What people with psychosis taught me

May 19, 2013 § 2 Comments

I had the privilege of working with people suffering from psychosis for two years. Since our roads grew apart, there hasn’t been a single day that at least one of them crosses my mind along with a valuable shared memory. I feel richer having met them and I am so grateful that my life brought me into theirs.

I thought of sharing a few things from this experience that usually contradict the stereotypes connected to them.

(All that with the sincere understanding of how challenging and demanding it is for the families dealing with psychosis. 40 hours per week will not make up for a lifetime. Also, the patients I worked with were severely institutionalized after long term hospitalization counting up to 40 years. Thus, what follows does not of course represent the total population. It is filled with my subjectivity as a person intentionally, instead of a mental health professional’s testimony).

1) People with schizophrenia are afraid of violence (both verbal and of course physical). They are at least as afraid of you as you are of them. The difference is, they have a reason for it.

2) They have an amazing intuition. They can sense if you’re down or if you had sex the previous night. They can see through you like no family member of yours will ever see.

3) They do have feelings. They bond with people and have preferences just like everyone else. It’s just that management of this is sometimes impossible thus they appear frozen and/or detached.

4) They have a great sense of humor often related to their own situation, gifting you with the most amazing sarcastic lines you’ll ever hear.

5) Many of them are well educated and extremely intelligent (often high above average). Some have a deep knowledge of specific interests and will make you feel completely clueless in a related conversation.

6) They can be loving and caring in their own way. They will at times try to show you how grateful they are for your presence in a way that will mark you forever.

7) It is much more difficult to “be” with them when they are “real” instead of when they’re delusional. The existential pain they experience can pierce your bones.

The rest, I keep in my treasure box. It’s been an honor.

Spoil Yourself

May 16, 2013 § Leave a comment

This morning I received these! My first tango shoes!!

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I fell in love the moment I saw them while browsing for tango shoes. It took me a while to browse them all but patience is a virtue my other half says.

As much of an easy choice this was, deciding to buy them wasn’t. Even though their price is justified for their limited production and the handmade component, my wallet couldn’t really afford them.

BUT! I tried to remember the last time I spoiled myself and well… it’s been a while. So, here we are. My shoes and I, ready to tango. With a blessing from Buenos Aires. What more can an aspiring tango student ask?

When was the last time you spoiled yourself? Do you regret it?

I know I don’t, cos this isn’t just another pair of shoes. They’ll be my partner while learning to tango, they’ll help me feel a bit more confident while attending the classes and just like me, as time goes by, they’ll learn to trust, let go and follow the right lead…

Try…

May 5, 2013 § Leave a comment

…to take a leap of faith.

The harder it is

the softer your heart.

The softer your heart

the better you are.

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Lately

April 30, 2013 § Leave a comment

It’s been like this

Comfort Food

April 22, 2013 § 2 Comments

It’s been one of those nights. All my thoughts were negative ones, fear for the future consumed me and knocking my head to the wall seemed like a pretty freaking awesome idea, not to add quite a spectacular escapade.  Thank God we can blame hormones for this momentum. To be honest, we can blame hormones for pretty much everything (in your face, male ones!).

So, what is the mature way to deal with all this? Hug your guy? Go for a walk, talk to your family or best friend maybe? Have some wine and consider things in their true dimension -which means not as exaggerated as Jodie Foster’s Oscar speech (sorry dear… I used to love you but it came to an end that night).

No, no and no. What I did was risotto. Lemon risotto with corn and rosemary to be exact, and it worked like a charm (well for a while at least, I had to call Mf for support eventually, gotta give the credits).

So I thought I should share the recipe for you to use in such a night. May your souls find the same comfort in it as mine did!

Lemon Risotto with Corn and Rosemary

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*(inspired by this and this, with a few twists)

* (risotto should be made for as few as possible but I needed the longer ritual for therapeutic reasons tonight and what follows is a list for 7 servings)

*i’m observing Lent, so I couldn’t use any Parm. There isn’t a risotto without “mantecatura” of course, so add some extra for my sake!

INGREDIENTS

Olive oil (enough to cover the bottom of a wide and deep casserole)

4 tb of butter

1 big onion (finely chopped)

3 garlic cloves (sliced)

500 gr of Arborio rice

200 ml of dry white wine

2 l of chicken/vegetable broth

300 gr of canned corn

zest from 1 medium lemon

juice from 1 medium lemon

2 rosemary needles (fresh and finely chopped)

5 tb of Parmigiano Reggiano

sea salt

freshly ground pepper

HOW TO

Make the broth and keep it warm till the end.

Heat the oil along with 2 tb of butter to medium heat.

Add onions and garlic till they turn golden.

Add the rice and stir till it goes opaque. Don’t stop stirring or it’ll decorate the bottom of your pan for the rest of your life.

Pour the wine and wait till it vaporizes slowly but fully. I said fully!!

Add salt.

Pour enough broth to slightly cover the rice and stir. Wait till it’s fully absorbed (yes, fully goddammit, don’t go bored on me now!). Repeat till you use half of the broth.

Add lemon zest, corn and rosemary.

Keep stirring and adding the broth till the rice is liquid, creamy but still sticks to your tooth. It’ll look “wavy” (al’onda).

Remove the casserole from heat, add Parmigiano, lemon juice, rest of butter and fresh pepper and stir.

Let the risotto rest for 2-3 minutes.

Serve and enjoy. It’s divine, I promise.

You are now ready to call your other half and shoo the blackness out of your system (at least for tonight).

Querer

April 21, 2013 § Leave a comment

“Fall in love from your heart

without modesty, without reason

with the fire of passion.

Fall in love without looking back

always through the eyes and even more.

Love

so you can fight against the wind and fly

to discover the beauty of the sea.

Fall in love

and be able to share our thirst for life.

The gift of love is life itself!

Fall in love

as if you’re between sky and sea

without gravity

feeling the freedom.

Fall in love

without expectations.

Give just for giving, always and even more.”

 

Happy birthday my youth, my pride, my love…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

30 fears for 30

April 17, 2013 § Leave a comment

A list of things I fear about becoming 30. May they fly away once out there!

1) That people will pester me about starting a family.

2) That I’ll probably never start one.

3) That everyone will start noticing my grey hair.

4) That I’ll be having less sex.

5) That Mf will leave me for some 20 year old bimbo.

6) That I’ll be attracting 20 year old college boys. Only.

7) That I’ll never own an apartment that I can decorate according to my taste.

8) That I’ll never own my dream office for my private practice.

9) That I’ll actually have to start using all those beauty products in my cabin.

10) That I’ll have to cut down on booze.

11) That people in the bus will start addressing me in courtesy language.

12) That I’ll have to cut my hair, cos long doesn’t flatter older women.

13) That I might consider staying on 29. For ever.

14) That I might never again want to celebrate my birthday.

15) That all my friends will be talking about babies and family holidays.

16) That if I arrange my girls-only dream trip, none will be able to join cos they’ll be breastfeeding.

17) That I may start crying during romantic comedies.

18) That I’ll be spending more time browsing Martha Stewart instead of, well everyone knows the truth.

19) That playing all day COD with my man will not be considered a cool thing anymore.

20) That once 5) happens people will be hooking me up with a bunch of nice guys whereas I’ll just want to turn into a lesbian.

21) That the first thing I’ll open my eyes to once I’m 30 will be my first wrinkle.

22) That people will get me presents with lame jokes about getting older.

23) That it’ll be inappropriate to sing this out loud.

24) That I’ll start saving money for boobs instead of retirement.

25) That I’ll start saving money for retirement instead of boobs.

26) That movies+dinner will be considered an adventure.

27) That I’ll wear my heels even less often than now.

28) That when the day comes, I’ll act like Joey.

29) That I’ll start having a crush on Justin Bieber.

30) That I’ll have even more moronic fears like these.

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