Hi. I'm Pam. I struggle with codependency, anxiety, depression, and people pleasing. Three years ago, I found recovery, someone who believes in me, and a sliver or my former fun-loving self. Here's the story of how I found the rest of me, and it all started in the kitchen.
It's Always In The Last Place You Looked
How did I get to be a 40 year-old shell of a person? One day at a time. Little by little, I put others first. Instead of giving out of my excess time, money, or energy, I gave more than I had. I didn't take care of myself financially, physically, or emotionally. All in the name of love.
My path to self-destruction started as a child. I was the oldest of three kids, raised in a small, rural, God-fearing Baptist home. In our family, women (for generations) did all of the cooking and cleaning. When a neighbor needed something, we took them a piping hot casserole, a pan of brownies, and a starchy side dish. This was how we showed love.
After we made all of those casseroles, we sat around the table and solved everyone's problems. We had all of the answers to the questions no one asked. I learned rules for living like:
- Kill them with kindness
- You catch more flies with honey than vinegar. (As a side note, who wants to catch flies anyway?)
- Turn the other cheek
These rules might work for some, but when combined with my personality and my family's deep, dark secret, they set me up for disaster.
I'm also an adult child of an alcoholic. This one fact probably explains more about my need for recovery than the casserole talk, but it's a heavily guarded secret. Like most families, we don't talk about this. Ever. In fact, it's so deeply buried that I often forget about it. Alcoholism defined all of the roles in my family. I'm a codependent who was raised by codependents.
By the time I found recovery, I didn't even know what foods I liked. My anxiety was so crippling that I often couldn't cook diner or buy groceries. I went back to the kitchen and forced myself to cook my favorite foods. I love veggies, so I worked on being in the moment by washing, chopping, and smelling bright peppers and onions.
As I got stronger, I began to pursue my dream of writing. The Codependent In The Kitchen Cookbook combines 18 of my original recipes:
- 3 Deserts
- 3 Drinks
- 6 Lunches
- 6 Dinners
Plus, each recipe features the corresponding recovery story I learned along the way. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed creating it.