Darcie Bakes //

Baking from scratch… because good things take time.

Random Sides // Depression: Iteration 3.71.


…Is this thing on? Is there anybody out there?

If you’ve been following my blog and wondering where the heck I’ve been lately… {I last posted on October 18th, and it’s now November 29th! Yikes.} Well… I have been on a bit of a blogging hiatus. I like to think it’s for a “good” reason. That “reason” is that I have had to take a step back and work on improving my mental health. Yup.

Of course, I always feel bad when I neglect my poor blog. This blog is such a fun, creative outlet for me. Unfortunately, when I’m mentally and physically ill, it’s quite difficult to muster the energy to even get out of bed to go to work, much less work on my hobbies.

{A very accurate pie chart that describes depression. Via BuzzFeed.}

The point of this blog post isn’t to sheepishly apologize for my absence. The point of this post is to discuss a bit more about depression: namely, I’ve been thinking quite a bit (what else is new) during my down/healing time, and I have the urge to write more on depression and my experiences with it.

Throughout the course of the last year and a half, I’ve written pretty candidly about depression twice on this blog [here and here, if you are so inclined to check out my ramblings]. That being said, I find it very therapeutic to write about my journey with clinical depression and anxiety (sometimes much to my mother’s dismay). Admittedly, it is not easy to just throw myself out here for the world to see. It’s a little embarrassing, and sometimes I still contemplate removing any trace of the word “depression” on my blog; as if that’d make me out to be a “stronger” person to others who might be reading this. But that would be very inauthentic to who I am, at best. And, at worst, I wouldn’t want to remove posts that could be potentially helpful to other people who deal with similar issues. If nothing else, it’s good to know that you’re not alone when you’re dealing with something rough – especially something as rough and confusing and all-consuming as depression.

As I’ve most likely mentioned in my previous two depression-themed posts, I have been dealing with pretty severe clinical depression for at least the last five years of my life. I have the unfortunate suspicion that depression is not something that will go away for me. In some people, it’s a situational illness, but for most of us, it’s a biochemical illness. That’s not even me having a defeatist attitude about it; that’s me simply being realistic. Like everything else in life, depression and its episodes tend to ebb and flow. Right now, I’m on the mend: on a healing path from yet another bad episode of depression. But I’m doing much better than I was about a month ago, and that’s why I’m ready to write about of my few recent “epiphanies,” if you will. Below I’ve written a bulleted list of my thoughts on depression as of late. The point of this list is twofold: 1) I hope that it will shed some light on the ignorance and stigma that still surround mental illness, depression in particular, and, 2) I want to share my experiences and facts with you so that if you or a loved one might be experiencing depression, you know that you’re not alone. <3

+ Part I: My thoughts on my latest experiences with depression:

  • Sometimes medication can work. Often, it will work for a long time… Until it doesn’t. Recently, I underwent a huge medication change. I have been on various antidepressants for the last five years, but there’s no exact science to it (yet). Suddenly, about a month or so ago, my medication seemed to just stop working out of nowhere. I started feeling awful in a number of ways, so my doctor increased the dosage of one medication that I’ve been on. That increase made my anxiety worse, and I began having frequent panic attacks. As you can imagine, that stuff is not fun. So at the moment, I’m on a medication “cleanse” of sorts, and I will be readdressing medication with a psychiatrist in the near future.
  • There can be many triggers for depression, but often, it can come back out of nowhere. I’m honestly not sure what triggered this “bout” of depression. Nothing tragic has happened in my life as of late, but that doesn’t matter. Depression can come out of nowhere. Often, it is triggered by stress for me. As a normal (ish) mid-twenties-something woman, I obviously deal with pretty typical stressors that most young adults face. But beyond that, nothing crazy or out of the ordinary has happened. I just started feeling miserable again, and that’s all there is to it.
  • Depression actually is physical, and it often causes physical symptoms. My body has been aching and I’ve been just feeling “not like myself,” if that makes any sense. Both my physical body and my brain have just been in chronic pain and feeling foggy. It’s a common misconception that depression is “all in your head,” but really, it generally takes over a person’s whole body. {Plus the brain IS a part of our bodies, so why are we so quick to dismiss mental illnesses as something that’s made up, or secluded to only our heads, anyway?}

+ Part II: Here’s a list of things/activities that I find to be therapeutic, especially during the most difficult times:

  • Lavender ALL THE THINGS!: Lavender is known for its ability to help reduce and anxiety and increase relaxation. So I’ve been using it constantly, and I think it does actually help. Either that, or it’s a placebo effect; either way, I’m okay with it. I found this lavender sea salt scrub from Trader Joe’s and I’ve been lathering up in the shower with it a lot lately. Yay for exfoliation!
  • Baking: I mean, I think this one is a given. Baking is my number one hobby; shit, it’s what I pretty much live for. Don’t forget about your favorite hobby; use it to your advantage, especially when you’re feeling down. Baking always keeps me inspired and presents me with a good personal challenge.
  • Cozy stuff: I’ve been stocking up on cozy sweaters, cardigans, and leggings for these upcoming cold, dark, and dreary months. Sometimes just having simple but warm clothing helps keep me going. I even found a few thick cardigans with metallic threading throughout them, so now I’ma be cozy AND sparkly. 😎 Winning.
  • Pretty and inspiring images on PinterestIt probably sounds cheesy, but sometimes I just get so happy and inspired when I take some time out to look for aesthetically pleasing and inspirational images on Pinterest. Here’s a little collage of some of my favorites:

~ *~ *~ *~ *~ *~ * ~ * ~ *~ *~ *~ *~ *~ * ~ * ~ *~ *~ *~ *~ *~ * ~ * ~ *~ *~ *~ *~ *~ * ~ * ~ *~ *~ *~ *~
Anyway, I digress. More regularly scheduled food-related posts are coming soon; I just wanted to check in and let you know that I’m doing much better, but it’s always a never-ending healing process. Peace and love to all y’all. <3

xoxo ~ Darcie

PS: If you are going through similar issues, PLEASE feel free to reach out to me. I am a huge advocate for being open about mental health issues, in an effort to remove the stigma surrounding them and help others.

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