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.
MAKE MY OWN SUNSHINE
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.
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.