Yummy food on a budget: Tuna casserole like your mom never made it
I decided to share what I had for dinner cuz what I ended up with was halfway decent. Much of it was made with leftovers and I didn’t have to go out and buy any special ingredients. If you’re making this at home, feel free to leave out anything you don’t have, or make substitutions based on common sense and economics.
Warning: I’m likely to ramble.
First of all, I had half a can of tuna lying around in the fridge, leftover from another meal, so I put that in a bowl. The tuna comes from a food pantry. They’ve been giving us Bumble Bee tuna lately, which, from what I’ve observed, is a decent kind. Now the only reason I say this is that it “solid” means solid when it comes to Bumble Bee. This was tuna packed in water. They say if you’re going to give tuna out of a can to your dog, give your dog tuna packed in oil so that your dog gets the fat he or she needs. I read that in a dog nutrition book.
Okay, see how I got off topic? But indeed, a lot of us go to food pantries and, whether we want to admit it or not, we keep our dogs in mind, that is, in the forefront or further back in our minds.
My next ingredient, if I recall correctly, was some leftover canned tomatoes. These, too, came from a food pantry. They are diced tomatoes. It was a 15-oz can that I picked carefully the day I went to the food pantry because I didn’t want a lot of added ingredients. I didn’t want too much added salt and I didn’t want lots of preservatives, chemicals, or sugar. So these were pretty much diced tomatoes in tomato juice and minimum salt.
If you recall correctly, I deal with the residual effects of my eating disorder, so I have to be careful, very very careful, about added salt. I don’t often eat canned food. Using two types of canned food in one dish is rather unusual for me. So I didn’t add too much of the canned diced tomatoes. Maybe a quarter cup. Then I put the rest back in the fridge. If I had any fresh tomatoes, then surely, I would have cut those up and used them. I read in an Asian nutrition book that tomatoes are possibly just the thing I need for the chronic headaches I had…had….Yeah, they are plaguing me less and less these days.
Then I get out a yam. This I acquired at another food pantry. Yams, of course, come in so many wonderful shapes and a variety of sizes. I cut off a portion and cut this portion into small pieces. Tonight, I am honoring the GLBT community and cutting my yam pieces into triangles.
Why not do the same thing with carrots? I have a bunch of these from a food pantry as well. So I slice a portion of a very large carrot into coins, then halve the coins and pie them, so they are triangles as well.
Now, my casserole is decidedly as orange as a homeless tabby cat. Probably a bit nutritionally unbalanced. If this were a school district, and my food color represented skin color, and this were Boston in the 1960’s, eventually, they’d bring on the busing and the riots would start. We have to keep the orange Welfare scum from drinking out of the water fountains, right?
Okay, okay, tell me to shut up.
Anyway, I’ve had this parsley sitting around. Nothing’s wrong with it. It’s for both Puzzle and me. Parsley’s incredibly nutritious. It’s both a green veggie and a seasoning. It adds green color. So I got some out and cut off a fair amount and added that.
I decided to add seaweed. Now let me say a few things about seaweed. First of all, yes, it costs a pretty penny. But I think it’s one of those foods that is a good investment. I buy is at the Harvest Co-op, not an expensive health food store and not ritsy Whole Foods Market. The Harvest Co-op is local to the Boston area, but many places all over the US and the world have food co-ops. I think “Harvest” is a national name and refers to a group of co-ops, but I’m not certain of this. Our co-op has storefronts in Jamaica Plain (called, lovingly, JP) and Cambridge. Our Cambridge store just reopened to a location across the street.
Here’s how it works, in case you don’t know. Joining is kind of a bitch cuz you have to pay a membership fee. I mean, you don’t have to join, but you might want to. It’s sort of a neighborly thing to do, and then you get some money back each year, and you also get a ten percent discount once a month. Now, listen carefully:
You should definitely bite the bullet and become a member if you are on food stamps, if you are disabled, or if you are a senior. There are a few other reasons why you might qualify….ask. I say this because as a person with a disability (this I prove via my Medicare card) I get a five percent discount every single time I shop. All I have to do is present my membership card. And on the monthly discount days, I get fifteen percent off.
Now, membership costs 25 dollars a year until 200 dollars is paid. Then, you’re all paid up and nothing more needs to be paid. If you move out of town for good, you can get the entire 200, or whatever you paid into it, out of it. As a member, you are partial owner.
But what’s that you say? Disabled folks get free handouts? Yeah, tell me about it. If you are fond of this, I suggest you break a few bones yourself to get some free handouts. You might enjoy your broken bones.
Okay, back to seaweed. I’m adding seaweed because I have some in the house. It’s green. It’s good for my thyroid. I have hypothyroidism. Seaweed adds salt without adding salt. Well, so I’d like to think. I’m probably fooling myself on that one. But here’s the real secret: I’ve discovered that if I add kelp flakes or dulse flakes to a casserole, it eliminates the need for eggs. The seaweed is a binder. It helps hold the casserole together and it won’t be all cake-like or crumbly. I think the seaweed keeps it moist as well. About a fistful, not too big a fistful of kelp flakes will do nicely.
I sure wish I had some fresh garlic. But I don’t. I do have garlic powder. I bought some in London, a large bag of it, on sale. Don’t ask me why I bought garlic powder. Wow I was nuts then. So I put some of this in, lots, actually. I’ve been dumping this right out of the bag. It’s good garlic powder, rather finely ground, but I want to use it up soon.
I’m also going to add bell pepper flakes. These I bought at the co-op for Puzzle, but tonight I’m having a fistful for myself. I can’t even tell if they are red bell peppers, green bell peppers, or if they are mixed together and have been through the busing experience.
I’ve had a craving for horseradish lately. I read about it in my newly-acquired Asian nutrition book. My weird craving might be an old yearning for my Jewish heritage Passover tradition. It could, couldn’t it? I mean, doesn’t Passover mean Freedom? But horseradish is also an excellent Asian herbal cure for edema. Yeah, that problem still plagues me. It’s one of those residual things my body will have to deal with for a long time to come, I’m guessing. So to satisfy my horseradish craving, I’ve been buying dijon mustard when it’s on sale. I have a thingy of it. I put some dijon mustard into my casserole. Oh, trust me, I make sure the dijon mustard I buy is very, very high in horseradish. Maybe I should just buy the real thing, don’t you think? Come Passover, it might be a good idea. I’ll bet it’ll be on sale at some point. I’ll bet I’ll find it fresh at the co-op. Then I can truly horse around.
Another thing I added to the casserole was a bit of whole grain. Using my coffee grinder, I ground up a few spoonfuls of whole wheat hard winter wheatberries. These are extremely cheap in bulk at the coop. I also ground up a few spoonfuls of rolled oats that they gave me at a food pantry. And I ground up some organic sesame seeds that I bought in bulk at the co-op. These spoonfuls of grain altogether in the grinder until they were smooth…..and added them to the casserole. I sprinkled on some garlic-flavored olive oil. I bought some a while back at the co-op. This comes in a nice small bottle so it doesn’t go bad. I also added a dash of Worcestershire sauce. Everything was fairly well mixed together, moistened just enough, and in a small glass bowl. I put a glass plate on top of the bowl and place all this into the microwave.
You have to be careful not to overcook. I heated this one minute at a time on high until done. I think three minutes did the trick, and then I let it sit a bit, covered, not too long. My casserole was absolutely delicious. I transferred it into a different dish. Naw, this was no stereotype welfare macaroni and cheese. This was the real deal. And how much did it cost me? I’d say Puzzle’s homemade food is more expensive. But then again, I’m not going to touch that subject right now. And pretend I didn’t talk about busing. Yeah, this is Boston, but it’s not the 60’s anymore.
See my (and Puzzle’s) VIDEO review of the Outward Hound Pet Sling!
This is our first attempt at making a home movie. See me and my co-star, Puzzle, in action!
Greetings from London
I’m at the hotel right now and it’s late. It feels good, and not good to be back in London. Good because I feel oddly at home here, and not so good for reasons I can’t explain.
The best part so far has been riding the tube. I guess if you’ve been car-free as long as I have, you can deal with any public transportation okay. No matter where you are, you can get to where you’re going. I guess I wouldn’t be where I am today if this were not the case, and so it is with everyone.
All I can hear right now is the rain outside and the tap-tapping of the keyboard. And the rumbling in my throat that I do all the time, my vocal tic that seems to be getting very vocal these days.
On the plane, I switched on Vertical Horizon’s album, Burning the Days. It seems to be good airplane music, but this morning, VH wasn’t cutting it for me. I thought of switching to Dave Matthews, but no, that’s dog-walking music. I went through the listing of albums and Born to Run popped up? Huh? I didn’t even know I had that album. I switched it on and Springsteen began wailing out the first track, “Thunder Road.”
It was all over. I cry on buses all the time and I’ve cried on planes before, but since I’m not on a plane every day I can’t say it’s an everyday occurrence. I now know why I ended up at a window seat last night. The trick is to pretend you’re really fascinated with the cloud cover. If you turn your head far enough, the people sitting in your row have no clue you’re crying.
I was really bawling, though, enough to take off my glasses, sniffle, and wipe my eyes with my sleeves.
It was my Joe who introduced me to Bruce Springsteen. We used to play this game over the phone, back in the days when the phone was used for conversation, called “Name that Group.” Let me tell you, Joe knew right away that I was rock-music-challenged, so much so that half the time I guessed “Elvis” not really knowing who else it could be, having never heard of any of the current groups. He saw to it that I got good at this guessing game.
We loved Born to Run, but when Tunnel of Love came out, we had a hard time coming to consensus. Either you loved that album or you hated it or you weren’t a Springsteen fan. There’s one thing Joe and I agreed upon, though. We liked the word “Love.”
We liked the word “love” so much that we rarely told each other that we loved each other. It wasn’t nthecessary to state and re-state the obvious. And right then, sitting on the plane, I guess a lot of stuff seemed obvious to me. Like the passage of time, for one thing. It’s been nine years since I saw him last, unless you count the times he appeared to me in dreams.
When we first started dating, one outing he took me on was a trip to see the Red Sox at Fenway Park. Around the beginning of the eighth, Joe said to me, “C’mon, Jules, let’s go. Our guys are a disgrace today.”
“Huh? Don’t you want to see the end of the game?”
“Naw, I’m too disgusted. They’re not cutting it today. Lazy fucks.”
Over the years, of course, the Red Sox continued to let us down and let us down. It was kind of a Boston thing, this getting used to being let down. You had to have kind of a tough loser skin if you were to spend any time at Fenway Park.
That is, until 2004. But Joe had been dead over a year then.
Here in London, folks aren’t baseball fans as a rule. It’s a weird unscientific American game based on superstition and luck. People here didn’t’ grow up on it the way I did in Boston. They don’t have baseball summers in their backyards. “Strike” doesn’t mean the same thing here. But the Olympics are coming to town later this month, which seems to be the big buzz right now. It’s a city full of anticipation.
This is summer in London. This is daily rain and daily Changing of the Guard. Somewhere in the middle of the city, in a little cheap hotel, an American writer sits and muses about this weird place she’s found herself at. She writes, thinks, and remembers. She asks herself what the future holds,if it holds anything at all or if it holds nothing and lets life slip through its fingers.
Maybe when I cry on buses, and last night on the plane, it’s cuz life is doing just that, slipping through. I try to hold it but it is slippery and elusive. It’s the same for all of us, just a game of superstition and luck. If we’re lucky, we see a handful of winners in our lives. I guess that’s asking enough.
A woman I loved (continued from where I left off)
Okay, as I was saying (I am finally home)…Whole Foods Market. This is an expensive store. Kind of a fake health-foody supermarket for upscale people. Very trendy. I suspect they sell a lot of…you got it…yeah…bottled water. Packaged untested water from god-knows-where that tastes weird. Half the people that drink it don’t even recycle the plastic bottles, mind you. These bottles sit at the dump forever. Yes, forever. Okay, enough about that. I don’t know as a fact that WFM sells bottled water anymore. Maybe they’ve caught on that Coca-Cola and all that big business that thought they could rip people off charging more for water than they do for Coke were doing us all a disservice. Okay, anyway….I was thinking Whole Foods Market and where these stores are located. I’ll bet there ain’t any in places like Mattapan, Dorchester, Southie…I’ll bet Brockton doesn’t have one either.
Then I got to thinking about Brockton. I don’t happen to recall if I’ve ever been there. It’s a city outside of Boston, an area of its own. I don’t know much about it. I could be entirely wrong, but I’ve heard there’s a lot of poverty there, or at least that there are pockets of Brockton that are impoverished and places where there are a lot of drugs and prostitution.
So this was my thought process, just as I was leaving the house on my way to Boston to run an errand. I was wondering what it was like to be a teen living in Brockton. I figured it was a tough place to grow up. I wondered what it was like being a teen in a really poor neighborhood in Brockton, or living in the “projects.” I wondered what it was like if both your parents were hooked on heroin or really bad drugs and were out cold all the time. I wondered what it would be like to find your parent real bad off, and have to call 911. As I lifted my backpack to my back, I remembered that when I was a young teen, I was able to carry both brothers on my back simultaneously, the smaller one on my shoulders, and the middle child on my back. This is why to this day I am able to carry heavy backpacks. I pride myself in this. I carried both brothers literally and metaphorically. I am guessing that any teen with absentee parents, (absentee either literally or in their hearts), would have to raise his or her siblings and take on the role of parent.
But to be a teen in Brockton, or anywhere…being a teen is hard no matter where you are. It might be tough in Brockton, but then again, there might be a way out for those kids. Cuz all it takes is one adult in a kid’s life, one special adult that listens and cares. This adult is more important than where you live, how much money you have, or anything. When this thought came into my head, I started crying. I stood by the computer with my backpack half-slung over my shoulder, and wept.
I did have someone like that in my life. She wasn’t really an adult, not yet. She was in my life f0r a very, very short time, but she was there. I wrote about her in my book. I believe that I first introduce her in my chapter, “Locker #47.” I call her “Maria,” which is a pseudonym. Before I met her, I had no clue what human closeness was. I thought you had to keep all your thoughts, everything, to yourself. I thought that humans were bad people who did nothing but tease me or dominate me and kick me around. I always had to watch out for myself and be careful not to say something that would get me teased yet another time.
She was my camp counselor. She was only eighteen years old, about to go off to college. I was twelve, and had just finished what had turned out to be a nightmare for me: seventh grade, that is, my first year of our two-year junior high school. Is twelve too young to fall in love?
I couldn’t get enough of her. When I was with her, it felt like nothing else mattered, only that I was sitting beside her and I wanted to soak up all my emotions, everything I felt right then and let them surround me and bathe me, because what I felt in my heart for her was sweet and tender beyond what I had ever felt before. Even if the sun had set, I felt that it was upon me, keeping me warm from the other side of the earth. Maria! Maria! I could summon her up at any time, when I was walking to dinner, or singing at the lake with the guitars at sunset, even naked in the shower with the water, not quite warm enough, thoughts and images of her were always in my heart.
But summer ended. She went to college and I went to eighth grade and my parents. I didn’t hear from her much. Long distance phone calls were very expensive, so we had to send letters instead. I kept these letters secret from everyone, and I still have every single one of them. They came so rarely. High school was a very hard time for me, but I survived, and escaped, and ran off to college.
We kept touch for a number of years, and I’ve seen her on occasion. Sometimes it’s been okay, sometimes it’s been a little strange.
Sometimes she lived in the city and sometimes she lived in the country. Once, I went to see her in the city. I don’t know exactly, but what I recall is that there was something, this drive in me…I needed to run out of the car and into her place to see her. I didn’t lock up or bring everything in. I had to see her right away. There was this urgency. She was at the window and I saw her, too. I ran up the stairs and inside and she was there and we embraced and we were together and this was all that mattered.
We spent a long time together, lying there. It had been dark out for hours. Eventually, I went back outside to get the rest of my stuff. It had been stolen out of the car. We reported it, but it never got recovered. Just an old, chewed-up pair of hiking boots and a vest inside a knapsack, that was all. I guess I was lucky. I guess I was the luckiest person in the world.
I don’t know how many years it’s been. Ages. Like, twenty years, maybe? Has it been that long since I’ve heard from her, since her last letter? More? Dang!
What is she doing now? Does she know I’m alive? Does she ever think about me? Where does she live? Google, Facebook…how can I find her?
This afternoon, while I was walking to the bus, I was thinking that I must, must get in touch with this woman, that I was desperate to do so, to at least say hello or something.
Maybe she has already Googled me, and thinks I’m really weird. Dunno.
Just have to find her.
I can’t tell you how long it’s been that I’ve been holed up here at home, simply because I don’t want anyone to see my body. I take the dog out and that’s it. I wear a gigantic down coat that covers everything from head to toe. I don’t use the belt, just leave the coat as bulky and loose as possible. It has a flap that I used to think was useless until I found that I can zip it up and flip it upwards to cover half my face, actually up to my eyes, and then I put a hat on down to my eyebrows. I put on a pair of legwarmers to cover my bulging ankles (from edema). I take Puzzle out, then we come in and that’s that. Often, I keep the coat on indoors as well, cuz I’m scared some maintenance guy will show up at the door and barge in. I’ve told you how those guys are. I always feel better on weekends and off-hours. I feel freer. I can do whatever the heck I want and no one will bug me. But I don’t get weekends off from being trapped in body dysmorphia.
When I showed up for therapy not last time, but the time before, with my face covered entirely in a scarf, and wouldn’t take it off for the entire session, my T looked so sad. The corners of her mouth even turned down into a frown when I talked about how I felt about the chubbiness in my face. I called this morning and told her I can’t bear to come in looking like this. I can’t go on a bus today. I can’t go into Boston today. I told her I can’t bear the idea of her remembering me as a fat person. I want her to remember me skinny. When I was skinny, I went out all the time and didn’t worry about hiding my figure and didn’t change my clothes a zillion times because I was worried about covering up certain fat body parts. I just threw on any ole thing. The thing that concerned me most when I was skinny was what really should concern a person when they dress, in my opinion: the weather.
So I called my T. She happened to pick up the phone. I told her how I felt. Like, crappy. She is so nice. We rescheduled for tomorrow.
She said, “We have a lot to talk about.” I wonder what that is. I really don’t want any kind of pep talk concerning how good it is that I gained weight and how I’m still on the low side and have edema and how I should go have my weight checked, blah blah blah…Hmm…Maybe I shouldn’t show up if it’s going to be like that. Another one of her lectures.
There is nothing more shameful than these “weekly weight checks.” Trust me, nothing. I am an adult now so leave me alone.
I wonder if she’s talked to anyone. Like whom? I wonder. Maybe she’s plotted and schemed something to keep me in the system. Day treatment or some other waste of time. She’s definitely been talking to people. Dang.
I need to go back to bed and wake up skinny again like I was before. That will solve everything. Everyone just bug off.
Human beings are two-faced liars
4am. Pounding headache. Half a painkiller tablet from a tooth extraction a year ago. I gulp it down with a mugful of water. These interact with my antidepressant and make me sleepy. Too sleepy. This is so wonderful. I must use these pills sparingly. I don’t have many. I will be asleep for at least three more hours.
If life isn’t going to be fun…if life is actually going to be nothing but hell…I might as well spend all my time sleeping, anyway. Just stay in bed.
8:30 I am awake, and still despise humans like I did yesterday and every day since god knows when.
I fight and fight, but the people who are supposed to be behind me and encouraging me and supporting me, like my T, I don’t know…I don’t know what to think. I told her all this stuff when I went in to see her yesterday, like about my ambitions, and how much better I was doing, but I feel like I’ve been slapped in the face, again and again by her and everyone else who is supposedly “treating” me. They just put me down in every way they can.
Yesterday, she said if I starved myself one more time, she would put me in the state hospital. One hell of a lot of sense that makes. State hospital? Great place to rot for the rest of my life. I will rot at home, thank you.
No point in seeing my primary care doctor today. She will only make me feel miserable. She wants me in the state hospital, too.
If someone makes you a promise, if will be broken.
“I love you” is conditional.
“I want to get to know you” means “I want something from you” or “I want to control you or take over your life.”
“I will never leave you” is an outright lie.
Whatever a person says to your face, assume they are saying something quite different about you to another person behind your back.
Friendship is a scam. Most of it is cheaply made and falls apart after brief use. Don’t fall for this rip-off.
I have been in disguise. Wearing everything I can to hide my body. Scarves wrapped around most of my face, the bulkiest layers I can find. This is the only way I can walk out my apartment door and feel okay. Even answering the door or going to put out the trash.
People stare and laugh at me and I really don’t care. There is no dress code in this country. I sat on the bus and listened to people laugh and joke that I looked like a bank robber. They didn’t realize I could hear them.
I keep the landline and two aspirin by my bed at night. A lot of people do that. I go to bed not knowing and I’ve gone to bed not knowing every night this month just about. I wake up lucky. It’s not likely I’ll use the landline after the last experience I had with 911.
I had the session with my T. I was completely out of my head. I haven’t a clue what was wrong with me but whatever it was, I struggled to appear “normal” and I guess I pulled it off well enough to get in there, talk a while, and go home again but it was scary in the subway station. Many people were staring at me and I was aware that I must have looked odd, probably psychotic or on drugs or something, but I couldn’t stop it because I was so scared standing there waiting for the train. I don’t remember the session with my T too well, not what we talked about. I remember telling myself the whole time to try my best to look and act normal so she wouldn’t guess anything was wrong. I wasn’t okay again until late in the night last night, long after I’d gotten home.
Today I slept all day. I will return to sleep shortly. I am tired.
My request to anyone who rides a bus
This means you:
IF YOU ARE OCCUPYING A SEAT ON THE BUS, ESPECIALLY IN ONE OF THE FRONT ROWS, AND AN ELDERLY, PHYSICALLY DISABLED, OR BLIND PERSON ENTERS THE BUS, AND YOU ARE NOT YOURSELF ELDERLY, PHYSICALLY DISABLED, OR BLIND, I BEG OF YOU:
GET UP AND OFFER THIS PERSON YOUR SEAT. DO IT NOW.
THIS WOULD INCLUDE OFFERING YOUR SEAT TO SOMEONE WHO IS CLEARLY HAVING DIFFICULTY STANDING ON THE BUS. USE COMMON SENSE.
DON’T JUST SIT THERE PRETENDING YOU DON’T SEE THIS PERSON WHO OBVIOUSLY NEEDS YOUR SEAT MORE THAN YOU DO.
THERE ARE NO RESERVED SEATS. I REPEAT: NO RESERVED SEATS. YOU HAVE NO HOSEY ON YOUR SEAT.
JUST GET UP AND DO IT.
THIS DOES NOT GUARANTEE YOU A PLACE IN HEAVEN. THIS DOES NOT EVEN GUARANTEE THAT YOU WILL HAVE A GOOD DAY OR FEEL GOOD ABOUT WHAT YOU HAVE DONE. THIS DOES NOT GUARANTEE THAT THE PERSON WILL THANK YOU OR APPRECIATE WHAT YOU HAVE DONE FOR THEM, BUT PROBABLY THEY WILL, BECAUSE SO OFTEN PEOPLE WHO HAVE DIFFICULTY STANDING ON BUSES END UP NOT GETTING A SEAT BECAUSE OF THE INCONSIDERATENESS OF FELLOW PASSENGERS.
DON’T BE ONE OF THOSE INCONSIDERATE FELLOW PASSENGERS.
FROM NOW ON, DO IT AUTOMATICALLY. YOU ARE NOT DOING THIS BECAUSE IT HAS ANYTHING TO DO WITH FAIRNESS. IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO TREAT OTHERS WITH RESPECT. FOR A PERSON WHO NEEDS YOUR SEAT, IT IS NOT A PRIVILEGE TO SIT BUT A RIGHT.
ENJOY YOUR BUS RIDE. MAY YOU REACH YOUR DESTINATION SAFELY.
MBTA #71…wire problem as of 10:10am October 20, 2011 and how this relates to anorexia nervosa
I take that back.
I hate my anorexia nervosa. There are certain things about it that I want to hold onto, too. Do you think this means that there is something intrinsically “wrong” or “immoral” or “selfish” or “vain” about me?
When I started this insanity back in 1980, I had not once seen, I mean SEEN, a fashion magazine.
To this day, I have never read an article in a fashion magazine. Yes, I have seen the covers when I have gone through the checkouts at the supermarket.
Boy, have I ever.
Now, that’s insanity.
You can get MBTA “alerts” about bus, subway, elevator service, etc sent to your cell phone, and how this relates to how I’m feeling today
Go to the mbta.com site, “rider tools” section and you’ll see the feature you can sign up for. You can get these notifications–which have been refined according to rider requests–sent to your cell phone or pager, etc and/or your e-mail. It’s not difficult to sign up. I signed up for the #70/70A routes and the #71 (these two routes I mentioned to you in previous posts as they come out of Watertown and were affected by the power line disaster in the square October 18). I take these buses frequently, and it will be nice to know ahead of time if there are delays on either one. This will influence my decision as to which route I’ll take to get to therapy. I can take either.
Today, indeed, I am going to therapy. But I have received no alerts. This means smooth sailing on both routes, and I am free to choose either according to my whim.
Today is smooth sailing in my life as well. Puzzle has gone to the vet and her sore will be okay. She is taking two pills for it and the situation will be solved. She is not in pain and she no longer finds the area irritating to her. I am not pleased about the increased credit card balance due to the vet bill, though, but I am not going to worry about it. So many people are a lot worse off than I am. I have a roof over my head, after all, clothes to wear, and a dog.
In DBT, which stands for Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, there is discussion of intense emotions. Some people cannot handle intense emotions and they cope poorly with them by doing destructive things. They react angrily, or do cutting, or their eating is affected adversely, or they lash out at others, or they gamble, or abuse substances, or otherwise make themselves miserable…a host of destructive reactions…instead of just letting the emotion go. DBT teaches you how to cope properly with intense emotions.
My therapist and I are going through a DBT workbook right now. I have mixed feelings about doing this workbook. I sort of can’t relate to it. I have been looking back over recent times that I have felt intense emotions, and just about every time, I handled these emotions well. I turned my feelings into constructive action.
It’s not what you think. Let me explain. Most the time when I felt angry, I did writing. I poured my emotions out onto paper or keyboard. When I felt intense positive emotions recently about my experience at church–wow, this was very, very intensely positive…I was so incredibly moved–I came home and sat and wrote. There were other incidents…I wrote.
This is not my only way to cope. The other way is through my tears. I cry easily. It’s not a bad thing, especially since about 75% of my tears are happy tears.
My eating disorder…emotions, or thoughts? I told my therapist, not in our last session but a few sessions ago, that I think I do destructive ED behaviors, restricting and bingeing, because of very, very skewed thinking. I cannot seem to stop these thoughts, cannot get them out of my head. Thoughts are not the same as emotions. These thoughts repeat themselves, not over and over like broken records, but enough to not make sense. These thoughts are illogical to begin with and anorexia nervosa and eating disorders in general are incredibly illogical. I learned at the hospital that alcoholism is also illogical.
As a person who has had anorexia on and off for many years, these thoughts have been stuck in my head just about the whole time for 31 years. I must learn to cope with them and try to keep them from influencing my behavior.
Emotionally and mood-wise today, I feel smooth and okay. No alerts. I rolled out of bed on the correct okay side. I have been operating efficiently. I have been sleeping better lately….finally. I worked on my Nano outline this morning. I’m even thinking about names for my protagonist (these I’m still not willing to reveal). I made an apology to someone for being inconsiderate and selfish. It had been weighing on my mind that I had acted inappropriately. It feels like I am–in a way–cleaning out my mental Inbox. If only I’d clean out my e-mail Inbox! It’s still got some stuff in it from September’s hospitalization that needs to be deleted. I need to catch up on my life.
I have a lot of catching up to do, a lot of thinking. I plan to do that today, alerts or not. I need to pack my stuff for therapy, and I’ll be sure to remember my cell phone, just in case.