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Flaky time. Saturday October 3, 2015

There's a little edge to the air. Some stunning sunsets. And just the beginning of leaves offering up their fire dance before they submit to winter. Hands up who adores and dreads Autumn? I adore its beauty and I am won over by nature's lesson in how to live healthily... be vibrant Spring to Autumn then go underground. I also dread what is coming next. Winter breaks me year upon year (yes, I do try all the SAD stuff) and, as we cannot go underground, we must find a way through.

How will it be?

Once again I encourage you to look through and beyond and decide in advance how you wish to emerge. I'm arming myself now with tools, physical and mental, so that I can expect the stormiest of days and welcome them. Say hello at the door and show depression how it will be handled whilst being my guest...

Hello depression, you may come with me on my walk but please walk behind me and do not obscure my eyes from seeing. Please loosen your grip at key points in the day, when I'm showering you must wait outside the door and allow me to be private. This will be called my Head Holiday and I will think only of the water: How does it sound? How does it smell? How does it look? How does it taste? (Guaranteed to laugh at yourself trying to taste water in the shower, try it). How does it feel? You may sit beside me on the couch but you may not sit upon me. I need to move or parts of me will die. Be good now depression, be good.

And if you are rude, bad mannered or smelly I will open The Box of Photographs. It contains all manner of images showing happy stuff that you were not invited to. You wouldn't like me to open that box now would you?

Behave depression. Behave. We have a long list of tools in here.

Love from

The room above the garage.
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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Louise Sat, Oct 3rd 2015 @ 6:12am

Oh RATG, you did have a wonderful way of wording things :)
I love the idea of a head holiday and will be practicing it whenever possible today.
I wish you as much sunshine as possible to fill your thoughts and help you fight the Depression Gremlin during the darker days.


Louise Sat, Oct 3rd 2015 @ 6:14am

I don't know why that says 'did' and not 'do'. Early morning typing?!

the room above the garage Sat, Oct 3rd 2015 @ 9:59am

Thank you Lou! I laughed at your 'did' I had been badly behaved and left the party already! Thank you x.

Louise Sun, Oct 4th 2015 @ 9:50am

Oh RATG! you do make me smile :) x

Kelley Sat, Oct 3rd 2015 @ 7:03am

Lovely thoughts this morning RATG :)x
I've been looking into the Danish concept of 'Hygge' - exactly so I can plan ahead for the dark months! I'm going to start a pinterest board on the subject, just like you have a box of photographs. If you can't beat the winter, join it! :)x

the room above the garage Sat, Oct 3rd 2015 @ 9:59am

Hygge sounds really interesting, I'll will investigate that shortly. Thank you x.

Sophie Sat, Oct 3rd 2015 @ 7:04am

Thank you for this. It resonates deeply with me. I'm going to try your method of looking through to emerging the Winter. Great idea too-personifying depression as an unwelcome houseguest that needs to be told some firm ground rules! Going to decide my ground rules and what's in my toolbox so I'm prepared for the possible familiar 'knock at the door'.

the room above the garage Sat, Oct 3rd 2015 @ 10:02am

Great, I'm really pleased x. I've been slow off the mark this year but it was successful for me last year so I best get myself sorted too!

Debs Sat, Oct 3rd 2015 @ 7:15am

So stunningly poetic RATG, you are a linguist of the highest order ;-) Winter is so interesting isn't it.. I guess for our ancestors it was a time of little food - or light within which to find food - so they used it as a time of deep rest... hence deep-ression was born. Our mental faculties were shut off to conserve energy and emotion. But we have food available 24/7 so our need to shut down is no longer valid. I love your idea of saying to depression 'please walk behind me'... 'Please don't sit on me'... It makes mockery of what the little depression monkey is trying to do and anything that messes with his (her?!) plans is cunning indeed. I'm going to use this trickery this winter whilst listening to loud sunshiny music, dancing like it's summer and singing like I'm in Ibiza. Thanks for making me smile before the sun has had chance to shine ;-)) xxxx

the room above the garage Sat, Oct 3rd 2015 @ 10:03am

Debs you've said such lovely things. What a lift for me today when I'm challenged. Thank you x.

Sarah Sat, Oct 3rd 2015 @ 7:24am

Thank you RATG what lovely thoughts of Autumn to wake up to. Mindful shower is excellent too. Can you put your creativity into your box too? Also your amazing blogs.
Would you put us Moodscopers in the box? Imagine us all popping out, ( only when needed of course).
On a recent comment, you mentioned to do lists. When I was at that stage in life, I remember putting, "have rest" on my to do list! It's just an idea and I would love to know if it works for you? Even a ten min sit down helped. I have a grandson 10 weeks today! I can relax with him. When my three children were young, there was always so much to do! A wise older friend said to me, " the house will be there when the children are gone ". Little did I know that I would also leave the house to live alone! Sometimes I think life is like a stream, keep going and you will push through. Stay "stuck" and things become stagnant.
Sarah ( yellow rose one)

the room above the garage Sat, Oct 3rd 2015 @ 10:05am

Oh my a grandson, 10 weeks. That is beautiful! I too find babies relaxing. I have three children and the merry go round never stops. Although I feel I'm missing the fun... I'd love a box with you lot in it! Oh wait, I do, its the computer :-)

Hopeful One Sat, Oct 3rd 2015 @ 8:10am

Hi RATG- great blog to start the day . In my tool box is that poem by Rumi a Persian poet in the 12 th centuary AD. It is called

The Guest House'

This being human is a guest house.
Each morning a new arrival.
A joy , a meaness , a depression.
Welcome them all........

He goes on to ask us to treat each guest honourably as each guest has been sent as a message from beyond.

the room above the garage Sat, Oct 3rd 2015 @ 10:07am

Hello HO, I think its been a while since I have looked at this poem (I think it was you who drew me to it?) and so I will look it up this morning and revisit its comfort. Thank you my friend x.

Paul Sat, Oct 3rd 2015 @ 8:25am

Great post again RATG Autumn is amazing, I also think a very positive blog like this one first thing in the morning is as good as any medicine. Read it twice two doses great start to a nice looking day.

the room above the garage Sat, Oct 3rd 2015 @ 10:07am

"as good as any medicine" is a huge compliment, and I thank you Paul x.

Alice Sat, Oct 3rd 2015 @ 8:35am

May I echo what everyone has said about your beautiful use of words. Also the beautiful pictures you conjure up and share to help all of those entering a period of deep-ression (loved it!). To bow to the inevitable but to gentle it into a manageable place. Wise advice oh wise and heartful one. It is the gentle strength that catches my imagination. Thank you, Alice xxx

the room above the garage Sat, Oct 3rd 2015 @ 10:08am

Oh Alice thank you. Just thank you xx.

Milliecat Sat, Oct 3rd 2015 @ 8:56am

Brilliant - thank you. Being prepared as always for that change in the seasons ~ I like the threat of the photographs too I have. 'Happy box' full of inspirational stuff including chocolate, nail varnish and birthday card from friends who say lovely things to me... Reminders that the rogue Depression is a liar. Yes sit next to me not to close ... Like it -

the room above the garage Sat, Oct 3rd 2015 @ 10:10am

Hello Milliecat, yes this! A box of weapons full of goodness. We think alike x.

Terence Sat, Oct 3rd 2015 @ 10:01am

Just lovely....think only of the water, the warm rain that washes the night away, the water that gurgles down the drains, that swirls and rushes through the culvert down to the beach, under the stones to the sea with the sparkle on the worked for me x

the room above the garage Sat, Oct 3rd 2015 @ 10:10am

Hello Terence, write on my friend, write on!

Bearofliddlebrain Sat, Oct 3rd 2015 @ 12:37pm

I Lurve that, Terence, perfect! Bear x

Lilly Sat, Oct 3rd 2015 @ 10:31am

Morning RATG! Wow! What a beautiful comforting and insipiring piece of writing, straight from heart to hearts :) I actually started to look forward to the winter after that! :)

I agree with what Sophie said about the way you've personified depression as an uninvited visitor, to whom you simply state how you prefer things to be in your home, in such a calm elegant, yet lighthearted way. personifying depression also creates a little distance, reminding us that it's not who we are and giving us the space to value/ care for/ love our trueselves.

Also ditto to what Alice has said. To acknowledge the visitor, accepting it's presence without fighting or fleeing, but placing your polite and clear requirements on the table! Gets me to thinking about whether I choose to take on board what "others" bring my way...

I love to have fairy lights between the logs in my disused fireplace and keep some on the window sill, along with special blankets and warming treats!

I will re read often over the coming months RATG, there's so much to cherish. Thank you so much!

Petal x

Bearofliddlebrain Sat, Oct 3rd 2015 @ 12:36pm

Another lovely quote is 'Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love' and if we think of and surround ourselves with people and things we love most, during the coming 'batten down the hatches' months...maybe these will help pull us through to spring: The comfy blankie, hot chocolate, sparkly fairy lights, old black and white films on the tv, box of chocs!! Then the Dark One may have a seat nearby...but must not hog the blankie, blow cold the hot chocolate, ping the fairy lights, talk through the films or eat the choccit, unless it's the strawberry creams!

I must admit to being born a nearly-Christmas-baby and so I seem to love winter on the long as it's not too wet, so I can still get out and walk dog without us both getting drenched! Even when we are soaked through, I try to think of the funny side and how dog is when he is soaked - how he rushes around the house having a funny five minutes, trying to get himself dry using any available carpet and looking like scary wary hairy MacClary!!

Lovely blog as ever, RATG,
Bear x

Lilly Sat, Oct 3rd 2015 @ 1:42pm

Lol! Bless him! :) Am with you on the strawberry creams Bear and the coffee ones too!

Bearofliddlebrain Sat, Oct 3rd 2015 @ 3:10pm

Yuck, yes! The coffee, orange, strawberry creams are only eaten when there's nowt else left worth eating!!! Lolilol!

The Gardener Sat, Oct 3rd 2015 @ 1:17pm

How right you are, RATG, such a sunset yesterday. I am lucky to have beaten depression (or have it beaten by experts). Each day is a clean slate - for me to do my utmost to enjoy it and use it to the full - I might admit to being 'greedy' of life (I think this sentiment grows with age on some people). And oh, what a day it is today. First, as always, I have to put my 'armour' on, because my poor husband will do all in his reduced powers to make the day miserable, from the minute he wakes up grumbling. The 'putting on of the armour' reduces the spontaneity of the day. It's St Michael's fair in the town (in olden days traditionally hiring and firing and paying the bills) - often in tithes to the church. The road is packed with the French equivalent of a car boot sale. One gang of English pals have a built-in cook - she was in Libya for 6 years and is cooking dahl on the pavement. We've just had a rowdy drink. Tonight marquees over the street, meals at trestle tables, concert, (drunks, I'm sure, but tacitly and tactfully surveyed). It is a day to be joyous, winter is coming - to be faced somehow. My husband is hunched in a chair in all the coats he can get plus blankets - he has this obsession with cold, and it is NOT cold. People think he's an invalid and don't go near him - so he feels miserably alone. Nothing I can do - so I am probably behaving badly - but enjoying this joyous greeting of Autumn. The friendship is palpable, if you can believe that.

Anonymous Sat, Oct 3rd 2015 @ 2:38pm

it is a funny time of year, getting a little colder, getting a little darker. i know whats coming, but i try and embrace winter now. keep going out, keep living as normal as possible. its pitch black at 5pm, i'm still going out for that walk. its cold as anything, i'll put more layers on and get out. lovely autumn day today, hope everyone is well

Nicola Sat, Oct 3rd 2015 @ 2:54pm

Beautifully written, RATG. I have horses and dogs so find the short days of winter and the increased workload difficult. But get to Christmas, and we are past the shortest day. Get to the start of February, and we are just about going home from work in the light, and another 6 weeks will have broken it. And then another Spring, and a Summer. It's just bit of a head down and keep going time. And now is melancholy as you can see Winter on its way. But, like depression, it all ebbs and flows. A plan to beat it all helps - plenty of hay in the sheds, fencing all sorted out before the Winter. Winter well, my dears xx

Rebecca Sat, Oct 3rd 2015 @ 7:55pm

I have horses too and I hate the winter. The worst is the dark nights, I hate the fact I can no longer go for a hack in the evenings. Hard work as well.x

susan Sat, Oct 3rd 2015 @ 3:19pm

RATG, I am dreading this approaching darkness and damp, too, but will try to keep my mind firmly on the emergence into spring. Your vulnerability and deep strength and courage is so evident in this beautiful blog, and i am so thankful that you're there, special lady. Thank you, thank you. That's all:-) susan xx

Frankie Sat, Oct 3rd 2015 @ 5:28pm

Brilliant RATG - thank-you

Eva Sat, Oct 3rd 2015 @ 7:17pm

Its great to have a reminder of the toolbox and maybe have a little pre autumn clean up and reminder of what they are. Thanks RATG. I started doing mini walks last year, 15 mins, 3 times a day and my SAD reduced amazingly so much so that I didn't realise that I hadn't been using my light until a friend asked how I was getting on with it this year, so I am going to try that again this year.

Lilly Sun, Oct 4th 2015 @ 8:51am

Great tip Eva, thanks.

the room above the garage Sun, Oct 4th 2015 @ 1:38pm

Sorry all, I ran out of steam and never finished replying. Thanks for commenting everyone. And, strawberry and coffee creams are my most favourites, especially coffee. I'll take them all!

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