I've been experiencing muscle cramps for nearly a month which have now become non-existent. I'm finding it easier to focus and concentrate. Today I'll begin taking ugly iron doses which will leave me feeling nauseated and sort of miserable, but if I continue them consistently and alter my diet to include more foods with Vitamin D and iron, in a month I should be completely healthy.

Which reminds me...

That eating food part is problematic. I haven't been doing that very well lately. In fact, I would have to say the weight loss experiment was a complete failure. Two days after posting about it I was no longer able to manage the stupid anorexia on top of the PTSD and depression. All the weight was gone within a week, plus a bit more (my target date for completing the weight loss was tomorrow). Sigh... Maybe I'll try again next year.

However, I feel better--so much better! Panic symptoms are still alive and well, but those are annoyingly familiar and I know how to manage them.

And so today I just have to say a few things about love:

About three years ago one of my friends accused me of being insensitive to people who are single on Valentine's Day. He said that randomly sending wishes for a Happy Valentine's Day only magnifies the fact that they have no one special with whom to celebrate. I have always loved Valentine's Day. I loved the mushy decorations, the cookies and candy, the grins and the blushing. I loved making elementary school Valentine boxes and signing cards to put into them. I loved the class parties. I loved giving silly cards gifts to my high school friends. But mostly I loved this holiday because it was one day out of the year when my mom selected a card and wrote me a note saying she loved me.

I knew the card was hand selected just for me. She always chose one with a cute brown-eyed girl and a poem about a daughter. And I have kept every one. For just one day I would pretend I was loved by my mom--that the words in the card were absolutely true--and that tomorrow when the abuse began once again, I would have a tangible reminder that just for a moment my mother loved me.

When I became a teen, naturally the cards seemed like hypocrisy and became one more reason for me to hate my mother. But a part of me buried deeply inside, clung to the hope that she really did love me even if it was only one day out of the year, and I still kept each Valentine signed with love from her.

Every year for my entire life my mother has made special cookies for Valentine's Day. They're like a sugar cookie, but the dough is extremely fragile and flavored with butter and rum and vanilla. It has to be refrigerated and kept cold while rolling and cutting with a special heart-shaped cutter. The cookies can only be baked four minutes or they're overdone. Then an amazing pink frosting is sandwiched between two of them, they're frosted on the tops and sides and rolled in coconut (sometimes tinted pink, sometimes left white), and allowed to sit for a day, during which the cookies soften and meld with the frosting. My mom calls them "Valentine Cookie Cakes" which is apt, if not imaginative.

I love these cookies.

When Darrin and I were engaged my parents wanted us to get married as quickly as possible. I think they were afraid we'd have sex before marriage or something. Obviously they didn't know me at all. Sex before marriage was the last thing I was likely to engage in with a man--fiance or not. However, to humor them, we said we would choose the first three-day weekend during our spring semester of college. It fell on President's Day in February, which also happened to be Valentine's Day. And so as luck or coincidence or fate would have it, I ended up getting married on my favorite holiday (no, not President's Day--that was just a matter of convenience).

I asked for those cookie-cakes to be served at my wedding, and I've made them every year since. I deliver them to nearby friends. I also give some to my mom. She always laughs and reminds me she's made dozens all ready, then hands me a plate for my family. I don't care. I make them for her anyway.

Valentine's Day for me, has never been about boyfriends, or lovers, or romance. It's a day of love. One day throughout my life when I believed I was loved, when I received tokens of love and friendship. One day when I feel free to share that love with everyone who owns a piece of my heart. One very special day...

So if you're offended by my wishing you a Happy Valentine's Day, remember, I'm not being insensitive--I just love you. And if that's a problem for you, you're going to have to discuss it with my heart. It has its own ideas; I just go along for the ride.

I hope your day is filled with love, and if  you know me, know also that I love you.


  1. Glad the depression is better. Who knew about the vitamin D thing. Have a great Valentine's day! wishing you Lots of happiness and love. _A.J.

  2. Your previous blog post had me worried, so I'm glad to see you back writing eight days later.

    I love this post. First of all, I have the same deficiencies on a chronic basis and take iron and vit. D daily--lots of iron. I'm glad you've had such instant results with the vit. D though. That's amazing! Wow!

    As for the anorexia, you can pick yourself up again. You're going to have falls along the way, just as a baby does as she's learning to walk and then to run. Please don't be hard on yourself. I wish I could give you half (or more) of my desire to eat and half my weight. It would help both of us!

    What I really loved in this post, however, are the parts where you talk about your mom--how for one day each year you felt loved, how you kept all her cards, even as a teen, how you wanted her cookies for your wedding and how you now make them for her, even though she makes them for you. That is so sweet. It's also amazing and speaks volumes about your forgiveness of your mom.

    Happy Love-Day! And happy anniversary! How many years?

  3. I'm so glad that the vitamin D made you feel better. And it makes me happy that you like Valentine's.

    Also, those cookies sound *amazing*.

  4. The cookies sound amazing. I'll be coming through your town in late May, and back through after July 4. Don't be surprised if I show up on your doorstep (we have a mutual friend who I'm sure would guide me there. . .) and ask for some.
    By the way, I take a ginger root capsule with my supplements to help with stomach upset. It seems to help. Also slow release iron tabs are good.
    I often wonder if I were to meet you in person would I see the same Samantha that I see on this blog. Curious.

  5. A.J.--Me, too, so very glad. And I hope your Valentine's day was wonderful.

    Debbie--I'm glad to be back! And from what I was told, in order for the D supplements to be effective you have to take scary-high doses. I'll be tested again in a couple of weeks and see if my levels have moved at all. And thanks for the encouragement with the eating disorder; it seems daunting, at times. I really appreciate the things you say, both in your blog and in your comments. Thank you!

    Brozy--they are. :) And I hope your Feb. 14th was amazing, too.

    Mandi--You're welcome any time, and I'm guessing I'd be pretty much what you expect, which means I'm mostly normal except when I'm not. And speaking of our mutual friend, I was supposed to have him come to dinner last month, but in the nastiness of all the emotional weirdness I've been experiencing, I haven't even spoken to him! I need to remedy this ASAP. Thanks for the reminder! And don't forget to stop by when you come through--I'll make you and your family dinner, or lunch, or breakfast, or whatever.