Hero

Not having a great deal of food in the house paired with the fact that I’m trying to limit cow’s dairy can be lame sometimes.

Or inspire creativity.

Yesterday I packed a quick breakfast to eat at my desk.

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Blackberries, blueberries, and pomegranate swimming in light coconut milk, with the last of my Uncle Sam cereal mixed in at the last minute. It looks grainy because it kinda was (my leftover bag of coconut milk had seen the microwave  a few too many times). Didn’t taste grainy, though, so I guess that’s all that matters. :-P

I stole an idea from Courtney in creating my lunch. The other day she tweeted about having a goat cheese, avocado, and red sweet pepper quesadilla, and I decided that was way more fun than a peanut butter sandwich.

I used some corn tortillas I had on hand and loaded them with goat cheese, avocado, half a red pepper I carefully haphazardly roasted over my gas range, grilled chicken, and spinach.

I have a problem with overloading my quesadillas. I always feel the need to increase my veggies.

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Mmm. My photography needs serious work.

This was so good that I’m making this for lunch again tomorrow, only I’m putting it in a pita instead!!!

For dinner I ate some pan-fried chicken, steamed drowned-in-sea-water broccoli, and some roasted delicata squash I seasoned with rubbed sage and salt.

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Yum. Frying anything is a rarity in my house!

But dark chocolate isn’t.

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  —-

30 Day Challenge
Day 5: A time you thought about ending your own life

I mentioned in my previous 30 Day Challenge entry that I had a dark period in my life in early high school. During that particular year I had all the classic signs of depression: couldn’t sleep, couldn’t concentrate, was always tired, lost interest in things I usually loved, was involved in a codependent relationship with someone who was far worse off than I was, had a general dark and bitter outlook on the world, felt hopeless and misunderstood (ah, 13 year olds), was emotional and didn’t know how to express myself constructively. I don’t remember having much of an appetite, but I gained quite a bit of weight that year. But I was never suicidal. I never remotely believed that death was an answer to anything. Maybe it was my upbringing; maybe it was my faith; maybe it was my common sense, but suicide wasn’t an option.

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(A blurry picture of my sister, Holly, and me during an end-of-semester program for my homeschool group back in December, 2002, right as my depression was setting in)

In a way I’m thankful for that year. I’m thankful in the “you know light because you’ve known darkness” way, but also because that experience made me a little more aware, a little more sensitive, a little less naïve about the world we live in. Something in me permanently changed as a result of that year. Peers who were dealing with issues much deeper and darker than I ever had were drawn to me, even though they knew nothing of my prior struggles and I wasn’t depressed when they met me. I became unspeakably approachable to them, in part because I was never part of the “in” crowd anyway, and that year helped me (even if I went overboard in expressing it at age 13) in being confident in my individuality. I tended to (and still often do) move against the mainstream. It was easy for me to empathize with the darkness I saw in others, but I was also grounded in reality and in my faith. I was a constant for many people who came in and out of my life. I was someone they could talk to without judgment. I was someone who could relate to what they were feeling, if only distantly. I was someone who would try to understand and care about them as a whole soul, a whole human being, instead of passing them off as “weird,” “messed up,” or a “punk kid.” I had friends dabble in Satanic worship, and I was there for them when they came out of it. I’ve had friends struggle with eating disorders, self-mutilation, promiscuity, self esteem issues, physical abuse, drugs, rape, prostitution, abortion, mental disorders, and yes, even attempted suicide. On one occasion, my friend Brandon had me to talk to a friend of his who was having self esteem issues. I became friends with this particular person, and a year later he told me that he was about to attempt suicide (for the third time) that night we first spoke, but something I said stopped him. It’s been seven years and he hasn’t attempted suicide since.    

I don’t say all this to toot my own horn or anything. I share this because even though I’ve never considered attempting suicide, I’ve known what it’s like to feel hopeless, alone, and misunderstood. I can clearly see what drives people to get involved in questionable activities and sometimes even attempt suicide. The people that deal with these issues usually look just like you and me. They look “normal.” They often blend in. We’re all human beings with souls and a purpose, and we all struggle. The difference is experience and how we deal with them. And we all need to open our minds and our hearts to those whose perspectives we might not understand. It just might save somebody’s life.

 

I could share many different songs that deal with this subject, but I’ll leave you with two of my favorites:

 

Have you ever been a hero to someone?
Who has been a hero to you?

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2 responses to “Hero

  1. one thing i *really* like is a nice leafy spring green salad with dried cranberries and blueberries with goat cheese. Add some seed mixture and YUM!!! Of course I haven’t mastered this on my own. i always go to market street (on 98th and quaker) and get a goat cheese and greens salad. It’s so yummy! they serve it with a blush wine vinagrette but i’m sure anything light will do :))

  2. Loved the story, Michelle. It’s so great you never fell into thoughts about suicide through all the struggle. It’s so true..we all have struggles, every single one of us! But it’s how we handle them that really matters. If only everybody were able to handle them as well as you did then less people would be taken by suicide. Beautifully written.

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