The Thankful Project Day 5: Tacos

I guess… More than anything, I’m thankful for Mexican food. But if you ask anyone, my favorite food is tacos – so this post is dedicated to tacos.

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Here’s the thing about tacos, and why I love them so much:

They are very versatile.

Am I the only one that remembers when iCarly characters would eat spaghetti tacos? You can literally put anything in a taco, and it’s still a gift from g-d.

Everyone loves them.

There are a few (and these few are limited) that don’t like tacos, but most (sane) people love tacos. And why wouldn’t you?

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They’re easy to eat with food allergies.

This might be the most important point in this piece. When I found out I had Celiac Disease, my first thought was, “If I can’t eat tacos, I don’t know what I’ll do.” But that’s the beauty of tacos! They can come in corn tortillas, flour tortillas, with cheese, without cheese, with veggies and no meat, etc. The possibilities are endless.

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Tacos are so easy to make.

If you think you can’t cook, never fear because tacos are so easy! Just get corn tortillas, lettuce, salsa, avocados, your meat of choice (this, you’ll have to cook), and cheese if you like. Put it all together and voila! A delicious taco at your service.

To sum up, tacos are the best. They make me very happy. And thus, I am thankful for them. How can you not be thankful for a food that is delicious, perfect in every way, and so beautiful?

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So, You’ve Had A Bad Day…

I had a bad day today. Just a plain old fashioned bad day.

And my first instinct was to blame it on my meds not working right. On my depression and anxiety acting up. On my Celiac Disease. On my various aching joints and genetic back issues. On anything but the fact that I just simply had a really bad day. 

I couldn’t tell you what went wrong. I couldn’t tell you why I came home from work and the gym feeling like a failure or just plain shitty. I couldn’t tell you why I got out of the shower and just started to cry. Because there was no rhyme or reason.

Still, as I sat on my bed and cried into my hands, I couldn’t help but want to blame it on something in my life that’s gone wrong. I wanted to curse my medicine bottles for not being enough. I wanted to ask why my depression makes me feel this way. I wanted to reach for a donut just to give Celiac Disease the finger. I wanted to make my back curve the way it’s supposed to and give voice to my aching knees and wail.

Honestly? I just wanted to cry and scream and curse and yell.

So where is the line?

When is it a bad day and not anything else acting up? When is it just my fault? When is it not me hating my body or my body hating me? When is it just an off day? When do I call it and say ‘yep, I might’ve just started the day off on the wrong foot?’

And it’s days like this that make me wonder:

When does it get easier?

When do I get to stop hating walking through the pastry sections in markets? When do I get to stop fearing having children because of this horrific genetic makeup I’d bring them into? When does depression stop trailing behind me like an abandoned dog I once dropped a piece of bread for?

When do I get to feel like I won?

It’s days like this that make me wish I journaled so that just maybe I could track down an answer or see a pattern to all the madness around me.

And maybe that’s the point, right?

Everyone has days like this. Even people without depression, Celiac Disease, etc. Even people who seem perfect on the outside sometimes just go home to cry or vent or scream.

It’s all madness.

Everything around us is chaos. That’s life.

Bad days happen. And it isn’t always for a reason. And it might not get easier; it might get harder, it might stay the same. And maybe every bad day will have me reaching for a journal I don’t have just to see if my body has turned on me further. Maybe every bad day will have me wondering about why I am built and made up the way I am.

But you’re dealt your cards, and you learn to live with them. You learn to bet on them. You learn to bet on yourself.

Why We Should Treat Mental Health the Same as Physical Health

I am depressed.

This is not something I try to hide, or shy away from. This is a part of me, something I deal with every day, just like someone putting on glasses, or managing an autoimmune disorder. But people don’t cringe when I tell them I have Celiac Disease. People don’t cringe when I tell them that I just can’t eat gluten.

So then why do people cringe when I tell them I’m depressed? It’s the same thing. Not only am I depressed, but I’m treating it. So why is it a big problem when I tell them that I can’t eat gluten, and I also can’t get out of bed some mornings? At least I can take medications for my depression. I can’t treat my Celiac Disease.

I personally think it’s because depression can be crippling. It does cause me to have to stay in bed some days. It does cause me some trouble most days, even though I am treating it as well as I can.

My Depression rears its ugly head quite often, and it follows me around, trailing Anxiety on a leash.

They both ask me questions all day, begging for my attention, begging for me to treat them as way more important than everything, and everyone, else in my life.

I have to fight Depression and Anxiety every day.

So, arguably, it’s not as normal as putting on glasses. Once people put on glasses, they don’t have to worry about it the rest of the day.

But.

I have to fight not to eat a bagel every day. I have to fight not to go the easy route and eat burritos and pasta and sandwiches every single day. Some days, it’s harder to fight my Celiac Disease than it is to fight my Depression.

Once I’m out of bed, I’ve already won a fight against my depression.

And I can avoid it during the day – I keep myself busy on a tight schedule, I carry around a planner, I have a stress rock in my backpack. It is nearly impossible to avoid gluten though. I have to walk by a bagel place to get to some of my classes. My friends and classmates are constantly (unknowingly) taunting me with their cupcakes and PB&J’s.

If my Celiac Disease is harder for me to cope with than my depression, why is there a mental health stigma? Why isn’t there a stigma around Celiac Disease? Why don’t people cringe when I turn down a piece of their pizza because I don’t want to be sick for the rest of the week?

To me, there is little difference between my Celiac Disease and my depression. I battle with both every day, all day. I fight the urge to stay in bed with the same effort with which I fight the urge to eat a donut. I diligently treat my depression with medication and self-care the same way I treat my Celiac Disease with good eating habits and smart choices.

I’m just curious as to why one makes people cringe, and the other just makes people apologize.

 

Featured Image via Wildgypsypirate