Talking About the Weather

23 Apr 2019
Bookmark

The BBC weather app showed a smug 20 degrees.

Ha! In the shade, maybe. On the sea wall the heat was intense. The brilliant sun slapped the waves and shattered, so a thousand shards of light ricocheted off the water and onto skin. We wore our sunscreen like Kevlar. The air shimmered so violently one almost expected a mirage of camels to come swaying through palm trees sprouting from the sand.

Easter, and it felt like late July.

And, from the pub garden behind the beach houses, the sound of Karaoke. Someone was singing "Baby, it's Cold Outside."

It made me think of another song.

"The sun is out, the sky is blue

There's not a cloud to spoil the view

But it's raining, raining in my heart."

This Easter, thankfully, I am not suffering with depression, but there have been many, many times, when everything on the outside has been sunny, but inside, it was as dank and grey as February.

If you're reading this, then the likelihood is that you have been there too.

I still remember the feeling of immense relief when my doctor explained about depression. "How can I be depressed?" I had cried. "I have nothing to be depressed about!"

But depression can and does act independently from circumstances. Everything in the garden can be rosy. The sun can be shining, and the sky can be blue and we, on the inside, are living in Winter.

But how to explain?

We can fix a bright smile on our face and pretend – and the less observant will take that smile at face value. The more empathic will see right through the sunny grin and ask us what's wrong.

My friend, with whom I met for lunch today, did just that.

"You're not alright: I can tell!" she said. "And I could hear it in your voice on the phone."

Actually, I'm not depressed right now (thank you, mood stabilising medication). She had picked up that I was in the early stages of a migraine. Sometimes my friends and family can spot it before I do; it exhibits similar symptoms.

But, if it is the Black Dog come for an unwelcome visit and spoiling everything, what can you say?

After many years I've found the best thing to say is, "I'm not very well at present, and – do you mind if I don't talk about it?"

We need to be clear that depression is an illness and that talking about it with well-meaning people who do not understand is exhausting and can be counterproductive.

We may be taking our tablets, we maybe talking with professionals who can help, we may just be hanging on until the black clouds lift and the sun shines again, but we don't need to talk about it if we don't want to.

Your weather on the inside may be different from the weather outside. If so, don't feel guilty. It's the depressive illness which makes you feel cold.

Mary

A Moodscope member.

A Moodscope member.

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

Moodscope members seek to support each other by sharing their experiences through this blog. Posts and comments on the blog are the personal views of Moodscope members, they are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice.

Email us at support@moodscope.com to submit your own blog post!

Comments

Sally

April 24, 2019, 4:52 a.m.

Very pleased to read this interesting blog, Mary, as it ties in neatly with how I feel about my mood shifts. You gave examples that I can identify with precisely, going to the doctor’s mystified, feeling deep guilt because I seem to be in a privileged position(, with sufficient financial back up not to have to worry about earning, but nevertheless feeling in the pit of despair, in abject fear or loopy mania possessing me. ) Depression is no respecter of gender, class, privilege or season! As you say, and I DO like that song by ....., it just happens and lands in your lap to be sorted out. This can take months. Frustrating, humiliating and , if you’re not protected, soul destroying. I shudder to think where I would be now were it not for others’ help, OH and daughter and a handful of friends and professionals. I do at least - at last- have a back up plan !

Reply

Lexi

April 24, 2019, 12:35 p.m.

Sally, I felt the same way as you re guilt. In my darkest despair I would ask my therapist if I was a terrible person, because I had the "luxury" of feeling depressed and being told to love myself more, when there are so many people in the world who live in abject poverty and are subject to abuse, war, etc. Why do I feel so bad and why am I allowed to work on myself when they cannot change their situation....Sorry to hijack your blog dear Mary!

Sally

April 24, 2019, 1:31 p.m.

Lexi, unfortunately, even if someone, -anyone- tells you you’re not a bad person, you don’t believe it at the time! I know!! My good friend Janice took her own life almost 2 years ago, convinced she was a “ bad person”....but when challenged, could never tell you WHY it was she was bad! I mourn her still today, and there’s so much I would’ve liked to have told her . Thank you, Lexi! Go well . Hugs.

Lexi

April 24, 2019, 6:12 p.m.

I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your friend Sally. I can only say that I hear you, and I will strike the words "bad person" when describing myself, in honor of your friend. Thank you for sharing your friend's story with me. xo

Sally

April 24, 2019, 6:30 p.m.

I appreciate that very much, Lexi. Thanks. Xx

Orangeblossom

April 24, 2019, 5:26 a.m.

Thanks for the inspiring blog Mary. It’s a bonus having two from you this week. I don’t feel so great at the moment with the rigorous reorganisation of the university. Our CEO is more like a bankster or a mafia boss, a bully boy. It is the unfairness of the whole situation that has enraged me. To expel this “small person’s rage” I wrote a poem called ‘The snake pit.’ It did help to dissipate the boiling, bubbling emotions inside me.

Reply

Sally

April 24, 2019, 6:17 a.m.

I’d love to hear your poem “The snake pit”, Orangeblossom, if you feel up to sharing, that is... So sorry to hear about your challenges with the CEO’s attitude / reorganisation of the university. I agree that they can sometimes become like bully boys. In my case it was a bully girl! Stand your ground and fight for what you believe in. Unfairness is cruel and deeply harmful. Hugs xx

Mary Wednesday

April 24, 2019, 6:29 a.m.

I too would like to see your poem, should you wish to share. Poetry can be therapeutic, as when I wrote my poem about my daughter's experience of being bullied.

Liz

April 24, 2019, 6:56 a.m.

Hi Orangeblossom... I would love to hear your poem. I've written similar in frustrating situations... so cathartic. These type of people are the scourge of organisations and they think they are untouchable. Please post it if you can! xx thinking of you

RC

April 24, 2019, 10:01 a.m.

OOH Orangeblossom, Would love to read "The Snake Pit"; but perhaps it's for your eyes only-understandable. Hope it helped. How I hate bullies however my experience is that women bullies are worse; it's usually jealousy. Don't know why anyone would be envious of me however I have experience of work life and personal and I like to dress smartly. That's the only reason I can think of. I really hope you can overcome your fears of Bully Boy and enjoy your university life. Take care x

Lexi

April 24, 2019, 12:36 p.m.

Would love to read your poem one day Orangeblossom. xo

Clare

April 24, 2019, 6:52 a.m.

Thank you for this today. I have never really been able to explain the feeling that I have a smile on my face but my heart isn't smiling too and the way you have explained it sums it up perfectly. I have had too many days when I have felt like this and I am glad that they are becoming fewer. It makes me feel better when I read blogs such as this that are able to articulate those feelings that I get x

Reply

Mary Wednesday

April 24, 2019, 9:55 a.m.

Thank you Clare. Your words are very precious to me today especially as I have felt rather attacked in another area. You provide the perfect balm.

Dragonfly

April 24, 2019, 4:20 p.m.

I'm sorry to hear this Mary. Please take heart from how much your blog has connected with and helped people today x

Molly

April 24, 2019, 4:28 p.m.

Mary, I was thinking that you might have felt attacked and I wanted to say I don’t feel that was the intention, I think (for me at least) it almost became a general discussion, my mind wonders off with such subjects and deep down I’m sometimes thinking about a related subject closer to home which touches a nerve. It could have been a bit of an overreaction about what we share on here and what’s right or wrong, Molly xx

Mary Wednesday

April 24, 2019, 7:24 p.m.

Oh Molly, sweetheart- not here! It was on another platform entirely. Please don't think I was talking about anything here! Hugs to everyone.

Molly

April 24, 2019, 10:07 p.m.

Oh glad to hear that as I was worried xx

RC

April 24, 2019, 10:07 a.m.

Mary, thanks so much for your blog today. I'm so glad I read it. I hope you are feeling better and coping with feeling attacked in another area. i resonate with you; and at present enjoying a better mood thanks to the meds. However, we all know how quickly this can change for no apparent reason. Then, when I analyse events ad happenings recent and old I sometimes know why i have taken a dip. That slippery slope and following avalanche arrives so qyickly that sometimes my toolbox has'nt even had a chance to open so I can deal with the fallout. I try my best and that is all any one of us can do-our best Take care x

Reply

The Gardener

April 24, 2019, 10:54 a.m.

Ruby Red, your last sentence has been my life-long maxim - but your best can fall on unfriendly ground - biblical, can't remember.x

RC

April 24, 2019, 9:46 p.m.

Respect to you TG and thanks. Think in the Bible Ruth was in a field of corn; maybe bringing in the harvest. I need to check Hoping that you are enjoying life in France; I love reading all about your various exploits and experiences over the years! You have a wonderful way with words Night night xx

The Gardener

April 24, 2019, 10:15 a.m.

Thanks for blog Mary. Sitting here thinking how lucky I am, because I am not depressed. Often unhappy, fight against brooding about things I cannot resolve, and really suffered yesterday from shock about the post here. Not many people saw it, because Caroline acted swiftly. But a hot Easter allowed me to enjoy my garden, and now lovely rain has saved me the arduous chore of watering all my new plants. The luck cont ...

Reply

The Gardener

April 24, 2019, 10:21 a.m.

The luck is that not being depressed I can 'go on the attack' - meant shopping (more gin!) dealing with being 'down' by watching Roman Holiday and 'What's up Doc' (still think the San Francisco car chase one of the best) beat up my garden to point of collapse, and, this morning, my 'Talking Shop' has done that for 3 hours. I HAVE been depressed, and remember too well the feeling. So, to all who are depressed today, I wish you as much support as I have had during 5 years of trials and tribulations. xx

Reply

Sally

April 24, 2019, 1:35 p.m.

Love Roman Holiday!

Sally

April 24, 2019, 1:37 p.m.

Same to you, Gardener! Go well. Good to hear you are full of pizzaz!

Molly

April 24, 2019, 10:55 a.m.

Hi Mary, this is a great blog and I may well pinch a couple of paragraphs if ok with you. I get so frustrated when people don’t understand (or at least try to) and perhaps I need to take on board that it’s maybe best not to try and explain it. How do you explain it anyway! Some professionals don’t even get it. I’ve suffered with depression all my life and as you say it can pop out of nowhere and for no reason. You explain it well. Although when circumstances are also bad, depression makes everything feel much worse and mine just won’t budge. And of course people think I’m depressed because of my circumstances. “Not surprised you are depressed, with all you have going on” etc etc. Yes it is an illness in its own right and I want to shout it from the rooftops. I found your blog a comfort and it’s very timely for me, as I have an appointment today with the mental health team and I’m praying I get someone nice! Molly xx

Reply

Mary Wednesday

April 24, 2019, 7:26 p.m.

I hope you had someone nice, dear Molly. It's late now, but I am sending belated best hope.

RC

April 24, 2019, 9:55 p.m.

Molly, professionals that don’t get it are SO annoying and shouldn’t be in that job is all I can say. However it is like training to be a dentist when you’ve never had pain and problems with your teeth. They should, in their training, be taught how to talk to patients with sympathy and be kind and have a good bedside manner. Some of them are as cold as fish and completely on a different planet. Such a shame; they have a chance to make a difference to patients’ lives and shine yet spend years studying to no avail. The best psychiatrist I ever had got promoted because he was so good. Think Basil Faulty, Minister Of Silly Walks etc. Except he is Polish; amazingly lovely chap and sadly missed since he moved onward and and upward. Always wore colourful socks!

Molly

April 24, 2019, 10:11 p.m.

Thank you Ruby, you give me a laugh and talk a lot of sense at the same time xx

Molly

April 24, 2019, 10:22 p.m.

Thank you Mary, the woman left me in tears, So much intense questioning. Also a culture difference, we often didn’t understand each other.

Lexi

April 24, 2019, 10:49 p.m.

I'm crossing all my fingers and toes that you get a nice person Molly! xo

Molly

April 25, 2019, 2:18 p.m.

Thanks Lexi, she was nice enough but there was a bit of a communication issue and I find these things so difficult regardless! They are changing my medication and setting up some care plan, which could be therapy or nothing at all, got to wait a couple of weeks for them to discuss the assessment xx

Molly

April 24, 2019, 11:08 a.m.

I’m pretty sure that the comments above from Lexi, are not from our regular Lexi.

Reply

Dragonfly

April 24, 2019, 11:55 a.m.

I agree with you Molly, this isn't our Lexi. Good luck with your appointment xx

Lexi

April 24, 2019, 12:41 p.m.

Yes! Not me! I've already written to Caroline! Thank you Molly and Dragonfly! So bizarre!

Molly

April 24, 2019, 7:16 p.m.

Thank you xx

Valerie

April 24, 2019, 12:20 p.m.

Hello Mary, Sorry if you have felt bruised.Like you,the start of a migraine can be very like the lead up to depression for me.I think there is a link in my case.Thank you for 2 blogs,amazing energy and commitment on your part.Hope your daughter is coping well.x

Reply

Lexi

April 24, 2019, 12:43 p.m.

Hello everyone! It seems there is another Lexi posting on here today. I am sorry for the confusion but that is not me! Mary - excellent blog today. At my worst I have often felt like it was a beautiful movie outside but inside I felt so far away, like I was just watching life and not participating. Hope your other issue is resolved quickly. xo

Reply

Dragonfly

April 24, 2019, 1:09 p.m.

Dear ‘it’s the real’ Lexi. I’ve tried to explain exactly this situation/feeling to my sister today. She tries to understand but it’s so difficult for someone who hasn’t experienced it. And I completely recognise those thoughts in your comment to Sally. That wretched guilt - as if depression wasn’t enough! xx

Sally

April 24, 2019, 1:41 p.m.

I echo those sentiments, Dragonfly and The Real Lexi! We stagger on! ;)

Mary Wednesday

April 24, 2019, 7:45 p.m.

Hello Lexi, I have been still recovering from the migraine today, but I could tell immediately that it wasn't you! Hugs to you.

dancing hippo

April 24, 2019, 2:14 p.m.

complete mix up with lexis but I guess there may be many people with the same name , no ?

Reply

Molly

April 24, 2019, 2:45 p.m.

DH, posting seven times with things that don’t make sense raises alarm bells with me and Lexi is quite an unusual name xx

Ach UK

April 24, 2019, 3:08 p.m.

Lovely blog Mary, great points to hang onto. Thank you, very comforting. BTW Hope the fly gets stuck in the ointment.

Reply

dancing hippo

April 24, 2019, 3:32 p.m.

Mary W … this is to thank you not just for this blog but for all your blogs week in week out , sometimes more than one a week , all very interesting , extremely well written , thought and admiration provoking . I do not usually comment probably because your point is always so well presented that there is nothing to quarrel about or contradict but it does not mean that it is not noticed , remembered and oftentimes used in practise . Thank you for your consistency , reliability , sensitivity ……… migraines are horrible especially when no meds help and make it worse , mine are caused by air pressure etc. and are often debilitating …..

Reply

Dragonfly

April 24, 2019, 4:12 p.m.

That's such a lovely thing to say DH, I'll second that :)

Mary Wednesday

April 24, 2019, 7:28 p.m.

Oh bless you, Dancing Hippo! Your words provide sk much comfort.

Jul

April 25, 2019, 6:41 a.m.

Hi Mary. Am having laptop problems here in France so every time I write on Moodscope I'm rushing in case it crashes mid sentence which it has done so many times. You raise some very interesting points. I wish we could control depression but it controls us. It's unpredictable and creeps up on us. I am trying to accept it as part of my personality. I am what I am so to speak. But if there was a cure or something i could do to stop it, of course I would. Will your medication stabilise your high moods too? I am so glad you have found something that covers both elements of your bi polar. Jul xx

Reply

Molly

April 25, 2019, 2:27 p.m.

I like this Jul, it’s part of me, kind of thing, makes me who I am, and it has the good points because we can be understanding to others. Not only with depression but in general it makes us more empathetic. Without wanting to butt in with your question to Mary, I gather she’s been on her medication for some time and it has really helped her. My medication is going to be changed (always a bit of a scary prospect) but gives me some hope xx

Jul

April 26, 2019, 6:53 a.m.

Oh it's so nice to read this Molly! I am glad you agree that we are what we are even though we fight against it most of the time and actually we're not that bad! I always have hope that new medication will help more than in the past. It is scary but you never know with medication. It has helped many here eventually. Jul xx

Login or Sign Up to Comment