Search This Blog

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Pollyanna rides again!

Did you know that the word "pansy" is derived from the French "pensee" which means a thought?  That little vase of pansies and violas has been making me think these last few days.  I've been really lazy and I've been sitting just knitting and watching the world go by but I have been aware of being so happy.

It was not always thus for me.  For a large proportion of my adult life I have suffered from depression and indeed it was depression which caused me to have to retire early.  I have known intense misery which could only be relieved by medication and then healed by time and counselling.  I have huge sympathy for those who are truly depressed for I know it is a lonely place and no-one can truly understand someone else's depression.  I have known what it is to lack the motivation to do anything and the self loathing which accompanies that inertia.  I know that I will always be at risk of that dreadful paralysis and I do not want to go there again.

I know that many people would find my life intensely lonely for I live alone and have no close family.  In any week I will always have at least two days (and sometimes as many as five) when I speak to no-one.  I am disabled and often in pain and discomfort.

For the last few years however I have increasingly known joy.  What is more important though is that I have sought joy and I have found it.  There will always be a few days when it eludes me.  January and February are danger months for me and I am determined to face that danger head on.  I have just checked and there are eighty seven days to Easter so I have decided that I will find each day one source of joy, happiness or pleasure and report it to you


  1. I am looking forward to seeing what source of joy you will find, its such a great idea. January/February are always a little gloomy when we don't seem to get out and about as much. Best wishes for the New Year.

  2. When I was a teenager I had periods of depression -- nothing requiring meds or probably any different than any other teenager around -- but I didn't like it. I could always feel it coming on triggered by certain things. I am no longer that way. The depression was replaced by chaos -- chaos of raising children, having a travelling husband, caring for ill and ageing parents as I have no siblings. I no longer live with chaos either. After my recent illness I learned, in short order, to put the chaos behind me and not let it envelope me. I learned that depression just takes a day that I will never have again so I try not to fall into that pitfall. If I feel down I go out and stand in the sun and start counting my blessings. It always helps. You don't have to go any day without talking to somebody. I am pretty much always here -- just an email away. You don't have to wait for the snail mail thing -- just write -- I am always around. And yes, January and February are the worst-- too dark, too cold, too-post Christmas -- so, stand in the sun and email me-- you will be fine.

  3. I know being depressed but not true depression though have close family with depression and bi-polar. My comment is just to say feel free to contact me through blog and email and I'll do the same to count down through the long months. Have you noticed a touch more sunlight each day?

  4. Sorry I hadn't realised you had suffered from depression. Really I do too but I rarely admit it to doctors as mine is due to circumstances and medication (which I couldn't take any way) wouldn't work on a condition caused by grief and hopelessness through what I can't change.

    Hence crafts being my salvation and the happy smile painted on as so many people shy away from anyone with depression (my best friend told me it created negativity and I drew it towards me!!!!)

    I understand that counselling - now anyway - through the NHS can only be for six sessions. This is probably different if done under a psychiatrist. In my renal unit I can see one indefinitely but I went twice a number of years ago and couldn't see how it helped. Where do you start? At the beginning of life!

    I recently wrote about depression and alternative therapies as I was so cross that someone I knew was paying £80 an hour to a kinseologist. I don't know if the thought of it helping is giving her a positive lift - but what I do know is that she is scared to stop going, which isn't good.

    Hoping that you manage to stay positive through these difficult dark months when even the effort of putting on winter clothing can prove difficult. In four months I've only been out 3 times to shops and a number of times to hospital appointments. When we think our lives are pointless, someone always reminds us in little ways that we might be more important than we believe... X

  5. I have struggled as well. I hadn't realized you did and I can't say how much it delights me to hear you say you've found joy and essentially a sort of escape from that dark place. January and February are very difficult months for me as well, like you said, danger months. I vastly look forward to your count down. It really is a tremendous idea, counting down to Easter, counting down to spring, to a time when new life begins to show again and the idea of gardening and growing things resurfaces. You are brilliant!

    I have personally found that looking for all the little lovely things in life (looking for joy) helps me to keep my head in the game, so to speak. It can't fix the really dark times but it certainly helps.

    I appreciate you my friend and I am looking forward to a beautiful 87 days. Maybe baking is my escape... I mean, if I can't be outdoors listening to the birds singing or working in the soil I can bake!