Tag Archive | Gwyneth Lewis

The Do’s and Don’t of depression-follow up

Thank you to everyone who read my original post The Do’s and Don’t of Depression and I hope you found it interesting. For some it was clearly thought-provoking and I am grateful for the feedback that ensued. There are a couple of points that I would like to clarify;

The list of Do’s and Don’ts of depression was taken from a book called “Sunbathing in the Rain” by Gwyneth Lewis and they are not my words or opinions. Credit was given to Gwyneth accordingly.

“Do… remember that however much you blame other people, depression will only take you back to yourself.”

I am sure that having read Gwyneth’s book and some of her poetry, that by this sentence she does not mean that people are responsible for their depression, or any other illness that may affect them. Instead I interpret this as not to waste time or energy blaming others, but use it more wisely in helping yourself. Blaming others is futile and will not get you very far. It will probably make you more miserable.

If anyone has a different perspective on this, please let us know. I am happy to stand corrected.

“Don’t attempt the Bible. War and Peace….”

I think that what Gwyneth was trying to convey here is not to take on huge tasks when feeling under the weather. The chances are that you will not complete them and are most likely to be self-critical as a result. As pointed out by a Blogging colleague “Iwrite” there are parts of the Bible which are inspiring and comforting if taken in isolation and I would agree that the Bible is one of those books which you can dip in and out of regularly. Perfect for those with a reduced concentration span.

Once again thank you for all your comments.

Gwyneth Lewis-Chaotic Angels

John-New Testament Chapter 14 et seq

The Do’s & Don’ts of Depression

by Gwyneth Lewis;

Do:

  • remember that depression can’t harm you, only your reaction to it
  • remember that depression always ends
  • listen to what depression is telling you, and change your life accordingly
  • remember that however much you blame other people, depression will only take you back to yourself
  • learn how to distinguish between your rubbish and what’s true
  • dress better than you feel
  • pace yourself
  • let go of what things mean
  • look at how you’re doing things as well as what you’re doing

Don’t:

  • attempt the Bible, War & Peace or A la recherche du temps perdu
  • join a gym for the first time in 15 years
  • push yourself to do anything
  • make any decisions while you’re depressed
  • forget that all that goes up must come down
  • tolerate people who pull you down
  • even think about how you are every day
  • compare yourself with anyone else
  • wish your depression away
  • less depression stop you from enjoying yourself

Good days, bad days

The problem with depression is just when you think you’ve got it licked, bang! it hits you right between the eyes and knocks you for six. Big black clouds of despair stifle your emotions, leaving you feeling numb and empty. Nothing makes sense, no one cares and you are stranded in a dark and lonely place with no immediately apparent lifeline. These are bad days.

What do I do when this happens?

Firstly, I don’t panic. Gone are those days when I think that a long-term bout of illness is imminent. I now know that these feelings will last for maybe a day, maybe a week, or if I’m really unlucky, a bit longer. But I have had enough experience of this monster to know that in my case, it will eventually lift and leave me in peace. I just need to be patient and work my way through it.

Strangely enough, I don’t fight it any more either. I find that I use too much energy in trying to pretend that everything is OK when clearly it isn’t. I have learnt over the years that no matter how hard I try to resist it, it gets me in the end so, I surrender. I wave the white flag, admit defeat, cry a lot and indulge my emotions for a short while. By surrendering I am able to save my energy for when I eventually turn the corner and see that it is again possible to bask in the gentle rays of an emerging sun. These are good days.

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Sunbathing in the rain-Gwyneth Lewis

Hurry Down Sunshine-Michael Greenberg