Driven to distraction before languishing in limbo

Distraction was the order of the day yesterday. I’d slept well on Thursday night and woken feeling relatively refreshed, but I soon began to feel decidedly uneasy.

I knew that I was troubled both by having posted this the previous day and by having emailed an acquaintance to ask if she might possibly visit me and help out with a few chores. I felt increasing guilt and shame, and a rising sense of that damn fiend, terror.  

I took my digestive meds, ate some generic ‘Weetabix’ and caught up with some undemanding telly. While watching the new series of MasterChef, to keep track of who’s who, I gave contestants names such as Ms Bullock (when she smiled she reminded me of actor Sandra), Mr Citrus Chicken (his dodgy dish), Ms Berry (a dab hand at baking), Mr Rochdale and Mr Experimental. 

With terror still making its presence felt and preventing me from doing anything useful, I let myself fall asleep and napped for a couple of hours. I woke after a series of dreams, in the last of which I was having a heart attack.

Despite the anxious dreams, terror seemed to have slunk away while I slept. I ventured into the kitchen and made some Porridge Berry Bakes. They’re quick and easy to make and are a healthy way to satisfy a sweet craving. (Thanks are due to the person who shared her recipe on a Facebook group dedicated to eating well on a budget.)  

Beat two ripe bananas (mashed) with two eggs and some vanilla extract. Separately, mix two and a half cups of porridge oats with some cinnamon and one and half teaspoons of baking powder. Now mix everything together then add one and a half cups of milk (I use skimmed cow’s milk, soya, almond etc also work). Divide the mixture into greased muffin tins (or silicone if you prefer) and add your berry toppings of choice (I used blueberries, as my photos illustrate). Bake at 180 for 25-30 minutes. N.B. Choose a non-diary milk and replace the eggs with another banana for a slightly more dense but vegan-friendly cake. These are good for children’s lunch boxes, or so I’m told.

Porridge Berry Bakes ready for the oven
Porridge Berry Bakes ready to eat

More MasterChef came later and the appearance of Ms Pastry, Ms Cabin Crew, Ms Muddle, Ms Sour and Mr Bland among others. I also spent time reading the memoir of a woman who took her fight for ‘the right to die’ to the High Court

I was determined that today I would work on part two of that significant post (if you’ve been keeping up then you won’t need the hyperlinks πŸ˜‹) . I also needed to think about how on earth I might proceed from here. I’m a dyed-in-the-wool planner. I’m never without goals and plans of action, at least I wasn’t until now. After much brain-wracking and head-scratching, I felt as though I was languishing in limbo.I had no bloody clue what to do. Terror still lurked and threatened to pounce, somehow I kept it at bay. Somehow, slowly, very slowly at first, I started to write. I made two lists: What Does My Life Look Like Right Now? and How Should It Look? Alternative titles might be Existing vs Thriving or Deep Crisis vs Getting Better. I titled a third list, yet to be written, How Do I Get From One To The Other?  

Successful Scribbles

After a catch up with an online buddy and a few cups of tea, I wrote part two of that significant post, ‘Bullets 2016’, roughly in the order that they hit! From there this post began to take shape. While I was writing, an email arrived from the acquaintance I was worried about having asked for help, happily agreeing to do so. When you’ve nowhere to turn and you’re left having to ask for help from people you shouldn’t really be asking, the guilt is enormous … at least it is in my case. 

I don’t know the way out of all this, a few days before I found the strength to start blogging again I’d have felt the way out would be ‘in a box’. Now I only know that I think that writing is key.  

I’ve just re-read my post Silence Is Not Golden, for the first time since I published it. I’m surprised to find that it’s not quite so together as I felt it to be as I wrote it.Although it’s accurate and my story, it’s almost as though someone else wrote it, and that feels a little disconcerting. By contrast, as I’ve written this post, I haven’t felt as though the words were almost writing themselves nor as though writing was akin to pulling teeth. I just feel like me, writing  What that all means, goodness only knows. 

8 thoughts on “Driven to distraction before languishing in limbo

  1. The feeling that someone else wrote things is not uncommon. When one of my great friends died, in 2015, his son sent me a file he found. It contained every letter I had sent him, for over fifteen years. I started to read them, and it had a real impact. I felt as if I was reading someone else’s personal correspondence. I put the folder away, unable to deal with the memories. I will open it again one day, and write about the experience.
    I don’t watch Masterchef any longer, but I do also give people names, when I watch TV. They tend to be things like, ‘Mr Comb-Over’, or Mrs Wobble-Chin’. I do the same with dog-walkers that I encounter. ‘Mr Shaky-Leg’, and ‘Jenny Two-Dogs’ are regulars! πŸ™‚
    Keep posting. It is working.
    Best wishes, Pete.


  2. I have blogged about these today after making some. Lovely smell wafting through my home and they taste lovely, but I am wondering with mine if I needed them in a few minutes longer. What texture should I expect?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Reading this made me smile as, coincidentally, earlier today I made the banana, oat and blueberry pancake recipe that you shared.
      With regards to the Porridge Berry Bakes, I’ve only made them twice so far. I preferred my second batch, which I cooked for 25 minutes at 180 in a pre-heated fan oven. I’d describe the texture as that of a moist cake but with the added bite of the oats. The bakes are a medium golden brown on the outside. Hope that helps.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, that helps thank you. I realised when having another tonight, that I had made them alright. I just needed to wait till later when cooled find out this and also they came away from my paper casing ok.
        What a coincidence that you were doing the pancake one today, as I was doing these. Hope you liked them. I certainly like the cakes and I plan to make more of these. πŸ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m always tempted to nibble when bakes are still warm but yes the Porridge Berry Bakes firm up nicely as they cool. If I try to hurry them then they don’t pop out of my silicone muffin tray cleanly. Glad you enjoyed them.
        My pancake was tasty, thanks, and so easy to make.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I shall be making more some time over the weekend and I will probably have that pancake again Sunday morning. Glad you liked the pancake and thanks for sharing these cakes, which I am taking some to a friend to try and my mum.

        Liked by 1 person

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