Monday, September 24, 2007


“What is the good of your stars and trees, your sunrise and the wind, if they do not enter into our daily lives?”
E. M. Forster
“There was never a night or a problem that could defeat sunrise or hope."
Bern Williams If you live in Seattle, or near it, then you know what will be happening for the next 5-6 months. RAIN. Along with that rain comes a lot of depressed people. Now, when I first moved here I thought that all these depressed people were rather funny and I would just roll my eyes and think, "You all just need to get off your butts and get over it." I no longer laugh so easily at "those depressed people" now because last year I became one of them. Last winter was almost a record breaking rainy winter and I gotta tell ya, it did a number on me. I will never forget my first experience with deep depression. I was driving along in my car, it was raining and the sky was a very soul sucking gray, and for some reason my brain wasn't functioning. I could not manage to make a very simple and often used exit on the freeway (by this I mean I got lost 5 times and ended up taking over an hour for a little 15 minute trip). Suddenly I felt very small and I knew that I had to give up on my very important errands and just go home and get in bed, and never get out of it. I felt like I was being swallowed in quicksand and wanted it to swallow me whole. Luckily a flicker of thought was able to escape the mire and I was able to tell myself, "Liz, I think your are feeling depression." Having never felt this before I was curious and decided to observe myself. My back was hunched over, my eyelids were lax, my hands were cold and so were my feet and the sides of my torso. I could feel the color grey throughout my whole body. I would have sworn that, had you cut me open, my blood would have oozed in a greyish rotting mass. It was rather scary and extremely unpleasant. Once I felt I had quenched my curiosity I went into survival mode and delved into those dusty file cabinets in the back of my brain. What is it that I'm always saying that depressed people should do to get out of their depression?

1. Move, get your blood pumping. I turned the radio on to the oldies station , turned up the volume and started singing loudly and dancing in my seat (car dancing, it's an art).

2. Force yourself to do what you are supposed to do. I had actually turned my car towards home so I turned myself around again and made myself finish my very important errands.

3. Get around other people. While doing my errands I chatted with every salesperson I met instead of just rushing out with barely a "Thank you."

It worked! I was able to get myself back to normal, or what is normal for me anyway, and I was very grateful for that. The rest of the winter, though, I was doing battle with the greyness. I could tell you some of the horror stories of things I found myself doing but I will spare myself the humiliation. Needless to say, I had joined the ranks of the Seasonally Depressed in Seattle. Now, Autumn is here and while that means lovely colored trees and holiday excitement it also means, for me, the coming of the grey. Last year I was caught off guard, but this year I hope to be ready for it. One of the things I've realized is that I CAN NOT DEPEND ON THE SUN FOR MY HAPPINESS. When I lived in Idaho it was all fine and well to take a day off from life on a rainy day and stay curled up at home; but, when rainy days are everyday... well it's just not gonna work like that. So, this year I have decided to give myself a theme to work on to keep me out of the grey.


I will be focusing on finding ways to create sunshine, and all that it represents to me, in my home and in my personal being. This week I thought I would kick it off with a sub theme of SUNRISE: Starting the day off right. Right now it is grey and rainy and I want sooo badly to stay in my sweats after my morning walk, but I am going to go take a shower and put on something bright and sunny and wear earrings or a necklace for some extra brightness.

And now, because I just found out how to add video to my blog, here is a little bit of sunshine to start your morning off right:

Please pardon Sweet Terror's PB&J face, I just didn't want to loose the moment just for the sake of a clean kisser.


Lucy van Pelt said...

That video is priceless! It just made me smile and added some sunshine to my day.

mom huebert said...

Cute, cute! Thank you for sharing that video.

And also thanks for comments about depression. We battle with that a lot at our house. I'm going to try your advice.

Montserrat said...

Glad you caught that on tape to show to us! Now we know what your voice sounds like too, so I will be reading your posts while hearing your voice in my head. :D

Lisa said...

That video is so sweet!!! It makes me long for those toddler days.

I lived in Erie, PA for about 7 years. The winters were long and hard. It was so gray and so cold and lots of people get depressed there, too. When it puts your life at risk to drive, but life still goes on even though it is snowing, it is hard not to be depressed and stressed. I know what it is like. Good for you for recognizing it and having a plan!!! I'm sure it will make all the difference in the world!

Misty said...

I love that video. The next time I say thank you, I am going to take a bow, too......

You know what you may want to try this year?? A sun lamp. I'd ask your family doctor about these. A daily dose of "sun shine" can go a long way, even if you have to plug it in to get it!

An Ordinary Mom said...

"I cute!"

And you are cute and Sweet Terror is cute and I am cute, too :) !!

Here's to creating our own sunshine this season ... we better call each other if we feel the gray blahs coming on.

LaughterThoughts said...

i love kid giggles! that was really sweet... he's such a cutie that i didn't notice the pb&j even though i knew it was supposed to be there!

Jen said...


I am affected by the weather too, and find that I have to exercise to stay sane in the winter. I also rely on a schedule to keep me getting out of the house early in the morning. That means I have to get up, exercise and shower before I get out of the house. Right now, my son's kindergarten schedule is enough to get me going early in the am.

Catherine said...

Back in 1996, I moved from warm, sunny southern New Mexico to VERY GRAY AND CLOUDY eastern Oklahoma, and so I know where you're comin' from. Here's hoping you get a few clear days to pull you through the rough spots!

And what a sweetie you've got there! I was too busy admiring his manners and smile to notice the pb&j. :)

Mountain Dweller said...

Having grown up in the UK I can sympathize about the weather! I now live in a place where there is more than 300 days of sunshine a year, but you can be sure that when it rains everyone is down in the dumps.
ps I enjoyed the video!

JennyT said...

This video is SOOOO cute! My kids made me replay it over and over. Let's see more of these! ;)

G's Cottage said...

Three winters in upstate New York were a bit much. Have you tried daylight bulbs in your essential lamps? That has helped my husband a lot.