Sunshine Today, Cloudy Tomorrow

Ethan has a remote control toy that talks. “Today’s shape is circle!” it says when he pushes a button, and then quickly launches into a counting song as his baby fingers push two buttons together. Sometimes it spouts out a weather forecast as if he were watching TV: ”Sunshine today, cloudy tomorrow!”

The voice for that one is female, squeaky. Overly cheerful, as though clouds tomorrow—the forecast is always the same—were a welcome thing. Although I suppose there’s something to be said for having a heads up that clouds are on the way.

clouds at 3:41 pm as a metaphor for depression3:41 p.m.

My depression has materialized in almost every form possible – anger, anxiety, flat nothingness, extreme sadness that requires a large and close-by stash of Kleenex. Until recently, that sadness was a slow decline, a slipping, a falling in, something I could feel coming. My forecast would show the clouds moving in; it was a reliable source that would allow for some preparation. I would reach out to bat the depression away, then watch it soar like a badminton birdie that flies farther and smoother than its awkward form would suggest.

Earlier this year that changed. I started having what I call “mini crashes” – fine one day, not fine the next. The sunshine would, suddenly and with no warning, be replaced by clouds, and I’d stand there wondering where they came from and why my inner meteorologist had failed me.

clouds at 8:42 pm as a metaphor for depression8:42 p.m.

I had one too many rainy days and had to do something about it. Thankfully, I’ve got it mostly under control now, but I still watch the clouds much more than I did before.

That’s the reality I’m left with, I guess. It’s been five years and the depression—or the possibility of it—isn’t going away. It’s in me. It is me.

It’s taken me a long time to accept that and be willing to deal with it and all its implications.

It’s okay, I guess. It’s manageable. Mostly, as they say, it is what it is. I’m better now, but if I need to I can batten down the hatches, ride out the storm, and wait for the sunshine to filter through again.

It always does.

clouds at 9:13 pm as a metaphor for depression9:13 p.m.

[These pictures were all taken on the same day several weeks ago. The clouds where I live are beautiful - shocking and entrancing and sometimes downright menacing. I take pictures of the skies a lot, but the way the clouds developed on that day happened to be particularly eye-catching.]




  1. Thank you for sharing your experience of depression with us. Wishing you more sunshine ahead.

  2. This was so powerful, Robin. Thank you for sharing. For reminding me – us – that sometimes it just sneaks up and grabs you. Me. All of us.

    Sending hugs, love and a reminder for you that I’m always here if you need a friend. xo

  3. I’m so sorry Robin. I know that this feels like a life sentence but you know what? You fall and you get back up over and over. You amaze me with your strength and I am so proud of you for sharing your experiences with everyone. Someone is going to come upon your blog one day and think “If she can, I can”
    Love you momma

    • Aw, honey. What a lovely thing to say. And I know others (ahem) struggle much more, but I think if we all talk about it we all remember that we’re going to get back up.

      Love you too, lady.

  4. (@KathyAMorelli) says:

    Hi Robin – thanks for this description of your feelings. I hope you are well, and bravo to you for managing your moods. IT doesn’t sound like an easy task.

  5. I hate those moments in life when, just when we think we understand how we “work,” we get thrown for a loop by our own chemistry. Sending love and hopes that your cloudy days are fewer and that some of that beauty you found in the skies creeps its way back into even your cloudiest days.

    • It’s frustrating, isn’t it? And I think we all feel that way, regardless of what the issue is. But the sunshine is around much more for me now.

  6. The clouds in the photos are amazing and like you say, entrancing. The clouds in our lives are another matter. I know that by sharing your words and your experience, you will help others.

  7. I hope and pray for more days of sunshine for you, and great strength and resilience on the cloudy days. xo

  8. Thank you for sharing this part of you, Robin. You describe such a difficult thing so beautifully, and I wish you did not have to endure depression. I pray that you can take the time you need to take care of yourself when the clouds come, and that they are fleeting. xoxo

    Gorgeous pictures.

  9. Gorgeous pix- and I hear you on the “mini crashes.” Sometimes they’re more startling than the “real” ones…

  10. Sharing helps everyone. Hoping the clouds completely clear soon.

  11. I like this… how you described it. I think this is part of my problem — I don’t look out for the clouds. I don’t pay attention to the forecast. All of a sudden I will find myself in this dark, dark place and I will realize that I have been there for awhile and have no idea how I got there.

    This piece will help me. I think it will help me remember to keep an eye out. Be vigilant.

    Thank you for sharing your insights.

    • Thank you, Amanda. I’m so glad you found this helpful. It really is awful to suddenly realize you’ve fallen down that hole again. Wishing you well.

  12. Robin, you are doing amazing things by sharing your story and being so honest about your depression. You truly are helping people.

  13. I know exactly how this is. Mine comes without warning, too. I’ve been battling it for 27 years, and I’m so tired of it. I’m glad to hear that things are going ok for you now, and thanks for sharing this so those of us who can relate don’t feel so alone! PS: I love to take photos of clouds, too. :)

    • Another cloud lover – yay! But yes, I know what you mean. It’s disheartening to have this just come up all the time, even when we do our best to avoid it.

  14. What a beautiful and heartbreaking way to describe depression. It is so difficult trying to come to grips with the reality that sometimes it will just be what you will experience. I am so grateful you can see the sun when it comes out.

    Also, the pictures are amazing.

  15. It’s good that you are sharing this. I’ve never thought about depression manifesting itself in different ways. I’m glad you are finding a way to control it.

    • I never did either, and that’s why I think it took me a long time to come to grips with dealing with it. Mine has evolved a lot, but I think I finally know what to expect. At least most of the time.

  16. Thanks for sharing this post Robin. It’s helpful to hear others’ stories as I’m been going through an interesting patch lately, definitely a falling in that I’m trying to figure out how far in I am. I hope that that the clouds clear and that there are lots more sunshine days ahead.

    • So sorry to hear that, Christine. Being in that weird place wondering what’s going on and what to do about it is really hard. Been there for sure. I hope you’re able to climb your way back out soon!

  17. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful analogy, and lovely photographs. I think this is something I still need to accept – I keep striving to be “back to normal” (as you know from my countless emails!) but maybe it’s time for me to accept that this is now always going to be a part of me. This is terrifying but your strength gives me hope.

    L x

Speak Your Mind