Tag Archive | calm

30 Days Wild-Day 4

I recently found a set of watercolour pencils which I bought many moons ago but have hardly used. Feeling very lazy today I decided to use them to complete another page of my colouring book, “Ivy and the Inky Butterfly” by Johanna Basford. I found a page of flowers and leaves to tie in with doing something connected with nature with this result;

anxiety Christmas chronic fatigue Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Craft Crafts creativity depression Depression Alliance Disorders Esfahan fatigue fighting depression with positivity flowers friends Friendship Garden Health hope inspiration inspiring Iran Isfahan love Major depressive disorder Mental disorder Mental Health Mood nature papercraft Peace poem poppies postaday2011 quotes recovery relax sewing spring Stress travel weekly photo challenge Wildlife wildlife garden wildlife gardening


Something of the marvelous

There is something of the marvelous in all things of nature-Aristotle

Apparently, having water in my garden is the best way to encourage and entice a host of different creatures to visit us. Insects, frogs, toads and newts, birds, and small mammals are all dependant on water to survive, just as we are. It was a good day therefore when my pond plants arrived from lincolnshire-pondplants in the post, safe and sound and ready to pot up. I hope that the two new ponds bring more dragonflies and damselflies as I love their bright fluorescent colours and patterned wings.

The delivery also included some aquatic baskets and compost, so all I needed to add were some pebbles on the surface to prevent the soil from leaking into the water too much. I managed this with the larger pond which is very clear this evening, but the small pond made in the Belfast sink is still cloudy. I hope that it clears tomorrow when it settles down.


I wasn’t sure what plants to order, so I went online and did some research. It still seemed a bit overwhelming and so I took the plunge and ordered 2 plant packs; one for a very small pond (sink) and one for a medium pond. I was really pleased with the selection I was sent and the condition they arrived in and tonight all are planted up and in situ.


My newly-resident frog is still sitting on the yellow irises, looking comfortable in his new home. I hope we get some frogspawn next year as I have lots of frogs in my old pond but have never had any spawn. It would be nice to have some tadpoles!


The plants I was sent include;

A purple Iris, yellow iris, bulrush, Juncus grass, water mint, forget-me-not, oxygenators and some plants with long latin names.

I’m looking forward to next year when they have settled and grown into their surroundings.


In the meantime I have a herb garden to finish, a vertical planter to plant up, some shrubs to pick up on Sunday and more rockery stones to collect.

Good job I’m on holiday next week!


Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to one and all!

This time last year I was looking forward to a busy busy 2014 and sure enough so it has been. Overall a very successful and happy one albeit against the usual backdrop of “depression expectancy.”

My New Year resolutions this year are few but hopefully more truly life-enhancing than the previous “Must lose weight,” “must exercise more,” “must eat healthier,” etc etc.

For 2015 my intentions are simple and two-fold.

(1) To stop living in fear of the black dog returning and to live my life in the moment and

(2) To go swimming 3 times a week. Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 11am with the other “over 50’s”!

My biggest problem is accepting that life can be good. I must stop expecting the worst to happen and preparing accordingly. As sure as eggs are eggs (as my grandma used to say) it usually will. Granny wasn’t well educated but she had a pretty good grasp on the relationship between thought and behaviour and the self-fulfilling prophecy theory as explained by Merton. And so I must try and put my past experiences into perspective and take each day as it comes. Some days will be better than others but that’s normal. Hey! I think I’ve got this!

I have a great support network.

I have a fantastic husband.

I have an amazing son.

I have a wonderful family.

I have a cute puppy.

I have a job I love.

I work from home.

I have 4 months off work between February and June.

I have a house and family in Iran.

What have I got to worry or complain about?


I wish all my friends and family a happy and healthy 2015.

Depression is indiscriminate

If depression was a person, it would have received every honour and award going. OBE; MBE; CBE; BBC Sports Personality of the year; Oscar winner; Nobel prize Winner……………

It is completely anti-racist, 100% non-prejudiced about race, colour, intelligence, ability, gender,financial success, sporting prowess, personality type, job, weight, religion, ideology, age, freckles, etc etc.

So it never surprises me when talented individuals come clean about their experiences of the “Black Dog.” In the past, we mortals have been influenced to believe that film stars, elite sports people, celebrities, and the financially and intellectually advantaged are somehow immune from depression. Not so but it is sadly comforting to hear stories from so-called privileged individuals that all is not well in their world for whatever reason. I would never wish depression upon anyone. Ever. But as the world gradually wakes up and acknowledges that depression is indiscriminate, so we all have hope that we will be taken seriously and appropriate help will be available.

So good on Brett Seymour, a giant of a rugby league player for Castleford, who has told his story of depression and how he considers himself lucky to be alive today. A big, strong, talented sportsman, why on  earth would he believe that the best way out would be to end his life? That’s depression for you.

I too was plagued by this overwhelming feeling of hopelessness and uselessness about this time last year and the reasons I am still here are; My son Will, my husband Feri and the continued underlying belief and hope that things will improve. I understand Brett’s concerns and share his pain but am so happy that his demise was postponed! As I expect, were his family.

If you know someone who shows signs of depression, low self worth or is just plain miserable day after day. Reach out. There is help out there so make it your mission to find it.


Today is World Mental Health Day 2012

Raising awareness of mental health issues is critical if we are to reduce the stigma attached to mnetal illness and help people recover in a safe and understanding environment.

Today is World Mental Health Day and the focus is on the “Black Dog” that is depression.

If you know someone who is depressed and don’t know how to deal with it take time today to find out more about this illness and read up on how you can help.

If you suffer with depression yourself, you must seek help. This is a treatable condition and you will get better. It just takes time. Go and see your GP or contact a relevant organisation for more information.

Information is available from;

Depression Alliance


Royal College of Psychiatrists




6 months clean

No anti-depressants, no counselling, no psychotherapy, no sleeping tablets, no set-backs, no devastating “lows” and equally, no manic-high energy phases either. No dibilitating exhaustion, no persistent nagging expectation. In short, no depression.

Instead a calmer, more philospohical approach to day-to-day living, accepting slight swings in mood as perfectly normal and nothing to panic about. Final realisation that I’m not Superwoman and never have been (only in my head) and I can only do my best. If my best isn’t good enough, I’m destined for other things but actually, my best isnt that bad.

Stop dancing on the edge of the volcano

I think I need an oasis of calm in this very hectic week of travelling the length and breadth of the country.  I hope these snippets instil feelings of peace and tranquility for you too.

Nature is infinitely patient, infinitely calm.
Everything comes, everything passes.

The future, no matter how threatening it may appear, can only come one day at a time.

Do nothing and be brave about it.

Consider a curve that can set everything else straight.
And smile.

Let the flower you hold in your hand be your world for that moment.

A quiet mind is the best cure for a low mood.

Cultivate calm in the garden of your heart.

Enjoy the calm that comes in the still moments after the storms have subsided.

Security does not exist in nature. Accept this and return to calm.

We can go through life cursing the darkness or we can simply light a candle.

The Times-Taming the black dog men & depression

The truth about men and depression by those who live with it.

If you can get hold of today’s Times, you will find a great article in The Times 2 Section called Taming the black dog written about men and depression by men who live with it.

I live with depression and I talk about it a lot as you will have noticed. There are two topics which are particularly close to my heart. The first is stigma. I am committed to reducing the stigma surrounding depression by talking openly and honestly about my experiences. More of that another time.

The second concerns men and depression. From experience I believe that it is more difficult for men to admit to feeling depressed and they are less likely to seek help and support when needed. I wrote a post for my Blog before Christmas called “Man Blue” which addresses some of the concerns raised in the Times’ article. I am not going to repeat them in this post as you can link back to the original, but the facts speak for themselves. In the UK alone, 30 men under 45 commit suicide every week. This is shocking and proof, if any is needed, that more support is required to help our men.

My husband has depression and has found it very difficult to cope with. Initially seeing it as a weakness he went through various stages of resentment, guilt, self-hatred and low self-esteem. Fortunately he is married to someone who genuinely understands the symptoms and behaviour patterns associated with depression and together we will get through it.

I am taking the liberty to write on behalf of all women who understand this illness to pledge our care and support to all men suffering with depression. Speak up you guys. If you need help ask and remember “Depression is not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign that you have been trying too hard for too long”.

Talk to someone today it may save your life.

You may also like;

Man Blue-Poppyposts



The Scent of Dried Roses-Tim Lott memoir of suicidal depression


I have always suffered from being over-active both physically and mentally often doing far too much than is good for me. It is difficult to find something that relaxes me without being too physically demanding but I have always been intrigued from afar by the concept of meditation. It sounds perfect; losing yourself in yourself, blocking out those random destructive thoughts, instead focussing on deep, regular breathing.  Whilst being treated for severe depressive bouts however I was advised not to meditate. Apparently it can have adverse effects on your mental state and well-being if not done under supervision or in controlled conditions and can actually heighten feelings of despair. So, if you are thinking of taking up meditation as an escape from your depression you need to be very careful and either do plenty of research or look for experienced help before setting off down this route.

Recently I have found that there are several alternatives to the silent, traditional, mantra-driven and introspective meditation, which probably suit me better. I have therefore chosen short guided meditations set to background music to help me clear my mind of all that mental detritus accumulated daily.  These are designed to help you relax body and mind and discover inner peace whilst being guided by an experienced meditator.

It seems to be working so far and in a very short time I have come to look forward to my twenty minutes of “me” time, sitting cross-legged in the middle of my bed, nursing my nugget of rose quartz listening to tropical rain storms, waterfalls, whales and dolphins, imagining that I am stranded on a desert island.The only downside is waking up to reality. Now that can be depressing!

All this is very new to me and I have a lot to learn but the early signs are that meditation will help me to relax and enable me to cope better with my emotions which can be volatile at best. I look forward to regaining some control and objectivity instead of being ruled by my all-too-often gung-ho- heart-rules-head approach. I will keep you updated as to my progress and my experiences which may help you decide whether meditation is for you. In the meantime, here are a few resources which have set me on my way.

Meditainment-Guided meditations

Meditations for relaxation

Rose Quartz;

  • Encourages self-love
  • Heals emotional body
  • Eases heartache
  • Relieves loneliness
  • Releases repressed hurts
  • Promotes forgiveness
  • Offers inner peace