Time To Talk 2016

Has it been a year already since my last Time to Talk post?! That is terrifying.

What I want to share this time is the truth as I see it. When someone tells you they have a mental illness what do you think? Will it change your view of that person? Will it change your relationship with that person? Will you have to act differently around that person?

The answer to all of these things is no. The person is no different than they were before they told you. In fact it is rare that people with mental illness open up with people about how they are actually feeling.

If anything you should have positive thoughts about the person trusting you so much that they can talk to you about their mental health.

As someone with mental health issues – I am very open about my conditions and actively try to start useful discussion on the subject as well as support others with similar issues. One of the best yet hardest lessons to learn with mental illness is you are not alone. However, I also know from experience that every single persons mental health is 100% unique to them. My anxiety will not be the same as every other person with anxiety. Similar traits and physical symptoms, yes, but identical no.

I, like many other people with mental health issues, spend a lot of effort trying to be “normal” and to cope internally. We disguise ourselves so well that no one notices we are ill. We go about our day and no one would know that inside we are at war – with out own minds.

I wrote the rest of this article specifically to illustrate what it’s like in my little unique head sometimes. During a panic attack. It wasn’t easy to do but it’s the most honest I could be. So, here goes:

Right here, right now. I am in the midst of what I call a functional panic attack. I’m not sitting hyperventilating into a bag just yet, I’m functioning; I look normal or even relaxed on the outside but inside I’m panicking.

What are you panicking about? I hear you ask. Nothing I don’t think – I woke up like this for some reason.

What are you thinking? Normal thoughts and questions but FAST everything is like constantly going downhill on a rollercoaster. This is my inner monologue:

“You should sort out James’ lunch”
“You need to take out the bins NOW!”
“Empty the dishwasher – there are too many dishes on show!”
“Now take your meds”
“You have a cold, make a hot drink”
“You should have something to eat – why haven’t you eaten yet?”
” Why haven’t you taken out the bins yet? – You should have done that by now”
“My god my back is sore”
“There are too many papers on the table sort that”
“But wait you haven’t had breakfast yet”
“You should do that article now that you said you would write during your next attack – if you don’t whats the point in your blog?”
“Don’t panic too much you’ll have a seizure”
“That breakfast isn’t very healthy”
“You haven’t taken your meds yet”

And so on.

While this is all going on – my autonomic nervous system has kicked in – this is the fight or flight side of the nervous system. The side that works when someone attacks you or you need to run away from a lion – this makes my heart go at 124 beats per minute (I measured it on S Health on my phone) as well as this my hormone control has released adrenaline (what they inject into people having in anaphalactic shock) and a whole cocktail of other wonderful stuff. Just to perpetuate the feeling that all these tasks are actually life or death situations and not just tasks.

I’m now going to go sit and try to calm my panic a little.

So there you have it. Nobody could tell if they looked at me. Neither the physical or the mental stress shows on the outside.

Mental illness is exhausting but it’s part of who I am. I just need to learn to control it and accept it.

One of the best ways you can help all the people you know who have mental illness, or even someone who you just think needs a little extra support is to talk to them. Let them  know you are there, you will not judge and you care about them. It will help. Maybe not immediately, but it will in the long run.

It’s time to change, it’s time to talk.

GFG x

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RIP Lemmy and Bowie

bow1Music has been my main source of comfort, escape and expression since I can remember. When I’m happy I listen to music, when I’m nervous I listen to music, when I have pain I use music to transport me away from the situation – to escape.

When I was about 7 in primary school we done a project on space where we were to bring something about space to show and talk about. I brought in my mums cassette dutifully placed at the beginning of Space Odyssey. The musical adventure of a astronaut called Major Tom talking to Ground Control. A song that I listened to over and over again as a child and still do.

When I was around 10 I was given a compilation cassette with among other awesome songs “Ace of Spaces” by Motorhead. I would listen to this CD over and over and I remember jumping up and down on my bed air guitaring thinking I was an epic rock star.

As a teenager I was privileged enough to see Lemmy perform in Motorhead in Glasgow at what was then the Carling Academy. It was an amazing gig and I adored every second of it – they rocked my little world and their stage presence was astounding. It was so good that I could not hear in my lectures and labs for three days – they definitely turned it up to 11!

All the way up to now and I’m sure in the future I will turn to these great men’s creations for an emotional outlet. They’re songs are amazing and they will live on through their musical legacy.

If there is an afterlife then it just got a whole lot cooler to be there!

GFG x

 

 

 

Gluten, Wheat and Dairy Free Crispy Szechuan Chilli Beef

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This is wheat free, gluten free, barley free, dairy free, crustacean free… but certainly not taste free. I’m addicted and you will be too.

Ingredients:

Meat:
500g beef cut into thin strips,
3 tbsp cornflour,
1 tbsp gluten free Worcester sauce,
1 tbsp white wine,
3 tbsp rice bran oil.

Sauce:
4 tbsp gluten free Worcester sauce,
1 tbsp siracha sauce,
1 tsp  crushed red chillies,
2 cloves of garlic, crushed,
2 tbsp honey
1 inch squared ginger, crushed,
1 tbsp mirin,
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar.

Veggies:
3 spring onions shredded,
2 carrots shredded.

Instructions:

1. In a large bowl combine the cornflour, vinegar and Worcester sauce.

2. Mix with the back of a fork until crumbly.

3. Add the beef to the mixture and combine until the beef is thoroughly coated in a gooey coating.

4. In a wok heat the rice bran oil.

5. Add the coated beef to the wok slowly. Turn every minute until crispy.

6. Place 2 sheets of kitchen roll on a plate. Place beef on the kitchen roll – this will soak up excess oil.

7. In the wok add the veggies and combined sauce. Stir until the vegetables become soft.

8. Add the beef and stir until sauce thickens and coats the beef.

9. Serve with rice.

If you make this let me know using #glutenfreegirlie.

GFG x

Gluten Free Green Thai Curry Soup

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This comforting bowl of spicy cuddles is perfect for the cold and wet winter we are in just now. Here’s my secret recipe.

Ingredients

2 white onions (diced)
3 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
1 inch squared of ginger (finely chopped)
100g of spring greens or pak choi (cut into strips)
1 red chilli (sliced into rings)
2 tbsp miso paste (check brand is gluten free)
2 tbsp mirin
2 tbsp rice vinegar
4 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp tamari sauce (gluten free soy sauce)
Vegetables and meat of your choice – I used chicken, peas, sweetcorn, green beans, sugar snap peas, carrot cubes and mushrooms.
Rice or rice noodles to serve if desired.

Method

1. Heat wok with a small amount of water (100mls approx). No l is used in this recipe as it gives the final dish a less appealing appearance.

2. Once the wok is heated and the water is beginning to bubble add everything except the meat and vegetables.

3. Allow sauce to reduce and combine

4. Add meat. Ensure every surface is sealed.

5. Add vegetables.

6. Add ½ pint of water per person.

7. Allow to boil until chicken is thoroughly cooked.

8. At this point it is your choice of accompaniment. Add rice noodles directly to the broth, ladle over rice in a bowl or simple have on its own.

9. Enjoy.

If you make this it any of my recipes tag me with #glutenfreegirlie or @noglutengirlie if love to see your take on my inventions.

Love,

GFG x

GFG x

Possibly TMI…

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Hello everyone,

I haven’t shared what I am about to tell you all with anyone outside of my family till now but I am so excited about this new treatment that I want to shout it from the rooftops. So I will start at the beginning.

As you know I have severe food intolerances but what I haven’t shared is that my intestines and colon don’t work properly since I got my appendix removed 2 years ago. It’s called “chronic slow transit”. From when I eat food till I see it again in the bathroom can take anything up to 28 days according to a test I had last year where I took x-ray detectable tablets and then got regular x-rays to trace their progress.

I also have epic chronic constipation (here comes the TMI part). I have gone for 32 days without any bowel movement at all. During this I was given every treatment possible, including the powders that are normally exclusive to pre colonoscopy preparation. To have a movement at all I take laxatives morning and night (ducosate sodium or bicosadyl) and I have tried various weird and wonderful herbal remedies, I will try mostly anything once…

…Nothing worked, until an emergency appointment with a local doctor when I was on holiday in Kent (32 days of no movement and on holiday, it wasn’t fun) I was prescribed suppositories. After a few days of using them morning and night I finally went. When I returned home from my holiday I visited my GP and cried. I was sick (and still am) of being bloated, uncomfortable, looking heavily pregnant and being generally miserable. He re-referred me to my gastroenterology nurse that I had seen post appendectomy to see if she had any ideas. She did.

When I visited her we chatted about how I was managing my stomach and she told me there is only one treatment method left before I need to be referred to the surgical team – to discuss the possibility of a stoma. A stoma – the words I had been dreading but prepared for – my anxiety always thinks the worst case scenario and here I was – living it.

So the last thing we could try before I need to be referred to a surgeon was a little device called the Qufora Mini System. It’s a self irrigation system. Yess – self irrigating – me, who has self cleanliness OCD. However, I am willing to try anything with the prospect of some semblance of normality with my toilet visiting time.

I’m not going to go into details because that really would be TMI, however, I have now been using the Qufora Mini System for a week now (4 times in total) and I have to say – it is like I have someone else’s colon! It is fast (by comparison to the suppositories which can take up to 4 hours to work, if at all), reliable (I haven’t not been successful in it’s use yet and I am much more comfortable in myself. It is a little sore inside my abdomen but that will be my colon returning to a normal size. I am impressed and so, so happy with this system. Even although it is likely to be a life long situation, I am so pleased that I have found something that is so almost normal in terms of time it takes and success rate.

If you have any questions feel free to ask – I will answer them as soon as possible.

GFG x

My brain

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I have the full results of my EEG.

I don’t have epilepsy – hooray!

It’s not my heart – hooray!

I’m having “Non Epileptic Attacks” – to me that’s not really a diagnosis. It’s more a statement of what it’s not.

My brain is so wired about something that it is choosing to literally shut me down. Sometimes by just to a staring blankly into space and shutting out reality and othertimes, the scariest times, by making me totally unconscious.

Obviously my brain can’t cope with whatever it is… now all I need to do is work out what it is, work through it and deal with it then the attacks should stop… Easy right?

TL:DR – Mental illness strikes again in the form of “non epileptic attacks”- it maybe all in my head but that’s where my brain is.

GFG x

Day Zero Project – A Mind Focusing Task Orientated Goals Website

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So, this is a bit of an odd post – I don’t usually give into gimmicky and fad sites. However!

I have started a profile over on DayZeroProject.com – I even paid for a Plus Account.

The Day Zero Project is essentially a list of goals on a site that you can use for literally anything; but their most popular one is the one I am focusing on at the minute personally and that is: 101 things is 1001 days.

I have already started some of my list! 🙂

I will admit it is very hard to maintain (especially if you are me and you get scared even when the postman comes to the door with something nice. I hope I see it thorough to the end then I can say I have accomplished something.

I would highly recommend the site thoroughly to everyone and anyone.

My profile is: Day Zero Project – Mieliboo