While on Twitter yesterday Darren Cockle posted a link to his latest blog post. As I started reading his post I felt the heaviness of the past few weeks begin to lift and the clouds begin to move to allow the sunshine in. Sometimes we all need to be reminded to free ourselves from the dark clouds. I hope this post touches you as much as it did me.
Free from the Clouds by Darren Cockle
I can only assume a similarity but grief is the closest I have ever
been to the darkest clouds of depression. Being stuck inside your own
head trying to make sense of your environment and your existence is
debilitating for many on a daily basis.
The darkest clouds are the laziest clouds because of their density
and therefore remain as still as the person that is consumed by them.
Running is good therapy for depression because the clouds are left
behind whereas the road ahead is visible. The natural release of
endorphins is a factor too. Nobody likes living in a cloudy haze as the
joys of our world pass by unnoticed and unappreciated.
Depression is as grey an area as the world is to those affected by
it. There are many causes. Life and death is a simple answer for not
wanting to get out of bed in the morning. Poverty, work, tiredness,
loneliness, Eastenders, The Jeremy Kyle show and our many vices are
factors that hinder our natural ability to function and smile. From a
certain angle the world is a mess. Wars are taking place every day where
families are being torn apart by death, torture and destruction. Famine
and diseases are ending the lives of millions before they even reach
I count my blessings that I didn’t give up on my family when our
lives were changed forever by the onset of breast cancer and the loss of
my wife and my children’s mum. I have learned a lot from my children and
others that have dealt with loss. Children live in the moment and can
smile in the midst of the biggest tragedy. They do shed many tears but
rarely live in the past or hold onto bitter grudges. Children live how
God intended them to with innocence and a love that is pure. Sadly,
outside influences and prejudices change the path that could have been
so simple and enlightening.
I was driving to my parents’ house one day and I took the same route
as I always did. The ironic thing is that I could probably do it with my
eyes closed. Many times I would daydream about my job, an argument or
whether other people lived a more fulfilling life than mine. I was
suddenly catapulted into the present and all that glittered was gold. It
was autumn and I was passing through a tunnel that had been created by
trees on either side. I smiled and every sense became alert to the
heaven that I had failed to acknowledge previously. The sun was shining
through the gaps between the leaves and a soulful song was bringing joy
to my ears. I drove slowly and stared whilst taking mental photographs. I
knew that the leaves were dying and would be part of the ground on my
next passing. I also knew that the beauty would return again. If only
our happiness could be as certain as the returning seasons that continue
long after we become part of the ground.
Most of us have a choice regarding how we live our lives. In the
clouds of depression, getting out of bed in the morning can be more
difficult than making a good soufflé. I do think that attempting to make
a soufflé would give more substance to your day and you’d be proud of
Low self-worth and self-esteem stop us from living a complete life.
The graveyard is full of buried treasure owing to a lack of self-belief.
I will use my dad as an example. His father died just before he was
born and he was raised without a male role model. He is a brilliant dad
and is very talented. He excels in everything that he is interested in.
Ten years ago he couldn’t switch a computer on. Today he is my first
port of call when my computer has a virus or I want to throw it out of
the window. I also contact him instead of a plumber, mechanic or an
electrician. His biggest love is photography. He loves to capture the
beauty of our world through his lens. He could have and still can make a
career out of his passion but his lack of belief stops him from
proceeding. He feels that only professional photographers can make a
living with their cameras and to think differently is to live in a dream
world. Belief and a bit of luck are often all that is needed for most
I always think of George Bailey (James Stewart) from one of my
favourite films “It’s a Wonderful life”. George, like many before and
after him, is depressed because his dreams have gone unfulfilled and all
hope has gone. He suffers in silence and decides to end his own life.
In a cloudy haze where all rationality is either lost or extremely hard
to find he gets dangerously close to his last breath. An angel appears
and the clouds lift as George is shown a different perspective regarding
his existence. He sees what his world would have been like without him
in it. The simple beauty of life was right on his doorstep. There was so
much love and hope in his life which had been masked by internal
If you are feeling like the crumbling leaves in the gutter please
don’t let yourself drown in the drain. Talk to your friends and family,
get medical help, go running or make some bread. Life is better with you
in it especially if you have children. It is extremely unfair to expect
the souls of those left behind to deal with a child calling your name
at bedtime whilst they are suffering from their own loss and guilt.
Fight to live in the present and don’t spend too much time in the past
or an unknown negative future. Just like the golden leaves that turn to
dust. Beauty will return because the good life is out there somewhere,
waiting for your smile as you emerge from the clouds.
You can follow Darren Cockle by clicking on this link.