I sometimes get pretty depressed. Not in an ordinary way, where you’ll have a bad day and get upset for a bit. I get really, really depressed. The kind of depressed that effects my life in pretty harsh ways. I have bipolar I disorder. It’s something I’ve come to grudgingly deal with. After years of trying to ignore it, hide from it, or talk myself out of it, I’ve accepted that this is something I’m going to have to deal with my entire life. I know a few other people with bipolar disorder and we all deal with it in different ways. Some write, some meditate, some sleep it out and, unfortunately, some let it consume them and turn to drugs and alcohol to fix it.
I bake cupcakes.
This may sound like a silly thing to do. A simple thing that couldn’t possibly fix a problem so massive. But it does.
I am jealous of people who are effortlessly happy. I’m like that sometimes, but not as much as I’d like to be. I have to pursue happiness and make it happen. And I’ve learned from experience that if I am in a downswing and I pursue something big and it doesn’t work out, it can be soul-crushing. So I pursue small pleasures. I keep my hands busy. I keep my mind busy so it can’t think about how unhappy it could be.
I bake things.
And I listen to James Taylor.
And I sing. Loudly. Carolina On My Mind is a favorite.
Usually at first I hate doing these things. I don’t reallywant to be baking. Or singing. But I must, because it beats the alternative of sitting in the middle of the floor in my apartment, crying.
You can’t even imagine how happy I was when I found this recipethat instructs how to make JUST TWO CUPCAKES. It is pretty amazing stuff. Because if I make a dozen cupcakes, I am eating a dozen cupcakes. But two? I can handle two.
I did alter the recipe slightly and substituted some of the vanilla for mint extract so I could have minty cupcakes. I then topped them off with some vanilla frosting, peppermint sprinkles and fresh mint from my yard, which I promptly tore off after taking this picture so I could eat the cupcakes foliage-free.
And what else goes well with cupcakes on a beautiful fall evening? Hot chocolate with marshmallows, of course.
Someone wants a cupcake.
And now I will spend my evening indulging in small pleasures. I will finish these wonderful cupcakes, I will drink this delicious hot chocolate, I will cuddle under a blanket and watch Dr. Who until I fall asleep on my couch.
Because these small things beat the alternative. And I will not let this beat me.