Red makes me happy

As I stirred a spoonful of melting butter into a bowl of mashed potato, carrot and cabbage, that I was going to eat by myself, in my bedroom, with a crack of salt and pepper, I feel a sense of joy that only a trip back to childhood comfort food can bring. 
It had been a tough three months beginning with a soul stripping, frightening, plummet into depression brought on by being prescribed a drug that I should not have been given.  
I don’t blame the hospital; over the years I have watched our health system whittled down to a ghost.
I don’t blame the doctor, she’d met me for the first time the day she prescribed the medication and she hadn’t read all my notes, but then my file is about ten centimetres thick.  
I don’t blame the nurses, they were half sprinting everywhere as there were thirty people in the waiting room and it was only 9.30am and that particular clinic closed at 11.30am. 
I don’t blame anyone.  
Shit happens.
It happened.
I have always had a hate-hate relationship with my hormones.  Even before the dread onset of puberty and its accompanying nightmares.
I got my period when I was 8 years old.  And back in 1970 that didn’t happen, well not in Wainuiomata, New Zealand.  From that moment on my moods were what you would call—arbitrary or all over the place.  By the time I was 11 I looked 18 which was a nightmare because of men. I am paraphrasing Tina Fey here when she said, ‘…most girls don’t find out their woman until some man do or says something disgusting to them…’ 
If you are a woman, and I am saying this because I am one, Hormones can drive you literally mental.  If they aren’t dripping, squirting or whizzing around your body in the correct way, you are pretty much banjaxed e hoa.  
When your moods are either behold mortals I am Jesus Christ or suicide life isn’t a butterball of fun.  
So, long story shorter.  I was diagnosed as (ALLEDGEDLY) Bi-polar and I had been on a myriad of bi-polar medication for years.   I managed to wean myself off all of them about ten years ago by constant, constant and diligent self-monitoring of moods, anxiety and insomnia with the support of my kids, husband and doctor.  
Things aren’t always peachy and calm as a frog pond but I do okay.  The ups and downs aren’t as wide or histrionic as they were.
As a result of (ALLEDGEDLY) all that drug palava and the results of ageing I developed a few hormonal problems.  I got Graves’ disease which includes a hyperactive Thyroid which had to be conked on the head with drugs and then blasted with radiation.  
I had been bleeding heavily for years but it got worse to the point of anaemia.  I had a Merina hormone implant.  Then the bleeding got worse.
So the doctor, this bright eyed, sweet faced and bushy tailed (12 year old looking) stranger whom I’d never met before, and didn’t know me from a whole in the fence, and who obviously hadn’t read all my notes—prescribed Provera for the bleeding until the Merina kicked in.  
After a few days the bleeding did slow down but I hurtled into depression like a rock tossed off the the Sky tower. It happened so fast I thought, nuh uh this isn’t right.  I called the doctor who wasn’t available and got a nurse who read my file and said, ‘oh,’ lengthy pause then, ‘stop taking those drugs immediately.’
So, one week on the wrong medication led to a three month long, dark, emotional and painful physical crawl back to wellness (I hate that word, it’s so hippy dip shit) or normality (which isn’t even a real thing)
Most days I couldn’t get out of bed except to shuffle to the bathroom and back.  I slept a lot.  When I wasn’t asleep I sat and stared into the dark.  I felt like a lasagne with tasty layers of fear, anxiety, and hopelessness set in a sauce of numbness.  
I wanted to be dead just for it to stop.
I am Maori and I know you can’t separate your mind (hinengaro), from your body (tinana) and spirit (wairua) they are intertwined as Gordian knot. 
So all facets have to be nurtured.  
So I live in soft light, reading, writing, studying and researching, all my favourite things.  I listen to great music and dance when I feel like it.  I watched cool gentle thoughtful movies.  I only eat food I love.  Yummy casseroles, stews, pies, and vegetables, with cream and butter, salt and pepper is pure pleasure.  It is the food that you remember from childhood that actually stands up to the taste test after more than forty five years of taste bud abuse.  
So as I stir the butter into the vegetables I sigh and let the wash of happiness conjured by the reminiscence of childhood have me.