When I imagined writing this post after reading Elissa’s recent blog entry, I didn’t think for a second that I would be opening it up to people I know. I’d made such a conscious effort to remove every single trace of Plumful from anywhere where I could conceivably be discovered by my friends and family that it hasn’t taken a direction I expected. Despite the coveted spots on Tastespotting and the hard work I’ve put into this, it’s not what I wanted, and I think this has shown in my somewhat erratic posting schedule and dark words.
Depression is not something that I had planned for this year. By rights, I should have finished my first year of university by now. I certainly put the effort in, but something went wrong along the way. When I reached the point that talking to friends was painful, when hearing my favourite music made me want to throw the radio at the wall, when I could no longer explain why I was doing this degree, why I was crying, why I couldn’t bear to leave the house, all the fight left me. I knew that I was ill, but I wasn’t willing to give in to it, and I couldn’t comprehend how other people could be happy and successful and have left me languishing behind.
Now I’m just feeling some kind of grief, numbness and detachment, which at the moment is better than the desperation, loneliness and intimidation of a few months ago, when thinking about study sent me into a wild panic. Everything that I expected to happen, now won’t, and I feel like I’m emulating a version of Caitlin, because I’m not really sure who Caitlin is at the moment, without this future I had planned. So, this is my clumsy way of saying that, in being entirely open about this blog, and by being able to share it with the people that I care about, I’m hoping that it will improve, and that I’ll be able to piece together what happens now. So, hi! I’m sorry. I missed you.
But maybe you just came here for cake? I’ve been wanting to try out some permutation of the strawberry and balsamic vinegar combination for some time, after discovering it nestled in the pages of a Nigel Slater book. However, the time for luscious, sweet British strawberries is only just beginning, so when mid June hit, and an excuse for a birthday cake appeared, I finally got to test it – and it is not at all how I expected. The two flavours are not, as I had thought, distinct. They muddle together and balance each other out, the fresh sweetness and the tart earthiness, and make this impossibly unsophisticated cake a little more complicated beneath it’s pretty pink veneer.