I’ll be honest with you. Over the last month or so, I’ve been suffering from a major episode from my depression and anxiety. I have had panic attacks the likes of which I have never felt before, and it was only in the last week I’ve really been able to identify them as exactly that. It is a struggle that never feels like it ends, but in the middle of it all, I have two things: my husband’s support and my food.
To me, cooking is its own therapy. You hear a lot of people say this to the point it is almost cliche, but what’s better than the smell of fresh bread, a batch of cookies, or your favorite meal? It’s no pill of anti-depressant medication, but it has an effect on me I really can’t deny. Working through my favorite recipes makes me feel like I am in control of something when the world is difficult to understand and navigate.
It doesn’t matter how hot it is outside, I will make a stew or a soup to help lift my mood. I’ll do whatever I have to in order to get my head in the right space, but that has been a struggle lately even with food. It’s time to cook again, and really cook. I cannot let this thing drag me down, so today we begin a joint therapy session, if you’ll allow me.
Every week for the month of August, I will be bringing new life to a tried and true recipe in my life as I attempt to bring some new life to myself. I will share these recipes with you, both the originals and my adaptations, and I invite you to try them both at one point. This isn’t the time of year for clam chowder, but that’s where we’ll start. It’s a stew near and dear to me now that I live in the Chesapeake Bay area especially.
I don’t have a set schedule yet, but I’ll figure it out as we go. I intend to revisit meals or items that get a lot of use in my kitchen even if I don’t have an original recipe to them from an online source or cookbook. Do you have any ideas that you’d like to see?
I’m sick as it seems a lot of people in the food industry are, but we have one thing in common beyond that: our love of food. Love is what keeps us going, be it for a person or a practice. So let’s focus on that over the next month as I try to right my path going forward.
I want to say thank you to everyone who has supported this adventure of mine so far. It means a lot to know that this passion of mine is shared and in no way misplaced. I also want to thank you for your understanding, as this illness is something I’ve discussed before. Over the years, we’ve seen a lot of greats both in and out of the kitchen lose their battles. It’s a different battle for everyone who fights it, and I will not lose mine.
Has food ever been therapy for you during a difficult time? What recipes do you turn to when you need something to lift you up?
An idea born in Normal, Illinois, Eating Normal hopes to chronicle the eating Experiences of a Red bird.
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