Holy shit it’s 2017 already and I did another Emil classic of disappearing for a few months. I’m so predictable, it’s embarrassing.
I don’t usually go into my mental health stuff a lot here, but I’ve decided to post a little bit about how I’ve been the last few months. I’ve been in a very dark place so feel free to skip ahead to the recipe below if you’re not interested or not able to read further, but writing has always been good for my soul, so I’m going to give this a go and hope I don’t get scared and delete.
My mental state has slowly been unravelling since September and by the time it got to late last year, my brain had had enough. I borked it. I sank to a whole new low in the long history of my depression. And it scared me. I can just about deal with myself when I go into self destruct mode, which I passed through briefly..because why skip out on all the fun? This time it was different.
I sank lower and lower until I just about gave up on myself, hid in my bed and waited for everything to end. I didn’t care enough to hurt myself anymore than I was already hurting, I didn’t have the fight in me to try and push through it. I just wanted everything to stop. It didn’t. The world kept going while I kept myself hidden. For the first time in my life I couldn’t function and be an adult. I couldn’t do the basics like eating, drinking or getting dressed in the morning. Leaving the house was impossible because everything outside of my bed was terrifying and exhausting. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so completely alone before. I’ve been suicidal and have acted on it in the past, but I’ve ever wanted to die as much as I did then. I know the only reason I didn’t do it was because I had zero ability to act on anything at all.
I can’t describe how frustrating it is to not be able to care for yourself. The humiliation when someone puts food in front of you and pleads with you to eat. Finding yourself in the supermarket, wild eyes, barely able to breathe, tears running down your face because you made it there, but what the hell are you supposed to do next? How did you get there and why are you even there at all? Seeing fear in the eyes of the people who love and care for you, because they don’t even know what you are anymore. Being so fucking bored of the same complaints going round and round in your head. The agony of not being able to just let it all go and move on. The realisation that no matter what you do, you’re always going to end up back in this place and eventually you will find yourself lost in it forever. It will consume you because it’s bigger and stronger than you can ever be. It’s painful and hopeless.
It’s been really hard, but I’ve finally been able to start getting my life back together. I started off small; short walks in the park with the lovely Jenny from Spice Box of Earth and her gorgeous pooch Vulpe, venturing to the cinema with friends, having a conversation with someone (even if I could barely process it). I’m now in a place where I’m back at work on a phased return, four hours a day, three times this week. I’m over halfway through. I’m super tired but I know I can finish this week and I also have some lovely plans with even lovelier people at the weekend. So good things are coming my way. Also Kobi has been amazing during this whole time, lot of love going out to this little guy
Today I managed to cook a proper meal for the first time in weeks. On my way back from a recent visit to Jenny’s I came across a shop that sells Plantain. I suddenly found myself feeling inspired. A feeling I had not had in a long time. So I bought one and promised to cook with it. That was last Saturday and I only got round to it today, but I’m really pleased that I managed to put something together.
Black Bean & Plantain Tacos
For the plantain:
- 1 plantain
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 2 tsp cajun spice mix
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp salt
- oil for frying
For the black beans:
- 1/4 onion, chopped finely
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 red pepper, finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp chipotle chili flakes
- 2 tsp mexican oregano (I used the Cool Chile Co brand)
- 1 tin of tomatoes
- 1 tin of black beans
- 1 tsp salt
- handful of coriander, chopped
- Lime juice
- Corn tortilla’s
- First, get the black beans going. Heat a little oil in a pan and fry off the onion until golden. Add the pepper and garlic and fry for a few more minutes. Add the chipotle and oregano and fry for 30 seconds or so.
- Add the tinned tomatoes and black beans. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes or so before seasoning with salt and fresh coriander
- While the black beans are simmering, slice the plantain and coat in the spices and brown sugar. Heat some oil in a pan and fry off until crispy (about 2 minutes on each side)
- Heat up a pan and warm through the tortillas because stuffing with black beans, plantain, guac, salsa and a little lime juice and coriander.
These were really delicious, I actually enjoyed eating them. The plantain was sweet and caramelised which just worked with everything else in the tortillas. I could only manage 1 because my stomach has shrunk to nothingness, but hoping I’ll be able to cram another one in later this evening.
I’m feeling slightly positive that things are on the up for now, and I hope I’ll be posting more here soon. If I don’t it’s because life is overwhelming and I’m tired, but as soon as I’m ready I’ll get back in the blogging saddle for sure. I have lots of things planned.
I hope you all had the best time over the holidays. I’ve missed blogging and I’m looking forward to coming back. Also if anyone has any good recipes for plantain, send them my way. I want to cook with it more.