We are imperfect beings. Each day we do the best we can despite our particular challenges. What does this have to do with sole? I am allergic to fish yet taking a twelve week cookery course in Ireland. Besides the soda bread, I’m guessing fish in all its forms is a good bet for Ireland’s national cuisine. I don’t consider my allergy a life or death issue until it is. I know what to do to manage, which is usually to avoid fish altogether while allowing others to enjoy it or cook it as the case may be. I do let them know about my allergy.
Having a fish allergy is by no means comparable to managing a mental illness while trying to accomplish a goal. I have also learned in my life how to manage depression and anxiety. I have been lucky to be able to manage through eating healthy, keeping the alcohol to a minimum, and engaging in consistent exercise. I also sought therapy when I needed it. Some of my siblings have needed to supplement with medication. As I’m sure I’ve mentioned, swimming is the key to (my) mental health. Walking and yoga do nicely too if you don’t like the water. Sometimes I color or paint. Or find a beautiful place to walk like the woods (above) that we found over the week on a hike. Do whatever works for you. They each have a way of building upon the other. If you swim in the morning you are not likely to drink at night. And there is nothing like swimming to convince a person to quit smoking, which was how I quit way back in 1981. I often encouraged my clients to give themselves credit for progressing toward their college degrees, sometimes in fits and starts, despite their mental health issues or histories of trauma. It was a privilege knowing I had a part in helping such students achieve their dream, but they deserved the real credit. How many of their professors or fellow students knew what it took for them to walk across that stage at graduation? Rather than blame yourself for struggling with a mental health issue, learn what works for you to manage it, find help, take medication if necessary (and prescribed), and give yourself some credit. You deserve it. Here’s a recipe from Friday. My eyes were burning from the fish, so I wasn’t paying close attention. Nor have I tried it for obvious reasons, but, hopefully, you can read, cook, and enjoy it.