I have friends but none like food. Food puts your needs before its own, never leaves you alone, and never talks back. It’s safe to say I am a foodie, and that would still be an understatement. Of course, food and I we have our ups and downs. I am difficult and demanding and food has to put up with that. I know it can’t be easy. Food was also my first therapist, it listened to all my problems and stuck with me even when no one did. It would listen to me no questions asked. In other words, it was the perfect relationship.
This relationship goes way back. Of course, I was hesitant at first and not really sure how it would work out. I was fussy, didn’t appreciate it for what it truly was. With time I began to like it, but only bits of it. Food being food was patient. It didn’t take long after that to realise what it meant to me. But the more depressed I got, I began pushing food away, unable to face it, I felt like I didn’t deserve it. But food stayed when everyone left me alone food would wait, it gave me time to heal and understood that I needed time.
Soon enough I began baking and cooking going by food’s advice and I realised that there was nothing to it, food would always be a cut above the rest. I experimented and some experiments went wrong, but I never felt discouraged. I think a lot of my survival is thanks to food. There is a food to go with every occasion when you’re happy a good meal makes for the best celebration and when you’re sad ice cream and chocolate are necessities. My day doesn’t begin without coffee, it’s my first meal of the day. Of course, we all know that food is a necessity but for me, I’m pretty sure it’s love.
It’s therapeutic and can be a saviour when you’re sad. As I cook I can feel myself letting go of stress. Even if it’s just a matter of pouring juice into a glass the process feels like relief or the first sip of coke that can bring you out of any slump. I just enjoy it, no matter what cuisine or recipe. Every time I eat my focus shifts from how bad my day has been to the taste in my mouth and it’s helpful. Of course, when I am sad, I find that my appetite dies. I feel so sad, I cannot eat. Those are perhaps the hardest days, I look down at the last sip of my coffee and feel like I am losing a bit of myself with each sip, there’s no taste. But it can’t be helped, you just hope tomorrow will be a better day.
On the saddest days, if I do want to eat anything, it’s the spiciest stuff, just because that generates some feeling, and when you can’t cry it helps. I know that this post is quite different from what I have written before, but it’s important. I don’t think of it only as fuel but rather as a friend in need. Every person going through depression has to find their own way to fight it. There is no one size fits all here. I have to find what works for me. Maybe that’s why trying what everybody else told me to try didn’t work for me. So my idea is to use food. I don’t mean just eat, but cook and bake.
I am aware that lately, I feel up to so little that cooking has begun to feel more like a task than therapy. But the road to wellbeing can only begin when you choose to take the first step. I’ll make it a habit, just like the appointment with the doctor, the Yoga class and sessions with the therapist, I’ll set aside time each week for cooking or baking and of course eating. I will have my cake and eat it too. But that’s a plan that I have to make sure I stick to. In the past few months doing what I want to do hasn’t really pushed me to do much because I almost always want to do nothing. Today the therapist told me that nobody can make the progress and decisions for me and it’s all in my hands. In fact, everybody has told me that.
I won’t lie, it scares me, the word tomorrow triggers my anxiety and today feels redundant. So I have been oscillating between fear and determination for a while thinking it can only be one or the other. Ultimately I realised I am always going to be scared no matter what but if I make sure I am determined every day it’ll help me overcome it, running away is something I am terribly good at and I am a fast runner, I know that. I used to hate trying new food as a kid, the healthier the food the fussier I got. But with time the taste grew on me and now I can eat anything and dare I say I love it all. To put it lightly, I am going to attempt to make a meal out of my depression. I don’t know if my plans will work, I am pretty sure that my love for food is not going to fix everything.
Even as I write this I am not convinced, but heck if I’ve given everything a shot, then I might as well give this one a chance too. It’s only fair. I know myself, I’ve either grown out of my problems or put them aside for another day. This is the first time I am facing myself and it’s hard, and even if I am put in a sea of people some problems only have room for one. It’s not just about fixing it for now but making sure that if I find myself in the same situation in the future, I will know how to fix myself. Food therapy has always done wonders for me, let’s hope it’s just the medicine I need, one I don’t have to pinch my nose to drink.