This is one of my ‘lighter’ reads, but the message is clear as air.
So clear, you would find it hard to actually envisage any depressive being able to convey the thoughts and feelings in a way that a non-depressive might actually have a chance of understanding. Gwyneth manages this in style, humour and decency.
It’s a smallish book and will not take long to read, it is littered with wonderful quotes and phrases.
- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: HarperPerennial (16 Oct 2006)
- Language English
- ISBN: 0007232802
Depression is a constant, unavoidable
feature of modern life: this is the first book to fill the very real
gap in the market. for a useful, helpful, intelligent, easy-to-read
companion book for sufferers and those who love them –This text refers to the
"101 Ways to Climb out of the Slough
of Despondency" is a literary guide (part memoir, part companion) to
coming through depression. ‘Depression is internal snow. Black snow.
The flakes whirl around like motes in the water around your personal
shipwreck. The quicker you dive down to see your sorry state, the
better for you in life. For above you, if only you can reach it without
getting the bends, are sunshine, laughter on a yacht, the clink of
plates as a lunch of steaming fish is handed round.’ Whilst the overall
structure of "Sunbathing in the Rain" moves from dark to light, telling
the story of Lewis’s recovery, its different strands allow a variety of
tones and subjects to be explored, from the profound to the frivolous.
Alongside a paragraph about the proper relationship between the ego,
the mind and the emotions nestles a passage on the therapeutic value of
nail varnish. Practical hints on how to get better (diet, read Hello!,
helpful pieces of music) are alongside striking quotations, ranging
from sentences on crisp packets, to prayers, from Russian orthodox
writings on silence to collections of slang. Part memoir – drawing on
her own experiences, both adverse and encouraging, as a depressive and
an alcoholic – and part guide or companion, this book brings Burton’s
"Anatomy of Melancholy" into the twenty-first century. For it will have
two voices, one calling from the valley of despair, the other from a
safer, calmer new place. The suffering depressive needs help from
outside his or her own consciousness, a radical new perspective that
makes life possible again. This unique book offers it.
From the Publisher
A profound, frivolous, practical and radical new perspective that makes life possible again.
–This text refers to the
From the Author
One of the problems with
being seriously depressed is that there is hardly anything that you can
do to make yourself feel better. People who urge you to take some
exercise, go to see a cheerful film or, worse, to count your blessings,
have no concept of the way in which depression turns you into a pile of
miserable blancmange, incapable of making a cup of tea, let alone
my last bout of depression (not my first), I looked for a book to help
me get through its agony. It needed to have short passages because I
couldn’t concentrate for long. Anything ‘medical’ was out. I needed to
know how to get from minute to minute without giving up. What I wanted
were accounts of experience from the front line, along with suggestions
of how to survive. I needed a human perspective, practical hints and,
most important of all, reassurances that I could come through my hell
Sunbathing in the Rain is my attempt to write the book
for which I was looking while I was recovering. While I was ill, I
found most books on depression, well …. depressing. Sunbathing draws on
diaries which I kept (when I could write at all), quotes from my
reading, funny stories I saw in the paper, anecdotes – anything that
shed light on or gave me relief from feeling so awful. Sunbathing in
the Rain is aimed primarily at those who are depressed at the moment
and who are looking for something nourishing to read as they go through
their terrors and recover. It’s structured like a jigsaw puzzle and can
be read as slowly or as quickly as you like. It’s also aimed at those
who aren’t ill themselves but who are watching someone close to them
struggling. Most of all, I needed a book which, without being facile,
would give me hope that this horror would pass and that I might be able
to survive and come out into the sunlight at the other side.
–This text refers to the
About the Author
Gwyneth Lewis is an
award-winning poet whose work has drawn widespread acclaim. Her
previous book, Zero Gravity, which followed the journey of her cousin
to repair the Hubble Space telescope, used the science of space to
describe a voyage, a death and coming to terms with lost love, was
shortlisted for the Forward Prize. She is married and lives in Cardiff.
–This text refers to the
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