Wednesday, 24 February 2010
The Chink Collector
All it takes are the days staying lighter for longer to remind me that the worst is over, that the darkness of winter and severe depression, an insidious invader, a mental Trojan horse, are behind me. The parallel of emerging from bleak winter days with their interminable winter nights into the early signs of spring, dovetailing the abating of my depression, does not escape me. It seems almost poetic in its timing. Perhaps the extra daylight is a placebo aiding and abetting me to think sunnier thoughts; there’s no doubting in its therapeutic effect, I embrace it every year. Conceivably the emergence of the green shoots of Snowdrops with the promise of delicate white flowers bursting into bloom provides all the hope of a new dawn; that the eventual hum of bumblebee’s busily collecting their golden nectar signifies endless dazzling days and the heat of summer sun warming bones too deeply chilled by long winter months. But perhaps this rebirth and awakening elicits a more intensive appreciation, simply because the tyranny of my five year depression is over. A Placebo then? Quite so, but who am I to look a gift horse in the mouth? I’ll hug each chink of light to me as though entrusted with the care of a newborn child, for my very survival is intrinsically linked, to its healthy development and greater presence in my life. Depression is a protracted sentence in a mental dungeon for a crime you didn’t commit. You are hopelessly blind to everything that once made your life challenging but worthwhile. A chink of light, signalling hope, is a precious gem that you crave to possess, or a fragile silken thread, a lifeline that you are desperate to grasp, but are terrified to touch lest it rupture and be beyond repair. I am one of the lucky ones. In time, those chinks became shafts that were strong enough to grasp my way to total daylight. The seven dwarfs of menopause – itchy, bitchy, sweaty, sleepy, bloated, forgetful and depressed have been beaten with every step of the way. I’ve become a collector of chinks, a chink collector, all shapes, sizes and wattage welcome here because there is strength in numbers and a girl can’t have too many precious gems to illuminate her journey forward.