Monday, September 12, 2011

Cooking Therapy - it doesn't always work

I used to have a friend who suffered from depression.  Usually alcohol induced depression.  We are no longer friends, not because of her depression, but because she let me down in a way no friend should ever let a person down.  When I look back at her sad pathetic days I would get so frustrated with her for not getting out of bed.  She would tell me that I just didn't know what it felt like.  Well, how wrong she was.  The only difference is she had the luxury of staying in bed.  I on the other hand am a mother, and that was never an option for me.  Until now.  I am now divorced and split custody of my girls with my ex.  So there are weeks I am alone.  Very alone.  So what do I do when I'm having one of those bad days?  If it's not a work day where I can go bury myself in my job, then I find something else to bury myself in.  Cleaning, gardening, and mostly cooking.  I have to say some of my most creative and challenging dishes come out of those depressed days.  And I usually feel at least somewhat healed by the end of my cooking therapy.  But yesterday the cooking therapy failed me.  Sometimes you just need friends instead. 

After more effort then I can explain to get myself going I pulled together all I needed to make blackberry scones with berries I had  picked the day before, butter, tomato chutney and ketchup.  Well, this is as far as I got:

Blackberry scones and homemade butter. 

The lug of tomatoes I bought on Saturday are still sitting on my kitchen table next to all the ingredients needed to make Tomato Chutney.  I went to bed worried that they will rot before I find time to get back to that project.  Today I go back to work and will be burying myself in my new job.  I'm hoping the tomatoes can wait until my next long lonely weekend.  It was all I could do to pull these two things together yesterday.  I ended up in bed by 5:30 pm and awakened by dreams of falling over waterfalls in a kayak at 4:30 am.  I did wake up very happy to have homemade blackberry scones and homemade butter for breakfast, and feeling a little better about myself for, at the very least, accomplishing those two things in spite of my difficult and lonely day.  Now I have the guilt weighing on me for not posting grilled cheese sandwich recipes as I promised, and gearing up for the taste testing I hoped to have set up for this weekend with my girls.  But guilt seems to be a good motivator for me, so I'll go with it. 

So yesterday, cooking therapy did not lift me out of my dark mood like it usually does.  Some days friends to lean on, a good cry and a very long night of sleep are the only things that work.  Next weekend will be a full one now. Making sandwiches and soup, taste testing and judging, and maybe I'll wow my kids with some homemade ketchup and have some tasty spicy chutney for myself. 

No time for sleeping in, no time for depression.  Plenty of time for cooking.

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