Saturday, 2 April 2016

Depression Is a Terrible, Terrible Thing

Yes: I have been gone for two months. Glad you noticed!

These last two months have been an absolute struggle for me: every morning is a battle. I don't eat, and I don't sleep overly well, and when I eventually sleep I can't get enough of it. I've got to the point where I don't even wash my hair or take the slightest bit of pride in my appearance. The house has descended into chaos, and my oven is still broken.

My oven being broken was fine when I could nip over to my mother's house and use her oven, but then my family suffered a severe communication breakdown where nobody said anything nice to anyone else for a period of a few months, and now one of my siblings and I aren't even on speaking terms. This sibling lives in my mother's house, so now I have to time it so I can use the oven when they're not around.

This sibling also used to do shifts in work that I've had to inherit because he refuses to work with me, meaning I work a six day week, then have another separate role to do on Sunday, meaning I technically have a seven day week.

I had to go to the GP and tell him that I was so depressed I couldn't actually function as a human. There were points in the last two months that I considered ending my own life. Which, luckily I didn't: instead, I asked for a referral to the psychologist, and started doing video logs to improve my demeanour. It seems to be working so far.

In fact, my 25th birthday party was one of the things I did to try an remind myself that life is worth living. The day before the party, I genuinely considered buying a bottle of bleach to drink once everyone had gone home, so at least one of my last experiences of life was being surrounded by people who had traveled from far and wide to celebrate with me. I decided against it, though, fortunately.

It's not all doom and gloom, though: getting a diagnosis for depression has sort of started to get people talking about it, and having it professionally recognised means that I can actually justify it. I know it shouldn't be that way, but it is.

I have been advised by my health care specialists to do this whole eating clean thing, and to reduce my sugar intake remarkably. I've been surviving off chocolate and biscuits for weeks, and even though they have been keeping me alive, they've been wreaking havoc on my energy levels and overall health. This has provided me with the challenge I think I needed in my culinary life, because I had felt for some time that things in this blog had become very samey for me.

To be honest, for ages I resented doing this blog, because I felt like I was achieving absolutely nothing: I felt really bad about not being able to write about baking I wasn't doing because my oven and my brain were banjaxed. But the thing is I never started this blog to achieve anything, I just liked baking. So, I have been trying to learn how to put myself under less pressure to achieve anything, and just go back to enjoying baking for baking's sake.

So many things in my life are framed by this pressure and expectation of achievement. The blog used to be my way of escaping that, but then it became part of it. My previous companion kinda encouraged me to make a thing of the blog, and before long it had stopped being one of my escapes and had become part of the problem.

So, to hell with this scheduled blogging business -- no more pressuring myself to have things for Mondays/Tuesdays and Fridays -- I will just bake and upload when I can until I have some semblance of normality back in my life.

Yesterday I baked some nice scones and some nice muffins, and it was great. Really simple recipes with only a handful of ingredients for easy results. My Canadian friend also donated some of his sourdough starter to me just before Easter, and I'm hoping to do something with that soon.

Watch this space... I cannot guarantee when my next blog will be, but this time I can safely say there will be one.

Thank you all for your understanding!

Sweetie Pie x

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