I read an article online today, that alluded to the idea that depression symptoms may not occur until a post-operative patient returns home; but what if you already have depression? It’s been a little rough so far, two weeks into my recovery. Many tears shed, a lot of screaming in frustration, and much hopelessness, more intense then ever before; my psychiatrist warned me this would happen, but for some reason I didn’t think twice about it. But, today, was a day of fresh air.
I felt motivated to sit at the edge of the bed, a task that took many hours to achieve yesterday. I cleaned up, walked down the stairs of my home, and was greeted with smiles from my two year old and one year old. They had only been awake two hours thus far, and maybe it was just me overthinking things, but their excitement seemed to come from seeing their mom, but also seeing their mom so early in the day; I must admit that the last two days I have been held hostage by low motivation in the comfort of my bed, feeling sad for not being with my girls, but reassured that they were well cared for by my husband’s niece. But today was different. I felt as if I could push myself to try to do something more than just watch my girls play, due to my limitations from surgery, and my pain was severely decreased.
As I talked with my toddler Sydney, responding in English to her questions in a combination of two languages, English and gibberish, I remembered a box of jiffy muffin mix that had been sitting in the pantry for some time now (don’t worry, it wasn’t expired). I didn’t want the small bit of motivation to go to waste, so I asked Sydney if she would like to bake with me. She of course repeated my question “bake with me?”, and I simply took that as a yes.
So I placed out all the ingredients on the counter; it wasn’t about to be a trial run of a recipe by the barefoot contessa, but I felt like we were doing something big, and so did Sydney.
It felt good to work together, to show her how to use a measuring cup,and watch her complete a task I gave her with such poise for such a novice baker.
She loved every minute of it, and so did I. In that moment, I wasn’t plagued with such intense sadness that I had to retreat into hiding before I exploded with tears, there wasn’t this intense sense of weakness that sometimes comes over me like I have been beaten down and unable to move, and I didn’t have to force enjoyment in this situation, that has been the case all to often, along this journey with depression.
It was as if depression didn’t exist anymore; no way was I completely rid of it, and if anything traumatic occurred in any minute, it more than likely would trigger a downward spiral, but there were no triggers. We bonded, we laughed, and we prepared muffin batter with love.
Sydney hardly ever likes to pose for the camera nowadays, too caught up in her own agendas and sick with the case of the terrible two tantrums, but today she was proud of her accomplishment, and her body language showed it; even her sister Sage didn’t want to stray to far away from the good cook vibes surrounding our hard work.
We waited 15 minutes for the muffins to cook at 400 degrees, and then the creation of blood, sweat, and tears literally, that it took to get to this monumental moment in time, was finished baking. I was excited that I completed a task, not losing energy vastly and swiftly in the middle of it, as has often occurred, due to the second by second control that the lack of serotonin has on my every move.
The good cook vibes kept rolling, as I gently removed the muffins out of the oven, and placed them elegantly on a glass cake stand. Suddenly, the creative juices began to flow and I decided to drizzle a little honey over the pile of yummy goodness; a perfect pairing with the sweet blueberries that seemed so intricately placed within the warm bread.
As the girls and I enjoyed our wonderful snack, I couldn’t help but think of it as a snack of celebration. No one may understand why I or any one battling with depression, as well as other mental illnesses, make such a big deal out of what seem like the smallest things.
But days like today don’t come as often as others may experience; so this day was a big feat, big win.