Wednesday, November 04, 2009

I'm Back

suitcaseI've been away, but I'm back now. I've been suffering from depression for the last year or so. I only figured it out in April (with prompting from my sister Stephanie, for which I am very grateful), and started getting some help.

While I was ill I was unable to blog. I was unable to cook or garden or craft. I was unable to answer the telephone or read emails or open letters or see people. I'm much, much better now and all these things are starting to return. What is more there are new things in my life. For example I have a dog who makes me laugh, keeps me company and forces me to leave the house and get exercise. While he and I are walking together I notice the flowers and fruit and nuts as their seasons come and go. I notice the migrating birds, the turning leaves, the changing height of the sun at midday and the phases of the moon. He has really been a vital part of my recovery.

I have also taken up art. I love drawing and painting, and other media such as lino prints. I don't think I am expressing any deep inner feelings through my art, unless I have deep inner feelings about fruit and vegetables. But while I am creating I am so engrossed in wordless evaluations of colour, light, line, form etc. that my verbal self-critical inner dialogue is completely closed down, and temporarily I have peace. And this peace has lengthened and spread so that now the nasty inner dialogue is rarely heard at all.

One by one I have picked up the threads of my life and started doing the things that used to give me joy, and reconnected with the people who love and support me. Now I feel ready to begin blogging again. So if there is anyone out there who still reads Bean Sprouts - hi. Thanks for sticking with me. It's good to be home.

38 comments:

our friend Ben said...

Bless you, Melanie! I was just checking Bean Sprouts the other day to see what had become of you. Thank heavens for your dog and your return to joy!!!

alisa said...

Melanie, whenever I make my home-made yogurt that is absolutely delicious every time, I think of you and how lucky I was to have found this Bean Sprouts blog!! Bless you and hope you have found joy in life! Do things that make you happy--cooking, gardening, even listening to music !

just Gai said...

Dear Melanie I am glad to see you back. Yours was one of the first blogs I started to follow and I found it a constant source of inspiration in my quest to live more in tune with the natural world around me. Like Alisa I too am grateful for your yoghurt recipe.

When you stopped blogging I missed you and wondered what had become of you. I began to suspect that it might be illness, either with you or one of your family, and I'm sorry to hear that I was right. Thank you for sharing your story with us. It was a brave thing to do and I am sure it will be of comfort to your readers, many of whom may have similar experiences.

I'm relieved to hear that you are on the road to recovery and not surprised that the natural world has played such a signifcant role in the healing process.

Welcome back and I look forward to hearing from you any time you feel up to posting.

Clare said...

Sorry to hear you've had such a rough time - I did wonder. But I am delighted to hear that you're recovering and reconnecting with life. I hope you continue to take care of yourself and I look forward to hearing more from you.

Gid said...

Welcome back..

Simon Sherlock said...

Welcome back Mel, we have missed your brilliant blog posts.

Despairing said...

Welcome back Mel, you have been missed!

My girlfriend has bipolar, and she's had a torrid time of it this year too with medication changes and some personal issues. Having seen her depression cycles, I have some idea of what you must have gone through.

Still, she's put her foot down about a dog. Maybe I'll use the "therapeutic" line ;-)

heather t said...

Welcome back! I have missed you, and I am glad to hear you are feeling better. I look forward to you posting again, but put absolutely no pressure on you to do so! :)

Neil said...

Good to see you back. Thought it might be just disillusionment with internet things. Sorry to hear you've been having a bad time.

LJ said...

I am very happy to see you back! I am sorry to hear you were ill, and joyous that you are recovering! Welcome back. I am pulling for you!

Z said...

So glad you're feeling better - now you're up to blogging again, I'm sure it'll help your recovery. Blogs are such friendly places.

Debbie said...

Glad to see that you're back. Missed you. Your blog was one of the reasons that I started my quest for self sufficiency, etc.

I kept it on my RSS feed hoping to see that you returned. Although I don't know what you are going through exactly, I have experienced it through my mother. She is doing much better after suffering for years. Thank goodness you have a loving family that wouldn't give up on you.

I look forward to hearing more from you.

babs m said...

Welcome back! I checked every so often--I know life can get in the way of LIFE. So glad to see you, take care of yourself and we hope you stay here a long long time!

el-staplador said...

Great to have you back! Hope you're feeling much better, and look forward to reading your new posts.

In a fortuitous coincidence, I'm about to move to a new flat with a garden that I'm allowed to garden in!

Slice of life said...

Glad to see you back! Looking forward to all your fab posts.

femsc said...

Welcome back Mel.

{{{{{Hugs}}}}}

Fran

k425 said...

So good to see you posting again!

ana said...

Melanie, what a thrill to see Bean Sprouts highlighted again on my Google reader!!! Never let you slip off my favourites list.

May your world continue to be lighted in the ways you find most enriching!! Blessings from the other side of the world.

Carol said...

So glad to see you back. Of course we were all still here, waiting for you to feel better :)

Moss Green Children's Books said...

Well done - you are back and on the mend - Welcome back

whicocan said...

So happy to have you back!! Just yesterday I checked your site. I am glad that you are feeling better, we have missed you.
(((((hugs))))))
Candace

TicklyToes said...

Fantastic to see you back again!! Your blog has survived many sessions of culling blogs from my reading list!
I really look forward to reading about what you're up to.

Mildew said...

Good to see you back and getting better Mel, this blog has been sorely missed.

Isabella said...

Great to have you back, Melanie!

And how amazing. It's just over a week since I started my own blog up again. My blog was inspired by yours, and when I started it up again I mentioned yours.

So sorry you've had such a difficult time. I thought you'd just got 'burned out' since you'd been posting regularly every day. I myself didn't carry on with my blog because you had set such a high standard which I was trying to emulate and didn't think I could. (Partly because I'm not so good at taking photographs, and especially not getting them onto the computer.) But even though you are back now I'll carry on blogging and look forward to sharing my experiences with you.

The Cottage Garden Farmer said...

Welcome back Melanie, I love a walk across the fields with my dog too, I'm glad you're feeling better.

Layla said...

Aww, great to hear you are better!!

Found your blog when it was 'on holidays' and subscribed to it cause I really loved it and hoped it would return soon!

Am slightly bipolar-ish myself, so I have some clue of what you've been through.. With me it depends on weather and nutrition, and going out into the sun daily (ideally)!

We know of a woman who cured her depression by daily walks - her daughter dragged her outside every day a bit farther, and she got cured!

It would be interesting to know how you managed to get out of it, if you're ever willing to share..

Layla said...

I mean, apart from the doggie (who's probably most vital anyway!!:) and the drawing.. I love it too, makes me feel calm..

James said...

Glad that you're on the mend Mel. The blogosphere has been poorer without your musings. I found your posts rather influential.

Still, don't be overwhelmed by us, your followers. Blog if you enjoy it. There are lots of other blogs out there if you want to take it easy.

RobR said...

Good to see you back Mel

Rob (from the Shed)

jane said...

I'm so glad you're getting better - depression is something you sink into without noticing (I found anyway)and I din;t realise how bad I was until I was better!
take care of yourself and watch out for the signs.
(Gardening really helped me improve)

Roxane said...

Welcome back! I too wondered what had happened when you stopped blogging and suspected that something not-good was going on. So soory to hear that you were ill. And I'm so very glad that you are on the road to recovery.

Lesley said...

Welcome back, Mel. The psychologist in me knew where you were but was unable to extract you... but some strange instinct drew me to your page today..... Take your time..... You owe nothing to anybody....Enjoy!

Lesley said...

Welcome back, Mel. The psychologist in me knew where you were but was unable to extract you... but some strange instinct drew me to your page today..... Take your time..... You owe nothing to anybody....Enjoy!

alisa said...

Melanie, Welcome Back !! Blog when you want to, not for us, but for you--if it makes you happy! We are so pleased to see you blogging again! :-)

Stonehead said...

Welcome back. I've been popping in once a month to see if you were around, so I was pleased to discover things are picking up for you.

Fake Plastic Fish said...

Mel, it was so nice to see you on Facebook. I have loved your blog and recently linked to your vinegar and baking soda post on my own blog as well as on BlogHer.com.

I understand depression. And overwhelm. I have actually been diagnosed with bipolar myself. This blog post gives me the inspiration to (maybe) reveal this fact about myself on my own blog. Maybe. It does feel scary. There is still such a stigma, I fear.

I notice that you have posted a lot in November. Please don't get yourself overwhelmed with feeling you have to post every day. Of course, I need to take my own advice more often.

Beth

Killi said...

I'm so pleased to see you back ~ been worried about you. I think of you every time I do something towards the paper briquettes you showed us. Been so wet that I didn't make qas many as I would have liked & still have some NOT drying. As I'm trying to avoid using the peat briquettes I must thank you for prompting me to start these briquettes.

ALMOST MRS AVERAGE said...

I am so glad to see you back and I agree with Just Gai, your blog inspired me so much when I first stumbled across it a couple of years ago and I've missed you this year. It's great to see you tweeting too. Enjoy the breaks whenever you get them and thanks for the inspirations :-)

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