Pandemic win for the depressed cook: Successfully flipping eggs

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My therapist recently explained to me that there are essentially two “types” of depression (in a non-medical sense): The addition of something or, conversely, its absence.

Most of us know the addition type. The stereotypical depression: Feelings of hopelessness, the inability to do anything, a giant, suffocating weight that can’t be lifted, etc.

I suffer from the other type. Mostly.

I suffer from the absence of all the good stuff. Things I used to enjoy—like charcoal drawing and photography—I never do anymore. Or, I’ll pick up a charcoal pencil once in a blue moon then not touch it again for a year. A regular workout routine, getting outside, wanting to explore… none of that really exists. (Unmanaged, at least.) It’s all the enjoyable, feel-good parts of your life that make it what it is or make it feel fulfilling that never seem to be around.

I’m writing all of this because some seriously important work in fighting this weird, invisible monster is celebrating the smallest of things; finding joy wherever possible and congratulating yourself for wins that might seem minuscule to the “average” person. This can be anything from getting out of bed in the morning to brushing your teeth to taking your meds to putting a single sock in the laundry.

My win today? Flipping eggs.

I love cooking and it’s something I try to do often. It’s therapeutic and a way for me to be creative aside from writing or some of the other artistic things I used to do but can’t seem to now. Plus, I love food. And eating. And I like when Colin eats real food and not a daily combination of vending machine snacks and Qdoba (no offense).

I’ve also been on this very wayward journey lately to eat in a way that truly nourishes my body. Not in that that fru-fru, only drink kale juice and eat almonds kind of sense—I have a gluten sensitivity and am 99% sure I’m lactose intolerant, so it’s cutting out that kind of stuff so my body can feel normal and good. But with that, I’m also trying to incorporate a healthy balance of fruits, veggies, and ethically sourced meats. The whole shebang as much as I can manage it.

So back to today. I had every vision leading up to today that I would get up, get ready, and go have myself a real nice Saturday: pick up an iced mocha, visit an outdoor vendor market, run some errands, wear real pants. All jazzy stuff.

And then I actually woke up and realized that day was not happening. #justdepressionthings

The combination of depression and a quarantine-requiring pandemic is that once you get comfortable at home, on the couch, unshowered in your PJs, it’s hard to find any motivation to get up and go anywhere. Especially if, like me, you’re unemployed and ultimately have no third-party accountability. Colin sometimes, sure, but he’s got his own job/schedule/priorities and I wouldn’t want him to feel like he has to be my motivator.

So, the eggs. I know you’re wondering about the eggs.

I managed to peel myself from the couch and do some tidying, which always feels good. Win #1. (Win #2 would’ve been a shower but I’m still working on that part.) And then I think about how I have eggs, dairy-free cheese, and some potato buns form a night of sloppy joes (honestly, not sure if they’re gluten-free, don’t sue me) that are going to waste. And I remember how much I miss my mom’s egg and cheese sandwiches. She always makes them with a little spread of mayo and they always come out delicious. Wouldn’t you know it, I also have some delightful vegan mayo, too.

So I set to work on a possibly gluten-free, definitely dairy-free egg and cheese sandwich. And I decided not to scramble these bad boys today, I wanted some of that yolky goodness. When it came time to flip, I took a few pathetic attempts with a spatula, then a couple of test-flips to determine the amount of sizzling butter I was about to get everywhere, including my delicate, exposed skin, and took a leap of faith.

And those motherfuckers flipped, like a slow-motion movie, up and over and back onto the pan with such grace that neither yolk broke. No splattered butter. No burns. No mess. Just quiet, simple perfection.

So while I did not get up and out today (yet—there’s still time), I flipped not one but two eggs like motherfucking Gordon Ramsay and that is my win.

Remember to celebrate. Even the small stuff.

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