How Magical Realism and Cake Cured My Depression

Depression is a phenomenon too broad to describe in words like sad or lonely. It has a culture of its own, and much like the infamous Voldemort in the Harry Potter series, “He who must not be named,” can be defeated. I’ve learned how to attach a name to feelings of hopelessness, but still don’t dare use it. Instead, I attack the unmentionable man where he is feeble, and enjoy a lot of cake during the fight. 

(Disclaimer: I am not a licensed professional.)

 

Find ways to cope

Everyone is unique and has a completely different set of experiences that contribute to how we respond to circumstances in life. I am what many wise aunties would call a “runner”. I abort missions frequently and block numbers often. It’s important to destroy an issue at the root, but it’s just as important to make it through the day and sometimes that means giving yourself a break.

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It's my party and I’ll cry if I want to 

I put grief in a box, and gave depression a time stamp. For so many hours (or days), I allowed myself to really feel everything. These moments were filled with tissues and dark chocolate. They gave me permission to avoid all human interaction and read as many memes as I wanted. I would binge-watch shows that made me cry and write poems that would probably make you cry!  Okay, this was a very dark time, but it felt good to be anti-happy and not have to explain why to anyone.

 

You Need Inspiration...and Cake

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After crying and watching both seasons of the web-series “Awkward Black Girl” (you’re welcome), it’s time for the real work to begin. I realized that more than anything I wanted to feel free, so I decided to strive towards that. This decision applied to my work and personal life. If it didn’t feel free, it wasn’t for me!

 I ditched sweating off pain in the gym and baked cookies with cream cheese icing instead. 

 

I read books filled with magic and women redefining their destiny. My particular favorite was “The Color Master” by Aimee Bender. She uses food to explore the human experience and elements of fantasy to help the reader discover new truths. After reading stories about a woman falling in love with a near-sighted ogre and a cake that perishes from its desire only to please others, I found the inspiration I had been searching for.

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Recovery Takes Time

There is no secret wand to cast depression away, and the healing process won’t complete itself overnight. There have been many days of prayer and isolation while learning how to care for my mental health, but I’ve found glory within them all. Depression may seem big and scary, but don’t be afraid to stare him in the eye. Faith is our strongest weapon and we have the strength, everyday, to choose her.