I’ve been pretty open about the fact that I’ve struggled with depression for much of my life, and I’ve been fighting it hard of late. There’s been a lot of churn in both my personal and professional lives over the last couple of months, most of which I can’t discuss publicly, and it has gotten harder and harder to deal with it all. I’ve been feeling incredibly overwhelmed, by my responsibilities, by meeting the expectations of others and of myself, by just about everything. I feel like I’ve collapsed under the weight of the many hats I’ve been wearing, and while I know I’m not yet in my “danger zone”, I did feel that I had to slam on the brakes and try to regain some balance.
That meant that I dropped out of a blogging project I had agreed to take on, and I feel a huge amount of guilt about that, but between work and the other responsibilities I was juggling, something had to give. I’m getting my equilibrium back, slowly, but now I’m torn about whether I want to jump back into blogging at LND again at all. It’s the height of summer, our farmers’ markets are bursting with vibrant color, and it is by far the best time of year for a food lover like myself, but I just haven’t felt inspired. There’s a part of me that wants so badly to get back to cooking *my* food, to photographing it for posterity, documenting that part of our lives on the blog, but as I sit here and watch a steady stream of tweets popping up from yet another blogging conference, I feel like I’ve been doing it all wrong anyway, so why bother?
But then I think about last weekend’s farmers’ market, and how as Mike and I walked into the area of the park where the tents are lined up, one of our favorite farmers came out from behind her table and gave me this huge hug, telling me that she had finally looked at LND, and how much she loved it, that there was so much negativity out there in the world and how nice it was to look at my photos and read my words and how positive they were, and she thanked me again and again. I teared up a bit, because as much as I like to tell myself that I blog for myself, this was yet another reminder that people out there are reading, and watching, and sharing what is happening in our lives via LND. And then there are these opportunities arising, people coming to me because they like what I’m doing and see some value there and want to work with me. And it’s incredibly flattering and humbling but weighty. It’s weird and uncomfortable to feel so many eyes on me, and there are more to come once my Edible Rhody piece publishes and another project I contributed to launches in the fall, and while I should be terribly excited, every time I think about it I want to hide.
There’s a very big part of me that wants to go back in time, before food52, before the New York Times, before the whole mess with the restaurant and the aftermath. I realize that I would be giving up the wonderful relationships that grew during that time, but it would also take me back to a time where I had some anonymity, where the blog was just the blog and not what has come to feel like a second, unpaid full-time job, one that I’m currently failing at.
I’m depressed. I’m sad. I’m scared. And it could not be happening at a worse time.