You might not need to hear this.

You might be absolutely fine. Completely fine. Completely and utterly, fine.

Just in case you’re not. Just in case underneath all of those giggles and smiles, lies a layer of indescribable sadness, know that you’re not alone. That cloud, the mist that hovers over your head as you walk to work, laugh with friends and curl up in bed, tends to travel and shift with the breeze. I’m sure that often, it can feel like the grey insists on hanging over you. Never once letting the sun break or the fog lift.

Of course we all know, from the self-help books, advice from friends, films and instinct; that indulging in the thought that ‘bad things just happen to me’ or focusing solely on that dark cloud, is also blocking the sun light. It’s a factor 60 defence against that little bit of light which you so desperately need.

Easier said than done. To look to the brightness, the goals, the aspirations; when everything around you isn’t quite going right. When others are overtaking you on the track of life. When the blue that lies within you, has no rhyme, no reason and no intention of dissolving.

I have a tendency to indulge in periods of darkness. I allow my mind to run wild, free to roam into the deep depths of sadness. Sometimes with good reason. Through illnesses, heartbreaks, rejections, insecurities: my sadness is somewhat excused. I allow myself the capacity to feel, to mourn, to contemplate. An important part of any period of darkness is to accept that you have found yourself in a storm. However, instinct in a storm is too take cover. To protect yourself from the wind, the rain and the lightening. To take shelter. To cover your hair or zip up your coat. This period of sadness, this storm of feeling down, needs similar precautions.

I protect myself from these feelings; not by allowing the blue to take over me. Not by standing in the tempest defenceless and ilequipt. I protect myself. I take defences against the rain, knowing that I alone can not stop the weather but, I can shelter. Shelter from the sadness, the melancholic and the anger. My umbrella? The things that bring light to my life…

Simple things like early morning dew on the grass. My Mum cooking in the kitchen. My Dad complaining about having to watch Britain’s got Talent over Sky Sports. My friends popping Prosecco and laughing about something funny that we did three years ago. A long dress that sways when you walk. Chocolate. Yoga. Meditation. Good people. My people. Music. ABBA. A cup of tea. A long phone call with someone I love. An amazing book. Driving with the windows down and the radio up. Silence. Lots and lots of noise. Dreaming. Planning. Plotting. Mindset.

It’s not relying on any of these things that will shift your mood. Becoming dependant on anything external won’t fix anything. It won’t stop the bad luck or change the path of the storm. However, in knowing this comes power. In knowing that all of these things are only one form of shelter, that they are as fragile as a cheap umbrella against a strong wind; you can then use them to find shelter. Not a solution.

individually, these things will not pull you out of a slump. No instant spring will come to your step. A smile may not cross your lips. The fog may not even lift. But, you will be sheltered from the storm. You will be distracted for 5 minutes or an hour, from your own self-pity.

When I am court in a storm. I have no intention of avoiding the fact that I am feeling down but, I have every intention of refusing to get stuck in the rain.

It’s a silly analogy really. The storm. Although, it’s the only way I know how to explain the feeling. It’s a cloud, a big grey one, that needs no permission to hover above your head. The cloud does not discriminate, privilege no longer shields you, place and time are irrelevant, it comes when it pleases and doesn’t shift easily. The more you stare at the cloud; focus on how big and grey it is, the bigger it gets. As soon as you begin to see the light, increase the amount of things that are providing shelter from the stormy weather. The sooner you do this, the quicker you find things, places, a mindset that shelters you; the quicker the clouds will break.

And all of a sudden, before you even realised it, you can see the sun again.

For any further weather reports please don’t contact me. I never wear the right clothes and I’m always too hot or too cold. x

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