Thursday, April 26, 2012

hoarding chocolate

Today 3+ pounds of chocolate were waiting for me when I got home. Amazon was having a big sale: 6 bars for around 10 bucks.

I feel prepared for an apocalypse.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

oh, the things that we do (Part I)

So, what happened?  I know I've mostly been posting fluff this past week, and I think that's a little easier to deal with than being introspective.  Everything that has happened over the past several months is really too much for me to sit down and write all at once, so I'll start at the beginning of when I really stopped posting, at least, posting about what was going on.  


Although at the time I think my tunnel vision was too narrow to really realize it, I really hurt my husband while I was depressed.  I isolated myself, and as a result, isolated him.  I gave him the emotional burden of having to worry about not only me, but also about his kid and the prospect of being a single parent.  I wasn't always kind.  I don't think I went out of my way to be loving.  I don't really remember.  I don't remember a whole lot about the past year and a half.  Maybe that is for the better.

Meanwhile, not long before I started going back to work, my husband befriended some woman he worked with.  She offered to babysit our kid if we ever had a problem.  He described her as being very empathetic towards me; she had spent six months in a psych facility for bulimia and other issues.  She seemed okay, and I think, more importantly, someone was there for him at a time when I wasn't, really.  She was the one who recommended the daycare provider who ended up falling through at the last minute.  She seemed like she was really trying to be friendly.  He joked that they had been eating lunch with her so regularly that his coworkers accused them of having an affair.  They were both amused.  That was how I think it all started.

I started feeling a lot better after I got back to work, but one night after a bad argument about I don't even remember what, I think, of all things, me being overwhelmed, wanting to bail, and trying to go to sleep, things went downhill.  I ended up calling my doctor and friend in a state of hysteria, and she ended up calling the cops, who came to my house.  They came, took me away, and meanwhile stumbled upon a comparatively benign but illegal substance belonging to my husband.  Awesome.  For the first time, I got to ride in the back of a police car to take a trip to the emergency department at the hospital where I worked.  I ended up being forced to take my clothes off, and ultimately getting a dose of IM Haldol for my civil disobedience-type attitude.  I remember waking up to a psych nurse screaming a name similar to my name (I guess she was not so detail-oriented) and then getting angry that I was not responding promptly (well, what do you expect after drugging me?).  I don't even think I wrote about it.  It's probably worth outlining in more detail some day.  Our mental health system is fucked up.  I suppose you could argue I was behaving poorly, though, too.  It is an awkward situation to have this happen at the place where you work.

Anyway, as you can imagine, spending yet another night in the hospital and getting my husband busted did not work wonders for our marriage.  Somehow we seemed kind of be getting through it, though.  

For more information on cankles,
see the grouchy post at this blog
As time progressed, he was spending more and more time with this woman from work (from this point forward, I'll refer to her as "Cankles" for some comic relief.  She is actually very slender - she just has cankles).  He was taking MiniMan over to her new house that she just bought with her husband and MiniMan was playing with her kids.  I still hadn't met them yet.  It seemed nice that MiniMan had friends.  At one point he asked me if it was okay with me if he and Cankles both took all the kids swimming together.  I said no.  I was definitely miffed.  All of a sudden it seemed like he was more interested in making time for his Cankles than he was for me.  I wasn't really sure what had happened to us.

I remember eating lunch with one of my old CV tech friends at the hospital and saying "I just have this feeling he's cheating on me.  And the funny thing is, I don't even think I care."  

Did I mention, we were not in a good place?

Meanwhile, my good friends turned out to neighbors with Cankles, and Cankles couldn't afford daycare anymore due to her brand-new mortgage payments for the new house, so my very kind friends started taking care of her two kids for 150 dollars a week (what a deal!), until the grandma retired to provide permanent free daycare.  

I remember asking my friends about Cankles - you know, was she an okay person?  I was a little suspicious of her.  They assured me she was cool.  I decided I was probably just being a little paranoid.  I let it go.

Friday, April 20, 2012

in the dark

I keep hankering for runs but sometimes struggle to find the time. This morning I tried something new.

My alarm went off at 4:45 a.m. instead of the usual 5:15. I figured I'd go two miles and see how it went.

I had run down the same wooded, meandering quiet road yesterday, but at four in the morning it had developed a new character. Suddenly I found myself wondering "am I going to get eaten by coyotes? They are kind of nocturnal, right?" A minute later I realized the probability of me tripping over a fallen branch or some road kill was probably exponentially more likely.

There were no streetlights on my country road; just stars. Everything was clear.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Red Lentil Soup and Wheat-Chive Biscuits

Per Red Stethoscope's encouragement, I am going to start posting some simple recipes on my blog.

The following is a lentil soup recipe that is easy, doesn't require a whole lot of active time, but needs to sit on the stove for around two hours.  I ended up throwing everything in the pot, going for a run, coming home, preheating the oven, and then making some biscuits.

Here are the recipes!

Red Lentil Soup
Makes about 7 cups

1 cup dried red lentils (or other variety if you wish), picked over for rocks/debris, rinsed, and drained
1 can (15 oz.) diced tomatoes
1/2 onion, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
1/2 cup carrots, chopped
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon coarse salt, or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
4 to 6 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock (start with 4 cups)

Place EVERYTHING in a large saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and let simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, for about two hours.  If the soup thickens too much, add 1 to 2 cups more liquid.

*Note: I have used a combination of water and better than bouillon (a concentrated stock paste that you can keep in the fridge for a long time) in the past when I have been out of stock, which has worked fine, but in this case you probably would want to go lighter on the added salt.

Nutrition Info (for one cup):
Cal: 135; carbs: 27g; fat: 0 g; protein: 9 g.

Wheat Chive Biscuits
Makes about 9 biscuits

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
Smattering of chopped chives or other fresh herbs (probably 1-2 tablespoons)
1/4 cup butter
1 cup milk (I used 2%)

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.  Meanwhile, stick your butter in the freezer.  Mix all dry ingredients plus your herb together (flours, baking powder, sugar, salt, chives).  Grate your butter directly into the flour mixture and use your fingers to gently incorporate the threads of butter.  Mix in enough milk until just moistened.

Roll dough out onto a floured surface until about 3/4 inch thick.  Cut into circles with a small glass or biscuit cutter.  Bake 10-12 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Nutrition Info (for one biscuit):
Cal: 154; carbs: 26g; fat: 6g; protein: 3g.

Monday, April 16, 2012

feet will carry you

I've been jogging sporadically since college.  It always seemed to coincide with relationship troubles of one sort of another, and something about being alone on the road allowed me to just pound it out.  For me, even when I was upset about something and having comparatively cyclic thoughts, after running a few miles, they would start to lose their power.

I stopped running when I started working nights and taking classes.  It just seemed like there was no time.  I was either working, studying, taking care of MiniMan, or sleeping.

Between the tricyclic antidepressants, a bunch of other meds, working nights, and eating more than I really needed to I managed to gain about 30 pounds.  My husband was never critical about it or seemed to love me less because of it, but it made me feel gross.  I was uncomfortable in my own body. I had a closet full of clothes that didn't fit.  

When I started going back to work and was feeling a little better, I started eating better and exercising a little bit.  This helped.  I didn't really start losing weight until I found out that my husband had been cheating on me with a nurse who he worked with, though.  Although I wouldn't really recommend this as a weight-loss tactic, I am convinced that there is no appetite suppressant that compares!  Really.  I remember finding out and bolting.  I just started running, in the middle of the night, into nowhere.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

finding balance

I have been debating for a few months now, what to do with this blog.  Sometimes I think maybe I should start blogging again, other times I wonder if it's a waste of my time or if it just makes me feel more anxious than content.  Then again, what I write about and how I choose to portray it is my choice.  Another part of my wonders if there's any benefit to sharing my story with other people.

Anyway, I've decided to give things a test run.  We'll see how it goes.

It's funny, sometimes I'm not sure if this is still really a pre-med blog, because right now, I'm not even sure what I want to do.  I mentioned in my last post (several months ago) that I dropped physics (for the second time).  I remember feeling incredibly guilty and disappointed with myself.  In retrospect, though, I don't think I could have made a better choice.

At the time I was balancing a new job with a lot of overtime that was working to meet an upcoming deadline (now once again pushed back), a marriage that was going down the tubes, my child, and physics.  I finally had an "aha!" realization that if I tried to do it all, I wouldn't be able to do it all well.  Either I would:

a) go nuts again
b) lose my marriage
c) do poorly in my new job/not be able to contribute the way I wanted to
d) screw up my kid
e) not get an A or something close in physics
f) some combination/all of the above

So, I decided to put physics on the back burner.  I guess once I was finally faced with the risk of a-f (above), it just seemed like it wasn't the most immediate priority.  I'm okay with that.  I'm still only 26.  I finally have a job that is paying me decently (got a significant raise in the fall) and my marriage seems to have survived a long period of hardship (debating how to outline this in the coming posts, or if it's easier to just keep moving forward and not look back).

I'm not doing a whole lot, right now.  I'm working about sixty hours a week.  I'm going running a lot more regularly.  Thinking about doing a half marathon in the summer.  Down to 25mg QD of the Seroquel and nothing else.  Not seeing a shrink, but listening to a lot of Tara Brach who has really offered a lot of clarity.  And surprisingly, I am really enjoying my life.  I'm enjoying the weekends and spending time with my friends and my family, cooking, being outside, and even just trying to fix up the house.  I know it sounds kind of basic, but I feel like for the longest time I've been working so hard with the goal of some day being happy.  I finally realized I don't have to wait.