Changes Realised

I have spent most of today crying.

I cried because I couldn’t get the dog to calm down. I cried because I hadn’t gotten the kitchen fully cleaned. I cried because a layer of dust had settled over the couch again after I spent half an hour cleaning it last night thanks to the high winds today. I cried because I hadn’t cleaned our bedroom. I cried because I almost blew up the vacuum just before I finished vacuuming. I cried because the dining room table hadn’t been done (and it won’t be tonight).

I have felt like a complete failure from beginning to end.

Somewhere in there I realised that, as terrible as today has been for me emotionally, over all I cry a lot less these days. The support of my loving mate, the medication and doctors, and the encouragement of friends and family, have pulled me out of the black hole I used to live in everyday.

A few minutes ago I came to another realisation. The reason being so truly overwhelmed really, really, REALLY sucks so much worse than it used to is because it is now so rare. It’s not something I live with on a day to day basis…

And that’s nice.

And now I’m gonna eat my ice cream, clean my dinner dishes and go to bed, because today has truly sucked.

Newly Wed

I waited for the professional photos so this was weeks ago, but on the 18th of March this year I got married to The Wild One. I have never been happier, nor felt so absolutely loved or cherished as I have in the years I’ve been with my beautiful Wild One.

For all the rough days, there are no regrets and I doubt there ever will be.

 

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A Lucky Little Depressive

 

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Holding on by a Thread – Epiphany

I’m not doing well at the moment, and neither is one of my friends. It got me thinking on things and that lead to the realisation that I am so insanely lucky to have The Wild One. And yes, everyone should say that about their significant other, but hear me out.

I live a lot closer to the skin now than I ever have. I make a point about talking about my struggle with my mental and physical health as I believe that this is important to lowering the stigma surrounding such things, but at the same time…

No one really sees the depths of it. Even my nearest and dearest only really see a very curated version of what’s happening. It’s not a deliberate thing, I don’t believe in hiding away from the world, but I’ve never been truly good at explaining what’s going on in my head and I am cautious about over sharing. Significantly, I actually don’t like to complain too much. I’m usually a very positive person, despite everything, and I just don’t.

At the end of the day the only one who really sees how difficult this has been, and continues to be, is The Wild One. They’re not in my head, the don’t necessarily understand it, but they’ve always seen me as exactly who I was and I’ve never really been able to hide anything from them…

And that makes me insanely lucky. I’m not alone in this. The Wild One is here, holding my hands, and telling me that I am loved and safe when I feel anything but loveable or safe. They make can’t fix it, but they are my touchstone to reality when I don’t have the ability to make the links myself, and they never quit out on me.

That’s a gift.

I don’t know what I’m going to do about this current resurge in my mental illness, but at least I know I’m not going it alone.

 

Happy

I’m happy with life as it stands.

Sure, I’d like employment sometime real soon, and I’d like to be done with this food testing stuff (and the invariable days of feeling like someone has repeatedly kicked me in the guts), but over all things are good.

I have a loving, wonderful, supportive, and charming partner. 2 awesome young ladies I get to refer to as my kids whilst marvelling and how intelligent, driven and skilled they are. And incredible, amazing, talented and inspiring friends (and a super fluffy cat). I have no fear that I won’t be able to pay my bills, or rent… well mortgage as it is now. And when I need things I can afford to go buy them.

It’s weird and new for me. I wish, more than anything, that all my friends and family will find their way to their version of this. They deserve it.

Jackpot – Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Bread.

It is the holy grail of all food items when you go gluten free: Bread. We eat so much of it prior to finding out it makes us sick. We’re accustomed to the taste, the soft fluffiness of it, the chewiness of it… and then gluten free is ordered. The world is over for a while and then the hunt for the perfect, actually edible, gluten free bread is on.

I think I’ve found it!

Vegemite on mommy fresh bread. Breakfast served!

For those of you who have never had to eat gluten free allow me to enlighten you to what our options generally consist of:

  • So heavy I could beat someone to death with it
  • So dry it sucks the moisture out of your mouth as you eat
  • Flavour somewhere around cardboard
  • Kind of cake like – thick, tasteless cake
  • Crumbles as you try to butter it
  • And bonus point for the low FodMap people, often full of legume or bean based flours.

In short, not so great. Especially for someone like me. I bake. I’ve been baking my own breads for well over a decade and I enjoy it. And then they added dairy intolerance to the mix and it was all over for me. Until I got the recipe for that bread.

Omnomnom!

The Best Gluten Free and Dairy Free Baking Recipes by Grace Cheetham has become my bible and the basic white bread recipe is my fav. It is worth the cost of the book alone ($15 from Amazon US as a hardcover or $6.35 for Kindle), but the rest of it is pretty damned good as well.

The recipe is fairly simple, though calls for a number of flours, and I’ve taken to making up a massive batch of the base flour in advance to keep in the cupboard. I make this most weekends and keep what survives the weekend in the fridge at work for toast. Like all fresh breads it needs to be kept in the fridge after the first 2-3 days or it gets mouldy.

I’m not going to lie and says it’s a perfect soft and squishy bread. It’s not. What it is, however, is a bread that tastes like bread, that isn’t too heavy or prone to crumbling the minute it cools down. It tastes and has a mouth feel a bit like a heavy sourdough. It’s soft on the inside with a crisp-chewy crust. After the second day it benefits from being toasted or warmed somewhat.

And!!!… The Wild One, Buck and other dear friends who can have gluten have also given it the thumbs up as a fresh bread.

Gahhhh

I got really sick this last weekend.

Weeks of early starts, late finishes, bad eating and bad sleep caught up with me…

At Confest. Was not happy to have had to leave early, but it was a very effective boot up the ass. Mega effective. The upset to me and the upset to the Wild one – who was meant to b fire twirling that nights – was far worse than the drive back on Sunday or how sick I felt.

It’s highlighted a lot of frustration that I have though. Do you know how hard it is to get food that I can eat when I’m out in the sticks? And restaurants that cater to my dietary requirements are either super expensive or… average. I feel bad even saying that, but it’s true. If the menu consists of stuff I can make at home and better then it’s average. I don’t want to pay for that.

But paying for not average poison… well my hands are weak as shit and in pain days later. My joints are aching and I feel like crap, still. Just better than on the weekend.

Anyway, off to cook. Bitch over.

A little sting

I was meant to go to a party today. A welcome back for a good friend who has been over seas for sometime.

My rapist was also invited.

My friend asked me if I wanted an invite in advance. They were perfectly polite and considerate about it. I put serious thought into saying no. I don’t want to be anywhere near him for good reason, but it’s been a few years and there’s been a lot of therapy…

And the friend had been away for so long. I missed them and wanted to be there to say hi again. So I accepted with the caveat that I may pull out last minute.

I made it to this morning. A few hours before the party was due to start (not long after I woke up) my stress levels had hit the point where my hands were shaking and I was on the verge of a panic attack. I let my friend know, I am a polite guest after all, and went back to bed for cuddles from my Wolf. Stress eased off pretty quick and all.

Which isn’t the point of this.

The point of this is that I hate it. I hate so much that he has any power over me still. I’m not stupid enough to force myself into the position of being in a room with him when I’m already at that stage hours in advance. I know it may take time before I can deal calmly with it… If I ever get to that point at all. But I hate it.

All he ever wanted was to have power over me, and he’s succeeded. Maybe not in the way he intended but he did succeed. That just makes my gut churn.

 

2015 in Review

Holy shit, what a year!

Mental health went to shit and then it got slowly better. Now it is in the best place I remember it ever being. Unfortunately physical health then followed along the same path. Thankfully it too is also now good thanks to actual diagnosis of an actual problem, not just random guesses and/or being dismissed by doctors. That caused massive dietary changes very recently so I’m cooking more, feel better and am just, in general, doing well.

Things are well on the home front despite the health dramas. The Wild One and I go from strength to strength, supporting each other through the years challenges. The twins and I continue to get along and have good times. We’re building a house. We’re planning a wedding. The former appears to be easier than the latter.

I have found myself in great company throughout the year. Reconnecting with old friends and finding a more social me gradually. I’ve been blessed to find myself back in the company of W (I don’t know he’d appreciate his name on my blog), and therefore in the company of his lovely people. I was blown away at the first dinner he threw post my diagnosis when everyone, including people I didn’t know, went out of their way to make things I could eat. Just… people do shit like that!?!

Work carries on. It’s good mostly and now that my health is better I’ve been able to identify issues and have started to address them so that I can work better and be happier there. I am content with that as movement. There were a lot of highly stressful and massive changes through the year, but it’s getting there.

So the goals I’d set for 2015 were:

  1. Continue with the building of solid relationships. – Great Victory! There are friends, and twins, and gorgeous partner.
  2. Cut back on the alcohol and sugar. – Also Great Victory!! Like seriously HUGE victory. On both fronts.
  3. Cook things. Lots of things. New things. Use the fucking cookbook collection. – Fuck yes on the first bit, the change of diet aside I’ve done more cooking this year than I have in years. Tried a lot of new things.
    Not so much with using my cookbooks. I really think I need to give 99% of them away. And then replace them with ones I will actually use. 
  4. Learn to work wood, silversmith and make incense. – I failed this one. Too much other things happening. I’m ok with this.So, for all the stress and drama of the year, this has been a good year. It was a struggle, but everything has been moving towards something. The pain has always proceeded or been part of growth.2015, in short, was a great success.

A Day in the Springs

I tell you what is amazing?

A day at Hepburn Spring Baths with your beloved. We drove the 3 hour round trip while the girls were at school today (hooray for after hour activities giving us until 5pm) to spend some hours soaking in the beautiful Sanctuary area.

I think all up I spent a solid hour crashed in the spa chairs, and almost as long in the gorgeous salt pool. We also chilled out in the steam room for a bit too, but I made ungodly and embarrassing noises when I discovered the Monsoon showers. For those unfamiliar Monsoon showers are set up to feel like you’re standing in heavy monsoonal rains. Big fat drops of water etc.

I’ve come away from it feeling more relaxed than I have in months.

The Hepburn Bathhouse is located just outside of Daylesford, Victoria and you can look at their website, which contains prices etc, by clicking on this text. I highly recommend it. 

Chicken Burrito Thingies of Awesome

Yep, see me make up cool food titles.

This was the Saturday before Tycho’s awesome hainanese chicken. The Wild One had gone out and I had food to make…

I had frozen chicken thighs. Everything can go in a slow cooker so in with them, a diced red chilli, can of tomatoes, tomato paste, wostershire, salt, pepper, smoked paprika, oregano, garlic infused oil, onion infused oil, cumin… Mix together in a slow cooker, put on low and ignore for 6-12 hours. Add corn kernels to taste around 30-40 minutes prior to serving.

We also stirred brown rice through it. Because healthy, right?

Make guacamole. Avocado, lemon, a touch asafoetida (garlic and onion if you’re allowed them works better), half a fresh tomato,  and pepper. Adjust quantities to taste.

Take burrito wrap. Crush corn chips and sprinkle down the middle, sprinkle cheese over those and microwave for 10-30 seconds till hot. Dump chicken stuff on top of that. Spread on some of this deliciousness. Then top with guac and sour cream.

I looks vaguely like this if you're prone to over-stuffing your burrito wraps.
I looks vaguely like this if you’re prone to over-stuffing your burrito wraps.

Eat.

I can not find the damned recipe I used for the cornbread but it turned out really well. So, yes, that is also great.

It looked like this and was most tasty.
It looked like this and was most tasty.

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