Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Time is relative depending on your state of mind.

DON'T WATCH THIS. Pastel on paper.
  I have been feeling low and isolated for reasonable reasons: state of the world etc. but also because it just happens, unreasonably sometimes. We are all miracles retained in ludicrous impossibility. This knowledge is amazing and terrifying. Social media can help, but it is a distant connection. This morning, before the school run, I read that a fellow social media friend had plunged back into depression again. As I thought of words to send in support, an idea came to me of traveling on a train.

 When you are caught in senseless depression the last thing you want to hear is "Cheer up", even worse, "It could be worse". These casual statements, though well-intentioned are at best annoying. It belittles the experience the individual is suffering and isolates further, as it is obvious by saying these words they have no comprehension of what is being experienced, rendering the depressive more alone. It only adds guilt to how crap the recipient is feeling. They already know it could be worse and if they could cheer up they would do. So, back to the train.

 Sorrow is part of the journey of life we are all learning to ride. I think the best thing you can do is to accept there is nothing you can do and that's okay. The idea I had was being on a depression train. Stop fighting it, it will only lead to insomnia and anxiety and make the journey feel longer. It may not feel like you are moving but you are. In an emergency you could pull the red cord, but please don't abandon the train before your destination. The train will stop at a designated station, just breathe and see if you can find a window seat. Nobody knows how long the journey will be, but you may see something interesting. Even if it's just an idea gleaned from the enforced contemplation or simply more empathy for fellow life. If you cannot get to a window, try to stand in a shaft of sunlight and know that you are not alone. The depression train is full of fellow travelers. Eventually you will be able to look out and discover relativity, you will indeed "Cheer up" and the contrast of your sorrow will serve to heighten moments of future happiness. You will depart at platform "Sunshine" again.

 I have discovered two interesting things recently that have proved to be just the ticket (humour remember is important!). A delight to discover is the author Matt Haig. I received great solace through reading his blog. I have yet to read his new book, but I have just bought it with my birthday money and now I am anticipating the post. Anticipation is good. It feels alive. The other is Alain De Botton's new book on Art as Therapy. Obvious I know, but he has compiled a great resource. An analysis of Serra's 'Fernando Pessoa' can be find for free on Facebook and it helped me today. Art can serve as a map on a commute to hell and back.

  Stephen Fry's advice:

“If you know someone who’s depressed, please resolve never to ask them why. Depression isn’t a straightforward response to a bad situation; depression just is, like the weather.

Try to understand the blackness, lethargy, hopelessness, and loneliness they’re going through. Be there for them when they come through the other side. It’s hard to be a friend to someone who’s depressed, but it is one of the kindest, noblest, and best things you will ever do.” 


A McDonald's with a view. Oil on canvas.


  1. Your wisdom and creative thinking around this subject is refreshing. I look forward to reading more. Thank you.

  2. Thank you for taking the time to let me know. It is reassuring to get your feedback.