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.

39 comments:

DJan said...

Whew! That was a brilliantly written post, MOB. And I must say that as a chink collector, you should look at those writings as shafts of light that illumine the lives of many. Thank you for this.

Jennyta said...

You have such a gift with words, MOB. I presume that you have a light box to help you during the winter months? My dad has one and it does seem to help him.

Maggie May said...

It does sound as though you need a light box.

That was a very well written piece of work and I am so glad that the sunlight and lighter evenings are making you feel better.

Nuts in May

PurestGreen said...

The seven dwarves of menopause - love it. Let's line them up and kick at them, shall we?

Beautiful post. Today it snowed. I know this desperate feeling, watiting for the earth to warm, for the sweet things to emerge. They will, they will.

willowtree said...

Glad you're feeling better. Sounds like a severe case of SAD.

LittleBrownDog said...

Oh no, not you, too. Depression is a horrible, horrible thing - so heartened to hear the light is on its way back to you from the end of the tunnel. Hasn't dented your writing ability, though - loved your 'seven dwarfs' description, too. xx

clairedulalune said...

Hey there MOB! Fantastic post as always, Looking forward to Spring with you!! I love read your posts you enchanter of words you! This is going to be your year, I can feel it! ((hugs))

Lane said...

Only one more month until that magic 'British Summer Time Begins' day. I love that day.

Keep gathering those chinks Mob.

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Djan – you always touch me with such lovely comments. Thank you.

Jennyta – I don’t get SAD. I generally love winter for its clear days and cool temperatures. I love to light a fire in the grate and enjoy the cosiness of the season. Depression was never something that affected me as a rule no matter the season. My depression was a slow burn over a five year period, the last 3 being the most exacting. I started to feel better about 8 months ago, it is just that my coming out of it fully coincides with the advent of Spring which I appreciate more than ever this year. Glad your Dad gets benefit from his light – I’ve heard they are very effective for seasonal complaints.

Maggie May – thanks so much for such a lovely comment.

PurestGreen – aw Hen, I guess the Snowdrops come out a wee bit later in Scotland given the latitude with Canada and all the snow you have had this year. Yeah, as I myself are marginally taller than those 7 dwarves I will be allowed to thump them regally! A lynch mob sounds like a great idea.

Willowtree – nope not SAD, but severe depression over many years. Took me a while to work it out though – complications with the menopause threw me a few red herrings. What with all that sun in Auzzie, I guess that’s a great way to avoid depression though!

LBD – yup I thought I was immune to it but there you go. I am the eighth dwarf – lardbutt! Thanks for the ssooper doper comment on the writing but I am not in your league.

Clairedelalune – ah you old smooth talker you! Yes I believe this is the year I get back on track. I can feel it already.

Wildernesschic said...

Lovely post.. I know not a good way of putting it, but as a fellow sufferer I think you put it into words perfectly. I also find this month the hardest of all, I am often ill too.. I sometimes wonder if its my whole body needing a break from the world.
But yesterday I saw my first blue crocus its head popped above the snow alone but with 100's around waiting to burst open ... so spring is almost here xxx

Martin H. said...

So glad to hear that you've freed yourself from the 'glue' of depression, to find yourself in a lighter place.

Carol said...

You write beautifully you know that?

C x

Ann said...

Great post! Expressed many of my feelings very eloquently. I only just commented last night, on the stretch coming into the evenings and even though the ground is covered in snow, the signs of spring are on the horizon. Take care.

Teresa Ashby said...

As everyone has already said, this is so beautifully written. I love the way you express yourself and I wish you many more chinks for your collection.

Flowerpot said...

Absolutely MOB. We must gather our chinks while we can. Talking of which, have you ever tried a lightbox? I've been using one this winter and I really think its helped.

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Wildernesschick – January is clearly the hardest month for very many people. I doubt there are many people look forward to the credit card bills after Christmas and the long year ahead without feeling less sparkly than usual. I used to just find the anti-climax from the festive season a bit miserable but recovered quickly after the first week of January because I knew the days were getting longer. The last three years or so have been very dark so I should have known something was wrong as that feeling never left me when the better months came along. Hope the sight of that Crocus keeps you feeling optimistic.

Martin H – glue of depression is a great way to describe it. No matter how hard you try sometimes, you are steadfastly stuck.

Carol – thank you so much, it a bit Mills and Boons though!

Ann – thanks. I guess so many of us are just glad to see even the smallest indication of lighter brighter days. You take care too.

Teresa – as always you are very generous with your feedback. Thank you and yes plenty of chinks being deposited in the old bank account these days!

Flowerpot – it’s certainly something I’d consider if I start to get low next winter. The thing is I never suffered from SAD before, this depression I had wasn’t seasonal but one that lasted for almost five years, the last three being quite intense. It seemed to have been triggered by the Menopause, poor diet and being very unfit. I haven’t taken any anti-depressants. The change of diet, coming off HRT and knocking alcohol on the head or at least down to moderate levels at the weekend has all restored my chemical balance to its rightful level. But, I’d happily get a light box if I ended up suffering from SAD at any time. Glad yours is working, there’s so much good evidence that they do indeed work.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Having met all 7 dwarfs and then some, I can tell you the hardest thing I have had to plod through lately is the depression of my own lovely daughter. Nothing can squeeze my heart harder than watching one of my children suffer.

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Kathy - I guess that watching someone you love in deep depression is even worse than suffering it. I hope she comes through this soon. But thank God she has you and her Dad and husband. It makes all the difference. Hugs x

Bubbles said...

Wow, I am speechless, you sum up my feelings so perfectly. You are a very special writer. I am glad to have found you. oOo x

Robynn's Ravings said...

Having walked the path of depression myself I can say I've never read a more apt or beautiful description of what it feels like. That was an amazing piece.

Thank you for your visit and all your encouragement, sweet friend.

Lena said...

MOB - even I (a ginger pale-skinned moaning git!) am looking forward to summer after the ruddy winter we've had! And if anyone's chin deserves to be up it's yours!

You've always had the knack of cheering me up, and imagine patenting a tee-shirt with the menopause dwarfs on! You'd make a fortune! Especially at the Barra's!

aims said...

Looking at the other comments I tend to agree with a SAD light. It would help greatly in many respects.

I also hope you are taking plenty of supplements. Vitamin D and Fish and Salmon Oils - Evening Primrose.

Again - here for you - hoping I'm one of those gems as you are to me.

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Bubbles – thank you so much, I guess that although each experience of anything in life is unique, there are constants that resonate with all of us.

Robynn – thanks you again, you are always so generous with your feedback. I hope for you too that things get better. Grieving is exhausting. Time makes it easier,

Lena – aw thanks Hen but being a fellow Glaswegian you get my humour! I can’t take credit for the seven dwarfisms! It was an old email going around but yeah a t-shirt would be a great idea.

Aims – if anyone knows about depression it is surely you. I’ve changed my diet to a very healthy one and it has made a huge difference, that and coming to the end of the menopause. I’m only taking Glocosamine Sulphate for cartilage, nails and hair and fish oils for my joints. I never started on anti-depressants because by the time I realised I was suffering from depression as well as severe menopausal symptoms I had started the climb out of it. Exercise and diet has been the key for me keeping things improving daily. I feel absolutely brilliant now. And yes, you are a gem with your ability to empathise and support. A real one-off. Thanks.

the mother of this lot said...

May you collect enough chinks for a triple strand necklace!

Tattie Weasle said...

I woke up to a brigh blue sky this morning - wow what a differnce it makes! Fabulous post, I found it very moving.

Wildernesschic said...

There is an award for you on my blog xx

Crystal Jigsaw said...

There is always light, it's always there somewhere waiting for us to find it. A beautiful post.

CJ xx

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

TMOTL – I’m well on my way to owning a great stash of jewellery! Collecting more and more every day now.

Tattie – the weather has been amazing these last few days. Glad you made the best of it.

Wildernesschick – oh thank you very much. I shall pop it on my sidebar when I get some time.

Crystal – you are so right but I think that some people just get tired waiting and looking. I know I was one of the lucky ones.

Suzysoo said...

What a lovely post. x

Prabesh Dhakal said...

In the recent years i have changed a lot. The perspective of mine to look at things is entirely different now. Each day as I realized there is some positive change occurring in me, I felt that there are many others like me who might and want to change. And I usually thought that if I can change hundred of you and the hundreds in turn will change thousands of other, the world would certainly be a better place to live. And I always wanted to share those stuffs. The "stuffs" I mentioned are actually articles I collected. These were generally published in the local newspaper in the past few years. These articles are so precious to me and think it would benefit others too. I want you to consider my site and think of it. I am sure you will like it. I hope you will keep a link referring to my site in your POPULAR BLOG. I think your blog is really awesome and lot of peoples liked it. So I thought of asking you. And do give me an advice what I do to improve my blog. Its just in its initial phase and I am new to blogging. And I think I need a lot of modification to it. Please kindly consider my request. Let’s join hand in making this world a happy place.
LINK : http://developing-your-personality.blogspot.com/

Prabesh Dhakal
sillypraw@gmail.com
Kathmandu University
Nepal

Eliza said...

So well written, and I understand every word! I love the sunny snowy crisp days of winter, but its those dark damp soulless days that really get to you. Seems I'm not alone.

PurestGreen said...

The spring is building steam, more and more light each day.

Four whole weeks since your last post. I miss youuuuuuuuu!

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

I'm back to blogging on my old blog and becoming a bit of a chink collector myself.

Teresa Ashby said...

You have a Beautiful Bloggers award over at my place.
Hope you are inundated with chinks!

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Prabesh – welcome. Sorry for the delay in answering your comment. I’ve been busy doing other things these days! I’ll pop along and have a look at your blog. Best way to grow your readership is to visit other blogs and leave comments where you like the material. You should also set yourself up as a follower of other blogs that you like as they may visit you and become a follower too. Thank you for such nice comments and good luck with your blog.

Eliza – the longer days are truly a bonus and a bit of sun helps a great deal too. I’ll pop over to read your blog soon, promise!

Purestgreen – yup, it all looks so much better these days. I’ve been busy writing and not spending any time blogging or reading other blogs as I decided to get a shufty on with the book I am writing! I’ll post soon but thank you for leaving such a great comment.

Coffee – things don’t look so good for you these days. I’m glad to see you writing again but it makes for a difficult read as your life is so haphazard and sad right now. Glad to see you taking steps to change things, divorce is a horrid thing to go through.

Teresa – oh thank you, I am honoured. Now if only I could get my stuff published as regularly as you do I’d feel I deserved the honour! You are a star!

rickps said...

I wish you all the best, MOB. If I may (sends virtual hug.)

Cheryl said...

Your words are so healing to me, who so often feels this deression will never end and the light seems to grow dimmer as time goes on. Yet, I do feel the hope and light in your words. You so get it, you put things into words so perfectly, what a gift you have and what a treasure you are. XXXXX
Cheryl

Housewifeinthehighlands said...

Glad to hear the black clouds are lifting. May you walk in sunshine.

Gone Back South said...

Good Golly Miss Mob, every time I come over here I am spellbound by your powerful words. What a writer you are. I hope you're feeling well, and enjoying the (slightly) better weather. I've been wandering around the blogosphere for over a year now, looking for a new home, only to find myself back where I started (and very pleased I feel about it too).
GBS x