It’s been a long week of asking for help in all sorts of ways. I’ve asked for deadline extensions, for favors, for space, for listening, for patience, and for good thoughts. I’ve asked for friendship and support.
I’ve had to do all of this asking because I’m not feeling like myself. It’s rough. But I can comfort myself with the fact that I’m getting better at vocalizing what I need in order to get through moments like this.
Just as I was trying to shift my schedule around and bring some gentleness to my days, Simone Biles pulled out of the women’s gymnastics final at the Tokyo Olympics. In speaking out about her decision, she drew attention to the fact that mental health challenges are every bit as urgent as injuries to the body.
I’m grateful to Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka for modeling responsibility to mental health. I admire them, too. It has taken me so long to come to terms with the fact that depression sometimes affects my functioning every bit as much as a broken bone or case of the flu would.
We read quotes about how mental health is health, it’s OK not to be OK, and so on. But how often do we really act in accordance with these facts? I spend a lot of time talking about mental health topics, and even now, I resist taking a sick day due to depression.
In asking myself why, I realize that I’m hesitant to acknowledge how poorly I feel. I begin the day hoping that I’ll feel better by noon. But if it’s a really bad day, this rarely happens. If it’s a really bad day, I’ve learned that rest and patience are more effective than banking on the hope that my state will change within a few hours.
As this new week begins, I’m prepared to do what’s necessary to take care of myself. It’ll be uncomfortable, but it’s becoming less uncomfortable. I’ll do it as often and for as long as I need to.
I hope that you can do the same. If you happen to be in a similar spot (and I hope that you aren’t), I’ve got my fingers crossed that things start to look up for you soon.
Happy Sunday, friends. Here are some recipes and reads.
A beautiful collard green slaw, easy to make vegan by substituting the honey.
It’s the time of year for using up lots of summer squash. Susan’s casserole looks so homey and good.
Love this warm carrot and white bean salad from Heidi.
How realistic looking are Lisa’s vegan chick’n drumsticks?!
Finally, I need a warm dozen of Natalie’s gooey s’mores cookies in my life ASAP.
1. More association between foods rich in flavonoids and lower rates of cognitive decline. Hooray for eating the rainbow.
2. Speaking of Simone Biles, I really enjoyed this profile.
3. What sort of art should hang on hospital walls? I’d never really thought about it until I read this article.
4. A cool look at how remains of ancient dishes give us clues about ancient diets.
5. According to this article, the number of adolescent restrictive-type eating disorder admissions during the first twelve months of the Covid-19 pandemic was more than double the mean number of admissions per year for the same time frame for the previous three years.
That’s a huge increase. It reflects what I’ve seen in my private practice, and it’s distressing—though my main concern is for those who suffer in silence without seeking care.
On that same topic, but with a little more lightness woven in, I loved being a guest on the Recovery Bites podcast this summer.
Karin Lewis is a wonderful conversationalist and a wise practitioner. We had a great time chatting about veganism, recovery, balance, carrot cake, and more. You can check the episode out here, if the topic hits home for you.
Happy Sunday! If you’re not busy watching the Oscars, I have some delicious and beautiful recipes to share with you, along with some thought-provoking reads. To begin with, check out the absolutely electric colors in this crunchy salad. Yum! These Italian flavored vegan green “peaballs” look absolutely terrific. I’d love to serve them with some orzo or over risotto. Warm up on a cold night with a spicy, warming, and oh-so-cozy cup of masala chai hot chocolate. Wonderful. For dessert, let’s start with…
Happy Saturday, friends. This is a sweet morning for me; after a long week of finals, followed by some frantic catch-up on the work items I pushed aside while I was studying for finals, I’m finally done with my first semester of grad school. I’m currently enjoying a quiet morning of sipping coffee and reading by my Christmas tree. I do my best not to careen through the holidays, as I cherish this time of year. But like most people, I find myself rushing…
Happy Sunday, friends. A lot of you have already tried this past week’s curried tahini pasta salad and given it a thumbs up, which makes me so happy to hear! I’m already excited to make it again. I’ve spent the last two days catching up on all of the stuff I didn’t take care of while I was wrapping up my spring semester: unanswered emails, chores, errands, cleaning, that sort of thing. There won’t be much of a breather this year, as my…
A couple weeks ago, a reader passed along Carrie Arnold’s insightful article into treatment of chronic, adult anorexia. It’s been a long time since any reading material about EDs has brought up so much emotion for me. One reason may be that much of what I read about anorexia is focused on teens and young adults. I was eleven when I became anorexic for the first time, which means that the disease and its relapses shaped my adolescence and early adulthood. With each…
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GM Gena. Have you had any labs run to see if you have any deficiencies or toxicities? A lot of people on vegan diets do not get enough nutrients in bioavailable forms for their bodies to be able to metabolize, so this is common. The depression you experience could be caused by something like this. Maybe not, but have you ruled it out?
Labs are current and normal 🙂
Dear Gena, Sue is right. You are strong and brave, even when you don’t know it. “As this new week begins, I’m prepared to do what’s necessary to take care of myself.” That is a powerful statement and a powerful reminder. Just this morning I was acknowledging to a friend that my bandwidth for making conversation and social niceties was at “one bar.” This made us chuckle a little but also it felt so good that we both knew what that is like. I, too, have drawn great hope from the examples of Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka. They are making the world better for all of us by being real and responsible to themselves–and to us at that deeper level. Hang in there. Love you lots. And thanks for the beautiful collard salad–Wow!
Gena, you are strong and brave. Big hug to you.