Broken but not worthless

Broken but not worthless

 

I was sad.

Understatement.

I was depressed. Depressed, as in my doctor suggested all kinds of pills, depressed. Depressed, as in my friends were a little more than worried about me, depressed. Depressed, as in I gained 20 pounds in one month, depressed. You know you’re a mess when your doctor is handing you a brochure on anti-depressants and a brochure on Weight Watchers, all in the same visit.

And I was struggling financially.

Understatement.

I was broke. Broke, as in sleeping on the floor next to my kids’ beds, broke. Broke, as in feeding the three of us on food stamps, completely stressed out over how I was going to pay rent, broke.
And I was lonely. I was really, really lonely. And bitter, and angry, and confused, and cynical, and miserable, and yes, those are all understatements, too.

When you get like that, when you fall so deep into depression, you become self-consumed, or at least I did. I lived and breathed and ate and drank and made out with self-pity. I didn’t talk about it constantly; I didn’t share my sappy story with everyone I met, but I had developed a secret (or maybe not so secret) affair with it and allowed it to occupy every corner of my being. And I was starting to realize that if I didn’t destroy it, it would destroy me.

And then one day I’d had enough of myself! I was disgusted by how low I had sunk. And it hit me that the only way I’d ever get out of this “poor me” state was to stop focusing on myself and start looking outside this pathetic little life of mine. And the best way to do that, I thought, was to volunteer somewhere. Yes! If I could help others in need, it would distract me from my own neediness. That was the first brilliant thought I had had in a while. It might have been the first brilliant thought I had ever had. (Not an understatement.)

So I picked up the phone and started calling various organizations asking if I could come volunteer. At that time, my daughter was 2 and my hyper little son, barely 4. I couldn’t afford a babysitter, and while my kids were with their dad on the weekends, I was working. So naturally, the kids would have to volunteer with me. But no homeless shelter, hospital, or any other sane organization I called wanted 2- and 4-year-olds “volunteering.” I get it. I’m on their side. We probably would have done more damage than help. After being told, “We’d love to have you but your kids are too young,” over and over again, I gave up. Here I was with my first brilliant thought; I had finally come up with a constructive idea for how to save myself from my stupid self-pity and misery and even that had failed.

Immediately that same old broken record started spinning in my head: I am a complete failure! Every idea and thought I have is useless. I am useless. I have nothing to offer. I don’t know how to do anything well except change diapers and cook a meal. That’s it. That’s all I know how to do. And even my diaper changing skills could probably use some work. So there you have it. The only thing I’m confident about is my cooking. So what? Who cares if I can make my kids a great dinner? Even they’re too young to really appreciate it, and it’s definitely not changing the world, and I’m definitely still a total worthless loser. (Though a total worthless loser who makes great macaroni and cheese from scratch…with pancetta….and caramelized shallots…and not too much butter. Never too much butter.)

Cooking. It’s the only thing I knew I was good at. So if I couldn’t find a place to volunteer, I figured the only other option was to do it in my own apartment.

Brilliant thought number two. (Yup, two in one day. That was a record for me… yet to be broken.) I wrote an e-mail and sent it to all my contacts in the L.A. area. It said something like this:

Subject: Wednesday Night Dinners

Dear friends,

Starting this coming Wednesday, I will be cooking for anyone who needs a meal. Please think of people you know who are either struggling financially and could use a free dinner, or perhaps a college kid who is sick of cafeteria food, or someone new to town who is lonely and needs to make some friends, or anyone else who would appreciate homemade food and good company. Invite them to my place. I will feed everyone. My door will be wide open starting at 6 pm.

Love you all,
Kristina

I woke up early that Wednesday and went to a place I had become very familiar with – the 99 cent store. By this time, the 99 cent store and I were pretty much best friends. I loved it, trusted it, and it always came through for me. I bought a bunch of bags of pasta, and then I found some fresh vegetables and even some cheese. It’s amazing what you can buy at these dollar stores. After that, I went to the grocery store and spent my food stamps on anything that was on sale and would work well in a big pasta dish. I wasn’t trying to follow a recipe. I was just trying to create the most delicious-tasting meal on no budget for a lot of people. Or no people.

After all, I had no idea if anyone was actually going to show up, or if my friends would even take my e-mail seriously knowing what a pathetic mess I was. That day I cleaned my little apartment and cooked the biggest pot of pasta I’d ever cooked, made some homemade rolls (much cheaper than buying them), instructed my 4-year-old to offer our potential guests a glass of water (the only beverage I was providing and didn’t mind him spilling) and gave my 2-year-old a pile of napkins to hand out to people.

Then 5:30 rolled around, and I got nervous. Really nervous.

What if no one shows up? What if my friends are embarrassed to bring people to my little apartment? What if I just spent this whole day cooking and cleaning for nothing? What if my idea is stupid? What if the one and only thing I feel I have to offer fails? What if? What if? What if? (Two words that are quite lovely on their own, but when you pair them up…what a downer!)

At 6 o’clock sharp, I opened my front door. No one was there. There was a lot of pasta in my kitchen. A lot of pasta and no one at my front door. Within five minutes, three or four people showed up. Then more people showed up. And then even more. By the end of the evening, I had made a second huge batch of pasta, run out of napkins, met a lot of new people, helped a few newbies to town make some friends, and fed approximately thirty people. In my tiny little apartment. On my tiny little budget. With my tiny little kids (who, by the way, proved to be incredible at pouring water and handing out napkins.)

I will never forget shutting that door after my last guest left. I sat on the floor and cried.

Understatement.

I sobbed. I sobbed like a baby, like a broken little girl who just experienced her first glimmer of healing. There was something so powerful, so magical and wonderful, and above all peaceful in the fact that I could feed all those people. I thought I had nothing to give, but when I gave the little that I had, it turned into something so much bigger than I ever could have expected. And that was a new beginning for me. It sounds dramatic, but I got up off that floor a different girl. I don’t remember ever feeling depressed after that day. Sure, I felt sad at times, and angry, but I didn’t feel defeated or desperate. For the first time in a long time, I didn’t feel useless. There was finally hope.

The next day I got e-mails and phone calls from people who had come to my Wednesday Night Dinner. These people were so thankful, so happy. They told me how much they enjoyed my cooking, how it was nice to eat a homemade meal. Some told me how they had just moved to town a few weeks before and how the dinner made them feel less homesick. And it hit me like a ton of bricks – even when I think I have nothing, I still have something to offer.

I, Kristina, have something to offer. I, Kristina, am worth something.

Understatement.

81 Responses to Broken but not worthless

  1. Melanie February 15, 2017 at 8:40 pm #

    This is awesome! I LOVE cooking. I wouldn’t say I am amazing at it but I do really love it and would love to share it. I am going to do this. My husband works 13 hour shifts and it gets lonely with kiddos (especially around dinner time). I can’t wait to try it out. Thanks for posting. I love your honesty and then your solution to your problem. 🙂

  2. Anastacia Perri February 15, 2017 at 4:29 am #

    Well…..now I’m crying like a baby……you are simply the most inspiring, amazing, beautiful woman. I have been searching my soul for many (MANY) years and still have not figured out how I can make a difference in the world like you did (I definitely can NOT cook). Your selflessness in this act, combined with your sacrifices of time, money and effort……produced the most beautiful example of LOVE. You have the heart of an angel, yet you’re so funny and down to earth at the same time. Thank you for inspiring me to continue on when I really want to give up.

  3. Jennifer Smith January 25, 2017 at 1:25 am #

    Kristina, You couldn’t be more awesome at living creatively. You’re truly an inspiration. I’ll keep sharing your posts and videos on my support pages and website for those (like I did) who are climbing out of the ruin of true love scam as a con man’s – or con woman’s – target.

  4. Mandy Young January 5, 2017 at 9:10 am #

    This is absolutely awesome!!! I love this idea!! Thank you for sharing your life with the rest of us!! I have to say I’ve felt a connection with every post I’ve read so far. I divorced my 2nd husband at the ripe old age of 25 (after an 18 month process due to the baby we found out about 2 weeks after he wanted out) and my daughter was 9 months. But 3 months later my life got even worse. I contracted meningicoccal meningitis. My daughter turned 1 on Dec 22 and I almost died on Jan 1st. The drs told my family to say goodbye and gave me a 5% chance of making it through the night. 10 days later my grandmother passed and another 6 days after the drs amputated both my legs, all the fingers on my left hand and all the fingertips of my right hand… But I was still alive. I spent 3 months in the hospital and never cried over my new cards. I did get very depressed. I knew I was loved by so many but was sure I would never find a man that would see past my physical appearance and love me. I was wrong… 4 years later I found him, one of my best friends brother. He were married a year later. My daughter was part of the ceremony as well… He promised to love her and take care of her just like he was the Daddy that “made” her. And she promised to love her new Daddy like he was her real daddy, because he WAS her only real Daddy (since her “sperm donor” chose to not be in her life at all). My wonderful husband has given me 2 more babies and so far has kept his promise to love us both. But I still have days where I look in the mirror and wonder why he has stayed for so long living with a totally disabled woman when he didn’t (doesn’t) have to. My appearance makes me sad… But everyone always tells me I inspire them with my strength. Despite my physical limitations, I have an awesome life… Poor, but full of so much love, laughter & happiness… I’m ok with that. Your stories made me smile, I just wanted to share my story with you so you knew you weren’t alone when it came to feeling worthless!!!

  5. BeckyWeaver December 8, 2016 at 7:07 pm #

    Love this! I might try it, but Im not a great cook! I think I’ll make some chicken and rice soup and biscuits. I found an easy recipe on YouTube. New in town & lonely!

  6. Stefanie December 1, 2016 at 3:47 am #

    Kristina,

    This article is so beautiful, that I had to read it twice (and it is the reason why I joined your fb page). Your honesty is remarkable and relatable and heart-warming. Thank you very very much.

  7. Myshell Miller November 20, 2016 at 3:02 pm #

    46,mom of 3..28 yr marriage gone…17yr son with me ,2 bedroom apartment,manager for Walmart ,newly a gramma,alone,30lbs gained in a 4 months…antidepressant,Starbucks ground espresso roast,metal music with a side of Adel and Florence and the Machine…no money ,05 camry…but…i have a wicked sense of humor and i love deeply…i want to say thank you for making me relize this morning I am not failing my kids,or me…you are the most brave for sharing and taking a chance to get real and help us..
    Muchlove…

  8. WimpyWoman October 26, 2016 at 8:51 pm #

    Oh my god another brilliant one, I’ve been to that dark place, alone with my kids after a marriage break down. So dark. I couldn’t make it to places to volunteer either so I used to go to local discount store, but the cheapest bread, cheese, ham and dairy spread I could find, every week I made sandwiches and brought them to a local homeless shelter to distribute. It was such a rewarding experience, like I could actually do something, I had worth. Thanks you Kristina. I’ve tears in my eyes reading this

  9. Mariann Cook October 17, 2016 at 1:17 pm #

    I appreciate you sharing your stories. This one hit me in a big way. You are genius. Giving to ithers has always been something I’ve wanted to do, and like in your story I don’t have much to give either. You’re inspiring. Thank you.

  10. Wendy October 15, 2016 at 4:16 am #

    You are an inspiration! And more than a little bit AWESOME!

  11. Kinga October 12, 2016 at 9:01 pm #

    Hvala! I am so thankful you wrote this….’cause i’m broken and depressed. It feels good that there is more! I have the choice! I have the same thoughts you had! I can’t give anything to other people, I am not worth….why I am here? I have 3 kids and I am 38 years old…this time it feels old.
    Volunteer is a good idea! It makes sense!😊
    God bless you!
    Kinga, (a hungarian mom living in Austria )

  12. Andy Drown October 11, 2016 at 6:50 am #

    I keep seeing these cute, funny little videos of you on my Facebook feed (evidently one of my friends is a fan) cute and funny, yet so very true and honest. Something so rare right now. I’ve found I just love seeing your videos, so I Googled you just to see who in the heck you are, and I found this page and this story. Well great, now I am a fan too, you are Awesome.

  13. Andy October 10, 2016 at 6:41 pm #

    This article touched my heart. I struggle daily with the decision of divorce. My marriage is dead as a doornail and I stay hoping for us to turn the corner while knowing nothing is changing. Attachment more than love is our problem. Fear of the unknown is the other. I often think, there will be no happiness after the divorce. Things aren’t horrible but not great so I continue to settle. Two kids aged, 5 and 9 months makes it all the harder to make the final step. One thing that terrifies me and keeps bound is knowing it won’t be an amicable divorce, he does not have the outlook “save it for when the children aren’t around”. Then there’s me and my control freak mode….I won’t have a say when they’re with their father…what if he gets physical custody? The fear consumes and I stay… and I continued to stay through the last 5 years of a mediocre marriage with so much hurt and disloyalty on both parties. I don’t know what my answer is or when we will finally make that decision but this article gives me hope.

    • Jean November 21, 2016 at 6:14 pm #

      I’m right there with you. The last time my husband berated me in front of my daughter, she cried and told me she doesn’t want us to get divorced. The only answer I could think of was we cannot live like this forever. It will be better than this.” Mine is far far worse than yours I’m sure. There is no physical abuse but definitely mental and emotional. I know it’s gonna be complete hell but somehow, somewhere, life has to get better than this. Especially for my daughter.

  14. Pamela kennicott October 9, 2016 at 12:10 pm #

    Hello, I enjoy reading your Store, thank you for sharing it! I too go through depression & other health issues. I too enjoy cooking, So after being disabled for so many years I thought I’d make Free Meals for those in need. I now run a Free Site to wit: SURVIVAL MEALS & MORE! http://www.facebook.com/groups/1051786831547134/ We all have some thing to offer, once we realize this we are on our way to self improve. Thanks again for sharing!

  15. Maame Joses October 9, 2016 at 3:21 am #

    I think you are the real deal. Thanks for being so open, hilarious and inspiring. Love from Holland! Maame, Singer Songwriter & Ella’s mamma

  16. Laura Cantrell October 7, 2016 at 5:22 pm #

    I want to say thank you! I’ve seen every single one of your videos, watched all in one sleepless night because I was hooked right away. I am struggling in the middle of a divorce. I’m living with my mother and I have my two kids, 7 and 10, every other week. My husband and I were high-school sweethearts. We were together 7 years before we got married and were married for 13 years, however the last 2 years were not so happy. I NEVER thought I would be divorced. I gave up on depression meds because the side effects were even more depressing and nothing seemed to help. A glass of wine helps better anyway. I’m so broke but apparently I make too much money for assistance. Thank goodness my mom feeds us. Everyone has their opinions about my situation like, you need to hire a lawyer, with what money? The -$56 dollars in my bank account? The transmission in my car is going out and I just bought cereal for my kids on my credit card. I want you to know that you are an inspiration (crying my eyes out right now) you have touched so many people whom you’ve never even met. You have given me something to look forward to, your videos. But even more than that, your humor, your realness, your understanding. You are a FANTASTIC mom, knowing that you occasionally have your ex over shows you put your kids needs above your pride or guilt or whatever. I’m going to try my hardest to do something for myself and save up for a trip to come see you next month in Sonoma. Not sure how it is possible but I’m going to try. Your “yeah but” video also really helped me. I have a close friend who is dying of cancer and probably won’t make it to Christmas. Every day I think woe is me but then I think now, I’m sure my friend would love to have my problems. She’s fighting for her life and I’m only going through something that is temporary. TEMPORARY! I need to constantly remind myself that there is life after all this heartache and it WILL be beautiful! So again THANK YOU!!! I could never say it enough. Hopefully I will see you next month, fingers crossed!

  17. Liz Maxwell October 7, 2016 at 9:43 am #

    Beautiful. Bless your efforts and bless you for sharing.

  18. Jami Anaya October 6, 2016 at 10:41 pm #

    By about the end of the second sentence you had me crying. It was as if my life a couple of years ago was being told by you. I was beyond a mess. I cried non-stop, I gained weight. It seemed like I would never crawl out of that big black hole. It took forever for me to start crawling but I finally decided I’d had enough. I had two kids that I know were disgusted with me and that killed me. Two years later, I have my bad days but I realize how happy my kids are, they no longer seem embarrassed by me. I realize that I’m finally not disgusted of me. While it’s not something I’d ever wish on anyone, it was comforting to know I’m not the only one that’s ever felt that way. I’m so glad you’re doing good. Thank you for sharing with us.

  19. Cori October 4, 2016 at 9:44 am #

    Thank you so much for sharing your story! For anyone interested justserve.org is a wonderful resource for finding volunteer opportunities in your area. Forgetting yourself and serving is the best way to fight depression!

  20. Arista October 3, 2016 at 4:50 pm #

    This article was on time! I also feel hopeless/
    Depressed/angry/bitter at times. But I feel most like myself when I am giving back. You’ve inspired me to get back to my giving ways. Thank you thank you thank you!!!!!

  21. Carrie October 2, 2016 at 4:45 pm #

    I want to believe this awakening will happen to me too!! I’m depressed broken and hurt. I’m angry, defeated and betrayed!! I’m a newly single mom of 4!! I feel like…well everything you mentioned above!!!

    • Karen October 6, 2016 at 12:55 am #

      I know I am not a mom. I may not understand your struggle. I am not able to have children, and that breaks my heart. I am a Christian, been saved for 9 years and I know I can not do anything without God. Every struggle I’ve been in,.. for the last 9 years, God brought me through. He told me to believe, have faith, pray and claim the good things in life. I’m not forcing you to be saved. I want you to talk to God, even if you yell at him. He wants to hear from you. Call out to him, and he will answer. Will be praying. Love Karen.
      Want to reach me? I have a you tube channel. DesiresOf-KATSheart.
      e-mail kwbbw@yahoo.com

  22. Lyndsay Garman September 30, 2016 at 8:46 pm #

    That was my story. But with one child. And I have just sat here on a balcony in a beautiful hotel and cried for everyone who knows that feeling. It sometimes still tries to bring me down, but I’m better at remembering that I’m not worthless now, and on the few occasions that I don’t remember the wonderful man that I married last week reminds me. Thank you for putting those words down… Thank you.

  23. Steph September 30, 2016 at 7:49 am #

    I feel like I just read my own story, only mine stops at feeling like I need to have purpose in my life and trying to find something to get me out of this rut I’ve been going through. I’ve been searching endlessly for a program to volunteer in but I’m at the point of giving up on that idea. Ironically, while randomly browsing the web to pass time until I could fall asleep I came across your site and this story tonight. And it couldn’t have come across at a better time for me . I hope to find (or should I say think of) something that will benefit and change my life as well as others as it has for you. Thanks for sharing your story with others.

  24. Mary Dennehy September 29, 2016 at 9:53 pm #

    Truly, truly amazing! <3

  25. Sandra September 28, 2016 at 6:03 am #

    That was lovely. And HORRIBLE. You should not make people cry tears of joy and sadness. I’m joking. You totally should. Because I have been, and sometimes still am, in that place. Because I have also had thoughts about helping others to stop thinking how I ought to help myself first (but don’t know how). So, stop it! No, I mean THANKS!

    • cindy wilson September 29, 2016 at 8:59 pm #

      This story is kind of ‘me’ right now. Been a god-awful month. But I know something good will come along. So I just keep the faith.

  26. Cutrice Evans September 28, 2016 at 1:58 am #

    Thank you for sharing your awesome testimony.. You just made me cry really hard but it was soo worth it!!! I pray that blessings to continue to come your way for you and your babies!! By the way I love your curly hair!!!!

  27. Cora September 28, 2016 at 1:13 am #

    That is my story!! I’m a single mom of 3 girls and work full time and was in the deepest of depressions. I couldn’t function much less be useful to anyone. It took me 3 months of pulling into the parking lot if the counselor’s office before I walked into the building and began sobbing as I made my appointment to talk to someone. 3 yrs later I still struggle with knowing my worth and believing it. I wake up every day and make a decision to live. I chose to be happy and embrace every bump along the way!! I love my life and the journey I’ve been on. Again, thank you for your story!!!

  28. Ahmad Ghosheh September 27, 2016 at 10:34 pm #

    Don’t ever stop. How can I help?

  29. Andrew Denton September 27, 2016 at 9:15 pm #

    So dope! Beautiful story. You are a blessing.

  30. Kaari September 27, 2016 at 7:15 pm #

    I appreciate how real you are.

  31. dannielle September 27, 2016 at 3:38 pm #

    How is it that we have such a hard time connecting in real life, but when we read someone elses story and relate its like we all come together?

    Totally have felt this and still feel parts of it… I would be the one person that no one will come to their dinner but then again people might come a big bowl of spaghetti and company what more could you ask for?

    Some days just being apart of a group is more needed to connect then people are willingly to admit. We all need friends and family and this for sure touched me and helped me feel better and think about doping something different

  32. Rai September 27, 2016 at 1:27 pm #

    I just wanted to let you how much this has touched me (reading this at the right time and place in my life). I feel like this daily in my life right now. I find my self asking when will I be good enough for my husband, for my friends, my boss, my children. When will I feel enough for myself! My hope is to overcome this battle through Christ.

    Figured I would tell you Thank you! Through your struggles other can find comfort that there is healing at the end and we can push through (Having HOPE).

  33. Anders Skoglund September 24, 2016 at 4:45 am #

    Wow… You’re my hero!!
    A truly unique and inspiring human being!!

    Thank you for one of the most wonderful stories that I’ve ever read!

    Loveful regards
    Anders Skoglund

    • Erica Marina Delgadillo September 27, 2016 at 7:03 am #

      I am not a parent. I have read a lot of your work. I wish this forum or more people like you were around when my mother was going through some of your past issues. Only now at 38 can I only imagine what she really went through and everything she gave up. I do not think I could do the same and not hate the world. So, I advocate for people that cannot do for themself. I am sure you have given a lot of mothers hope or put them in the right direction and most likely stopped them from committing suicide. Thank you, for being you. I know my opinion means nothing and nor should it. But, I do believe kind words once in a while from complete strangers can make someones shitty day better just for a few minutes. That is all someone may need.

      • Shawn September 30, 2016 at 6:44 am #

        And you have touched someone today. May Jehovah bless you continually. Even when it’s unnoticed

  34. Tanja September 23, 2016 at 6:51 am #

    Truly inspiring

  35. Nadine September 22, 2016 at 10:56 am #

    Girl please!! Thank you!
    Depression breeds on self-pity and isolation. The only way to heal is God and gettin out of you by helping others.
    People who inspire are to who are honest Who tell the truth! Such small words but powerful when demonstrated because it changes you and everyone around you. You’ve done that with your actions and not being afraid of what others think. And with a sense of humor to boot….?
    Girl please…!
    😉

  36. Maria September 20, 2016 at 8:37 pm #

    Wow, this story and your website came at my most needed time.
    Women need an example and a light like you.
    I felt so broken last night and prayed for some help and guidance and stumbled on to your site.
    Thank you 🙂

  37. Judith C July 9, 2016 at 12:34 am #

    love your story! very inspiring… there’s no better feeling than helping someone in need ???????? God Bless you.

  38. mexo June 18, 2016 at 7:26 pm #

    And by sharing this you helped so many more 😀

    I am thankful you exist

  39. Debbie Maher June 15, 2016 at 8:03 pm #

    You are a good woman Kristina Kuzmic! You are married to a wonderful man and what a beautiful family you have. I love your video’s and your down to earth way of presenting your thoughts. I loved your husband’s book and thoughts you shared in your article “To My Children (And All Children) After Yet Another Terrorist Attack. . .” We need more good woman and mother’s like you! We need more men like your husband! It looks like you are raising three great kids to grow up to be just that. Good caring human beings! Thank you for sharing your husband and his thoughts and you and your thoughts with us! Keep up the good work!

  40. Misty June 11, 2016 at 3:10 pm #

    I am so happy I came across your post this morning on FB and subsequently your page and this story. Thanks for being an amazing person, woman, mom and helping to make the world a better place! I wish you all the success, love and fun that life can bring! You DO MATTER and obviously have so much to share and give to the world! 🙂

  41. Cristiana June 11, 2016 at 4:48 am #

    Well. Tears just streamed . Natural detox! My life flashed before my eyes while reading . Except I didn’t have your creativity and guts. Such a raw story to tell with such impact. God always seems to choose the strongest soldiers for the toughest battles. You have a gift. Or ten.

  42. Danielle May 31, 2016 at 7:17 pm #

    Thank you for sharing…I needed that<3

  43. Miranda Thames May 30, 2016 at 6:26 pm #

    I am a SAHM and I feel like I am a decent cook, but not what you are by any means! With that being said, some days it is hard to figure out how to make food stretch with what money I have to use for food. I would LOVE to see tips/tricks or a category/blog post dedicated (if you have time of course!) to how to make money stretch in the kitchen. I noticed you said you went to the 99 cent store – I really had no idea it was cheaper that way. Ive always thought it wasn’t that much cheaper because you don’t get as much in a bag for your money, but maybe I’m wrong and analyze too much. Anyway, this post was incredible and I loved it. I’ve been here before and often find myself here quite often, thinking I have nothing to give besides, “Oh, I can cook and clean , big whoop” But this was nice to read. Thanks <3

  44. Janiece Higgins May 30, 2016 at 4:16 am #

    I too have been in this place of brokenness and depression. My husband left my son and I for someone else. I was devastated. I had to move to start a new life with my 1.5 year old. Broke, heartbroken, I had nothing but my car, our clothes and some of his toys. I was alive but not living. After years of rebuilding its now been 7 years. I’m still single because my focus is on raising my son, building me and trying to developed a strong self employed business. That set back has become my strength. It’s built me into the woman I am today. Thank you for sharing your story. I get it. I look back on those days to remember how far I have come.

  45. JW May 30, 2016 at 3:10 am #

    This was such a beautiful post! Thank you for your honesty and also for sharing what helped you climb out! You came up with such an amazing idea and it brought tears to my eyes to hear how you carried it out and the love you shared with complete strangers. You are an inspiration! Not an understatement. 🙂

  46. Tootallsteve May 29, 2016 at 1:18 pm #

    Thank you Kristina for bringing to light the joy of giving back. I am a recovered addict 30+ years and have spent that time helping others do the same. I do not run around preaching recovery or telling others they have a problem. I was told early on that in order to recover I needed to give back to others to save my ass. Basically get over myself as I am not the center of the universe.By doing so I slowly came to see that it brought me serenity and self worth no matter what my financial or personal relationship status is . It is one of the greatest lessons you will ever pass on to your children. I see in my children who are now adults( well sometimes I think they are just physically large and missed the out on the maturity part) they will give and help people with out expecting anything in return. And if you are ever in need of a hot meal stop by .

  47. Jiggs LeMieux May 29, 2016 at 3:35 am #

    Thanks!
    That’s all… Just thanks…

  48. Ivana May 28, 2016 at 1:47 am #

    Predivno!!!

  49. Brooke Lark May 27, 2016 at 1:53 pm #

    I have followed you since your Sticky Chef Video was posted for the O competition. Just love you, lady. And now, adore the ever livin’ pants off you. This is so all the Yessses. Keep sharing, keep XX creating. Keep rockin. Xo. Xo.

  50. Sherry JantZen May 26, 2016 at 5:09 pm #

    Thank you Kristina!!
    Thank you so much. My twins are 15mo and my son 6yrs, and tho I love them dearly I have let them take over my life. Not just putting them first but above and beyond everything. My marriage has suffered and tip we love each other don’t seem to be friends anymore. I have been battling the black dog of depression since my son was 18mo old and it has been a huge struggle for me. I thought I had control over that dog but lately he has been winning. My relationship with my son has grown into a power struggle and because my girls steal all his attention he acts out and I give in to make my life easier but it’s NOT easier it’s worse and more complicated. My husband and I argue quite a bit. I know he can see the black dog in my eyes. He’s been asking me how he can help but I can’t seem to explain that it’s not something HE can fix. The struggle is very real and deep within myself.
    I had forgotten how to take care of myself. I look on the mirror and only become more depressed. My acne is back because I don’t make time to shower regularly. My roots have grown out but I don’t have time to do touch ups. I rarely brush my hair because it’s faster to throw it up in a bun or messy pony. The bags under my eyes seem to be perminent. I can’t seem to lose the baby weight or the flabby belly that came from carrying twins. I look like white trash now but my kids always have adorable outfits, combed hair, and clean faces. I constantly get compliments about how beautiful my children are but when they look at me it’s as if my kids don’t belong to me. This just feeds the depression further.

    Recently I was on Pinterest and saw a beautiful post of fancy baby showers. There was a chalk sign that said
    “mom-osas”
    And it came to me. We have bridal showers, baby shower, house warming showers…. But there are no celebrations for what happens after all of that. Once it married and the kids are born we stop celebrating ourselves and it’s all about the family. So I came up with an idea for a mommy shower called “pamper shower”. Where women gather with wine and fancy drinks, fancy dinner foods and pedicures with foot soaks that have fresh mint leaves floating in them. I thought I’d make a business with this but when I started researching this idea is need a license, I need over head and supplies and I’d have to rent a facility (we live in my parents’ small 3bdrm home as we save for a house of our own which seems IMPOSSIBLE – it’s been 4 yrs and we’ve only saved 6k) aaaaaaaand the depression returned. My friends thought this idea was ground breaking but I have no way to make it a reality.

    Seeing this post of yours made me realize that I can start small. I can afford to feed some strangers or volunteer at the animal shelter and maybe it will open some doors.

    THANK YOU so very much for showing me the light at the end of the tunnel. I’m at the very beginning of my journey to self happiness but I now know there is hope. Maybe if i help others I will feel better about myself and maybe my self confidence will allow me to take a step outside of my dark box just long enough to find a solution to make my dream of “pamper showers” to come true

    Thank you for hope

    • Lynn Gunther June 16, 2016 at 5:09 pm #

      Sherry,
      Thank you for your honesty. I have experienced what you are going through and it’s a nightmare. God prompted me to seek help but it was almost too late.

      Postpartum depression is quite common and needs medical intervention as well as spiritual ,nutritional and emotional support. I urge you to see a good physician and read all you can about it.

      Your “mommy” shower sounds like an awesome idea. I am going to mention it to my women’s small group and see if we can duplicate part of it for our young mothers at church.

      My prayers go with you,
      Lynn

  51. Violet May 25, 2016 at 5:29 am #

    Thank you for sharing your story. Helping others without expecting anything in return is not something many think of, you did think of that and the result speaks for itself. I have always believed that one can always help another person in some way, whether it be food, a smile, or a kind ear to hear them out. I have close family members who suffer from depression and I myself suffer from anxiety. I know what it is like to feel like all the weight of the world is on your shoulder and how difficult it can be to stand back and get some perspective in able to help yourself overcome adversity and grow stronger.

  52. @PhoebeFeed May 19, 2016 at 5:01 am #

    And that, Kristina, is your gift. You feed people. Sometimes literally a meal but many other times a laugh, some insight, some kindness, your humanity and some hilarious snarkiness too. I love your style, honesty and delivery. And I know from experience that helping others comes back 10 fold – more than you can even fathom. I’m sorry for your sad times, of course, but so happy your story doesn’t end with you still on that floor but instead soaring to new heights. I’m proud of you!

  53. Pamela May 17, 2016 at 2:54 am #

    Wow. I’m thinking how wonderful this is. I’m thinking, “I wish I had thought of that when I had sunk so low.”. I’m thinking how courageous and generous an act of service that was. I’m also feeling so much less alone. My children today are grown and one of my desires is to be a resource of (moral, cause the financial isn’t there for me to give) support and love for them. They may find themselves in times of sadness – maybe even despair — but I never want them to feel as completely alone and hopless as their mom did. I’m so happy that you found the brilliant vehicle you did to pull you to new life. Bravo.

  54. Nova May 16, 2016 at 4:35 pm #

    WOW. This is cool. Like, really cool. Because I’ve watched your videos and I’ve seen your big house and your cute little figure and perfect hair…. so obviously I completely know you and know you probably don’t have any real problems in this world, right? But NO. You are a real person. Thank you for sharing a piece of your brokenness… and please forgive me for judging you as a perfect person who couldn’t possibly relate well to “real women”…. what an idiot I can be sometimes!

  55. Suzanne April 20, 2016 at 1:34 am #

    SO glad you shared this story. It is wonderful when you can come through on the other side and use your dark times, and tell people there is hope. Love you, your humor makes my day.

  56. Monuca April 9, 2016 at 1:50 pm #

    So sweet – The power of love is amazing! You are a very loving person. And cool and awesome 🙂

  57. Judy Wanderi April 7, 2016 at 9:39 am #

    I am sobbing, because your post is relared and brings hope.

  58. Nanette March 19, 2016 at 7:22 am #

    You ARE brilliant! Especially for sharing this. You’re encouraging all of us who struggle with frustration and disappointment and discouragement. No matter how stuck I am in my circumstances, I’m always a little surprised at how even just a little time spent thinking of others makes a big difference in how I feel about myself and my life. And so does watching your videos. Brilliant!

  59. Dragica Grabovac March 18, 2016 at 4:28 pm #

    I can so relate to this story of yours. Went to depression and anxiety atacks myself. Thanks for sharing. Others need to hear that they are not alone and need to find their own way to lift themselves up.

  60. Kris March 18, 2016 at 3:43 pm #

    Thank you for sharing. I can relate to this like you would not believe. My favorite post of yours. 🙂

  61. Angela March 18, 2016 at 11:48 am #

    I went through depression last year. It was horrible. But learned to orient my attention to the right direction. And to the right person who can handle all the littlest things in my life: to God. Your story is heartwarming. Encouraging. Thank you for sharing.

  62. Jill Schwartz March 18, 2016 at 7:12 am #

    You are one of the truest hearts I’be ever met. Love surrounds you and you give it away so freely… True beauty! Jill xo

  63. Drazen March 18, 2016 at 6:54 am #

    Beautiful….
    Understatement!

    Greetings from Croatia!

    🙂

  64. Maud March 18, 2016 at 6:51 am #

    I just cried like a baby while reading your story.

  65. Yvonne March 18, 2016 at 6:25 am #

    I’m in tears! Thank you for sharing this. What a beautiful experience and message. God bless you and your two little ones. You are now rich with the best this world had to offer- love.

  66. Lindsey March 18, 2016 at 3:58 am #

    So tough especially with two little ones! Great story and thank you for sharing ????????

  67. Marilyn March 18, 2016 at 1:31 am #

    Thank you so much for sharing, it’s beautiful, touching and inspirational ❤️❤️❤️

  68. Erin March 17, 2016 at 10:36 pm #

    Oh my goodness, thank you so much for sharing! I’m posting this in my single mama’s group right now!

  69. Gonneke March 17, 2016 at 9:26 pm #

    Kristina, this is such an amazing story; raw and vulnerable…and so full of light and hope. I am going to share this with my tribe of Solo Mama’s.
    Thank you so much for sharing! <3

  70. Perla March 17, 2016 at 8:41 pm #

    Ok, totally crying after reading this. I’m happy for you that you were able to say enough is enough and that you found a way to pick yourself up. We need to learn to love ourselves before we can let others love us. I enjoy your videos and am happy that you have found happiness. Wish you the best. Thanks for sharing such a personal story.

    • Ricardo de Abreu March 18, 2016 at 12:55 pm #

      That story was like a birthday gift to me. Thanks!

    • Nicole June 11, 2016 at 11:31 am #

      Amazing!!!! Just what I needed 🙂

  71. Tammy March 17, 2016 at 8:16 pm #

    That is so beautiful and inspirational. Thank you for sharing that.

  72. Vicky March 17, 2016 at 7:21 pm #

    This is absolutely beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing something so deeply personal that will, no doubt, change lives. Thanks for the inspiration. 🙂

    • Jane Brown June 12, 2016 at 7:47 pm #

      Hi
      I’m Jane from an area called North Lanarkshire in Scotland within the UK
      I’ve just joined your page/site…
      I’ve suffered from depression for over 25 years. I’m still taking the daily meds. I’ve just come through another bad bout of having the “Black Dog” this is my 3rd good day and I’m grateful to be feeling “Up” again.
      I’ve been volunteering for years now. When I’m “Well” I most definitely enjoy it. When I’m “Not Well” I can’t function. My family have to help care for me and support me.

      Your story tells me you’re a strong character and you’ve got a good heart… God Bless!