It's a dark, cold, rainy day here at The Cottage today. This is the view from my kitchen window.
I am enjoying it more than you might imagine, actually. I realised this morning that winter is important for the natural cycle of things - the ground becomes wet, the plants rest and gain energy to burst forth in the spring. The cold makes us appreciate the warmer, longer days of summer. Yes, winter feels like a good metaphor for my experiences at the moment.
I haven't blogged for a few days. Charlie and I had Norovirus last week - yuck! Also, I really loved my last post, especially the picture. And I didn't want to spoil the picture and the optimistic sentiment with more tales of depression.
So, I have put together a collage of inspiration. These are clippings from magazines that inspire me - largely Country Living, but there may be others. Many of these pictures were snipped out months ago, so I am afraid that I cannot give sources.
I like the idea of having an online source of inspiration. If you're experiencing depression, I really would recommend starting a blog. It allows me to see my life through outsiders' eyes. That's really helpful, especially as it allows me to focus on the positive. I look at lots of other blogs too, and this helps me feel part of that community. However, the idea of an online scrapbook, that I can dip into when I need a lift or an idea, really fills me with inspiration. I am not very good at creating scrapbooks as I don't like cutting pictures out from magazines, I like to keep them whole. Taking photographs feels like a good compromise.
Dots are really doing it for me at the moment - dots and stripes. Can you see the multicoloured buttons on the red coat earlier? Oh, that gives me a thrill. However, it's a silk coat, price on application. Which means it is way, way above my budget! I have a black mac, and I am considering putting multi coloured buttons on that. What do you think? The other mums in the playground think I am a bit eccentric anyway, and I am tempted to do it just to spite them..
Don't you just love the lime of the scarf and the pom poms? And the dotty books? Ooh, my fingers are itching to get on with something... Look at the umbrellas on that book cover! I so want a pretty umbrella for Christmas, mine is plain black and very uninspiring. Look at how a pretty umbrella could brighten up a day like today!
In depression news, I had my first session of CBT last Thursday. It went well, I liked my counsellor and I found it thought provoking. However, I am finding it difficult. She has given me some workbooks to work through before next week, and I am finding it really tough going. I am finding that don't actually want to talk about the depression much, I would rather ignore it. Self pity is an easier state of mind than challenging one's fears.
I am suprised at how I feel, to be honest. I thought I was completely up for getting better. Now I am not sure whether I have wallowed enough. I am starting to see little green shoots of recovery, I just want to quietly cherish those for a while before ramping it up to challenge the big problems. I still feel private, retreated. I feel as though I am starting to wind down now; the idea of winding myself back up is frightening.
I find it hard to acknowledge these feelings. It's easier to just think 'sod it' and do what I have always done. I am trying not to, though. I have deliberately answered the door and made phone calls over the past few days. I am not sure the relief is as instantaneous as the books describe, but I am still going to keep trying, because I don't know where this will lead me. I just have to put my faith in the system, which isn't the easiest thing to do.
I hope you are well and making the most of these cold days. I am thinking of you.