Mental Health: Spiral

Please know that before I get on Bummed Out Baker to write I always prioritize working with my family and psychiatrist to stabilize myself. I wouldn’t be on here if I hadn’t first confirmed my safety.


I started feeling blue yesterday. I was up most of the night before unable to sleep and, after a full morning and early afternoon, I took a three hour nap. I almost always get into a funk if I sleep for that long mid-day, but it’s either that and hopefully salvage some quality work time in the evening or doing weird, unproductive things all day due to exhaustion. When I’m under-slept I operate like I’m drunk. There’s really not a stellar option available to me in these circumstances.

The blueness carried over to today. I got on the yoga mat – I challenge myself to not let more than two days go by without yoga so I don’t accidentally let the habit slip away from me. Today was day three, so I knew I needed to do it. Of course, exercise is also one of the boxes I try to check off when I’m trying to resolve a bout of depression, but as anyone with major depressive disorder knows, it’s not always so easy.

In the yoga intro Adriene said that that practice was for if you feel “meh” physically or emotionally. At the end, in child’s pose, she said “hopefully you feel a little better,” but I didn’t. In that moment I got more introspective and upset. What’s it like to not be at the mercy of your erratic feelings? What’s it like to be steady, the same person every day, without the hindrance of mental illness? What’s it like to be able to maintain productivity without having dips in your mood, effecting your work output and the quality of interactions with loved ones? I became disheartened. I became nauseous.

I have these days where, inside my head, I lament the idea that I will be like this for the rest of my life. Some days, it’s hard to stay positive. It’s hard to go through the reparative motions over and over, to explain to my spouse and friends that I’m not my best self that day and “maybe next time.” It’s hard to apologize for something I can’t help, and it’s hard to forgive myself for the same.

I sleep a lot because I don’t like being conscious. I like “going away.” When I’m asleep I’m not having or not having a “blue day,” I just am. I’m not disappointing anyone or myself, and I’m not getting lost in a spiral of devastation, knowing I will always be at the mercy of my brain. Sometimes I wonder if I’ll be able to take it for the rest of my life.

Sometimes, I just spiral.

Written Saturday, October 26, 2019.

More on Bummed Out Baker:
Mental Health: No, You Don’t “Have Anxiety”
Mental Health: Weigh Gain and Mental Medications
Mental Health: In Motion

Wednesday posts cover something that’s top of mind for me that week and are written in a short period of time. This means that editing is not strong. While it’s not my best work, it is my best, unfiltered thought.


Do you love Bummed Out Baker? Want to help keep it going? Support here. Your contribution means more than you’ll ever know.

To subscribe to Bummed Out Baker by email, scroll all the way down to the bottom of the website to find the form. Follow Instagram for behind-the-scenes panic attacks and my begrudging, meat-eating husband captured in the wild, Facebook for mental health articles and discussion, and Twitter for sassy or informative tweets.

If you or someone you know needs help right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Advertisements

Recipe: Chili (Gluten-Free + Vegan)

Whenever you think of chili do you also think of this v avant garde, ahead of its time video where the guy talks about how he never liked chili?

Either way, welcome to the chili recipe post.

the sun got really aggressive here

I like chili, but if you don’t, this recipe truly might change your mind. It’s perfect for cold months, the fall, football season, vegetarians, or meat eaters trying to pare down on meat consumption without sacrificing a taste they’re accustomed to.

Ingredients

3 packages Hilary’s Organic Spicy Veggie Sausage (or ~20 oz vegetarian meat crumbles)
1 T olive oil
1/2 white onion, chopped
2 bay leaves
1 t ground cumin
2 T dried oregano
1 T sea salt
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 bell peppers, chopped
2 jalapeño peppers, deseeded* and chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 4 oz cans chopped green chili peppers, drained
3 28 oz cans whole peeled tomatoes, crushed
1/4 c chili powder
1 T ground black pepper
1 15 oz can kidney beans, drained
1 15 oz can garbanzo beans, drained
1 15 oz can black beans, drained
2 c frozen corn (or 1 15 oz can whole kernel corn)

*Make sure to deseed your jalapeños. If you don’t, the whole pot will be inedible due to your mouth being on fire. I’ve done the legwork :(

Instructions

  1. In a skillet, cook veggie sausages according to package instructions. When done, set aside to cool.
  2. Heat olive oil in large pot over medium heat.
  3. Stir in the onion, bay leaves, cumin, oregano, and sea salt, cooking until onion is tender.
  4. Mix in celery, bell peppers, jalapeños, garlic, and green chilis. While vegetables are heating through, crumble sausage patties with hands.
  5. Mix in sausage crumbles, reduce heat to low, cover pot, and simmer mixture five minutes.
  6. After crushing the tomatoes with your hands, which is both cool and gross, mix them into the pot. Stir in chili powder, pepper, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, and black beans. Bring chili to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 45 minutes.
  7. Finally, stir in corn and continue cooking for five minutes before serving.
  8. For a fabulous flavor profile that mixes spicy and sweet, serve over this cornbread casserole!

Serves like, 14. For real.

Freeze leftovers in 1-2 serving size portions and move from freezer to fridge one day before you’d like to eat it. Reheat on stove, adding a dash of water if chili is looking a little dry.

Bummed Out Bailey Rating: 9/10
Rick-the-Meat-Eater Rating: 7.5/10

It was good. I don’t like celery.

Rick

Adapted from The Best Vegetarian Chili in the World.

More on Bummed Out Baker:
Pumpkin Spice Creamer (Gluten-Free + Paleo + Vegan)
Sloppy Joes (Vegan)
Why Do I Eat This Way?


Do you love Bummed Out Baker as much as I love creating it? Want to help keep it going? Support here.

To subscribe to Bummed Out Baker by email, scroll all the way down to the bottom of the website to find the form. Follow Instagram for behind-the-scenes panic attacks and my begrudging, meat-eating husband captured in the wild, Facebook for mental health articles and discussion, and Twitter for sassy or informative tweets.

If you or someone you know needs help right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Mental Health: Disoriented

Last night, following her reading, I saw a writer get interviewed about her process. She said that a challenge of her latest book is that she was living it while she was writing it (menopause). However, she felt that that created an energy in the writing the reader could sense.

When I graduate in May, my thesis will be about mental illness in my family as it pertains to me, my brothers, and our relationships. In regards to my experience with one of my brothers, Alex, I am living it in real time. This means I have little time to digest what’s happened before I’ve got to get it on paper, effective, meaningful, and perhaps resolved in some way. The process itself is dizzying and disorients me, but the idea of energy coming off the prose is something I hope readers can feel, at least. I gotta get somethin’ outta this gig! Lol.

I’ve still got to find the right balance between revelation, contemplation, and privacy, though, as I don’t ever want my writing itself to deter any progress, especially regarding Alex. I talked with him a few days ago, the first time in a month, and all of the poetic sadness I’d painted around him the last three and a half years evaporated in one conversation.

I don’t know what conclusion I imagined after all of this with Alex. Maybe death? Just enough time has passed that I’ve lost sight of who my brother is when not using heroin, but I got a taste a few days ago. Detox is supposed to be rapturous, epiphany-inducing! Instead he seems to have returned to the same flighty, obstinate person I’ve always known. What’s worse? Going through something horrific and coming out, unchanged? Or, just never changing while living a fairly event-less life? I’d argue the former since there is so much hope wrapped up and hidden inside of horrific circumstance.

I’m exhausted.

It’s as if everything I’ve written about Alex the past three years has lost all soul. What happens when there is no hope at the core, after all? That when the terrible things peel off and the center is revealed, there’s just nothing there? It’s like I’ve been carrying around an enormous owl pellet, disgusting and crawling with things I don’t want to think about, because I know there’s a ruby at the center of it that will reveal itself with time. Instead all there is inside is exactly what’s on the outside.

It seems I’ve been carrying around something repulsive and heavy for no reason at all.

Written on Thursday, October 24, 2019.

Wednesday posts cover something that’s top of mind for me that week and are written in a short period of time. This means that editing is not strong. While it’s not my best work, it is my best, unfiltered thought.

More on Bummed Out Baker:
The Aftermath of the Birthday Hullabaloo
The Uncertainty of Mental Illness
Mental Health: A Regular Ole Tuesday


Do you love Bummed Out Baker? Want to help keep it going? Support me here.

To subscribe to Bummed Out Baker by email, scroll all the way down to the bottom of the website to find the form. Follow Instagram for behind-the-scenes panic attacks and my begrudging, meat-eating husband captured in the wild, Facebook for mental health articles and discussion, and Twitter for sassy or informative tweets.

If you or someone you know needs help right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Mental Health: In Motion

There was a time in my life when I only felt peace in transit. Unless I was drunk or asleep, I was always desperate to leave everywhere. I relished in being alone in my car, driving to community college while ripping cigarettes and blaring The Smiths, as if Morrissey certified my sadness. But, as soon as I pulled into a parking space, I’d choke on the new stagnation. It was as if no longer being in physical motion meant all that was left was for me to sit and be. Intolerable.

Day after day I arrived at school and was unable to go into class. I’d sit outside on a bench and chain smoke. No lessons learned, no feelings felt, just 20 oz tumblers of coffee sipped and Cam’ron CDs from the library checked out. Killa.

I wanted to die.

“Hey, what’s up?” An acquaintance from class asked in passing, walking out at the end of class. He chuckled and shook his head, having seen me outside of class, never in, week after week. I gave him a close-lipped smile before blowing out a cloud of smoke, eyes averting. I was wondering who’d buy me 40s that night. Twenty-one couldn’t come soon enough.

When I wasn’t moving, drunk, or asleep, I’d lose myself in meticulous, meaningless systems. Long before Spotify, I arranged my music library (composed of CDs illegally burned from the school’s music library) from least played songs to most, prioritizing the play of, out of thousands, the songs I hadn’t heard yet. The songs burned longest ago that I still hadn’t heard yet played first. Top priority. I read Vogue, W, and Newsweek cover to cover, even the articles I didn’t want to read. Especially the articles I didn’t want to read. I didn’t care about an obscure bread shop in France opening an outpost in the Mission in San Francisco, but my eyes rolled over the words, anyway. Some kinda masochistic rite, I guess. The magazines made up a neat stack in the order in which they arrived in the mail, newest on top. The magazine on the bottom of the stack was the next batter up to replace its now water-ringed, crumpled predecessor. I’d toss the old one into the recycle bin. It felt good to throw things away.

There was no solace in these rituals, just something to do. Just, something.

Whenever nothing matters, your health doesn’t matter. Education doesn’t matter. Relationships don’t matter. Cigarette burns in my car upholstery didn’t matter. I didn’t matter.

I called my dad crying from school, cut off all my hair, dropped out, worked at a restaurant in a “school girl” outfit, threw up in the morning’s unforgiving light, drove through Taco Bell, wore t-shirts as dresses and house shoes as shoes, updated my MySpace page, double-pierced my ears, carelessly drove drunk next to cops, coveted dudes who didn’t shower, dressed up as Baz Luhrmann’s Juliet for Halloween, took a backpack everywhere I went, looking like someone on the move.

I went through motions, okay so long as I was in motion.

if you be not of the house of Montague, come and crush a cup of [Shiner Bock]

More on Bummed Out Baker:
Finding the Glow
Mental Illness and Motherhood
Mental Health: My Lowest Point in Eleven Years

Wednesday posts cover something that’s top of mind for me that week and are written in a short period of time. This means that editing is not strong. While it’s not my best work, it is my best, unfiltered thought.


Do you love Bummed Out Baker? Want to help keep it going? Support here. I want to give a huge thank you to “L” ;) and René Harding, my new supporters on Patreon. Your contribution means more than you’ll ever know.

To subscribe to Bummed Out Baker by email, scroll all the way down to the bottom of the website to find the form. Follow Instagram for behind-the-scenes panic attacks and my begrudging, meat-eating husband captured in the wild, Facebook for mental health articles and discussion, and Twitter for sassy or informative tweets.

If you or someone you know needs help right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Recipe: Pumpkin Basil Pinwheels (Vegan)

We’re cruising through October so a pumpkin recipe seems appropriate. These also pair well with a football-gathering-situation. Sports ball. Athleticals. Blue 42! Go team.

These are both simple and the bomb. It’s hard to screw up anything involving puff pastry dough.

Ingredients

1 can vegan puff pastry dough
1/3 c pumpkin purée
1/4 t sea salt
1/4 c fresh basil leaves, tightly packed

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together pumpkin purée and sea salt.
  3. Unroll pastry dough and, with your fingers, pinch together perforations to make one solid rectangle. Using a spatula, spread salted purée onto dough, leaving a bare strip of dough at the bottom border. Sprinkle the basil leaves on top.
  4. As tightly as possible, roll up the pastry dough toward the bare strip and then pinch the edge closed.
  5. Cut dough roll into 15-20 pieces and place pinwheels on lined baking sheet. If ingredients squeeze out while rolling or cutting, don’t worry! It will not effect the taste. Just do your best to put ingredients back on a pinwheel when they’re on the baking sheet. A dollop on top is no problem.
  6. Bake for about 15 minutes, until golden. Let cool on sheet for five minutes before serving.

Serves 4-6 as appetizer.

Adapted from Vegan Pumpkin Basil Pinwheels.

Bummed Out Bailey Rating: 7/10 I found them to be too salty.
Rick-the-Meat-Eater Rating: 8.5/10

I liked them

Rick

Related on Bummed Out Baker:
Pumpkin-Shaped Vegan Cheese Ball
Stuffed Mushroom Eyeballs
Pumpkin Spice Creamer


To subscribe to Bummed Out Baker and get my mental health musings and recipes emailed to you directly, scroll all the way down to the bottom of the website – Follow on Instagram for behind-the-scenes panic attacks and my begrudging, meat-eating husband captured in the wild – Follow on Facebook for mental health articles and discussion – Follow on Twitter for sassy tweets and a sprinkle of nonsense.

If you or someone you know needs help right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.