Calcannon, Music, and reflections on Manic-Depression



I harvested my own kale to make Irish calcannon.  This evening I’m actually listening to music while cooking.  I know what you’re thinking: “What’s the big deal? I listen to music all the time.”

For me it’s a big deal to just turn on a pandora radio station and listen to some tunes.  It’s a big deal to just play music again.  I’ll tell you why:

In January 2012 I was involuntarily committed for a full-blown manic episode.  I was diagnosed as bi-polar finally after living my life only being diagnosed with depression.  I was 23 when the mania started and in the hospital during the week of my 24th birthday.

The reason I touch on that is because music is a big part of it.  I can only remember fragments of the mania and the ones I remember involve music. I listened to music obsessively believing that I was receiving messages from inter-dimensional beings.  I had felt that I was an evolved human being able to decipher and unlock frequencies that certain harmonies and tones would unlock.  I remember seeing colors as I listened to music and I recall that by making sense of these frequencies I would know all the answers to the universe.  In a later post I’ll touch more on that, but for now I’ll stick on topic.

When I listen to music, particularly music I like I am reminded of those patterns of thought and I get close to a PTSD reaction.  Either I feel like crying or I feel frightful or I feel rageful due to intense embarrassment. 

Since then I take a lot of time devoted to self-care.  I exercise, make sure I eat healthy, I take my supplements, and I go to counseling.  Various things can trigger a mini manic episode:  Stress, lack of sleep, poor eating, pain(that’s a big one. I’ve been dealing with dental issues this summer), caffeine(I’m very elated and chatty after coffee) and so on.  Mania has different masks in my experience.  The mask I’ve been struggling with is agitation and anger. I snap at my significant other at times or I’ll say things impulsively.  Thankfully, I have a wonderful support system that knows how to handle me and talk me down when things like that arise.  When I feel that way, moody, we make an assessment; Have I eaten recently? Did something upsetting happen? Am I in any kind of physical pain?

I feel envious at times of people who thoughtlessly have their headphones in or have their car stereo blasting.  I think, “I used to do that. I wish I wasn’t so sensitive to that kind of stimulation.”  It’s not just from mania…it’s also dealing with the depression side.

This evening I listened to Celtic Woman for the first time since the hospital.  I remember that in 2010 they came and performed at the civic center in town and I regret not going.  I didn’t go because I was falling into the deepest depression episode I’ve ever experienced. I didn’t want to go because I knew I would be moved to tears, crying the whole time.


Back to the present:  I made onion gravy from scratch.  The calcannon is ready.  Time to put my steak on the grill!  I mostly eat vegetarian, however, due to some recent health issues and falling slightly underweight, I had to add it back to my diet. It’s “ethical” meat though. I know where it came from and that the cows were grass fed.  Cooking is theraputic for me.

Thowing it on the grill!  I love cooking outside so much.


I feel that I have come a long way in a year and a half since then.  I lost a lot of friends during that time because I had no control over what I said, and I said some pretty horrible, terrifying, cruel things.  Some friends understood and have been with me through it all.  I don’t blame those friends I lost.   However, I do wish people could understand or at least try. I apologized, but most have blocked all contact with me.  Life goes on I know.  I would not be alive today or have gotten this far with out the close-friends and the love in my life as well as family.

Tonight it’s bacon-wrapped New York Strip steak with a musical side of New Wave and Celtic mix.

I feel that being honest is a step closer to being truly Authentic.  Honest about the good and the bad.

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3 Responses to Calcannon, Music, and reflections on Manic-Depression

  1. Kris says:

    Beautiful! ❤

  2. Gwyn Ridenhour says:

    An amazingly brave and authentic post, my friend. I’ve had this open on my tabs for weeks, and am so glad I had the chance to sit quietly and read it through this morning. Thank you for sharing part of your story.

  3. jessyhegland says:

    Thank you for reading =)

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