A recipe for anxious thought

Photo by Alyson McPhee / Unsplash

by Zoe Davis

CRIPPLING SELF DOUBT (I wasn’t sure whether to include this. It’s not very good.)

Serves:  1

Difficulty: Minimal effort*

Cook:   Broil for at least two hours– can extend overnight

* Unless it’s you. You always make things hard for yourself.


1. First, take a good handful of anxiety, fresh is best, but older will work. Add a dash of imposter syndrome, then check to see if this recipe really is for you, as it might be too difficult to follow. If you haven’t already, set the oven to 180°C, Gas Mark 4, or just climb inside and wait for inevitable failure.

2. Scrape the trust from at least three meaningful friendships and discard.

Cook’s note: While peeling away layers of self-esteem, it is best to use a mirror. If your own reflection is unavailable, please ask a parent or guardian for help. They will undoubtably point out any flaws and correct your technique in detail.

3. Call yourself a fraud. Continue until whipped.

4. To finish, add lashings of smiles (pitied) and a splash of vintage conversation. We like to use one that probably led to a breakup, but the choice is ultimately yours, you dumpster fire of a human being. Why can’t you ever be happy? Why?

  Repeat from Step 1.

4.  Retreat into shell and leave to stand (or crouch in foetal position) until frozen.

Serving suggestion: Just don’t. It’s already ruined.

Zoe Davis is a writer and artist from Sheffield, England. A Quality Engineer in Advanced Manufacturing by day, she spends evenings and weekends writing poetry and prose and especially enjoys exploring the interaction between the fantastical and the mundane. When she is not writing, Zoe can be found drawing, baking, and playing para ice hockey- just not at the same time. You can follow her on Twitter @MeanerHarker where she is always happy to have a virtual coffee and a chat.