Fall is my favorite season and it is finally here. The thermostat reads 68 degrees – too warm. Cool weather means jackets, sweaters, pumpkin spice lattes (yeah, I said it!), Halloween, and preserving summer’s harvest for pick-me-ups and thoughtful Christmas gifts. While I didn’t do peaches this year [I’m boycotting of The Peach Truck due to equity issues in their supply chain], I did can over 40lbs of local Michigan tomatoes into 12 pints of passata di pomodoro, a taste of summer remedy for the inevitable winter blues.
These winter blues will be different. At this time last year, I was on a healthy coping-with-bipolar-disorder journey. A couple months ago I received some interesting, yet heartening news from my care team – I was misdiagnosed. I do not have bipolar disorder.
What I do cope with is none of this post’s business. After years of struggling with my mental health in public, I’m actively rejecting the forced 24/7 access to all parts of ourselves this world demands. What a blessing of social media to watch videos of our former selves live and in action. The elite delight in the assurance that those they once felt threatened by are concretely beneath their threshold of success, and I’m done giving away pleasure for free.
Reclaiming myself is a common theme lately. I’m tempted to become more active on social media for validation of my existence, but the likelihood of unwanted attention both on-and-offline keeps my food-focused feed more of a happy place than reflection of anything deeper (I still doom scroll just like the rest of us, though, don’t worry).
The truth is that I spend my time working very hard for a small non-profit, cooking from scratch, watching Community (#TroyandAbedintheMorning), and maintaining myself. Occasionally I FaceTime with Abby or paint the town with Lillie. This slowness is something I treasure because it won’t be here for long, like the leaves at their peak or the last breaths of summer.
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