Depression Getaway

encouragement, information, inspiration and hope

‘Gentle on my Mind’ is my ‘Bridge over Troubled Water’


I remember it like it was yesterday. My happy childhood was lived out in a beautiful neighbourhood near the Scarborough Bluffs in Toronto, Ontario. I had a cozy home and a family who loved me. I worked hard and helped around the house but other than that I was an indulged kid with a privileged life. My time was my own and I spent a lot of my teen years lying on the floor in front of the 'hi-fi' listening to Glenn Campbell over and over and over. I had such a crush on him and loved his singing and his songs. 'Gentle on my Mind' was one of my favourites and a big hit way back then.

I was thinking about that song today, especially that title, as I was considering, as usual, how to manage this old depression.

'Gentle on my Mind' (lyrics) got me thinking about how we all need to be gentle on our minds, whether we are dealing with depression or not. We need to think thoughts that are gentle, not harsh. This does not come naturally, especially when you are depressed. I've always wondered what comes first, the negative thinking or the depressive mood? No matter, they sure happen at the same time!

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Don’t Mess with my My Morning Walk, It Saves My Life, One Day at a Time


See that bay window? It has two rocking chairs where I spend many happy hours. This second floor two bedroom apartment is where my day begins. Every morning I leave it for 30 minutes or more to go on my small adventure. I love my morning walk. The small Ontario town I live in offers several precious diversions for me. Walking for depression saves my life, every day.

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Hellos and Goodbyes, Every Ending is a New Beginning






Recently I was leaving our local hospital on the joyous day of the birth of our seventh grandchild! Just outside the front doors I met a dear friend who's elderly husband had been ill for quite awhile. This was a particularly bad day for her and it looked like he would not last the night. I was struck by the drama of life, by beginnings and endings. I felt sad for her and happy for us, and a little guilty at my joy. And yet this is how life is meant to be, beginnings and endings.

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Secret Sunshine for a Free Depression Getaway


Who doesn't love sunshine? Who doesn't prefer a sunny day over a cloudy day? Who doesn't find that a little sunshine can brighten even a depression day?

Before I moved into my new apartment last year, I painted the whole place a soft pale yellow. It's a sunny place anyways but when the sun shines, the yellow walls make it even brighter. Sometimes when we have come home from being away it's so bright that we check and make sure we didn't leave the lights on!

It helps, it really does. And because of depression I spend a lot of time at home and so the brightness is always with me. But I've found a way to add to that brightness, indoors or out.

You have probably heard about SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder? You may have heard of sunlamps, or 'light therapy boxes' which are recommended for those SAD sufferers. The truth is that we can all suffer from a bit of SAD once in awhile.

Well I have something cheaper to buy and cheaper to use because it doesn't require electricity. And it's not bulky so it takes up less storage space.

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Three Lessons from the Fire Hall


I have the thrill of living across from our local firestation. The workers are all volunteer except for the chief. It's inspiring, even entertaining on practise night and gives me something extra to pray about every time they leave the station. They have practise on Wednesday night and as many volunteers as can make it come along and clean and repair equipment. It looks like they even have a little fun while they are doing it. I live in a small town and sometimes people stop by and chat. Children love to do that.

Do you think firemen spend more time at training, cleaning equipment and being prepared for the next call or do you think they spend more time fighting fires? Do you know how much time they spending just practising? I don't know the correct answers to any of these questions but I would guess that more time goes into being ready and getting ready than actually fighting fires.


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Choose Your Depression Getaway Colour


Last time I was telling you about my nice yellow sunny apartment and how it cheers me up. The yellow I am referring to is a soft butter yellow. This time I would like to tell you about a time when yellow wasn't the smartest choice I ever made.

It was the early 70's. I was a new teacher and thought I knew something, I guess I was a little cocky. One June the teachers were told that the school was getting some fresh paint and although most of it would be white paint, each teacher could pick a colour for one wall in his or her classroom. I picked a really bright yellow!

I thought it was a fun amazing colour. The older teacher Winnefred (an old lady to me) chose a soft dusty rose for her wall. I thought 'what an old lady colour that is. Why that is not suited at all to young children. She is just picking the colour because she likes it.' Remember, I thought I knew something. Well my colour was no less selfish. I loved yellow, still do.

But guess what? That yellow was way too stimulating for those kids. It had a bad effect on them. Eventually I had to move their desks so they weren't facing the yellow all day. Winnefred's classroom remained calm as always, like Winnefred herself.

Have you ever noticed that some grocery stores use a lot of yellow? They want you to get excited and stimulated and spend more than you were planning to.

So why do prisons and drunk tanks paint their walls pink? To keep prisoners docile and obedient. Research has even shown that people are weaker while looking at a pink hue. Following the perceivable success of U.S. prisons using pink rooms to calm inmates, other institutions have shopped around the idea of using pink walls in office break rooms, inside of ambulances, panic rooms, airport security, mental health facilities, and natural disaster relief posts.  

My friend Winnefred was way ahead of me in choosing a soft pink for her colour.

There is so much more you could learn about the psychology of colour if you're interested.

But today I want to ask you about your favourite colour, or colours? And now this question: do you have some of that colour in your life? Is it in your house. Do you have clothes that colour?

I love colour! As an artist and a retired art teacher I have spent a lot of time using colour and explaining it to others.


But the colours you like or don't like are personal. You need to make no explanation about it. Just like you may not be able to explain why you like apples over oranges, you just like what you like.

Maybe you would like to know a bit more about 'colour for health'.


WHAT ABOUT YOU? Are you surrrounded by colours you like? Are you living in colours that you like but that are also soothing?

I'm so glad you dropped by Depression Getaway today! There is hope for depression. Don't give up, I'm praying for you.

Wendy Love

Bath Mat Therapy?


Last time I told you about my new bath mat. It reminded me of another bath mat story about seventeen years ago. That's when I married my second husband Cliff and moved into his home with his three children, 14, 16 and 18. I know, crazy right? Yes I was crazy, crazy in love with this dear man. So since the two of us had both come from failed marriages I was afraid that maybe we needed some help this time. Even though there were no serious issues, Cliff humoured me and off to marriage counselling we went.

The session began. "Now what sort of issues would you like to talk about today?" they asked.

"Well, there are no issues right now" I said. "It's just that we've both been divorced and we sure don't want that to happen again. I thought that maybe we don't have good conflict resolution techniques. Maybe you could teach us?"

One of them said "we need some sort of example in order for us to walk you through a conflict resolution. Is there some token situation you could give us?" said the woman.

"Well yes, here's a minor problem. It's a bath mat problem. There is only one bath mat and no one in this family wants to stand on a wet one, and of course the last person to shower gets a soaked mat. Personally I think it's kind of petty but Cliff here agrees with his kids (naturally) and considers this a problem."

"Okay, so the wet bath mat is important to him but not to you, right?"

"Right" I said.

"And you Cliff, is this a fairly accurate report?"

"Yes" said Cliff smiling. By now we were all smiling. We were probably the first couple to ever grace their offices for preventative marriage counselling.

"Okay" said the woman as she took a small stuffed toy off of her desk. "This represents the bath mat which to Wendy is a petty problem."

The man took a big heavy bible off of his desk and said "this represents the bath mat which to Cliff is a significant problem."

At that moment they both dropped their item. Of course the book made a loud thud. The stuff toy fell softly.

"Whether or not Wendy thinks the wet bathmat is worth the worry, it means something to Cliff. It's like this big heavy book to him. We can't judge one another's concerns. Everyone has a right to their own personal opinions and concerns. As couples we waste too much time trying to convince the other guy that we are right and too little time listening to one another and accepting their ideas as real and true to them."


Wow, this was revelating to us both!

"So instead of arguing about it, accept it for what it is and find a solution. By accepting each other's point of view you can avoid conflict."

Simple but great advice.

What does this have to do with depression?

When you are depressed everything is a big problem. There is no discriminating. All problems loom equally large in your anxious mind. No one should tell you they are stupid petty thoughts and you shouldn't scold yourself for dwelling on them. To you each of those thoughts is a like the big heavy book.

When the depression passes, those same thoughts become more like that little stuffed toy, light, fluffy, easy to handle with one hand or to just toss over your shoulder and forget about.

My good husband uses that book/stuffed toy principal to support me during depression. When I'm sick I'll say 'I can't even get my bed made or do the dishes'. He doesn't say 'who cares about the bed or the dishes'. He never says 'well that is stupid, those things aren't important anyways.'

Who knew that our important lessons about conflict resolution, using a book and a stuffed toy, would help us way down the road with depression? Accepting those negative thoughts as real and valid instead of saying 'you shouldn't feel that way' is a gentle way to treat those conflicting ideas.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? What are you conflicted about these days?

daisyI'm so glad you dropped by Depression Getaway today. There is hope for depression. Don't give up, I'm praying for you!

Wendy Love


Let’s Play the Good/Bad Game



I have a new bath mat!

It's a soft ivory colour and it's made out of one of those fabulous new fabrics that would be yummy to sleep on.

I like everything about this bath mat, well, almost everything. I guess what I don't like about it is that it doesn't really absorb the moisture. The water sort of sits on the top. So if I forget to hang it up and then walk into the bathroom with dry socks on and so I get wet socks!

The other problem is my own fault. The colour is so light that dirt shows quickly. Anyways, I have to wash this more often than I have ever washed any bath mat before it.

But you know what? It washes like a dream and the dirt comes out of it with no problem. Since the water won't sink in, the dirt doesn't either, so it's all good.

Why am I talking about my bath mat?

What could this bath mat possibly have to do with depression?

Well, for starters this mat could be a great depression getaway. On a bad day I could sit down and put my bare feet on the mat and let that soft yummy fabric sooth my edgy nerves.

Even with depression there can be a good in the bad. Just like the bath mat was poor at absorbing moisture, it was also poor at absorbing dirt, making it easy to clean.

How can we apply that idea to depression? Here are some examples.

1. Depression is isolating. When we are sick, we usually spend hours alone to allow time for recovery. That seems bad. However, that time alone forces us into quiet pursuits. Some of those quiet pursuits might give us the opportunity to develop a talent like writing, painting or sewing. Couldn't that be good? The very same thing, isolation, could be both bad or good.

2. Depression forces us to seek help (if we're smart). We really don't want to go to all sorts of doctors, which may seem bad, but we must. Perhaps we may meet one who is able to actually able to help. And wouldn't that be good?

3. Depression forces us to think about our lives. Like it or not, we may benefit from doing a life analysis and delving into past circumstances that might be contributing factors. That can be painful, bad. But what if we learn something about ourselves that can helpor relieve our depression? Wouldn't that be good?

4. Depression robs us from enjoying life. That's bad. But when we experience recovery we enjoy life more than we ever did before. That's good!

5. Depression causes us to experience agonizing mental and emotional pain. That's bad. But it gives us perspective and compassion for others going through the same kinds of things. It might even make it possible for us to reach out and help others. That's good, right?

I call this 'the good/bad game' and it can be a great depression getaway. I know it doesn't really solve anything but it gives you a different way to see a situation. It may give you new perspective. New perspective is a depression getaway in itself. If you play this game often enough it could even become a habit, a good habit!

WHAT ABOUT YOU? Have you got a situation right now that you might like to test with 'the good/bad game'? What have you got to lose?


I'm so glad you dropped by Depression Getaway today. There is hope for depression. Don't give up, I'm praying for you.

Wendy Love

Personality and Diagnosis



'Cause you've got personality,
Walk, with personality
Talk, with personality
Smile, with personality
Charm, personality
Love, personality
And plus you've got
A great big heart'
You might be too young to remember this song from the 60's. In those days if someone said that a person had a great personality the assumption would be that they were referring to the part of the personality that was thought to make you popular such as outgoingness, friendliness, confidence or maybe a sense of humour.
No one who was shy and withdrawn would have been thought to have a great personality. Personality was considered an outward trait. But we have evolved from that to a different time and more insight into the various personality types.
Look at one of the hit shows of our time, 'The Big Bang Theory'. The personalities on this show would not have won 'the life of the party' award, or 'the person who comes across best in a job interview' review, or even the delectable 'boy next door' notation and yet these 'geeks' or 'nerds' as they were called years ago are the heros of the day both in the entertainment world as well as the business world.
"The Line Substitution Solution" -- Pictured: Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons), Leonard Hofstadter (Johnny Galecki), Howard Wolowitz (Simon Helberg) and Rajesh Koothrappali (Kunal Nayyar). Sheldon hires Stuart to spend the day with Amy when he'd rather go to a movie screening.   Also, Leonard's mother, Beverly (Christine Baranski), comes to town and Penny struggles to make a connection with her, on THE BIG BANG THEORY, Thursday, May 5 (8:00-8:31, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Michael Yarish/CBS ©2016 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Thanks to Bill Gaits and various rich technical geniuses we are broadening our concept of personality.

The whole point to making sure we get the right diagnosis is so that we can get the right kind of treatment. As we set up a lifestyle for ourselves that will bring healing and comfort and nurture to our condition, we absolutely cannot leave personality out. Mental illness does not paint everyone with the same brush. Despite the setbacks of depression, the effects it has on our lives, it is still a very personal journey. Our unique personalities must be factored in.

The kind of person you are will affect how the illness affects you as well as how you will best cope with depression.

So I ask you 'what kind of personality are you?'

Here is a test you could take before you read any further. If you don't like that one, take this one.

No matter what your diagnosis, it will help you to handle mental illness better if you know a bit more about yourself, why you think like you do, why you do the things you do.

If I didn't have this incite, I couldn't handle my own illness.

I am an INTROVERT. Stated bluntly that means that socializing tires me. Solitude energizes me.


When I was first diagnosed with depression, I thought that maybe I didn't like people at all and that made me feel even more guilty about my condition. But when I realized that I was simply an introvert, I felt less guilty.

I battle with bipolar as well as introversion. I need to consider them both. Without this knowledge I could not handle this illness. One of my strategies when I am really sick is to make sure I get some time alone. Often I have discovered that I wasn't depressed at all, I was just needed some quiet time.

By taking these personality tests maybe you can find more information about the way you are made to help you build the best possible life, with or without depression.

The book 'The Introvert Advantage' is my go to when I need a reminder of what it means to be an introvert.

If you'd like to hear another expert speak about introversion you might like to look up Susan Cain.


WHAT ABOUT YOU? Do you have a good grasp on white kind of personality you are? Would you like to dig further? Are you convinced that this kind of information may be a tool to add to your arsenal of 'depression getaways'?


I'm so glad you dropped by Depression Getaway today. There is hope for depression. Don't give up, I'm praying for you.

Wendy Love


Julie Fast – One Woman Bipolar Boot Camp


A mental health HERO to me is someone who platforms their suffering to inspire and teach others. Julie Fast is such a person. The attention is not on herself. The purpose is not to inflate the illness or glorify it. The whole point is helping others who suffer in the same way. 

Once I discovered I had bipolar depression I began my journey to find out as much as I could about it. I didn't have to go much farther than Julie Fast. She is like a one woman bipolar boot camp.

She has broken down this disease into strategic steps for coping. You can find that in her 'health card' system. Or maybe you would get something out of one of her many books. Or possibly you could just start with her newsletters and see if you like the way she communicates. She has a blog too!

This woman has built a career, not despite her bipolar, but around that very condition. She is making lemons out of lemonade. You see for most people with bipolar, and lots of others with mental illness, it's hard to hold down a full time job. Let's face it, we're not always reliable. But Julie took her writing ability and built a business.

She proves that it's possible to live a full productive life with this complicated mental disorder. The point to my short series on Bipolar Disorder was just to mention it in case some of you out there have not considered it yet as a piece of the puzzle of your own journey.

I created my own 'Bipolar Boot Camp' awhile ago if you would like to do a little more reading about this complicated mood disorder.

There are so many more ways to deal with depression, with mental illness besides the usual medication, therapy and lifestyle changes.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? Is there any possibility that you should take a look at this bipolar disorder?

Next time I am go ing to talk to you about another piece of my own puzzle, maybe this piece will complete your puzzle too!

Just for fun, here's another hero for you.


I'm so glad you droppped by Depression Getaway today. There is hope for depression. Don't give up, I'm praying for you!

Wendy Love

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