Deleted Scene: Postpartum Anxiety Even Ruined Baking

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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