To thrive on a plant based diet, eat well and feel satisfied, especially if we have busy lives, we need to be able to make delicious, vegan meals quickly and easily and that means having ingredients and recipes at the ready.
Today I made fast and easy vegetable fritters with a herby sauce.
This recipe sounds very simple – it IS very simple – and it’s flavours and textures are as complicated as we need them to be so we feel we have eaten well.
It is a great option if you want something super healthy, light weight and quick without feeling deprived in any way.
Think along the lines of latkes but without the eggs and smoky kitchen.
How many Christmas eves we spent gathered around the kitchen fire eating latkes with smoke floating around our heads?! A lot, and they were fun.
The fritter is made of grated vegetables. You can use whatever you have in your fridge, I used 2 courgettes, a carrot, a red chilli and a sliced onion plus some chickpea flour and water. Seasoned with a little salt and some cumin.
I’ve previously made with cabbage, carrots, peppers and onion plus green onion tops and I have used sweet potatoes, sweet corn and I can’t remember what else, its so flexible it doesn’t matter, you really can use anything.
I’ve served them with various sauces for a example a sauce of sriratcha and mayonnaise with tomatoe ketchup (the super-healthy, raw, homemade one and at other times the bought stuff 😉 when leaning towards an Okonomiyaki pancake and we almost always have some crispy leaves by the side.
Today we have fresh, peppery rocket leaves.
So, the whole thing, without cooking time took 15 minutes tops. Then 15 minutes cooking… and then 10 minutes eating. I am actually eating them as I am writing this and trying not to get sauce on the keys.
To keep on track with a healthy recipe make sure you have an arsenal of easy delicious vegan recipes. When we are doing our retreats I keep a list of two to three times the number of starters, main courses and desserts I will need so that I always have inspiration.
As you can see there are so many variations and so many possible combinations of fruit, vegetables, seeds and nuts but we all need to be prepared, me too, otherwise we end up with something bland and unbalanced, a bunch of bananas or something we maybe regret (throw that pizza delivery menu away;) Though we aren’t puritanical all the time I promise you!
I grated everything except the onion and chilli which I sliced finely and mixed with 3 TBS chickpea flour, a pinch of salt and a few good grinds of pepper. If you need some water add just enought to pull it all together. My courgettes were very fresh and juicy so I only needed a drop.
The mix then sat and absorbed to bind while I made the sauce and the air fryer heated up. I’ve previously left the mix overnight in the fridge, which does make the fritters a bit firmer.
I’ve also grated, mixed and cooked immediately before now and it was just fine, so no need to wait if you can’t. They are not so firm but still very good.
Todays sauce is based on chimichurri or salsa verde but without the anchovies (I am not sure anyone would know they aren’t in there!).
I used about 8 blood sorrel leaves, hence the less than vibrant colour, and about 8 large stems of flat leaf parsley, a garlic onion (like a spring onion but garlicky or three cornered leek), half an avocado, about 15 salted capers which I had rinsed, the juice of half a lemon, salt and pepper.
It was blended until smoothish and then I added ½ tsp maple syrup to balance out the bitterness of the sorrel and about 1 TBS olive oil to make it more silky.
I blended again and hey presto, delicious!
You can bake or fry the fritters, I air fried mine at 200° – the air fryer is my newest addition to the kitchen and one I really do wonder why I resisted for so long, I LOVE IT and there’s no smoke or frying oil. I just spritz the tray with avocado oil to prevent sticking.
Serve with the sauce to dip into, or pop some on top.
These would be lovely made smaller as part of l’apéros with some other easy, delicious, vegan recipes!
Options if not vegan:
Add a splash of Worcestershire sauce
Use an egg to bind
Crumble in some feta or parmesanLearn More
Lets have a word about procrastination, avoidance, distancing.
A client came to me about ‘all the things he has to do, and that he was not succeeding or getting anywhere’. He felt between a rock and a hard place, nothing was working.
We spent a lot of time talking and have spoken many times before about other things. I noticed that one of his frequent sentences was:
“I am going to……”or, I will do …” and often, “I should have done….”.
He was very focused on all the different things he had to do and on the point that he was not good at multi-tasking instead of focusing on a job in hand. Therefore getting nowhere other than more and more depressed and worried and distanced from what needed doing.
I explained that an example of multi tasking could be talking the phone (clutched under the chin) talking to a client whilst feeding the baby in one arm and stirring the soup with another. Or, filling in your accounts on the computer whilst on speakerphone to a supplier and watching (and worrying about) your expensive employee chatting to their best friend on the phone, again.
I suggested that having various jobs or commitments, keeping hydrated and exercising are not multi tasking unless he was planning on lifting weights whilst riding on the sit-on mower and making deals on his mobile.
I also suggested, somewhat forcefully after he kept escaping from our conversation to all the things he will do, he only needs to do one of these various jobs at a time. It creates variety, which we all need. The jobs do not over lap at all and if each job was given an allotted day or time slot and done properly, whole heartedly and thoroughly he wouldn’t have to think about it whilst doing another job. Therefore no multi tasking required.
I advised that he take job A – (which is basically selling) and has a list of everything that is required, the clients list, items he needs to sell, his target written down clearly. Then on that job’s day he starts and does absolutely everything he can with all his resources to get the best possible outcome on that day. So e-mail, phone calls, post if all else fails. Explore every avenue and be creative (if a contact number is not immediately available look at every possible way you could get one or make contact). At the end of the day he may feel a little frustrated if he has not made any contacts BUT ultimately he will feel immensely satisfied that he did everything he could to the best of his ability during Job A’s time slot. No point worrying about it afterwards, it will not change a thing. Let all the hard work percolate until the next time it is Job A’s time slot.
Next day he takes Job B and applies the same intention, intensity and determination and so on.
Maybe as there are a few different jobs have 15 – 30 minutes just to address any e-mails or things to deal with such as if the best client in the world’s PA sends an email to arrange a meeting…
Then, when he is mowing the garden (or driving the kids to dance class or doing exercise) he can put some great music on or an audio book, drink a beer and multi task happily (beer drinking is not applying to the bracketed options obvs 😉 this then becomes recreational rather than part of the job pile.
Lets also talk about ‘job’, ‘task’, ‘commitment’. Make them fun/interesting/exciting and they become enjoyable. Who wants to just do a job compared to playing at chatting to people, finding out how people work, feeling successful and providing something that someone needs? Who wants to do a task or fulfill a commitment when they could be playing at mowing, singing their heads off drowned out by the engine, zoning out to their favourite tunes or being told a facinating and exciting story. Think about how to make what you do into what you want to do. Life is to be enjoyed not endured, how lucky we are to have it.
I worked in a shop at one point and it was so boring until I made a challange to be the fastest on the till (it was the olden days, you keyed the money in as you passed the products along the counter beside you) and to try to get as many people a day to smile. In the end I had lovely if brief chats with people who I got to know in a chitchaty way, and was the fastest cashier in the North – my till was always out by a few pence either way (always!!!) so I didn’t get a pat on the back but I did get a lot of smiles 🙂
The moral of the story is you can spend so much time worrying about that big pile of stuff over there rather than concentrating on jumping right on top of the smaller, more manageable pile of stuff right in front of you. Jump right into the centre of it, splat!, and sort out every tiny little bit of it then go over to the big pile, take what you can carry and put it where the little pile was and jump splat! into the middle of that one and deal with it. How satisfying!
Saying “I will do….”, “I am going to do….” and “I should have done….” is SO much better changed to “I am doing”.
I am drinking water and I am hydrated.
I am exercising and I am fit.
I am dealing with this now.
I am doing my best right now.
I am in control.
I am satisfied.
I am finding a way to enjoy what I do.
I am doing it, now, in the way that works for me.
I am I!
I am moving this blog back to Whatdesrididnext.wordpress.com. If you want to join me there I would be very happy! Thanks for reading.
Day three of a juice cleanse and I feel oddly fine. No detox symptoms to date other than tiredness and a bit of a light head late on day 1 and part of day 2 – I am not remotely convinced it is because I am so pure and clean. No complaints from me though. On day 2 my tummy was flatter, today my skin looks smoother, eyes brighter and I feel bouncier!
We did ease into it a week before we started filling our days and our tummies with more juices and smoothies than usual….and being on holiday in Scotland there were also some glorious pub meals and local produce – we haven’t been tempted by the whisky yet though!
We have also been doing loads of walking in the amazing countryside and powering up the crags and crevices.Keeping our spirits up, and having a lot of conversations that start with “Do you really think this is a good idea”, “We are on holiday….:(“, “Look at those people eating their picnic/ in the cafe/ eating fish and chips, looking all healthy and happy…..”.
We are doing this cleanse for us and also to be able to share our experiences with others who come to us at Recombobulate. We have done quite a few over the years and each one is different. People like to know others have experienced what they are experiencing. That they understand how they feel, the frustration, hunger pangs (mostly imagined it has to be said) and the need for motivation and to be reminded that it is only a few days and you will feel good and have had a whopping boost of nutrients in the mean time.
If you decide to do something similar from a book, a blog or an online/app lead version, listen to your body, ask advice, be prepared, be careful!
We once went to a juice fast centre, which was lovely, but Robin, who was doing way more exercise than me in high heat, was given exactly the same juices, quantities and ingredients as me. By the end of the week he was totally depleted in electrolytes. We would probably go again but I would take some supplements along and would include some Himalayan salt.
Fasting of any kind can be very beneficial and it can also be dangerous in certain circumstances. Be aware.
Not only your body detoxs, your mind and emotions can do to. Not a bad thing although it can be uncomfortable to go through; again be aware, be prepared, have support and have a plan before you start – of exit as much as during. Keep a note book and pen and write everything you feel down. Let it out. Be kind to yourself.
If you said I want to come to you and do a juice fast/fest/cleanse firstly I would talk to you and ask “Why just juice? What do you want from it, what will you do afterwards, what are your expectations?”.
If you said you wanted to kick start a weight loss program, change your way of eating, knock cravings on the head, deal with a health problem, almost anything actually, I would probably advise a different route. If after discussion you still wanted a juice cleanse that is fine. It is important to know what you are doing, why, what to expect and what alternatives there are – in everything.
If you could only take a few days out of your life I would probably advise a cleanse of a different kind.
Juices yes, green and lots of them plus some good supplements such as Wheatgrass, Spirulina, Chlorella, probably some bee pollen and some Maca, maybe something else. We would look at YOU and decide what you need.
I would suggest adding in some delicious, clean, raw plant based meals, smoothies and snacks. Yep, all of that!
Food to nourish and to delight and that are still clean. Sorry, I can’t describe anything, I’m on day 3 of a juice cleanse remember? Too cruel !
We would work on your mindset, why whatever problem has arisen and how we can help you change it.
However recent, however trivial you think it sounds, if it is causing you suffering or holding you back or leading to negative ways of living (over-eating, self criticism, hormone imbalance, bad habits, negativity, stress) it needs dealing with.
However old, deep seated or profound it is, however you feel nothing can change it and maybe you are not even sure what it is or don’t want to tell anyone what it is, it seriously needs dealing with and there is hope.
We will fill a virtual kit bag with tools to assist you to deal with hurt, negative thoughts, mood swings, anger, cravings, depression, stress whatever is your trigger or whatever you are living with.
There would be some deep work with you and your subsconcious to really make some changes. There would be some movement, lots of it (depending on your ability), to help flush the bad stuff out and increase the good stuff, the endorphins, the metabolism, the spring in your step.
There will be some physical tools to use (and take home of course) to facilitate cleansing, lymph movement, change of thought and more.
So, to cleanse, to me, is to clean everything in a way that suits the person. We are not all the same. For example, by mid afternoon on the first day it was clear Robin needed solid food. So, we dealt with the obvious and automatic “Am I just wimping out?” thought and he eat something and we carried on with our juices.
People have had a amazing results from juicing, me included, and with some raw meals added in and some really good education of what to do next and some significant work on other elements of self while you are at it is a wonderful combination.
Do all that and you will walk away from your cleanse lighter and brighter on all levels and ready to feel better and better. Super boost your life, you deserve it!
Oh and by the way, this is not an advert but we are taking bookings for next year now and working on phase two of our retreat this winter with a newly renovated building so that we will have three more spacious and super comfortable ensuite bedrooms. I’m am so excited.
It’s going to look gorgeous.
Oh, yes, that’s another thing cleansing does, gives you energy to put your clearer, more focused thoughts into action.
I’m just going to blurt it out.
You are in for a treat and so are our friends and visitors and clients because… drum roll… I am enrolled on a course! It is going to be busy because actually I am enrolled on two! As anyone who knows me could have told you actually, why do one thing when you can do more?
In my last post I said I am not a chef and it is true, but now I AM GOING TO BE ONE!
A real raw food certified chef from ‘the’ top school. So I may not post much for the next 4-8 weeks, or it could go the other way and you could be treated to my high achievements – and the lower points.
That reminds me of being asked to make chocolate fudge cakes for The Damn Yankee, where I was trainee manager once upon a time. They thought I could do it without problem especially as it was using a mix. Well, you did add a lot of things so I don’t think its giving away any trade secrets and I didn’t sign anything.
Anyway, I added the things, whisked and mixed, became VERY confused over the instructions which were talking about different altitudes needing different oven temperatures but I did it. I made them. I was so pleased and happy because they worked and didn’t look too bad at all. And relieved to have finished because it took three times longer than they said it would.
I was pretty splattered but that was to be expected wasn’t it? I still wear food a lot, you will rarely see me in white where food or drinks are available.
Off I went home to get changed for my evening shift feeling satisfied and excited to hear what they would say when I arrived and they (bosses, colleagues etc) saw the wonderful gooey chocolatey cakes in the upstairs kitchen. I think it was only used for making those cakes each week as it was in the newly refurbished and empty flat above the restaurant.
When I came back all smiles and awaiting praise I couldn’t understand the stoney glare that greeted me – “Desri, lets go upstairs shall we….” I knew it wasn’t good, maybe they weren’t as springy as I had thought.
Sean opened the kitchen door and said “Just look at it!”. I looked at the stark white kitchen, bare other than the mixer and the cakes, then I looked again. Oh deary me , there was chocolate splattered on the walls, on the Mixer, on the floor and even hahaha, now I can laugh, on the ceiling!!!
I hated cooking, I was rubbish at school and as you know I still rarely bake a real cake and hardly ever a decent one.
They never asked me to do it again. Yey!
FOOTNOTE – Do not use that as a reference for your own experience! A very similar thing happened when I had to clean out the ice cream machine, but it didn’t have the same result, I was made to clean it every time until I could do it with less mess.
Runs in the family – Joel wearing Ice cream and Aimee wearing chocolate, thing is, they were only little 😉Learn More
My lovely daughter asked for some tips for easy, tasty, fast and cheap packed lunches.
Tired of the, and by the, sandwiches, wraps, even more supposedly healthy options available within easy reach of where she works in Paris she needed to get back on top of this.
Everyone needs to enjoy a meal and function on all cylinders afterwards at lunch time no matter what we do. Lighter, brighter, cleaner food helps lift our mood rather than lower it (foods can do both), give us energy, keep us fresh and physically and mental bright and vibrant.
Even the best of us need motivation sometimes, she is a very healthy eater, amazing cook, experimental and enjoys the best of France too (think of those divine cheese stands at the market, the freshest fish, I won’t go on) so she came a-calling on Momma. Who, by the way, also goes to her and literally hundreds of recipe books both cooked and raw for inspiration.
First, of course I mentioned green smoothies, my go to lunch at least 4 out of 7 days a week but she wanted something ‘to eat!’ so I suggest making some wraps of sliced or even pulsed which is faster (unless you have a mandolin – which I have but dare not use, it looks lethal!) vegetables. Carrots, mushrooms, spring or red onion, radishes, avocado, whatever you have and like, even some cauliflower or broccoli.
Mix it all up with a few herbs if you have them, maybe a good sprinkle of ready to eat sea salad, a drop of olive oil or sesame oil would give a more oriental flavour and some balsamic or a drop of tamari or soy sauce some good combinations to mix in small quantities OR to put in a mini sealed pot to dip into:
- olive oil – balsamic – basil – salt n pepper
- sesame oil – soy sauce/tamari/ liquid amos (I use the coconut version with no soy) – splash of maple – pepper
- Teriyaki sauce (I use the coconut version, because it has no soy)
- a blended avocado, drop of cider vinegar, pinch salt, italian herbs or chopped chives
- juice of one orange, splash of soy sauce/tamari/ liquid amos (I use the coconut version with no soy), dash of olive oil, sprinkle of sea salad. I think this is one of my favourite dressings for salad too, I put lots on and happily drink what is left out of my bowl, if we don’t have visitors of course.
- blended plums (3 or 4), a sprinkle cider vinegar, chilli depending on taste and heat, tbsp olive oil, onion – match quantity to size of one plum, a small chunk of fresh ginger, a date or two and, depending on meetings, a clove of garlic.
You could make a raw wrapper, use a wholewheat pitta bread, corn tortilla or a great and light one is a rice wrapper that they sell for spring rolls.
As with all my recipes adjust to suit you. I am not a chef, I throw things together and make them work (and occasionally they don’t) and I have been doing this for many, many years so know what we like and work more on instinct – even when following a cooked recipe, it has to be said, much to Aimee’s dismay. And Robins on occasion, as you can see here .
Nom nom.Learn More
And we all know that is true don’t we?
So, we are doing our ‘especially lean and clean’ week and it is going, as MM would say, very well indeed. We are juicing first thing. Well, after our lemon water. Green smoothies around lunch time followed by more juice (one I made earlier with the first and put in the fridge). It’s hot here so we are also hydrating with cucumber and water melon juice, also juiced at the same time because washing the juicer is not my favourite pass time, with half a lemon squeezed into it and cut half and half with water; so refreshing.
But, yes, after a few days that can get boring, too sweet, too wet, too…..good!
So how to balance it? Sometimes it needs more time and preparation. Sometimes you can just add in a less ‘clean’ ingredient, as long as the balance is tipped more in the clean direction.
Here are a couple of examples:
For a really fast fix, say you are craving and leaning towards a cheese sandwich, burger, pizza or all three, or just getting really grumpy. Whatever, you need it NOW!
Get a few courgettes (which you will always have on standby as they are so versetile – courgette post needed) and spiralise them or use a vegetable peeler to peel them into ribbons. Splosh on some fruity olive oil, a good squeeze of lemon, sprinkle of salt and pepper, a crushed clove of garlic and toss it all together. Put into individual bowls (easier with this one than a serving bowl otherwise one person will get all the topping and another almost none). Now for the really good and a bit naughty (if you are doing an especially lean n clean week) bit – top each serving with a generous grating of delicious parmesan cheese, torn basil leaves and a sprinkle of chilli flakes or ground black pepper. Et voila!
The night before last we had Mexican – Tortillas piled high! I was so excited about them and the football that I forgot to take a photo.
I made and dehydrated my tortillas, from vegetables and flax, but lets face it, bought corn tortillas softened or crisped up in the oven (no fat!) depending on how you like them would not be a bad choice.
I warmed halved cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced red peppers and spring onions all sprinkled with spicy, smoked paprika outside in the sun; I put them on a tray and covered them in cling film, it worked a treat.
We put that mix on the tortillas and topped with the following:
Guacamole – I simply pulsed (you could chop and mix by hand, of course) an avocado, spring onion and tomatoe with the juice of a lime, a sprinkle of sea salt and scattered it with chopped coriander leaves.
Salsa – I blended a couple of tomatoes, 4 sundried tomatoes (my own from last year whoop, whoop!), 2 dates, a glug of apple cider vinegar, a dried chilli and a clove of garlic.
Sour cream – for this you could use natural yogurt or kefir (strain through a coffee filter resting in a sieve to make it nice and creamy). This time I made a cashew sour cream with-cheesy-on-top flavour by blending a handful (I have small hands so its cheaper 😉 of soaked natural cashews with some of their soak water (judge how much you need as you make it), a squirt of lemon juice (adjust to taste at the end), a tablespoon of lecithin (not necessary if unavailable) and the same of nutritional yeast (which gave it the cheesy flavour. It would have worked without as plain sour cream) plus a sprinkle of sea salt and a good few grinds of mixed pepper.
Yumaloo! It took about three hours for the bits in the sun though they would have been fine fresh or even warmed through and softened in the oven.
And it was still lean and clean and full of natural goodness. Perfect for watching the footy match.
Apart from my team lost. Oh, Wales, we love you!
Its extra clean ‘n’ lean time again (why don’t we just keep it up continuously?!).
Anyway, I’m not beating myself up about that I am embracing what IS.
My first thought, as usual, “oh, I’m so excited!” closely followed by “Oh, I’m so deprived….”. Especially when in the book I am reading they are sitting down to gin and tonics before dinner, delicious morsels followed by sumptuous meals with sauces and fine wines and all the things I LOVE and we meet friends and they are all going out to the bar that night and having pizzas and a very merry time and we, My Man (MM) and me, have ‘that’ conversation –
Me “How come everyone else just eats normally and drinks when they want and has lots of coffee and cake and they all look healthy and happy and are having SO MUCH FUN?!”
MM “Yes, it does seem that way, maybe we should give up giving things up?”
Me “Well, no we are lucky we can do this and have all the equipment and knowledge and its delicious anyway and we feel so much better…. Don’t we?”
MM “Yes, we do. Lets just get on with it” (he knows me so well)
Me “But, but, but, but, but”.
As MM always says, with his Master NLP head on, I am a miss matcher. I want what I can not have or the opposite of what I can have. I buy fish for dinner and by dinner time I do not want fish under any circumstances (of course I eat the fish, and enjoy it when I have it, I’m not spoilt just contrary ;).
So I had a little think.
When I eat clean, delicious (I am quite good at it even if I do say so myself, and so I should be, people pay me!!) food I feel lighter in mood and body. Within a day I feel this way so nothing to do with losing weight. Neither of us are over weight but we do get kinda flabby when we eat the bad stuff too often, as happens sometimes (yes, I admit it, even people who help others eat well and feel better are human, who knew? You can see another post on this here).
Today is the start of day three. I am less puffy, 3kg lighter, brighter and feeling great. We do eat pretty healthily 90% of the time. We drink wine (me) and beer or wine (MM) too frequently but rarely to excess.
After one beer/glass of wine we relax and stop thinking about work – that was always how it was anyway when we were working 12 + hour days at high pressure. Now life is more relaxed. Yes, loads needs doing, we live in a very old house and there is always a wall that needs re-pointing, a field to mow, loads of cleaning to do, the website to update (new one coming soon!!!) and jewellery orders to fulfil and designs to work on.
But old habits die hard.
When we eat more lightly, drink juices and smoothies and no alcohol, the day is longer. We are not chasing the party feeling. We are calmer. We do more like going for a walk late evening, just sitting outside instead of in front of the TV, and so feel more satisfied.
So I flipped the thought that I am deprived and thought “I feel so good, imagine depriving myself of this light, calm, peaceful, productive-in-a-good-way feeling” – It worked. I know it sounds simple and I really, really had to feel it, it wasn’t just a throw away thought. And I have to keep reminding myself that I love feeling like this. I have a divine perfumed bath at the end of the day, my indulgent reward, with my book and stay there for hours tumbling into bed afterwards and feeling good about my day. What is not to like?
Flip that thought, it takes a bit of work but so does staying awake in front of the TV with a pizza and bottle of wine inside you or thinking over and over “I’m so tired/fat/spotty/grumpy/stressed/down/joyless/unhappy/angry/anxious/add your word here”.
If you need help don’t hesitate to ask – flip phrases free for you XX
Next time you wash and condition your hair in the bath, especially using deep conditioner, remember the bath gets slippery!
How many times have I thought that? Quite a few. This time I didn’t.
Bruised ribs, bruised boob.
Words of wisdom and experience.
Be safe, be happy, don’t worry, sing, dance, don’t burn in the sun and don’t use conditioner in the bath.
There it’s out. That is how I feel right now.
Frustrated, angry, guilty, shouty, sad, tired, tired, tired and too mad to even sleep a moment.
When that anxiety raises its very ugly head the day hits a fast downward spiral. Its clear in a look, a posture, a smell, a tone that oh ho, its coming, doesn’t matter how fast we run its going to catch us.
That knot in the stomach, that sinking feeling, that whispered ‘Oh nooooooo’.
That twist when your day turns from what it was to what it is going to be, ruled by anxiety.
Its like walking down a corridor bumping into one side, recorrecting, bumping into the other side, recorrecting, never getting it right.
Reacting, or trying to, to just what comes next, no looking at the big picture, no peripheral vision, the world blinkered…. Need to do this, whoops, did that wrong, need to do that, oh need to do this, didn’t finish that……bobbing about in a tiny boat on a vast ocean of pits and troughs and huge waves just smashing right down over you.
Well, that’s my take on it. I’m not the one suffering from it, though it makes me very anxious when it happens. I am the partner, co-driver, crutch or contributor.
I watch, I get mad, I shout, I talk him down, I talk him up, I care, I cry with frustration that yet another day, event, moment has been lost or ruined. I feel guilty for my bad reactions. I take many deep breaths and push through the good reactions, only to fall into the bad again.
We work through it together, we are a team. When this happens I’m the grown up, the parent, the rock. And no it is not easy. It is doable.
This is the first time in all these years I have spoken out about this. Less than a handful of people know.
When it happens, which is very rare now, I don’t socialise, we don’t socialise; I am not good at smiling and pretending.
Sometimes I want to, and often I do when we are in the midst of ‘it’, cry my eyes out. Sometimes I feel really sorry for myself.
But its not my anxiety, it’s just something I share.
I once said “Why don’t you just let that anxiety sit right there with you? Let it be there, don’t fight it just accept it”. It soon got bored and it really did go away much more quietly and quickly than usual. I thought, “that’s it, a cure!” then the next time, maybe we were both more tired or depleted but we often forgot that trick.
I also remember, and this a big confession. Oh the shame, saying in the midst of a very deep, long, dark and particularly desperate period about 18 years ago – there were seriously mitigating circumstances, another post about dealing with what life, and people throw at you will show up one day – anyway, I actually said “You conned me! I thought you were strong. I thought you would be there for me. I didn’t know I would have to be your Mother!”. I am sure I have said worse too. I didn’t understand how it felt, how there was no control, how he didn’t understand, how he went blank to hide behind it.
But he is incredibly strong, totally there for me, we share our care. Just not on those days.
And now I see him change people lives in a few hours, literally. He’s a rock to so many, he’s a wave of calm when you are in the middle of turbulence. He’s a voice of reason, full of quiet wisdom and even in the midst of dire personal loss he has turned someones life from wretched to full of hope!
There is hope, so much hope!
For us, now (after so much work and perseverance and tears and talking) this happens once every few months, if that, and probably only lasts a day. As it used to be there would have been one good day every few months! I showed my frustration today, however much i know and help others deal with things I still react in a human way. I do have the tools to help now though and the practice to remember to use them, usually.
If you are the co-rider of anxiety try to remember:
1 They are not doing this on purpose.
2 Anxiety is strong and tricky – try to find some tricks to use against it (tricky post coming up).
3 Breath, remove yourself and regroup when you start feeling yourself slip into despair.
4 Remind the anxious person to breath, take time out, regroup. Often.
5 Find them something soothing and/or distracting,- walk, bath, hot and cold showers, running or other exercise, watch something really funny to belly laugh. Its hard at a time like that I know, it’s worth it.
6 Suggest they choose tasks that don’t need thought or real responsibility whilst they ride it out. Understand you need to direct. I am sorry, this is tough if you are working for other people. There is no easy way.
7 Acknowledge what is happening. Verbalise that it is happening now but is not permanent (even if you have one good day every few months).
8 Work on a plan together of things you can do to take control.
9 Discuss how it feels for you both. Especially the anxious person, they probably never thing about how it feels they are just stuck in this dreadful engulfing feeling!
10 If you have kids explain, maybe get some advice about how best to do it. Don’t leave them being anxious because they are picking up on anxiety and have no idea why or what because you can’t see or touch it and it isn’t spoken about.
11 Really remember that anxiety does not define a person.
12 When improvement happens try not to blip back to how it was at its worst as I did today!
Sometimes the trigger can be obvious and sometimes not so. Try to trace it back because there is often some clue.
For us today there was a migraine, a type that causes dream flashes, a bit like déjà vu, that is very frightening.
Usually I smell a chemical smell up to about 12 hours before these migraines but this time there was nothing I noticed so I could give no warning and it is very frightening. There were disturbing dreams last night.
Fragments so small as to go unnoticed can piece together a bit of information. By discovering a few reasons you can rationalise a little bit and that gives a feeling of understanding and so control, or something akin to it.
As you talk it through, investigate (the time needs to be right for both parties!) the boil will reduce to a simmer, the sea will calm, that band of pressure around the head will slacken a bit. It really is anxio’us’ it effects all people close.
The amazing thing for us is that we have experience, stories, history, and we have learnt over many years and much study in a determination not to be beaten, how to deal with some of the rubbish life can deal out. That rubbish can taint everything else or you can start clearing it out.
I feel so much better now that I have talked.
Time to go back as support… I am sure tomorrow will be better, maybe even this evening.
Do not suffer anxiety alone. Here to support you whether you are the anxiety pilot or co-pilot.
Follow up, 4 hours later, I read this post to my person, he calmed, understanding helps, we went out shopping, we laughed at a few normal things, it dissipated. That sounds as though it was like a mild headache, it wasn’t for a short time. It never is. But these days it is just a reminder of what it was so, please, have hope!
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