Garlic and Butter Mussels over Butternut Squash Bisque

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One thing I loved about my job as a freelancer was that I constantly challenged myself in the kitchen. Because the site I wrote for relied heavily on social media networks like Pinterest for traffic, we were constantly having to come up with extremely unique and innovative recipes. Now that I’ve quit the world of freelancing and am just cooking for pleasure, food and my blog, I’ve sort of hit a creative wall block when it comes to inspiring ideas.

Mussels

Instead of scouring cookbooks, Pinterest, Food Gawker and G+ for ideas, I find myself reverting back to classics that don’t need a laundry list of ingredients or a whole lot of time. That might make me sound lazy, but when you’re working close to 50 hours a week for a very exhausting, creative job, a classic is all you can handle.

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That or frozen pizza, which is what I ate yesterday, shamefully.

mussles with bisque

However, I will say I’m trying a lot harder to inspire myself to step outside of my comfort zone in the kitchen. As part of my goals, resolutions or inspirations, I’m trying to make blogging something I do for the love of it and something I do far more regularly than I used to. I’m happy it’s not something I rely on for a source of income, but I also want it to be something I’m proud of again, something that reflects who I am as a person, a cook and a foodie.

Mussels with soup

This recipe for garlic glams with butternut squash bisque isn’t new, in fact, I made it months ago for my Gluten-Free cookbook. Sadly it never made the cut (we already had too many mussel recipes) and I completely forget it existed. Can you believe that?This soup is the creamiest, smoothest and most amazing bisque I’ve ever had. Paired with buttery and garlic mussels, it’s like a dream team when it comes to flavor. In fact, I’m going to remake it this week for a fun little date night in. Too bad my husband doesn’t like seafood, more for me, I suppose!

Garlic and Butter Mussels over Butternut Squash Bisque

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CLICK HERE FOR THE PRINTABLE VERSION OF THIS RECIPE!

Serves about 4. Soup adapted from All Recipes.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Total time: 60 minutes

Ingredients: 

For the mussels:

  • 3 pounds fresh mussels
  • 1 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (I used Chardonnay)
  • 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • Cracked black pepper
  • Fresh sea salt

For the soup:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup chopped onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped leeks
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped orange carrots
  • 1/4 cup chopped yellow carrots
  • 4 cups peeled and chopped butternut squash
  • 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Fresh parsley or cilantro for garnish
  • Cracked black pepper and salt

Directions: 

  1. To make the soup, heat the butter in a dutch oven over medium heat. Add the leeks, garlic and onions. Stirring constantly, heat the vegetables until soft and fragrant, about 3 – 4 minutes. Add in the carrots and squash. Heat another 3 – 5 minutes, or until they just start to soften.
  2. Pour the chicken broth, salt and pepper over the vegetables. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for about 20 – 25 minutes, or vegetables are extremely tender. Remove from heat and pour into blender in batches until smooth and creamy. Whisk in heavy cream.
  3. To make the mussels, rinse them under cold water and scrub lightly to remove dirt and excess film from outside of the shells. Remove the mussel beards (or those loose hairs on the shells) and discard.
  4. In a large dutch oven or pot, heat 1 tablespoon butter over medium high heat. Add the green onions, garlic and leeks. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are soft.
  5. Add the mussels and toss with some tongs. Add in the white wine and the broth. Cover and let steam for about 10 minutes, or until the mussels start to open up. *While the mussels are steaming, it’s important to stir them around so the vegetables don’t stick to the bottom and the mussels are on contact with the heat.
  6. To serve, ladle the soup into four large bowls. Top with a hefty spoonful of mussels and drizzle with remaining melted butter (from the mussels. Garnish with fresh herbs.

Nutritional information per serving: 

Calories: 276.5
Fat: 22.2 grams
Carbohydrates: 26.25 grams
Fiber: 2.8 grams
Protein: 32 grams
Weight Watchers Points: 11

Banana Nut Zucchini Muffins

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I don’t typically say recipes are “the best” because I think it’s a little narcissistic to say so. I mean, who I am to judge a recipe as best? I’m no Ina Garten or Amanda Hesser. With that being said, though, I will say this, these are the best muffins I’ve ever had.

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I know, totally contradictory. But I don’t have any other words to define these incredibly fluffy, moist and amazingly flavorful muffins. The mix of banana nut with fresh zucchini makes for an unbeatably healthy and delicious breakfast.

fluffy banana nut muffins

If you want to know how good these are, I’ve made them three times since perfecting the recipe last weekend. Some may call that obsessive, ridiculous or crazy, but once you’ve had a bite of these, you’ll get it.

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I have to also admit that my binge-muffin making comes off the tail of quite a few recipe fails in the baking department. In the past 2 weeks alone, I’ve had more fails that successes so having a muffin actually turn out is pretty amazing. I don’t know why nothing i make with yeast is doing what it’s supposed to, but I’m not going to harp on that. Instead I’m going to take my wins and celebrate them, how every small they may be.

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However, I will say, these fails keep me humble and they keep me challenged. I mean, how would you ever learn anything about baking if recipes worked out every single time?

Zucchini Banana Muffins

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go make these for the 15th time because they are just. that. good.

Banana Nut Zucchini Muffins

Healthy banana zucchini muffins

CLICK HERE FOR THE PRINTABLE VERSION OF THIS RECIPE!

Serves about 16. Adapted from Taste of Home.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 22 – 28 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 cup mashed bananas
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line one large muffin pan or two smaller ones with paper liners and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the flours, cinnamon, baking soda and baking powder together. Make a well in the center.
  3. In another bowl, beat the sugar, honey, egg, bananas, oil, applesauce and vanilla extract together until smooth. Pour the banana mixture into the flour mixture and stir, by hand, until fully incorporated.
  4. Carefully mix in the zucchini and chopped almonds.
  5. Fill each muffin liner 3/4 the way full with batter.
  6. Bake for about 18 – 22 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Nutritional information per muffin: 

Calories: 169
Fat: 5.6 grams
Carbohydrates: 27 grams
Fiber: >1 gram
Protein: 2.6 grams
Weight Watchers Points: 4

Simple Homemade Lasagna

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Today we’re going back to the basics with a simple homemade lasagna recipe. As much as I love the funky recipes like these melon and tofu spring rolls or this beef stew and french onion soup hybrid, I also love classics. When it really comes down to it, the food I most crave are the comfort food classics I grew up eating.

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Like lasagna. I’m such an addict when it comes to Italian food though. I could eat pasta with some sort of sauce, olive oil, crispy italian bread and proscuitto every day for the rest of my life and never tire of it. I’ve been all over the world and some of the most memorable meals I can remember come from my trip to Italy with my family in 2010.

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That trip was so special for a multitude of reasons, but it really changed the way I think of food and eating all together. I saw how much the Italians savored every bite, how meal time was a time to catch up with friends and family. Food wasn’t just something to eat to pass the time to get your nutrients, it was romantic and sensual. I came home with an entire new appreciation for eating, serving and cooking.

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I like to say I held onto that feeling, but when I was busting out recipe after recipe for the past 3 years of my life, I kind of lost it. I turned from cooking with love to cooking for money and income. Even though I’ve been out of that world for 3 months now, it’s still taking me time to find that happiness I once had in the kitchen.

meat lasagna

I will say, though, it’s coming back in spurts and certain foods really ignite that Italian mentality when I’m cooking, like this simple homemade lasagna. It’s not a complicated dish or an expensive one, but it’s one that just brings back so many amazing memories of growing up with my mom in the kitchen. It’s one that you can’t just shovel down in front of the tv. Every bite should be savored and tasted.

I realize how crazy, corny and “Eat Pray Love” that sounds, but it’s true. This was the first meal in a long time that my husband and I just ate, together, with a bottle of wine and no background noise. And if a dish can turn us away from our TV rut, it deserves at least a blog post, don’t you think?

Simple Homemade Lasagna

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CLICK HERE FOR THE PRINTABLE VERSION OF THIS RECIPE!

Serves about 12. Inspired by All Recipes.
Prep time: About 45 minutes – 1 hour
Cook time: 40 – 50 minutes
Total time: 1 hour and 50 minutes

Ingredients: 

  • 16 ounces lasagna noodles
  • 1 pound lean ground beef (I used 92/8)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped shallots **
  • 1 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 4 1/2 cups homemade marinara sauce (I used this recipe) *
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • Dash of sugar
  • Dash of salt and cracked black pepper
  • 2 cups part-skim ricotta cheese (16 ounce jar) (or precisely one pound of low-fat ricotta)
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature (I used brown ones)
  • 3/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 2 cups sliced fresh mozzarella cheese

*Sub in store bought if you don’t have time to make it from scratch.

** Use onions if you’d prefer.

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 9 x 13 glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil and add a dash of salt. Add the lasagna noodles and cook until al-dente, about 8 – 10 minutes. Place in a colander and rinse in cold water, set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, add the ground beef to a large skillet and cook, over medium-high heat, until golden brown. Drain excess fat (reserving one tablespoon) and place in a large bowl. In the same skillet with the fat, add the shallots, garlic cloves and chopped mushrooms. Cook on medium low until fully caramelized and vegetables are softened. Return the beef to the skillet and pour in the sauce, chopped fresh herbs (parsley and basil), dried seasoning, crushed red pepper, salt, pepper and dash of sugar. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 15 – 20 minutes, or until thickened.
  4. In a large bowl, mix the ricotta cheese, eggs and parmesan cheese. Stir until thick and mixed.
  5. To layer the lasagna, scoop about 1/2 cup of the meat sauce into the bottom of the pan and spread with a spatula. Top with 3 – 4 lasagna noodles. Top with 1/2 cup of cheese mixture, 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup of sauce and another 3 – 4 noodles. Repeat until the cheese and noodles have been used. Top remaining noodles with sauce.
  6. Cover the remaining sauce with slices of fresh mozzarella and a dash of pepper.
  7. Cover tightly with foil and bake for about 35 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes, or until cheese is brown and bubbly.
  8. Serve immediately with a dash of fresh parsley.

Nutritional information per serving:

Calories: 490
Fat: 16.5 grams
Carbohydrates: 40 grams
Fiber: 5.5 grams
Protein: 25 grams
Weight Watchers Points: 10

Red Wine Braised Pork Chops with Mushrooms

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These red wine braised pork chops with mushrooms is an easy, low calorie and a fun dinner option that adds some variety to your weeknight dinners. No more boring chicken breasts!

Red wine pork chops

It’s January 14th and I’ve still yet to put together a list of goals, or resolutions, or promises for the year. For many people, the idea of resolutions is stupid because as humans, we’re bound to screw up. And as humans, one screw up can completely derail us form our healthy motives to begin with. Trust me, I know this from personal experience. That’s why, as much as I love setting up goals in a new year, I’m always hesitate because i know i’m going to screw it up.

ingredients

However, that’s also why i’m not necessarily working on “goals” or “resolutions” this year, and instead more of a promise. Instead of telling myself that I have to lose 20 pounds, I’m going to promise myself that I’m going to find happiness in my body and focus more on health versus weight.

Red Wine Pork Chops2

But i’m still jotting down ideas. I’m hoping to have that published sometime this week, but knowing the way my life is going at the moment, it might not come out until March.

I will tease though, one of them includes a more healthy work/life balance. After joining my new job in November, I’ve been in a mad dash. The world I’m in now is so vastly different than the world I was in for 3 years, so even after 3 months, I’m still struggling to keep up. But I need to find a way to accomplish all of my work while still having time to blog, cook and work out. The last thing I want to see happen is this blog fall apart because I’m unable to balance.

red wine

I can’t say it’ll be perfect and I’ll blog everyday, but I can say I’ll try. And I think that’s just as important.

Red Wine Braised Pork Chop with Mushrooms

inside pork chop

CLICK HERE FOR THE PRINTABLE VERSION OF THIS RECIPE!

Serves 4. Adapted from First Home Love Life.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: About 15 minutes
Total time: 25 – 30 minutes

Ingredients: 

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 boneless, skinless pork chops (I used Omaha Steaks!)
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 – 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 sage leaf, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • Dash of pepper
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 ounces chopped baby bella mushrooms
  • 4 ounces chopped shiitake or oyster mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • Fresh parsley for garnish

Directions: 

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large an over medium high heat.
  2. Mix the flour, rosemary, thyme, sage, garlic salt and pepper together in a shallow mixing bowl.
  3. Liberally dredge the pork chops in the flour mixture, making sure to evenly coat all the sides.
  4. Add pork chops to the hot oil. Cook until browned on all sides, about 4 – 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add in the mushrooms, onions and garlic cloves. Toss them into the pan with the pork so they’re evenly touching the pan.
  5. Add in red wine and chicken broth. Reduce heat to low, cover and let cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 8 minutes.
  6. To serve, garnish each pork chop with an assortment of onions and mushrooms, and top with fresh parsley.

Nutritional information per serving (1 pork chop):

Calories: 381.75
Fat: 16.4 grams
Carbohydrates: 14.25 grams
Fiber: 2.5 grams
Protein: 32.25 grams
Weight Watchers Points: 9

Whole Wheat Raspberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

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Since Wednesday’s topic was a little heavy, we’re going to take it light today to celebrate Friday! I do, though, have to say thank you to everyone who read, commented and emailed me about my anxiety post. As you can imagine, it wasn’t easy sharing, but I’m so at peace knowing my post help others bring their struggles to the limelight.

berry coffee cake

But enough about anxiety, let’s talk about something that’ll never make you feel worried, sad or nervous; COFFEE CAKE! But not just any kind of coffee cake, one made with tart, plump raspberries, cream cheese filling and tons of buttery crumbles.

Whole wheat coffee cake

I know everyone and their mom is on some sort of “diet” for New Years, and I can completely understand that. I too am trying to cut back on calorie consumption so I can get dressed in the mornings without having a Julie Powell meltdown. However, I also just love food and it’s hard for me to replace my morning breakfast with a smoothie that tastes like a salad.

As much as I like salad, I don’t love it for breakfast.

Cream cheese coffee cake

That’s where this fluffy, sweet, tart, tangy and delicious coffee cake comes from. The beautiful berries give it a pop of color (and myriad of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants), and the whole wheat flour makes it a bit healthier than the kinds made with all purpose.

  Whole Wheat Cream Cheese Cake

And since each piece has less than 6 grams of fat, you can feel content and guilt-free enjoying it for breakfast. Because really, that’s my goal in life. To eat cake for breakfast and not immediately feel bad about it. And if I can share that with my closest friends, that’s just the icing on the breakfast cake.

Whole Wheat Raspberry & Strawberry Cream  Coffee Cake

Moist and fluffy raspberry c offee cake

CLICK HERE FOR THE PRINTABLE VERSION OF THIS RECIPE!

Serves about 16.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 40 – 45 minutes
Total time: 50 – 55 minutes

Ingredients: 

For the cake:

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup plain, 2% Greek yogurt (not nonfat)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the filling:

  • 3/4 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 8 ounces light cream cheese
  • 1 large egg, room temperature

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a standard size 8 x 8 glass or nonstick baking dish with parchment paper and dust lightly with flour. Set aside.
  2. Place the raspberries in a bowl and gently smash with the back of a spoon to create a bit of a paste.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the flours and sugar together. Add in the applesauce and stir to combine. Using a pastry cutter, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles wet sand. Save 3/4 cup for the top.
  4. To the rest of the mixture, mix in the baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, Greek yogurt and vanilla extract, stir well to combine.
  5. In another bowl, beat the sugar, cream cheese and egg together until combined and smooth (no lumps).
  6. Pour the  cake batter into the prepared baking dish. Carefully pour the cream cheese over the batter and then top the cream cheese with the smashed raspberries. To evenly distribute, carefully swirl the raspberries over the cream cheese topping.
  7. Top the raspberry filling with the remaining crumb mixture.
  8. Bake the cake for about 45 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool 10 minutes in pan and then remove and serve.

Nutritional information per slice:

Calories: 179.5
Fat: 6 grams
Carbohydrates: 27.7 grams
Fiber: 2.2 grams
Protein: 5.6 grams
Weight Watchers Points: 5

My Life With Anxiety

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I wish I could just sit here and share a new recipe with you. I wish I could talk about low fat coffee cake, crunchy apple bars and gooey caramel. But I can’t today. I have to talk about me and something I haven’t been 100% honest with you guys about.

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(Image via Pinterest)

I’m not dying. I’m not getting a divorce. I’m not pregnant nor was I. As the title precludes, today we’re going to talk about something deeply personal and hard. For the past year, I’ve been facing some really hard mental demons of my own. Instead of hiding from my diagnosis anymore I’m going to sit down and talk about it frankly with you guys. I’ve been living with severe anxiety for the past year and a half, and I think I’m ready to talk about it.

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People have so many misconceptions about anxiety. For one, everyone thinks they have it. My neighbor, my family members, every friend I confide in. They all believe they’re suffering from the same anxiety I face. And while I agree that everyone does face anxiety once or twice in their life, that doesn’t begin to scratch the surface at the amounts I face daily, hourly, every minute. So many people laugh when I tell them about it, saying “oh I have that too” or “exercise totally helps me” or “oh stop, everything’s fine.” My favorite though is “oh I’m sort of anxious about this and that, can I have a few of your xanaxs?”

Yes, people actually ask that. And people constantly belittle my disease saying it’s something I can just get over. Don’t you think I’d just get over it if I could? Don’t you think I would trade ANYTHING to not get physically sick when panic attacks hit or I break into a hysteria that leaves me broken? If I could just “get over it” I would have a long time ago.

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I’m not here though to bad mouth people who say those things, instead, I’m going to enlighten them and hopefully open the doors for people who are going through the same thing. See mental illness, despite it being 2015, is still something that carries a bit of a stigma. Anytime a major celebrity dies from depression or suicide, this conversation comes up again and again. “Why can’t they just seek help? Why didn’t anyone try to help them?” And there are even people who don’t think depression, anxiety or any mental ailment is a real struggle, they think it’s something a few pills and some therapy can help. Well, that works for some and it doesn’t for others. No wonder so many people hide their problems and deal with their struggles behind closed doors, so many people are so quick to judge them for having these kinds of problems. In a world where we broadcast our lives on social media and are constantly trying to portray our lives as perfect, it’s hard to sit there and go “I’m not perfect, and here’s why.”

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Trust me, writing this post isn’t easy for me. I struggle with so many inner demons, one of them being jealousy and inadequacy. I’m terrified of admitting that things aren’t shiny and glamorous, especially when it seems all of my friends and colleagues lead these post-card perfect lives. But I’m going to because I know I’m not the only person hiding behind the curtains, staring over at the neighbors greener lawn.

I’ve been struggling with some form of anxiety my entire life. As a kid, I was also a big worrier. My parents never saw that as a point of concern, they just noticed that I seemed to worry about everything, things 8 year olds shouldn’t worry about, like bills and college funds. As I grew up, some of that worrying faded and soon I was faced with the normal anxieties of a teenager. In college my anxiety deepened. It started to manifest itself inside of me and it scared me. Instead of talking to a therapist or confiding in my friends, I drank. I drank nonstop so I could stop feeling this constantly pull inside me that was weighing me down. Untreated anxiety can turn into many things, and my first two years of college it turned into depression. A depression I self medicated, which made things worse. A depression that finally forced me to open my eyes about my problems and find a solution.

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When I transferred schools, most of my depression went away, because I started talking to my family about it. Minus one very traumatic event my junior year, my anxiety had mostly dissipated. I still had it, well after graduation, our move to DC, my first job and break into freelancing. But it was manageable. The moment it became unmanageable was the day after the fire.

The fire left me completely broken. It changed everything about my life. I couldn’t leave my apartment without having a panic attack. I couldn’t walk down the street without having a fear that I’d come home to a burnt down house. Anytime I heard a fire truck, I literally had to take deep breaths to prevent myself from breaking down in public. Every single day was a personal nightmare for me, wondering what horrible thing could happen next.

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I wish I could sit here and say that moving to a safe new place and having a great year made all of my anxiety go away. I wish I could. But I can’t. My anxiety today is as severe as it was the day after the fire. I wake up every morning with a nervous pit in my stomach. From the moment I’m awake, my mind starts processing negative thoughts. I have frequent panic attacks where I feel like I can’t breathe or control myself. When I’m traveling, my thoughts are “my plane is going to crash” or “i’m going to get mugged.” People without anxiety can combat these thoughts easily by deducting odds and understanding chances. I can’t do that. My mind functions in a black and white way. It’s either this or that. I’ll either die in a fiery plane crash or I won’t. I’m constantly thinking of worst case scenarios.

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There was a moment last year where my anxiety completely took over while on a trip for work and I was so worked up, I couldn’t sleep, despite an early flight the next morning. I was so panicked, not even a call with my husband could calm me down and I ended up keeping him up most of the night as well.

That was a breaking point for me, I knew I couldn’t live like that anymore and neither could my husband. As soon as I got home, I talked with my primary care doctor about medicines that could help me deal with my anxiety. She prescribed me two kinds of medicine, one for daily anxiety and one for extreme situations. And I’m happy to report that after 8 months of taking the daily pill, I feel like I finally have some of my daily anxiety managed. But it’s not gone. I’m not someone who wants to spend their life mediciated, so I’ve recently started talking with a therapist. It’s scary at first, but incredible once you completely open yourself up to them. I was reserved, but now I look forward to our meetings every week. She doesn’t judge me or make me feel like I’m crazy for the thoughts. Instead she and I find ways I can handle it without the need for panic attacks or higher dosage medication.

I know my anxiety will never go away and that’s something I just have to find a way to live with. But I do know that I can finally manage it in a way that doesn’t leave me dependent on medicine. It’s been a very hard road and very windy one, but I’m here and I’m so grateful to have the support of the people around me. And I’m grateful to you guys for listening and letting me post this. To anyone who is facing crippling anxiety or any mental illness, don’t be scared anymore. Don’t be afraid to talk about it. Don’t be a slave to your demons, conquer them.

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If I can, you can. And that’s a promise.

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