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Quince Liqueur and Learning to Love Ourselves When We Aren’t So Lovable

It’s a quiet evening at home, a lovely, cozy one with bowls of homemade soup, nips of dark chocolate, and a smidgen of homemade sour plum vodka.

It’s amazing how precious peaceful moments are after turmoil, isn’t it?

It’s been a rough few weeks as I officially entered the “angry phase” of healing from PTSD. I’m told this is an essential and normal part of healing, but I’m not enjoying it one bit. It’s been so unsettling and scary for me. I spent my whole life suppressing all forms of anger, even healthy anger in response to abuse and bullying and neglect. Now I’m having to learn how to let myself feel anger but not be controlled by it.

Not easy, I tell ya. I feel like I’m in constant battle mode, working through these waves of anger, yet trying not to let them overflow and touch the people close to me. It doesn’t always work, and I have felt anything but loveable (more along the lines of utterly dreadful!), wanting instead to hide myself away until this phase is done and dusted. Have you ever felt that way?

Sometimes, when we go through times like this, our negative aspects tend to loom far larger than our good ones, making us feel like the very worst version of ourselves. When we feel unlovable, it is so much harder to love others, to be creative, to build goodness into our lives.

Here are a few things that are helping me work through this:

  1. Be an observer of my feelings, not a judge. I’m learning that my feelings are not me, they’re just something I’m feeling. And they will pass. They always pass. Once the emotional intensity of the feeling is gone, it’s so much easier to deal with the issues precipitating it.
  2. Find healthy ways to express negative emotions. For me, it’s writing, writing, writing. When I give the anger (or fear or insecurity) a voice, it takes the emotional power away. It also helps to talk it through with trusted people.
  3. Invest in myself. I’m learning that while there are some things I can’t control, I do whatever it takes to look after my well-being. That ranges from relaxation exercises, meditation, and sunshine to outdoor walks, healthy eating, and reading things that assure, comfort, and strengthen.
  4. Love the people in my life. Send an email, write a text, make a phone call, give a big squeezy hug, and let them know how much they mean to me.
  5. Make time for creativity. When I’m feeling wretched inside, it does me so much good to cook, draw, paint, sew, garden, and take pictures.

quince liqueur

Today I read some inspiring words, went for a long sunny walk with the goats, and made quince liqueur. It was my first time using quinces and I was delighted by the delicious scent and how sunny and bright they look in the clear glass jar. With sweet fruits you don’t need too add much sugar, but with quinces, it is essential. I can’t wait to taste it in two months time.

How do you help yourself get through difficult phases of your life?

Quince Liqueur Recipe


2-3 ripe quinces
1/2 cup simple syrup (1/2 cup white or raw sugar, 1/2 cup water, heated until sugar is dissolved)
1/4 tsp vanilla or almond or cinnamon extract
1-1.5 cups vodka


  1. Scrub quince free of dust and fuzz. Halve, core, and cut into slices.
  2. Fill sterilized jar with quince slices.
  3. Pour over simple syrup, extra, and top off with vodka.
  4. Seal jar and let liqueur steep in a cool, dark place for two months.
  5. When ready, strain and serve chilled.


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Finding Where We Matter and Maple Cumin Sweet Potatoes » Rambling Tart - […] don’t feel anger about my past anymore. Although the bad things people did to me are still bad, my anger towards the perpetrators […]

Jeanne Horak - “Observe without judgement” – such a good principle and so hard to do!! Love the photos of the feathers caught in the grass – makes me think of how fragile each of us is. Sending you a big squeezy hug!

lisa | renovating italy - anger is such a hidden emotion, I bottle mine up and it shows in many areas of my life. I had such intense anger last year with everything that was going on. It still manifests itself and I have transferred that mistrust to driving and being in a car. It is emotionally exhausting every time we drive somewhere. I thank you for being so open with life and what you are creating, it’s funny I see our children expressing anger in totally different ways already, our daughter is all fire and passion, feisty and irrepressible, and our son is ever the diplomat never wanting to create waves or upset anyone…I see a little of myself in each of them.
you are right what I found most helpful was talking with a few very close friends and also getting professional help, priceless x

Amy @ Seven Grey Sweaters - I’m so glad!

Krista - Dear Gail, thank you so much for sharing those things. You encouraged me more than I can say. 🙂 I’m so glad that we can still find kindred spirits in this world to cheer us on in our darkest moments. I’m so glad you are safe and loved now. XO

Krista - Yes, you described it perfectly, Maureen, thank you. It is so hard to give a voice to feelings that we silenced for so long, but it’s worth trying. XO

Krista - I’ve thought of your words so many times these past weeks, @SevenGreySweaters:disqus 🙂 “Righteous anger, mama bear.” I love that so much. Thank you, thank you. 🙂

Krista - “it would pass and he was not going anywhere” – that phrase made me teary in such a good way, dear @budgetjan:disqus What healing and strengthening words they are. Thank you. 🙂

Krista - Thank you so much for your encouragement, dear @9d73767d10227efff04c7307e331304c:disqus xo It means a great deal to me. 🙂

Krista - Thank you so much, @google-01bbdd9fc7f53cd54265810538a0c5c5:disqus 🙂 I just have a little point and shoot camera, but I did use the macro setting. 🙂

Krista - “mindful of my internal chatter” – that’s so good, @bc700f7a2dff994b6fd7a151d97f18ce:disqus I’m learning to practice mindfulness too, and it is helping so much. xo

Gail Poles - Thoroughly enjoyed that little journey with you. I relate to the pain that you have gone through and just love how you can express yourself through word and photos. For years I have bottled up truck loads of hurt, pain and distrust – only now I am able to slowly put one foot in front of the other and am slowly moving forward to that place where I am able to smile and laugh the way I did as a child. Your five tips are spot on!! You are a beautiful and talented person so don’t allow anyone to take that away from you again. Keep writing and cooking ’cause I thoroughly enjoy losing myself in your words 🙂

Maureen - Growing up I suppressed my anger and emotions to the point that I couldn’t tell why I was upset. It took me years to acknowledge my feelings. I’m thinking of you. That quince liqueur sounds smashing.

Amy @ Seven Grey Sweaters - I can relate a lot to the angry phase. I’m not as sweet as you are, Krista, so I have to admit that I kind of relished it. It helped to listen to angry-girl music (there are a lot of female musicians who get their rage out through music, and it can be surprisingly cathartic to realize that you’re not the only one with bottled up anger). Though I imagine that pounding on a real drum would have been even more cathartic. 🙂 Picture an angry mama bear who is protecting her cub. You didn’t have a mama bear protecting you, so now you need to be your own angry mama bear. Righteous anger, mama bear.

budgetjan - Lots of tears and years, but now I remember the good times and when the bad re-surfaces, I just remember, and move on. I think you are in rough seas at the moment, but they will calm down and you will enter new peaceful times. I did a lot of feeling sorry for myself and I found it helpful to have people around who just acknowledged what I was going through and supported (and distracted me) without judging. B.H. always calmed me by telling me it would pass and he was not going anywhere. As you know, after the bad times the good is just so good 🙂 P.S. Just now that we all love your posts and your oh so beautiful photographs.

mlleparadis - gorgeous pic of those sunny fruit. i think my hubby would like that a lot. as for the little passage you’re in, my dear, in a year or so i hope you will look back and say: it went by so quickly! and thank goodness! sounds like it’s a place you have to be for right now and you have all the tools to get beyond it. xoxo

Ken Powell - Your photos in this post are brilliant, Krista (do I sense a macro lens in action?). Rejoice in the joy they bring to all your fans.

Jackie Robertson - Standing right behind you in this journey honey. For me, my healing entailed lots of walks, being creative, being mindful of my internal chatter and Yoga. BTW you just must pickle some Quinces, they go a fantastic Ruby Red when cooked. And for a scent sensation, have a couple or ripening ones in your kitchen, the scent is so evocative. xx

Krista - The kitchen cupboard idea is brilliant, @d58b26e263bfdbd99d844b965c5cbbfb:disqus 🙂 I just finished cleaning my fridge and it was very therapeutic. 🙂 Have fun with your closets!!! 🙂

Krista - dearest @080ab71864c97dde186f2f3c101d5885:disqus , thank you with all my heart for all these things. As I read them I kept thinking, “yes! yes!” 🙂 I am doing breathing exercises and they are SO helpful. You are right, in the midst of trauma and even after, breathing is so hard. I also hope to start massage therapy soon. Thank you for the lovely solo date ideas. Those are perfect. 🙂 XO

Krista - Dear @a5b99497e14ab889089f7c9a80ce07b2:disqus , it’s the result of several things, emotional and spiritual abuse, molestation, etc. But I’m working through it and have a lovely counselor who’s helping me navigate the tricky parts. XO

Krista - Thank you so much, dear @37854c7777b9b21d0ae36d3aa8184779:disqus XO I’m so happy about the quince – and even made jelly too!! Can’t wait to taste it and see if it set. 🙂

Marie - Lovely post. Good job on quince! way to figure that out. Clapping and cheering for the healing that is in process. Hugs.

A Canadian Foodie - Krista! What has happened? PTSD? What was the trauma? Has this developed through therapy about your childhood, or did something new happen that I have missed by not reading as regularly as I would like to? Beautiful post, and OF COURSE I have felt this way. I believe it is part of the human condition IF you are brave, intelligent and a searcher who wants the most life has to offer. XO V

rain - oh brave friend. {{hugs}} i think about you so often. i’m sorry that it’s been such a hard time and i’m glad that you are loving your way through all of it. don’t forget to breathe. breathwork is really important…not our normal, shallow, quick inhale/exhale, but slow, deep, intentional intake and release of oxygen. there are so many therapeutic benefits to this. also, and this may or may not help because with ptsd and anger many react differently, but loving bodywork, like massage therapy, can be incredibly healing. it helps release toxins from your system (and toxins build up from chemicals secreted by emotions such as anger / fear, etc.) as well as lower blood pressure, increase blood circulation, reduce stress, and aid sleep. (i don’t practice anymore but i am a LMT.) also: continue doing things like solo dates, even if they are at home…luxurious bath, with candles and soft music or a book (wwrwtw!), etc.

bellini - You are doing the things I would be doing Krista, staying in, writing, and loosing myself in things I love. One form of therapy has been to organize the kitchen cupboards. Not necessarily a fun project but there is a sense of satisfaction when it is all done and I can find things I am looking for:D Next…the closets! Tawanda!!!!!!!

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