Episode 6. Rainbows-Without-Rain.
'All things in moderation.' advised my Dad. A life needs a balance of things for it to be successful and therefore enjoyable. We need it to rain, without it, we would die. Too much of it is equally terrible. When I was at my most ill, I had too much rain. My life resembled an unforgettably bad weekend I once spent in Scarborough.
Being resident in Britain for my whole life, the cold and rain brings no great surprises, but NOTHING, not warm clothes, not feigning a spirited sense of adventure, nor copious quantities of 'single malt', could have prepared me for this experience. It is etched into my memory forever.
Bitter cold, storm-force gales, torrential, unforgiving rain and hail, and unwashed nylon sheets on the hotel bed. Inside was colder than outside, and our host - colder still. The crushing disappointment of a much needed break, turning into purgatory, was nearly more than I could bear. Desolation seeped into my soul.
If there had been some respite from the relentless cold, my spirits may have been lifted enough, to try and find something to enjoy. There was none. What I should have done was pack up and leave, but strangely I chose to stay put.
Before I began my journey of recovery, I couldn't feel any joy, even though there were wonderful people in my life. I had no respite from terrible feelings - or feeling terrible. It occurred to me one day that I had to change. So, unlike when in Scarborough, I decided to leave that forlorn place and used any and every constructive behaviour I could, including getting a counsellor.
Putting rainbows-without-rain into my life all started with my friend gifting to me, a lead-crystal pendant to hang in my window. That small gift bag, impossibly, contained a much greater gift than my friend knew he was giving me. I hung the crystal pendant up, then let physics do the rest. Light refraction and a moving solar system worked their magic. The rainbows, generated by the sunlight, through my crystal, gave me reasons to smile, whilst I sought others.
Of course, it's not always sunny - not a bad thing. Some days there isn't enough sunlight to generate my rainbows. Happily, throughout the year, it happens sufficiently for their magic to carry me through the darker days.
In many religions and cultures, rainbows are breathtaking symbols of hope and promise. I intuitively felt that too.
Since my recovery, my rainbows still dance around my home. I have many more crystal pendants now. Each time they appear, my joy is renewed. Like a visit from a cheery friend who brightens a gloomy mood.
My small grandson adores my rainbows. He asks me, each time he sees me, 'Nan? How many rainbows did you have today?' and whenever he sees a naturally occurring one he can't wait to inform me. But he loves it best that, our indoor rainbows happen without it having to rain.
Choosing to change, to leave misery behind, to find ways to be positive and changing myself and then my life, wasn't easy. But staying stuck, wasting my potential and ultimately my life, was harder. My rainbows-without-rain were my personal sign of hope. A reminder of the promises I made to myself, to do all I could to become well and lead a positive, productive and happy life. To be a good role model to those around me, especially my family.
I love being on this journey. To be curious again. To enjoy new things. Gaining self-confidence and self-respect are all great mood enhancers. Being no longer fraught with worry and anxiety, I now enjoy fun, lightheartedness and sometimes I'm just plain daft. One particularly fun day my grandson laughingly said 'You really are a silly Nanny! But you are The Rainbow Nanny, so I don't mind!'
I'll take that... What better legacy is there?
© Gillian Cullis 23/06/2018