Finally, Beyond Plain (Recipe: Lemon Poppy Seed Pancakes)

I’ve been dealing with Postpartum Depression. You might remember, back in October, I was diagnosed with having symptoms of Postpartum Depression stemming from the birth of my sweet Leah last May. My symptoms presented themselves in a different way that I didn’t realize was PPD. I wasn’t sad or weepy… just very anxious, edgy and totally not myself. To make a long story short (and you can read the longer story about my discovery on my post about Dealing with Postpartum Depression) my OBGYN had me start Zoloft as part of my treatment plan.

Within just a few weeks of being on Zoloft, I felt so much better. I was more relaxed, I wasn’t yelling at my kids all the time, I had patience… everything was going along smoothly. In fact, feeling that much better made me wonder if I should have been on Zoloft many years ago. I had never felt so calm… so serene.

As time went on and things progressed, one thing did start bothering me. Writing usually came very easy to me. A blog post would take me 30 minutes at the most… when I felt the urge to write, the words would come and I wouldn’t have to struggle much to get my thoughts out. That all changed over the past 6 months. I felt like all of my creativity had been zapped. I’d sit down to write and nothing would come. I’d have ideas swirling in my head… things I wanted to share with everyone, but I couldn’t form enough of a creative thought to convey it.

Yes, the Zoloft was working and was able to get me out of a really bad place, but I felt numb creatively. As a writer, that is not a great place to be in either.

As nervous as I was to get off of Zoloft because of how much it made a positive difference in the way I was dealing with life and 4 kids, I made the decision a few weeks ago to slowly taper off. I lowered my dosage… went from taking it every day to every other day, then eventually down to half a day and now, for the past 2 weeks, I’ve gone completely off of Zoloft.

I can tell you this now… as much as I needed to be on Zoloft when I was on it and didn’t realize how bad I was feeling until I felt better on it, I feel the opposite now. I didn’t realize how much of me was gone while I was on Zoloft until I got off of it again. I feel that spark again… that buzz of creativity… that unveiled fog that is allowing me to see clearly and to feel again. I feel like me.

My idea notebook, which used to be with me all the time capturing random thoughts that popped into my head, has been sitting empty on my bedside table for the past several months. Just in the past few weeks, I’ve dusted it off and the ideas are flowing like crazy. It I’m finally, beyond plain vanilla and feel the urge to spice things up some.

Which brings me to pancakes. I wanted to make pancakes this past weekend and not just any pancakes. A flavor of pancake that would capture my feelings and the beautiful spring like weather we’ve been having. Thinking of bright citrus, I stumbled upon these Lemon Poppy Seed Pancakes over at Pickycook and knew they would be the one… the pancake to brighten the room as much as the sun and smiles in my house were on this past Saturday morning.

I am happy. I am blessed. I feel good. Life is good….and so are these pancakes!

Lemon Poppy Seed Pancakes from who got the recipe from Heidi Swanson

2 cups unbleached (all-purpose) flour (I had to add almost another 1/2 cup of flour to thicken the batter some)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1/3 cup poppy seeds
zest of 4 lemons
2 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons butter, melted

butter, to serve (and for pan)

To make the pancakes combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt in a large bowl. In another bowl the buttermilk, eggs, butter, lemon zest and poppy seeds. Add the wet to the dry. Stir all the ingredients until they are just combined. Don’t worry if the batter is a bit lumpy, you don’t want to over mix.

Heat your skillet, pan, or griddle to medium-hot and brush it with a bit of butter. Test for the right temperature. If a drop of water dropped onto the pan starts to dance, you are in the ballpark. Pour about 1/3 of a cup of batter into the skillet. Wait until the pancake bottom is deep golden in color, then flip with a spatula and cook the other side until golden and cooked through. Repeat with the remaining batter.

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  1. says

    I’m so happy to hear you are feeling better in so many ways! The medication did what you needed it to do, when you needed it most. I think it’s so generous of you to share what you’ve been through, and it may help someone else realize that the “typical” symptoms are not always the only symptoms that require some help.
    .-= patsyk´s last blog ..Weekly Tasty Tidbits =-.

  2. says

    WOW- what a great feeling! I know just what you are talking about! I too suffered from PPD with my first and boy it sure is nice to be yourself again. Thanks so much for sharing your story with us.
    Can’t wait to see what else comes from that beautiful mind. Best wishes.

  3. says

    I’m so glad you’ve got that spark back! I haven’t gone through anything as serious as PPD, but I have felt a little disconnected since working around the clock for months on an intense criminal trial. I’ve had these same pancakes bookmarked for months, too. Maybe they’ll help get my creative juices flowing :).
    .-= Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets´s last blog ..Brownies for Steve =-.

  4. says

    Depression in any form just plain bites! I applaud you for taking steps to move yourself into a more settled, calm state – but what’s great about your story is that, in some cases, taking an anti-depressant doesn’t necessarily mean a lifetime sentence. And what’s even better, is that you have an entire community of folks like us cheering you on!
    .-= smithbites´s last blog ..NO-RECIPE, RECIPE ASPARAGUS TART =-.

  5. says

    I am glad you’re feeling better! My mom takes Zoloft and she has mentioned that it has had a big effect on her creativity, too. I’m glad you could come off of it ok, maybe she can, too!

    These pancakes sound incredible. I love lemon and poppy seed cake, but I never would have thought of adding it to pancakes! Genius!
    .-= Kaitlin´s last blog ..Spent =-.

  6. says

    That is awesome! It was your post last October that made me realize that I was also dealing with some of those same feelings… I felt I had a short fuse and was unable to cope with things as I was previously able to. I did not take the medication route, but tried to cope other ways (walking and meditation.) I also feel like I just came out of a fog in the last month, and it feels great to be back. I also wanted to thank you for your post last October!
    .-= Crystal’s Cozy Kitchen´s last blog ..BBQ Onion Burgers =-.

  7. says

    I’m so glad you are feeling better Kristen. I know all too well that feeling of fuzzy that antidepressants leave you feeling. So glad you got the help you needed when you needed and got you back. :)

    I love lemon poppy anything!

  8. says

    Wonderful, wonderful news, Kristen! And how great that you’re feeling so happy as we head into beautiful weather and SUNSHINE. I see a fun-filled summer heading your way.

    As far as the pancakes go, however, I doubt I can get my hubby to eat these. He’s a “plain vanilla-kind-of-guy.” I had a hard enough time convincing him that my oatmeal/buttermilk pancakes were worth trying. Maybe I can try these out on my folks when they’re in town next month. Or I could just make them for myself and freeze the leftovers. 😉
    .-= Les in NE´s last blog ..Wordless Wednesday =-.

  9. says

    I struggled with that almost 16 yrs. ago but it wasn’t talked about much so I didn’t get any help. It took me about a year and a half to finally start feeling like my old self again.

    Back in 2005 we moved from Georgia to Florida and we had to move in with my mil for a year and a half. (we were building a house) I had to get on Lexapro for anxiety. I had shingles every other month, IBS, and many other things. I stayed on it for a year and then came off of it. It really helped me cope. I am glad that you are feeling better and that you got help.
    .-= Melanie´s last blog ..I won! =-.

  10. Pat Wogan says

    What a wonderful support group your fellow bloggers are! Glad you are feeling better, and hope you continue to progress. Have you ever thought of writing a book. Maybe some of your blogs…. You are a very organized and creative person whose writing has helped many people. Love, Mom


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