How Bread Helped me to Find myself

How Bread Helped me Find Myself


This is a different kind of post for me today. This isn’t a recipe. And this isn’t a motivational post telling you how you can be happier. This is kind of a merging of the two. Or at least, it’s a story about my experience with therapy in my kitchen. This is a story of how making bread began a healing process from within my soul. This is a story of how I begin to put the pieces back together.

Before you ask, no, this bread recipe isn’t going to be at the end of the post. It’s an okay recipe, but it’s definitely not #1, and well, I just can’t publish sub-par. And besides, this experience is not about the end result. It’s about what happened in the process.

So let’s start from where this all started. My wife is in the Air Force and has been away to basic training + tech school for almost two weeks now. She won’t be returning home for months from now. In the last 4.5 years, we haven’t spent more than a few days apart, and even those days were rough. We are inseparable. How we thought we could get through these 7 months without losing our sanity is beyond me.

For the last week, I have really been a wreck. The hole left in my heart cannot be filled by anything. Talking with friends. Hugs from co-workers. “Are you okay’s” from family. “This isn’t permanent,” they say. “She’ll be home before you know it,” they tell me. But none of it seems to matter because in this moment in time, my heart hurts now. I feel like I’m grieving the loss of my love. I feel like she’s left my life – because that’s really how it feels. No communication until March. No passing in the kitchen. No cuddles on the couch. No conversations over Sunday coffee. It truly hurts. So badly that I didn’t get out of bed at all on Saturday. I just didn’t know what to do. Sure, there were things to do, but without my love, none of it seemed important enough. So I laid there. A lot. And Sunday I almost did the same thing.

But after hours and hours, I got up and made some coffee. And then I decided I was going to make bread. From scratch. This is not my forte. But I want it to be. And I just wanted to do something productive. So I made it happen. Pretty uneventful for the first rise. Easy peasy. And then I punched the dough down .. that felt kinda good.

And then the kneading happened.

15 minutes of silence. A silence I’m beginning to hate. But the voices in my head were going crazy.

“This dough is never going to come together. There’s too much flour. Too much mess. Just a big pile of mess. There is not enough kneading that will bring this dough together.”

But I kept going. Kneading. Turning. Adding flour. Kneading.

“This dough is still a mess. It kind of reminds me of someone I know…

Keep kneading. Tears are starting to form in my eyes.

“Something’s changing. Something’s starting to come together. It’s starting to take shape. It’s starting to look like it may just make it. It may just turn into something strong enough to make it.”

The tears are falling. The hurt is still hurting, but I’m feeling this revelation happen within my soul.

I will make it through this. I will. I just have to keep trying. I have to keep working at myself. I can’t give up on myself. I can’t stop living for seven months.

So I will keep making bread. I will keep working through the pain when I feel like I just can’t put the pieces back together again. I will rise above. I will come out stronger. I will grow because of this.

Comfort Bread


  1. says


    There's something so therapeutic about baking and cooking. And as a blogger, it's even more of a catharsis because you can really express how you feel, when people typically would bottle up all the feelings and not share with anyone.

    I send you love and positive thoughts to get you through this, because we both know you will =)

    • Holly Waterfall says

      Thank you Lisa.. you’re right, I will make it. None of it will be easy, but I’ll make it still. And chances are, I’ll make it as a much stronger woman on the other side.

      This is why I love blogging. To be able to feel a feeling or go through an experience. Then you put it out there for the world. Sometimes it’s just therapeutic for yourself. Sometimes it will actually help someone else. Or it may just open the conversation to some of those feelings and emotions that we wouldn’t otherwise talk about. So thank you for “listening.” I appreciate you!

  2. says

    Holly, what a raw and emotional post. I really don’t know what else to say other than thank you for sharing and I’m happy that you’ve found a therapy that helps you to work through this. Hugs

    • Holly Waterfall says

      Thank you Tammy for your support. I have found that when it comes to my blog, raw emotions are what I share best. I have a hard time sugar-coating things and making a happy post when all I’m feeling is sadness. It helps me to at least get it all down. That way I’m able to move on a bit faster.

  3. Jackie says

    Something about making bread is so calming to me. I have been where you are my husband went through basic just about 3 years ago. Then tech school then shortly after that a 6 month deployment. We made it, the kids and I got by..better days will come keep your chin up.

    My brother in law is in his second week of basic right now too!

    • Holly Waterfall says

      Congratulations to you Jackie for making it through. Some days, I really do wonder if I will be able to do this, and then that day is over and we’re on to the next one. Just one foot in front of the other, right? Is your husband in Air Force? Or another branch of the military?

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