My Staples are Banana Fudgesicals and Service Work

October 21, 2012

Most people consider foods like bread and milk and sugar to be staples, but ever since I discovered how to make homemade fudgesicals out of nutella, those have become a staple at my house too.  I got the idea off of the foodie blog, Daily Waffle.  The recipe is incredibly simple: just mix together one cup of milk and 1/3 cup of nutella.  Then, if you want it to be extra special, add sliced bananas.  (That was my idea!)  Pour the mixture into popsicle molds and let them set overnight.  The next day you have fudgesicals that are much better than the ones from a store.  I say better, because of the bananas-banana and hazelnut is a genius combination!  The flavor is so rich and delicious!
Mmmm, look at that fudgesical!  After I finish typing this I'm going to make some more.  Also, these are a great way to use up overripe bananas!

Speaking of staples, I have been doing a lot of service work lately and I feel so good afterwards that I think it is a good idea of service work being a staple of one's recovery.  By service work I basically mean work that helps other people.  I have been doing more In Our Own Voice presentations lately-in fact, tomorrow I am going up to Dahlonega, Georgia, to do three IOOV presentations to psychology classes at North Georgia College.  It is my hope that speaking about my experiences of living with mental illness will help ease some of the stigma present and that it will spawn some great discussions.  Even more than that, I hope that if there are any students in the classes who deal with mental illness, which there probably are, then I hope the presentations will help give them some hope and let them know that they are not alone.  I completed college even while grappling with major depression, anxiety, and undiagnosed borderline personality disorder.  I am so glad that I completed college, but there were many times when I felt alone and isolated.  I wish that colleges offered more support groups or group therapy-I think the outcome would be worth the extra work.

When I got really depressed and anxious last year, I feel like a part of me died, but doing service work where it is my experience of having mental illness that helps people, I feel like I gain a part of myself back.  To borrow a phrase from Christianity, I feel "born again."  I feel like a worthwhile person and for a person that has struggled with low self-esteem, I cannot say how much this feeling means to me.  Just like the fudgesicals, sometimes recovery is sweet.

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This Ain’t Livin- To Live with Compassion
Living with compassion is the only way I can navigate the world and be able to look at myself in the mirror in the morning; caring for other beings and believing they deserve equal space in the world is my foundational belief.

 I lost the faith I once had. I stopped believing that God only loved me if I was happy and peaceful. I also gave up on the idea that depression was punishment or isolation from God. I can't enjoy the same songs. I cannot bear the same sermons. That faith is gone. Just like the hours, weeks or months I lose to melancholy.

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