I talk honestly and openly about my experiences with mental illness, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome through the lens of feminism, fat acceptance and process theology. I also do recipe and book reviews. My mission is to spread the message that hope is always real for a better life, despite living in a world that is often very harsh.

Friday, May 25, 2012

No Shame in My Shrimp Tacos

I feel the need to start off this post acknowledging that I am having a lot of knee pain in both knees. Having this constant pain makes it hard to concentrate on the things I actually want to do, like writing this blog post. One of the core principles of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is the concept of mindfulness. Mindfulness is basically staying mindful on one thing at a time, which is why it is sometimes called, "one-mindedness." One of my best friends calls it "staying in the day." It is the opposite of multi-tasking and it is a good thing. Although multi-tasking is still very much encouraged in the workplace, it has actually been proven to not being nearly as productive and error-free as concentrating on one activity or thought at a time. What is so great about mindfulness is that I have found that when I divest all of my energy at the task at hand, then I don't have any leftover energy to divest in worrying. My anxiety has gone down considerably lately, most days anyway. But constant pain makes it really hard to stay mindful and so I am going to call my doctor on Monday and get a recommendation for a good rheumatologist. I've never seen a rheumatologist before, so I'm a little nervous about it, but it's not time to worry about that yet-first, I have to find out who to call.

 My knee pain actually is connected with my original topic. Today I had to fill out more forms for my social security disability benefits application and it was hard not to get a little bogged down writing about all the things that I cannot do anymore. No, I cannot hike anymore. No, I cannot do aerobic exercise. No, I cannot hold down a full-time job. But yes, I am still a good person. Yes, I still have things to contribute to society. Yes, I am still enough. After completing the forms, instead of wallowing in my shame, I chose to make dinner instead. My knees and hips were hurting and it hurt to stand, but I took the time to cut up the vegetables anyway. I gain a lot of satisfaction in making good, healthy, tasty food and I felt sort of defiant in continuing to cook. With every chop of the knife, I sliced a bit of the shame leftover from filling out the forms away.

 I made beautiful, colorful, shrimp tacos.  I got the recipe from the Gorton's company website.  I was going to use their coupon to buy some seafood and I wanted to see if I could do more with their product than simply heating them up.
 

INGREDIENTS:


packages (8 oz) Gorton's Classic Grilled Shrimp

1 medium mango, medium diced
avocados, medium diced
1 can of corn
1/3 cup heated white cheese dip
2 small tomatoes medium diced
Several squirts of lime juice
 8 inch tortillas

DIRECTIONS:

1. Prepare Gorton's Classic Grilled Shrimp according to package instructions; cool slightly and carefully remove tails.

2.  In a large bowl, stir together all the ingredients.
3. Fill tortillas evenly with shrimp mixture.
This is my recipe.  I made it even simpler than the one on the website.  It was a great cold dish-perfect for a hot day like today.  It was the juiciest taco I have ever eaten and I loved the sweet mango paired with the tangy lime.  I usually get tired of shrimp dishes very fast for some reason, but I loved this one with every bite.  
It really helped boost my self-esteem to be able to make this meal for my family.  Despite having fibromyalgia, which seems to be getting worse, and dealing with all of my mental issues, I can still help take care of my family and be a productive member of society.  I may be disabled, but I am never unable.

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