I’ve written a very small Dutch guest blogpost a few weeks ago and it has been published. I didn’t want to share it at my own blog at first because I don’t really like it, but I decided to share it anyway. Maybe I’ll write a guest blog again this month. Every month they give another subject it has to be about. If you’re interested, you can find it here.
It is becoming increasingly evident to me, of the rhetoric within the mental health profession, of focussing on the how the victim of harmful toxic behaviour ‘should’ think respond, react. And shaming them for reacting with emotions such as anger.
Within the last few weeks, I have faced seeing a book written by a mental health professional stating ‘there are no victims, there are no villains’. ‘There are no angels there are no demons’. (Note ‘there are no angels implies the victim is somehow at fault and minimizing the responsibility of the perpetrator). With no clarification this is only referencing your average families, with average behaviours. No clarification this not at all appropriate for situations where intentional ongoing abuse is occurring.
There are indeed victims and villains, angels and demons and it is incredible toxic to suggest differently.
I’ve also been following a page of a well know marriage guidance mental…
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Because we can only cook once a week, we cook bigger portions (usually for 8 people) and we’d like to use a lot of fresh vegetables. One of our favourite dishes is this spaghetti sauce we came up with. It’s still nice when you get it out of the freezer, especially when you make the spaghetti fresh. That’s a lot better than freezing the pasta in too.
Spaghetti is my favourite kind of pasta but my parents were never very good at making a nice one (they would use a package from the supermarket which was actually for macaroni). My partner isn’t a big fan of vegetables, but these are all approved by him 😉
Of course you can leave out or add your own ingredients, but maybe this recipe can help you to create the spaghetti sauce you like best (we like this one best ;)). The recipes are in Dutch and in English.
Rode spaghettisaus – 4 personen
500g gehakt (kippengehakt, of het goedkopere rundergehakt, is het minst vet)
280g (2 grote blikjes) tomatenpuree
2 grote of 3 kleine champignons
2 tenen knoflook
kristalsuiker als de verse tomaten zuur zijn.
1. Snijd de groentes: courgette en tomaat in kleine stukjes/blokjes en de champignons in kleine plakjes.
2. Doe de stukjes tomaat samen met de tomatenpuree in een beslagkom en mix het met de staafmixer tot een puree/saus.
3. Bak het gehakt in een grote koekenpan met een beetje olijfolie en 1 geperste teen knoflook. Hier naar eigen smaak Italiaanse kruiden, knoflookpoeder en zout toevoegen (wij gebruiken over het algemeen vrij veel Italiaanse kruiden en knoflook(poeder)). Bak het gehakt tot het voornamelijk grijs en nog een klein beetje licht roze is, want straks staat het nog een tijdje op. Op deze manier is het gehakt malser, dus wanneer het volledig grijs is, is hij eigenlijk te ver (maar ook nog prima te eten, alleen droger).
4. Doe de tomatenpuree/saus in een grote kookpan, pers 1 teen knoflook erdoorheen en laten pruttelen. Doe het gebakken gehakt hierbij.
5. Bak de champignons in de pan waar het gehakt in gebakken is, met wat olijolie en naar eigen smaak Italiaanse kruiden en knoflookpoeder erbij. Daarna de courgette toevoegen (deze hoeft minder lang te bakken). Wanneer het gebakken is, toevoegen aan de tomatensaus en een tijdje laten koken/pruttelen (ong. 20 minuten). Als het (licht) zuur proeft dan wat kristalsuiker toevoegen. En naar eigen smaak natuurlijk eventueel extra kruiden. Als de saus te dun blijft, ook nadat het een tijd heeft gekookt, kan je wat bloem of maizena toevoegen.
[Photo of a plate with spaghetti bolognese]. Note: this is not the dish from this recipe.
Red spaghetti sauce – 4 people
1 lb 2 oz (500g) of minced meat (chicken, or the cheaper one from cow, contain the least fat).
2lb 4 oz (1 kg) of (beef) tomatoes
10 oz (280g/2 large cans) of tomato paste/puree
2 large or 3 small champignons
2 cloves of garlic
sugar if the fresh tomatoes are (a bit) sour
1. Slice the vegetables: zucchini and tomatoes in small dices and the champignons in small slices.
2. Put the tomato dices together with the tomato paste in a bowl and blend it with the blender untill it’s all a paste/sauce.
3. Fry the minced meat in a big frying pan with a bit of olive oil and 1 pressed clove of garlic. Add to your own taste some Italian herbs, garlic powder and salt (we generally use quite a lot of Italian herbs and garlic (powder)). Fry it till it’s mostly grey but still has some pinkish spots, because it’ll be cooked for a longer period of time after this. If you fry the minced meat this way, it’ll be tender. So when it’s entirely grey, you’re actually too late (but you can still use it, it’ll just be more dry).
4. Put the tomato paste/sauce in a big cooking pot, press 1 clove of garlic through it and let it boil a bit. Add the fried minced meat.
5. Fry the champignons in the pan you used for the minced meat, with some olive oil and again to your own taste Italian herbs and garlic powder. Then add the zucchini (this doesn’t have to fry as long as the champignons). When it’s all fried, add this to the tomato sauce and let it boil a little for a while (about 20 minutes). If it tastes (slightly) sour, you can add some granulated sugar. And of course to your own taste some Italian herbs and garlic powder. If the sauce is too thin, even after boiling it for a while, you can add some flour or cornstarch.
I had a great weekend or what I’d like to call a weekend. Secretly I already knew it was going to be a great weekend, but that doesn’tkill my fun. I’d like to share my happiness with you guys, hoping you feel happy too. Since it also involved my wheelchair I thought why not put it in my wheelchair stories category: it technically is a wheelchair story ;).
So Thursday evening my fellow Hippo (my partner) and I arrived at my parent’s house. Usually my partner stays at our house, but this time he came along for our special dinner on Friday. I enjoy everything more when he’s around. Not just because I feel a lot safer and know I’m in good hands when I have a panic attack or something. I love him a lot and just enjoy spending every minute with him.
I was in time to go with my mom to the zumba class, which is always a lot of fun. I’ll talk about that some other time 🙂
Sadly, I couldn’t go to hot yoga on Friday, because my body was in a too bad shape, but my fellow Hippo and I did something fun instead. We went to our favourite thrift shop! Yay, I wanted to go there again for a while now, especially with my partner. Even though we couldn’t find everything we needed, I’m still happy with the things we did buy. I bought a lovely t-shirt which looks new and is nice and soft. It was even in sale! That’s one of the things that makes this thrift shop so great, but I’ll write more about the thrift shop some other time too. Since it’s one of my favourite pleasure-trips to do and you can do it for like an hour, so our bodies won’t be too sick from it. My brother was kind enough to drive us, so we could go. It’s also easier with carrying the stuff and pushing me in the wheelchair, although I’m quite an experienced shopping cart by now. We also found an old videogame which I couldn’t find for years. It’ll bring back those good old memories and it’s nice to have something easy to do when you’re tired, but not exhausted.
[Photo of the words Thrift shop on a wall].
Friday evening we went to our favourite restaurant to celebrate that my fellow Hippo, my brother and I graduated for the exams we took. My partner and brother will be going to university now and I’ll take some more exams next year and then probably go too. It was nice to have the family together (my parents, brother, my partner and me). This time I noticed that when we are there, I start to fall even more in love with my partner. I can’t really describe it. I just have even more trouble to stop looking at him and my father already said last time that I looked so amourous at him. Without making the other uncomfortable. It’s not like I don’t feel my love for my partner, I feel it every day every minute. I give it a thought daily to make sure I feel it even more. But we always go there for a special occasion and apparently that makes my butterflies go even more crazy. I’m still in my craze, lol. I just hope he doesn’t see my glances too much, because that might make him feel awkward.
[Drawing of a woman and a man looking crazy at her, with his mouth wide open while holding flowers and next to him are some hearts]. Maybe it looks like this (if we switch the genders), but I hope I can look a bit more attractive.
Saturday afternoon I planned to go on a ride with the horses. We had already arranged everything with the organisation, so the horse and two helpers were ready and my father came along too. Then it started to rain, hail and thunderstorm all at the same time. Even my undies were soaked, despite my four layers of clothing including rainwear. But when we were back at the stables, because the hail was hurting too much, it stopped and the sun started to shine. We could continue our trip and it was great to breath in the air in the forest and to connect with the horse. At first the horse didn’t want to go (this one always does that as usually people give up and she doesn’t have to work), but we got her to go and she seemed to enjoy the ride.
Saturday evening my father drove my fellow Hippo and I back to our house and the weather was still great. Despite the 5 rain/hail/thunderstorms we had during the day. So I decided to treat myself to a little handbike trip as well. It was great and I absolutely loved the past few days. Today I could spend a lot of time outside (I think 2 hours in total) which I can’t do that often and I just love nature! I haven’t been able to handbike for a while now, but I really enjoy it because it gives me a bit of freedom, once I’ve been set up. But I’ll also tell you more about my handbike some other time 🙂
Photo of a handbike attached to a wheelchair (this isn’t the exact same one I have, but it gives you a good idea).
I enjoy and appreciate feeling happy even more, because I was unable to feel this for many years. Even now I have to keep paying attention to doing things I truly enjoy or eventually I won’t do it anymore because of the PTSD and because I think it never gave me that happiness (because I haven’t felt it for a while since I didn’t do the activity). I still regularly I fall back into a depressed state for a short wile, but that’s ok so long it’s only for a short while. My partner supports me with it, although it’s still hard to experience a setback. However, this weekend was just filled with wonderful things and I wanted to share the happiness. It didn’t mean my body and that of my partner was suddenly “normal-able” or we didn’t have mental illnesses anymore. Nope, it’s still us including our diseases. But that doesn’t mean this weekend wasn’t wonderful and I enjoyed it a lot. I hope that my partner can eventually get rid of his recurring depression too and feel the same deep happiness I can feel. He really deserves it. Of course I hope you can all feel this too and also have great days, despite the problems you encounter/have/experience 🙂
I find it very difficult to think positively about myself or to receive compliments. I think I’m not the only one with this issue. Especially with psychological issues it’s very easy to think that you need to be normal. And that you need to be better than normal, before you can see something as an accomplishment and be proud of it. I was inspired by this post and I thought it might be nice if we would share the things we’re proud of which we did or didn’t (because that can be a good thing too). That way we do not only share our accomplishments, but also our happiness.
So, don’t let me wait any longer. Can you share something that you did lately and are proud of? It’s about you, so don’t worry if it seems ‘small’. I know how difficult ‘small’ things can be. Did you get out of bed? Did you say no to someone? Did you treat yourself to something nice? Did you talk to someone? Maybe you didn’t smoke once when you had the urge? It can be anything.
[Picture of a black cat with a tie and the text: Let’s just paws for a moment and think about this accomplishment.]
It’s possible that the accomplishments you’ll think of, are steps of a bigger goal you’re trying to reach. If you’d like, you can mention that too. That way, you can be extra proud of yourself when you did it even better later 🙂 I hope this is going to be a tiny proud moment 😉
I’ve never tried anything like this before, because I’m not into “forced positiveness” or something like that. So don’t strain yourself. I hope when you read this post, something will just pop into your mind. I just think it might be a good moment to think about the good things you did every once and a while. But that doesn’t mean you have to ponder for 10 minutes!
The things I’m proud of:
- Yesterday: I went into a bubble bath in the spa with already 4 people in it. Goal: as long as the bath isn’t full, not being afraid of going in.
- Last thursday: I send a text message to the night guard to let him know I was feeling very down. Goal: contacting them more often (when necessary) and talk with them through messages.
- Overall: I notice that I become more aware of my physical limitations with sports and I don’t go over them as much anymore. I also stimulated others to not cross theirs, since the instructors forgot to mention that you should listen to your own body and not use their guide line as a strict order.
Please don’t let me wait any longer and share the things you did. I can’t wait to be happy for you and compliment you 🙂
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