Sunday, September 13, 2009

Fish Pie!

I thought I should post something a little lighter after last time...
I have bled today, but that's due to stepping on a shard of glass from a lightbulb that shattered (not my fault, honestly.)

So earlier Matt and I were taking a nap, and before we dozed off, I was lying in bed, talking about what I might make for dinner. I was considering doing a meatloaf, but we don't have much in the way of mince, so I was pondering making a fishloaf.
In the end, I pretty much made a fish pie. I didn't have a recipe, so I just made it up as I went along.

I sauteed some green beans, a yellow pepper, a red onion, some mushrooms and a few cloves of garlic, and then put them into a ceramic dish.

I baked three fillets of basic white fish, and defrosted a small bag of mixed seafood (smoked salmon, prawns and mussels) that I had in the freezer. I added this and the flaked fish into the mixture.

I then boiled and mashed some potato, and made a cheese sauce with a couple of teaspoons of sweet smoked paprika mixed in. I mixed the sauce into the fish and veggies, then topped it off with the potato and a bit of grated cheese and pepper. And then I baked it at 180 for 40 minutes.

It tasted awesome.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Cutting out the self-harm.

Like most of those who self-harm, I started hurting myself as a teenager. I would use whatever sharp object I could find to cut myself. It started off as minor cuts, then rapidly escalated towards the end of my teen years.

Why did I start self-harming? Well, to be honest, I couldn't, and can't, pinpoint a reason. I had the usual teenage angst, the usual problems, the usual neuroses, but mixed with a great big helping of self-hatred and (then undiagnosed) clinical depression.

A lot of people remember exactly when they started self-harming, and what it felt like. I cannot. I just remember realising how it seemed to help. I used sharp items to scratch and cut. I never burned myself, or bruised myself - the cutting was the focus. My left arm was the site of most of my cutting, as it was easiest to cut, and easy to hide.

I didn't enjoy the pain of the cutting, per se, but the adrenaline rush was amazing, and the aftermath was really the point of it. I liked the blood, and the scarring. I'd run my fingers over the scabbing, secretly, and it would reassure me. I'd feel like I had something I could concentrate on. Something that was mine.

Forgive me if I seem to romanticise it a little. Like alcoholism and eating disorders, self-harm is something that most people never truly recover from. It lurks there in the back of your mind, whispering to you.

When I met Matt, ten years ago, I was pretty much at my worst. My arm was cross-hatched with deep scars and fresh cuts. Matt hated it. When I ended up in hospital after a suicide attempt, the doctors were horrified by the state of my arm.
I was totally blindsided by their reaction. My arm wasn't abnormal, was it?

So, gradually, I started self-harming less. Matt was unbelievably supportive, and he didn't chide me if I relapsed. And I have relapsed, multiple times. Mostly when I'm in the midst of another wave of depression. But it happens less and less often, the more years pass. I haven't cut myself in 2009. I'm not going to pretend that I'm cured, that I'll never do it again. But I have to take one day at a time.

My arm is permanently scarred. The upper arm, where I cut myself deepest, has quite obvious scars, and the lower arm is criss-crossed with hundreds of thin white lines. I have a five-inch-long scar on my thigh which is, thankfully, fading. I have to live with this.

Do you know what prompted me to write this? Jokes.

I am sick of self-harm being a 'hilarious' punchline. I am sick of people being labelled 'emo' or 'attention-seekers' for self-harming.

It's not a laugh. It's not a punchline. It's a horrible, dangerous, miserable condition. I should know.

Labels: , , ,