As I prepare my book for publication, I’m sharing deleted shares on the blog. This scene focuses on the way that I felt guilty about anything and everything. Did you know that guilt can be a symptom of postpartum depression? I had no idea! But when my hormones crashed, and I got dragged down by depression and anxiety, my body hummed with an almost constant feeling of guilt. I always felt like I was failing and disappointing everyone and anyone.
I love baking. I love everything about it – flipping through cookbooks and searching blogs for recipes; shopping for ingredients; measuring cups of flour; cracking eggs and separating the yolk from the whites; stirring everything together; and then sharing my creation with my loved ones.
Baking recharges my soul batteries.
I had not baked anything since before Pippa was born – yet another failure to add to the list. Yet another reason for Nathan to hate me. Yet another reason to feel anxious and guilty.
I had to bake.
In mid July, a couple of weeks before I admitted myself to the psychiatric wing of our hospital, I baked a strawberry cake.
As I pulled out the recipe, my anxiety clicked up several levels. I rushed, rushed, rushed, measuring ingredients and cracking eggs as if an assassin had a gun pointed to my head and if I did not stir the batter fast enough, he would pull the trigger.
I felt guilty that I had not baked any treats for Nathan, but now that I was baking, I felt guilty that he had to watch Pippa.
Before the batter was ready to go in the oven, I had to take a breastfeeding intermission. Now I felt guilty that I had chosen such a complicated recipe. I should have hulled the strawberries the night before.
Why hadn’t I hulled the strawberries?!
It was just a strawberry cake, but it felt like a matter of life or death. Everything was starting to seem like a matter of life or death.
Death was winning.
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