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Cooking While Depressed.


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6 replies to this topic

#1 Hanasaki

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 05:55 PM

One of my greatest loves used to be cooking - until very recently, when I lost all interest. The problem is that I have a husband who I want to make sure gets a good meal when he gets home from work, just as it's always been. The part that super sucks is that I'm sure still HUNGRY alright...It's just that my desire to cook has completely disappeared, along with my energy to carry out any elaborate menu plans the way I used to. Does anyone else struggle with getting dinner on the table every night? How do you get through it when you have no desire (or much energy) to cook?...I'm really afraid that this is going to end up ruining our marriage if I start failing in an area where I used to be strong, and it's really my only useful area in our marriage, since I have still not been able to find steady employment yet. I hope someone will respond this time. Thank you in advance if you do.
この暗闇を切り裂くように
光の筋が走って
この心で生きていく世界が
朝に照らされて広がっていく。

"Like a sliver of light, ripping through the darkness within,
the light of morning will illuminate this world of my heart,
and life will go on."
~ Noriyuki Makihara

#2 PeacePilgrim

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 06:23 PM

I don't know if I can be of much help, here, but I'll give it a stab. I only have myself--and my cat--to prepare food for you, so I am in a very different space. I must confess, I use the microwave a LOT; just had an organic vegetarian lasagna for dinner tonight. Is there anyway you can prepare food in advance, freeze it and then unthaw during the week? I know my friend and I often talk on the phone when he is doing his cooking for the week (he makes some delicious meals, but prepares them in advance because knows he won't have time/energy during the week). Is there anyone you could talk to on a headset or speaker phone while cooking. I know it makes the time go faster for him.

Hopefully, maybe someone who is a better cook than i am will chime in here!~Peace
Posted ImagePosted Image

My cat does not desert me, my cat does not judge me.

My life is not at all what I thought it would be and I am rather stunned and in shock trying to figure out what it actually is.

Paco was full of life even in the face of death. He would never pass up an opportunity to participate in, and rejoice in, life. I am remembering how I honored him the year following his passing, in saying: "What would Paco do?", and thereby finding the courage to do many things I might have passed by.

#3 Deepster

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 07:28 PM

One of my greatest loves used to be cooking - until very recently, when I lost all interest. The problem is that I have a husband who I want to make sure gets a good meal when he gets home from work, just as it's always been. The part that super sucks is that I'm sure still HUNGRY alright...It's just that my desire to cook has completely disappeared, along with my energy to carry out any elaborate menu plans the way I used to. Does anyone else struggle with getting dinner on the table every night? How do you get through it when you have no desire (or much energy) to cook?...I'm really afraid that this is going to end up ruining our marriage if I start failing in an area where I used to be strong, and it's really my only useful area in our marriage, since I have still not been able to find steady employment yet. I hope someone will respond this time. Thank you in advance if you do.


Hanasaki-

I can't help but ask what kinds of meals you were accustomed to cooking, and what kind of meals does the hubby expect. I know when I am depressed I kinda lose the urge to do elaborate meals, and of course like the PeacePilgrim, here it's only me and two dogs. Are there ways you can simplify things down into small tasks as opposed to major performance?

I do tend to eat healthy at most meals, and generally I can turn something out that's pretty decent yet simple.

I also tend to look at cooking as a kind of therapy. That helps a lot. I like preparing fresh foods, but when I'm "just not in the mood" a large package of frozen mac 'n cheese with a package of thawed spinach mixed in(water pressed out) with a quick pan grilled chicken breast fillets is easy, nutritious, and pretty tasty and filling to most palates.....even some leftovers! Use your microwave to the max! I feel like I'm doing something theraputic and healthy enough, yet the ease of something like this makes me feel better about myself. I also find that I can eat something like this in small quantities at odd times, or just when I know that I can't sit down to a meal but might just "nibble".

Also, not to downplay the often debilitating effects of depression, more often than not "doing something for others" can be one of the most healthy coping skills we can embrace. Get the man a meal on the table! :hearts:

Deepster
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#4 NoncePhrase

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 08:09 PM

I think you should explain the situation to your husband so he understands. Also, just because you're a woman don't feel like you HAVE to cook dinner all the time--this isn't the 1400s or something. If you don't want to or feel overwhelmed--don't.

Like me, my mother has depression, and throughout my life she really didn't cook--maybe once or twice a month if that (my dad didn't cook either so...I basically had to just...eat cereal or something). And just so you know I have no resentful feelings toward her or anything for it, I just understood that about her and like I said before just because she was my mother doesn't mean she had like some contract or something that meant she had to cook for me, so don't feel bad and do what you can.

#5 Hanasaki

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 09:29 PM

Thank you, everyone for your kind responses!

Just a few more important details, I am a housewife by both my husband's and my own choice, and before I became depressed, I prided myself on cooking great meals for us both. Originally, I wasn't supposed to need to work, but I'm so isolated where I live, and alone all day, that I feel I'd better find some way to become productive outside of the house and around other people. I live in Japan, and though I'm learning the language, I still have a ways to go before I'm fluent enough to be able to land a job that'll be worth the labor for the pay....I just never thought depression would take it's toll on one thing I really loved to do - making a home cooked meal. It was my zen thing, definitely something that I got a lot of peace and a sense of accomplishment from, but it has now just become this kind of bothersome task that exhausts me to perform....I hate it. I really really hate this feeling. I don't know what I can really do. I feel that I need medication, but it's quite expensive here, and the types of medication are apparently quite limited in Japan. Thank you everyone so much for your kind responses, again. I'm sorry to continue to find excuses, I guess, to not remedy the situation. I don't mean to sound like that because I really want to figure out how to fight this fatigue! It's an awful feeling, and a feeling that I'm losing one of the things that really used to make me feel useful in life, especially in my marriage. :(
この暗闇を切り裂くように
光の筋が走って
この心で生きていく世界が
朝に照らされて広がっていく。

"Like a sliver of light, ripping through the darkness within,
the light of morning will illuminate this world of my heart,
and life will go on."
~ Noriyuki Makihara

#6 PeacePilgrim

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 09:40 PM

Thank you, everyone for your kind responses!

Originally, I wasn't supposed to need to work, but I'm so isolated where I live, and alone all day, that I feel I'd better find some way to become productive outside of the house and around other people. I live in Japan, and though I'm learning the language, I still have a ways to go before I'm fluent enough to be able to land a job that'll be worth the labor for the pay....


I wonder if you did find something outside the home, even not for pay, either an in-person self-help group of some kind (do they have them there? do they perhaps have English-speaking groups) --OR volunteer a few hours a week. It might be that by breaking the isolation, you would return to the cooking with fresh energy.

Not sure of resources/volunteer opportunities in Japan....is anyone else in this group from Japan, by any chance?

And don't want to derail this thread from cooking ideas, either, so if anyone else has ideas???
Posted ImagePosted Image

My cat does not desert me, my cat does not judge me.

My life is not at all what I thought it would be and I am rather stunned and in shock trying to figure out what it actually is.

Paco was full of life even in the face of death. He would never pass up an opportunity to participate in, and rejoice in, life. I am remembering how I honored him the year following his passing, in saying: "What would Paco do?", and thereby finding the courage to do many things I might have passed by.

#7 Elbereth

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 05:04 PM

I find it helps if I plan ahead a lot, and plan a mixture of meals that are simple and complex to cook during the week. Then if I'm having a bad day I just do an easy one. I think PeacePilgrim's suggestion of freezing stuff is also excellent.

Could you maybe get your husband to sit with you a bit while you cook and talk about how your days went etc? You could get some healthy nibbles to have as a starter if he's hungry when he gets in... I enjoy cooking a lot more if I have company from my flatmates or from my mum if I'm at home.

From what I've heard, living in Japan can be a difficult and alienating experience at first. One of my friends lived there for a year, and found joining a dance group really helped.

One thing I've heard is that lots of English-speakers give language lessons in Japan - often to businessmen. Could you consider something like that? Maybe do a TEFL course or something. You don't have to speak perfect Japanese to do that. Maybe even volunteer at a school or something as a native speaker, we used to have those at school.

Hope you get your zest for cooking back soon. xxx




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