Blue Period

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen the sun shines, and my patio blooms with red roses, I am embarrassed to admit that I have the blues.

But then, I think, Picasso was Spanish and had a Blue Period, so I am also inclined to have mopey days.

Even in Spain.

My mopey days feel a bit like one of those lead apron you wear when getting x-rays at the dentist. The moment clings, and all movement ceases. I don’t want to leave the house or practice my Spanish or cook dinner or practice any of the basic self-care that would change my circumstances.

You see, depression (even my fairly mild form) lies. It steals joy. It hisses in your ear.

And I hate it. JK Rowling brilliantly describes depression in the Harry Potter books:

“You can exist without your soul, you know, as long as your brain and heart are still working. But you’ll have no sense of self anymore, no memory, no . . . anything. There’s no chance at all of recovery. You’ll just — exist. As an empty shell. And your soul is gone forever . . . lost.”

I am not even close to this. After all, I live in Spain, and the sun shines and my patio blooms with red roses.

But maybe once every two months, for a day or two, I will wear that lead apron, and feel more like I’m existing than living.

And I write these words, I guess, to let the universe know that it is okay to have sad days, even when on a great adventure.

However, we must fight the dementors. Find your weapons, and practice your aim.

My arsenal includes exercise, making plans to see friends, and eliminating nonsense. I pray, and go outside, and let the wind of the ocean tangle my hair into knots.

Right now, that mostly does the trick. But I also have friends who know me, and love me. Here and back home. They watch, and they will tell me if they are concerned. If they think that this is situational, or a case of out-of-sync chemicals.

I write this because I know I am not alone. I know, that even in this beautiful land, we all have our Blue Periods.

Even when the roses bloom, and the sun shines on our face. Even then.

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4 thoughts on “Blue Period

  1. Oh hon! I’m in a blue period at the moment myself and your description is right on. It’s a lead apron that mutes and muffles and weighs you down. Hugs from across the pond, across the continent, across the internet.

  2. You reminded me of the time a counselor told me, “You would never know what happy was if you did not know sad.” And I thought, I have ‘sad’ down pat. Just tell me how do I get back to ‘happy’ from here?
    I think you describe a natural occurrence, being blue. We all have it from time to time. I hope you find the path to gaiety soon.

  3. I love this post, and love your lead apron analogy. When I first moved to Doha, I was told about how everyone gets the “Doha blues” now and then. I have experienced it myself, and have witnessed each of my friends here experience it as well. I know what my triggers are (Lana del Rey songs, coming back to Doha after a trip back to the states, looking through old family pictures, too much alone time) and keep my “arsenal” close at hand. You’re not alone!

  4. You said it – “it’s okay to have sad days, even when on a great adventure.” Having gone through depression (and anxiety) a couple of years ago, you hit the nail on the head – it steals joy and you find yourself just going through the motions of living. But you’re doing everything you can do to come in the opposite spirit of depression – exercise, cultivating relationships, praying, looking for beauty and things to be thankful for. Blue periods are seasons, and seasons change. Love you, friend.

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