I want this blog to be about honesty. It’s not that my goal is bare my soul for all to see on the Internet, but should someone stumble upon my blog, I hope they laugh or cry or relate to my stories, and I hope they feel motivated to get into the kitchen and make stories (and food) of their own. I’ve mentioned in other posts that cooking always stirs up memories for me. Cooking becomes less about the food itself and more about the experience of cooking and my enjoyment of the whole process, from working with food to letting my mind wander down memory lane. Cooking is like a meditation.
A few weeks ago I wrote about having some anxiety. There was not a particular event that sparked the initial anxiety attack; nor is this a particularly stressful time in my life. But for whatever inexplicable reason, I’m suffering from what is apparently anxiety. Or depression. Or something. I expected that it would pass after a week or so, but it hasn’t. I have continued to struggle with shortness of breath and restless, fitful nights of sleep.
The weird thing is, what I’m experiencing doesn’t feel like “classic” anxiety. I mean, intellectually I know I’m okay, but I just can’t seem to stop the physical symptoms. Even after medical reassurances including a perfectly normal chest X-ray and a three-day stint with an Oximeter, which measures the amount of oxygen in the blood, I’m still freaked out by the shortness of breath. I KNOW that I’m okay, but can’t stop feeling like something more serious is going on — and then I get stuck, fixated on it, which only makes things worse. In short, this sucks, but it might just be my lot in life given a family history of these kinds of things.
I do believe I’m improving. I’m having more good days than bad this week. And cooking has been a comfort over the past few weeks. It keeps me busy, keeps my mind focused on creating something wonderful and results in something delicious.
This week I baked a lemon-blueberry pound cake (speaking of comforting). It was moist and dense as pound cake should be, but fresh and summery in flavor.
I’m searching to find the “real me” again. Somewhere underneath all this other “stuff” is the Karen who laughs all the time and dances in the kitchen, and I desperately want her back. So I’m going to keep taking deep breaths and going through the motions on the bad days, and keep cooking and taking photographs because I love to. And one of these days, I know, I’ll be back.
2 cups butter, softened
3 cups white sugar
1 cup milk, room temperature
2 teaspoons lemon extract
1 tablespoon baking powder
4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 cups fresh blueberries
Recipe instructions from Allrecipes