Doing the Scary Things

This past week I did several things that scared me. Things that pushed me out of my comfort zone. Things that made me face my anxiety head on.

  1. Last Sunday, I went into the town’s health food store. They had a “Help Wanted” sign in the window. I asked what they were looking for. Now, in the spirit of full disclosure, I didn’t end up submitting my resume. Simply because they were looking for someone with knowledge of and experience with herbal supplements and minerals and such. I don’t have that knowledge at all. But I went in and asked. Which is huge progress, I think.
  2. I finally made it to the Recovery Outreach program. In fact, I went both days this past week. On Wednesday, I went for a walk, weeded the garden beds and watered flowers, had lunch, and then started my first Therapeutic Journal (once I have a few more pages done, I will blog about this). On Thursday, I went on a larger group outing to the beach at Fitzroy Provincial Park. I’m not going to lie, I was terrified and anxious both days. But I went. And I’m glad I did. I’m really looking forward to this week.
  3. And here’s the scariest one of all. I can’t be the only person who finds it hard to make friends as I get older. Putting myself out there is so hard. But I did. And I’m hopeful. There is a lovely woman who works at my favourite clothing store here. Anytime I go in, we always have a lovely chat. So, I was in one day this past week, and I went for it. I asked if she would be interested in getting together for a drink or a coffee or something. We exchanged numbers. Of course, I now feel like a kid in middle school. Should I message her? Should I wait for her to message me? Should I just go into the store again? However, as I write this, I have decided to text her tomorrow, ask how her weekend is going, and see if she’s free at all this week.

What have you done lately that conquers your fears? I’d love to hear them.

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Two Weeks

Two weeks since my last post. Two weeks ago I was so proud of myself. Two weeks can make such a difference.

I haven’t posted in two weeks because I’ve been slipping. And all I want to do is hide. I want to hide that I’m struggling. I want to hide that I’m slipping. I want to hide that I want to just disappear.

Two weeks ago I got approved to participate in the group outreach program. And I have not gone once. I have every intention of going. Then Wednesday rolls around. And I just don’t care. I feel like it doesn’t matter whether I go. Because I’ll still be invisible. Last Thursday I spent the ENTIRE day in bed. For no other reason than I just didn’t give a flying f*ck.

I saw my GP last week and mentioned this to him. But he’s not a specialist. And he can only do so much. So this week, when I see my Case Manager, I’m going to ask her to refer me to the Mental Health Unit’s psychiatrist. Because something has to change. I can’t keep going like this.

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Small Mission Accomplished!

Today I did something that I’ve been wanting to do, and trying to do, for a few months. And I know to some of you, it might seem like a rather silly accomplishment. But to me, it’s huge.

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I WENT FOR A WALK TODAY!!!!! And it was a walk with no other purpose, except to get outside and walk. I did not run any errands, I did not purchase anything. I simply walked for almost 5km. I will confess, I was very anxious before I went out. There were heart palpitations and lots of sweating, and I was VERY dizzy. And for the first 10 minutes, I kept thinking that I’d only walk around the block and then head home. But I walked through it and the anxiety passed. I was so pleased with myself when I got home. I can’t wait to tell my Case Manager tomorrow.

Oh! And I finally got approval to join the Recovery Outreach Program. So Wednesday will be my first day. I’ll be participating in a plant care session and a therapeutic journaling session. I’m looking forward to it and working towards getting back to myself again.

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Continuing to Play with Plants

In case any of you were wondering, I laid my poor Begonia Rex plants to rest this week. They did not survive the abundance of love and water I showered upon them. I have learned my lesson: DO NOT GET PLANTS THAT ARE EASILY OVER-WATERED.

I did want to share the latest addition to my balcony. About a month ago, I was out walking, and saw this lovely metal thing leaning up against someone’s house.

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Lovely Metal Thing

As soon as I saw it, I pictured it on my balcony with ivy and some lovely colourful flowers. Yesterday, I finally got around to making this vision happen. And I love it. I got some German Ivy, Vinca Vine, a dark blue Verbena, and a lovely coral pink flower. Tomorrow I am picking up a better patio chair, and then my balcony will be complete. At least for this summer.

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My latest Balcony Garden Installation

And my Beach in a Bowl is thriving. I FINALLY got the second type of palm tree to grow. And I love seeing these little trees get bigger.

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My Beach in a Bowl has BOTH types of Palm Trees!

 

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Recipe: Refreshing Gin Cocktail

Last summer, during a camping trip, my friend Allison reintroduced me to gin. I can remember drinking gin and tonics with my parents and really enjoying them. But I got away from gin and kind of forgot about it.

Well, not anymore. This summer I came across a mixed cocktail at the LCBO: Dixon’s Gin Fusion. After buying a few cans of this, I got it into my head that I would like to try making my own. So I picked up a bottle of gin (I’m currently using Tanqueray Rangpur but you can use your favourite gin) and got experimenting.

Gin Cocktail with Cucumber, Lime, Ginger, and Mint

Ingredients for 2 drinks (measurements are approximate. You want all flavours balanced)

  • 3 oz gin
  • 2 oz ginger simple syrup (see note below)
  • fresh lime juice (1/2 – 1 lime)
  • 5-6 fresh mint leaves
  • 1/3 cup sliced cucumber (I left the peel on mine, but you can peel it if you want)
  • tonic or soda water to top off
  • Mint leaves and cucumber slices for garnish (optional)

Directions:

Note: I used an immersion blender to make this. But you could muddle your ingredients in a cocktail shaker, or use a blender. Up to you.

  1. In the cup of your immersion blender, combine all ingredients except the tonic or soda water. Blitz until pureed.
  2. In 2 glasses with ice, divide the pureed mixture. Top with soda or tonic water, and garnish with fresh mint and/or cucumber.
  3. ENJOY!

Note: To make my ginger simple syrup, I used the lazy method. I combined 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of hot tap water, and grated in a couple tbsps of ginger. I stirred until the sugar dissolved, pour the syrup into a bottle and put it into the fridge.

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Gin Cocktail with Cucumber, Mint, Ginger, and Lime. Yummy!

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Putting a Plan in Motion

I have started working with a Case Manager through the county’s mental health services unit. Today we came up with a plan to help me accomplish my goal of getting out of my apartment with no purpose attached. I mean, I’m now able to leave if I have a specific errand to run (go to the bank, the library, pharmacy, grocery store, etc.) but I still struggle with simply going out for a walk. And I want to be able to get out for non-specific reasons.

So for the next 2 weeks my plan is this: on Sundays, my goal is to go for a walk. And if I feel that I need a “purpose” of sorts, then I am to either plan out and walk a potential running route (since I do want to return to running in the near future), pick a store I haven’t been to here in town and go window shopping, or if I absolutely MUST attach an actual errand to it, then I am to find a longer way to get to where I need to go.

I started today. After my appointment, I needed to go pick up a few things, but instead of walking straight to the store, I wandered around a bit first. I walked through the residential area the mental health offices are in, then made my way to a street that would eventually lead me back downtown. I ended up walking almost 3km out of my way just to go to Giant Tiger.

I will confess to feeling a bit anxious at first. Part of my brain was screaming at me to go get my things and go home. Where I could hide and nobody could see me. But the truth is, I don’t WANT to be hiding. I don’t WANT to be invisible. I WANT to be ME again. And I’m slowly getting there.

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Recipe: Faux Mac & Cheese

When I started making my dinner tonight, I had absolutely no intention of sharing the recipe. Because I really didn’t expect it to turn out. Truth is, I have no money until the end of the month and I am out of fresh vegetables, fruit, cheese, bread, etc., etc. I’m limited to dry goods that are in my cupboard, a bit of yogurt, some frozen peas and a bit of meat in the freezer. So I threw some stuff together and hoped for the best. The result: a yummy, filling dinner that tasted like Mac & Cheese.

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Fake Mac & Cheese

Ingredients:

  • split red lentils, rinsed and drained
  • ground turmeric
  • cayenne powder
  • ground cumin
  • ground coriander
  • salt
  • vegetable oil
  • elbow macaroni
  • frozen peas
  • nutritional yeast flakes
  • plain yogurt

Directions:

I apologize for the lack of measurements in this. I really did just pour stuff in the pot.

  1. In a largish pot, bring some water to a boil. Add in a 1/2 tsp or so of turmeric, cumin, coriander, cayenne, along with 1-2 tbsp of vegetable oil. Stir and then add your lentils (I probably poured in a cup or so). Simmer the lentils until almost cooked.
  2. When your lentils are almost done, add the macaroni to the pot. Stir and allow the pasta to cook in the lentils (you may need to add a bit more water….you don’t want to have to drain the pasta/lentils so don’t add too much more water).
  3. When the pasta is almost done, stir in the frozen peas and nutritional yeast flakes. When the peas are cooked, you’re ready to eat. Serve in a bowl, topped with a bit of plain yogurt.
Posted in Cooking Experiments, Main course, recipes | Tagged , | 7 Comments