Tuesday 4 June 2013

"Intermittent Cloudy Periods"

 “He knows bad days. Bad days take him completely by surprise. They make him not trust the good days because it's likely something is lurking twenty-four hours away.”
~ Melina Marchetta, The Piper's Son
I know bad days. Boy do I ever. I just had a couple of them. Depression can feel a little bit like the weather. Some days are bright and sunny without a cloud in the sky. All you feel is the warmth on your face and a song in your heart. Those are the great days, the days that I seldom take for granted anymore. I have learnt not to.
And then there are the days riddled with storm clouds. Sometimes they come crashing in and you don't see them coming. Other times you can see them and feel them. The shadows slowly but surely crawl across the sky and block out the sunshine, bringing with them a sense of dread and a feeling that you need to seek shelter from what is surely the storm to come.
Sometimes I don't trust the good days. I know how fleeting they can be. Sometimes I feel too beaten down by the bad days to believe the good days will come again and that they will last. Sometimes.
I have had a lovely stretch of sunny weather lately - the depression has mostly receded and I am getting stronger and stronger every day. Spring with it's showers is on the way out and summer with it's sunshiny days is growing nearer. But it's not my first date with depression - I get how this works. I am not fooled.
Recovery, as I have written many times before, is not a smooth, straight path forward. It's far from it, in fact. If you have the flu there is a point where you can tell that you are beginning to get better. And from there it's pretty much a foregone conclusion that you will, each day, feel a little bit better until you are well and the flu is but a memory of tissues, soup, and sleep. One day you wake up and it's completely gone. Recovering from depression is a little like that but also a lot NOT like that.
The path to wellness and recovery from depression is slow and tedious. Yes, there is often a point where I know that I have turned a corner and better days are ahead. But it's more like a game of snakes and ladders - lots of up and down! The most important thing for me to keep in mind as I navigate the pitfalls of recovery is to keep things in perspective. One or two bad days does not equal relapse. In a way, one or two bad days is something to be celebrated. Celebrated because they are one or two and not ten or twelve. Perspective. It's vital.
“So long as there is breath in me, that long I will persist. For now I know one of the greatest principles of success; if I persist long enough I will win.” ~ Og Mandino
One of my favourite sayings about depression that I have found is this, "Depression is a lying bastard." On the days that it takes hold it tells me things. It whispers, seductively in my ear, "give up." There have been many times over the years when that siren call was almost too much to ignore. But I did. I pushed it away and drew on some reserve of strength that I didn't know I had. I held on because I knew, deep in my soul, that sunnier days were ahead. The clouds would part and that song would return to my heart. I trust in the good days. You should, too.
KB xo
P.S. Are you or someone you love suffering from mental illness? If so, please don't fight this alone. There are many fabulous organizations and resources available to help you. Please visit the Canadian Mental Health Association website for more information.



  1. Once again a great job, I can so relate to how 1 or 2 bad days is progress because it use to be 10-14 bad days, or more. keep up the good work and I send you many happy sunny days...

  2. Like the new picture by the way

  3. Well-written, and very relatable. Wishing many bright, song-filled days ahead!


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