Wednesday, August 13, 2014

and then the rain came...

It's raining today and it has was coming down steadily throughout the night.
Our forests and gardens are parched so it has come at a good time...
perhaps some of the forest fires will be extinguished and give the overworked fire fighters a well earned break.

These are onion blooms.
I planted them a few years ago and they reward me every year with a lovely show.
They have a slight onion-y scent but it is not so overpowering that you are brought to tears.
I  bring them indoors and pop them in a vase.

The fuchsia shade is vibrant and looks so pretty with the soft white buds.

Colour has a big impact on how I feel.
  I notice when the skies are grey and the rains come that my outlook and mood is affected. 

When the gloomy days arrive that I need to be proactive and focus on things that cheer my spirit.

I've been thinking about debilitating depression since hearing of the tragic death of Robin Williams.
He was such an extremely funny and gifted actor who gave so much to us over his career.
Just how low and distraught he must have been is difficult for me to imagine.
I hope that his family will come to understand and accept his demise.

I wonder how depression starts...
Is it a series of events that pile up to overwhelm one's spirit or is it a chemical imbalance in the body?
Is it too much "living in one's head" or lack of exercise or isolation?
Or is it a combination of all of the above?
If we are aware of our tendency to go to the dark side 
I wonder if we can use strategies to keep that Black Dog away...

~ Into each life a little rain must fall. ~

We all need tools and strategies to cope with the bumps on the road of life.

Given that I am not clinically depressed nor have I ever experienced a serious bout with depression 
I really have no idea how a severly depressed individual struggles to maintain a balanced equilibrium.
I know friends and a few close family members who are on medication for depression.

Finding the right medication can be tricky and it takes several weeks for the drugs to take effect.
It is a rocky road to wellness.

On a cold grey day I like to brew a pot of tea...

It is not a cure all but the delicate aroma of a good blend does have a soothing power.
If I need a cheering up I use a particularly lovely china cup and saucer.

Comfort is important so I opt for a warm cozy cashmere sweater and some woolly socks and slippers.
If the room is chilled I climb under a warm blanket or duvet.

Lighting a scented candle helps elevate my mood.

If I have a good book on the go I might pick it up and read a few chapters...
 thumbing through a stack of magazines
or watching a favourite movie.

I might pick up the phone and call a friend to chat.

Going out for a walk or trying out a new recipe work wonders.
Tackling a messy cupboard ~ reorganizing and tidying. 
Volunteering to help others less fortunate is a tonic.

What do you do when you feel sad?

Why is Joy so hard for some to find?

Is there something that we as a society can do to prevent future suicides or help alleviate depression?
Accepting that mental illness is an illness on it's own, not unlike the flu or diabetes might be a start.

In the meantime my thoughts and condolences go out to Robin William's family...

"That's the thing about depression: A human being can survive almost anything, as long as she sees the end in sight. But depression is so insidious, and it compounds daily, that it's impossible to ever see the end. The fog is like a cage without a key."

~ Elizabeth Wurtzel ~

If you need help seek it, if you notice someone else needs help offer it, 
let's never give up on ourselves or those we hold dear to our hearts.



  1. We all have times we feel down even though we are so grateful for what we have. When I feel this way I give myself a talking to and move..taking a walk, tackling a messy cupboard, washing floors or working in the garden. Something quiet that rewards me with completion and a visible result usually moves the blues on. I feel for those who these simple remedies are not enough...

  2. Gosh I wish it would rain here for days and weeks, we would welcome it so with the drought. i feel terrible watering all my plants but I love them

  3. I'm not prone to depression, but am to anxiety. I wrap up tight, as you do, and wait for it to subside.

  4. I love those onion blooms, what a clever idea to put them in a vase. And that teacup is beautiful too. As for depression, I think it is so much worse than just feeling sad that it must be very difficult to fight with just behavioral changes. We have to feel very grateful when we don't suffer from such a terrible disease. x

  5. Wasn't the rain a treat today? I loved to stay home for the morning, going in to the office at noon. It gave me a chance to snuggle in and listen to the beat on the roof as I read.
    Depression is most definitely physical - and such a burden for sufferers. When it is twinned with Bipolar Disorder it is terrible indeed. We really need to pay more attention to mental illness in our country!
    Those onion blooms are exquisite.

  6. Thoughtful, gentile, nice and kind Ms Hostess . . .

  7. Depression is a horrible disorder and very hard to understand unless you have experienced it. Happiness is a gift and can be very illusive to some and so hard for others to obtain.

    You are so very lucky to have RAIN! I have almost forgotten what it is...maybe it will make it's way down here ~ that would be wonderful!

    Love your alliums, such a pretty color.

  8. I have not experienced clinical depression, but I'm very close to someone who has. She says it's like sinking into a black pit and it's impossibly to climb out on your own. It's not like having the occasional blue day but an incapability to deal with life. My friend says that if she ever again feels like she did then, she will run to the doctor for medication because the feelings were so very awful. I don't understand it, but I believe her. Mental illness needs more attention.
    The rain today was welcome and cozy. I'm hoping for renewed sunshine and more warm days, but for now, the gardens look refreshed.

  9. I don't understand depression very well and people describe it in so many different ways. It seems to be independent of external circumstances though. I don't think it is about having a bad day as such. I think to be blessed with a happy disposition is a genuine gift more so than any material goods.

  10. This post is so full of love, just as one would expect from you! I've been taking medication for depression for years, and I truly believe that I would die without it. I have the best life imaginable, and I am normally very contented and happy, but the depression comes from nowhere, and ends all pleasure. My believe is that it's brain chemistry, and I'm endlessly grateful to whomever it was that devised the medication that rips away the grey curtain and lets me live.
    big hugs,

    1. Any childhood trauma in your life? Wishing you all the best!

    2. i was going to say the same as Janice and remark on the love in Hostess's post. And Janice's comment--so full of love and gratitude for life. Thanks to you both.

    3. Thank you, Hostess and Janic,e for your timely and sensitive posts. In my family we have dealt with affective problems on and off for years, mostly depression. I grew out, as they say(!), of a severe and protracted adolescent depression and have been stable ever since. But we still cope with depression in family members and need to stay present and vigilant and loving all the time. I pray that the stigma of mental illness will end someday.

      Love and embraces to all.


    4. The medication and dose have to be right and for some persons, the efficacy dwindles. Still, I have seen such dramatic improvement with some of my dearest, who take them. So grateful for every tool to fight chronic depression.

  11. What a thoughtful post! I have recently stopped my anti-depressants but find myself reacting to my husband's mood disorder. I enjoy lots of walks with friends and have joined a church group but it is a constant battle. I work very hard to maintain an independent life. Cut flowers are a great pick-me-up.

  12. Such a kind and thoughtful posting, Hostess. So much sadness in the world. I always know that my own episodes of depression will pass and my heart goes out to those who feel beaten down by it..

  13. I have lost two immediate family members to depression. I urge you or anyone close to someone persistently depressed to do more reading, as it is a complex topic (as you said). Someone chronically depressed often exhausts patience and loses friends, so understanding the illness is essential. Just when these persons need our compassion is when they behave in ways least likely to draw it from us.

  14. The gray skies played a large roll in our decision to sell our second home up island from you. I do love the rain, but need the sunshine more. Those onion blossoms are gorgeous. I've never seen those before. Enjoy your cozy time. It was terribly sad about Robin.
    xo ~J

  15. I know, and have known several people who have been persistently or clinically depressed.
    One old friend, I think must have suffered from post partum (sp) psychosis ;but the term was not known to me back then. She never recovered after giving birth to her son, and survived jumping off the same bridge twice, before she chose different bridge leaving her son motherless.
    My best friends brother, also jumped from a bridge; and although it had been a great night for him (Rolling Stones concert) he left her and her husband; seemingly happy, and ended his life.
    Several of our patients, when I worked in a dental office, were "clinically" depressed.
    One man went out to the woods (he and his wife were bird watchers) attempting to end his life in a very gruesome way. Thankfully he was found, and survived. He was so grateful to survive; went on medication,and spoke openly to me about his experiences. I was a astounded by his strength when three years later, his only son was killed in a motorcycle accident. I couldn't believe life could be so cruel to him; yet he didn't fall apart. There has to be a reason why he's still
    I have a loved one, currently experiencing severe depression. It's so affecting me, I think that's why I've just been diagnosed with high( I've previously had low blood pressure) blood pressure. I can't maintain happy thoughts, or relax. My hands shake, and I'm filled with worry and dread. Depression isn't easy on friends. and family either.
    When it comes to health, or happiness; money doesn't protect you from anything; except the bill

  16. This was a most thoughtful, compassionate and gentle post. Your ideas for those blue days were note-worthy - to tuck away and use when needed. The final quote was most powerful. People need to be aware that clinical depression, as opposed to blue-days, is an illness, not a choice, and find it in their hearts to have understanding and compassion. I thought you wrote with great gentleness.