Things haven’t been all bad, though, some lovely things have happened. My littlest sister Rita-Anne had her second baby, the beautiful Oscar. And Dylan, her other baby will be two next week and his party is on Saturday and I’m in charge of the cake. Also, I traded my car in for a pink Fiat 500. Yes! PINK! It’s been so weird driving it because I’m in it and I’m feeling so wretched and I’m passing smilling people and I’m wondering, “But why are they smilling?” And then I realise that it’s because of the pink car.

If love alone could have cured me, I’d be skipping around the place. I want to thank people from the bottom of my battered heart for the stunning response to what I had written on my website. The response was absolutely overwhelming and astonishingly loving, and so, so, so kind and really, it kept me going when very little else was working.

Description: Author Marian Keyes

Hopefully this onward progress will continue and at some stage I’ll be back to my old self. One of things I’ve learned is that this sort of headspace is far more widespread than is openly acknowledged; so many of us are hanging on, almost overwhelmed with desperation and feeling like it’s our fault; that what’s wrong with us is just self-pity or negative thinking when in fact it’s a terrible illness. (It’s how I feel. I’m so aware of our dreadful economic hardships, and the fact that I have a roof over my head and a pink car makes me feel like I’ve no right to feel anything less than blessed. And yet…)

So if you’re in a very dark place, my TOTAL and empathetic commiserations to you. Truly. I beg of you to just hang on. Eat cake, go to the doctor, talk to your friends, eat more cake, ask VERY LITTLE OG YOURSELF. Just get through the next hour. There were times when it was reduced to that for me. I’d think, “I’ll watch an episode of Come Dine With Me and when I’m on the far side of it, I’ll be half an hour further along.”

For further information, go to mariankeyes.com

Saved By Cake: Over 80 Ways To Bake Yourself Happy by Marian Keyes (Penguin, $22) is out now w&h

Why baking worked for me


Description: "the brightest Start in the Sky"

Marian says that the power of baking lies in the fact she has to concentrate and focus, whether it’s on weighing sugar or sieving flour. The process is calming and the result rewarding because, as she writes, it is sort of magic: “You start off with all this disparate stuff, like butter and eggs, and what you end up with is so totally different. And also delicious.”

How to find a therapist

Phillip Hodson, Fellow of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotheray (BACP), says:

Depression is something that can affect any of us because life is full of inevitable losses and sadness. And sometimes you will need help. About two thirds of GP practices offer counselling for depression on the NHS, but it’s probably limited to between four and six sessions.

The BACP is Europe’s largest counselling body and keeps an online register of therapists who are able to treat depression, listing their qualifications, locations and prices at it itsgoodtotalk.org.uk.

Expect to pay about $39 for a session, although most offer concessionary rates for those on low incomes. There are also around 5,000 BACP members who work entirely in the voluntary sector, working for self-help groups or inside counselling teams.

When seeking a therapist it’s important to find someone who’s signed up to a valid complaints system, such as BACP’s Ethical Framework, because counselling, psychotherapy and phychoanalysis are not regulated by law.
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