Tuesday, 23 October 2012

50 Shades of...Blue.

Feeling blue: that term is tossed around a bit, don't you think? But what does it mean? Even the internet doesn't know. Historically it is related to Greek mythology, because Zues made it rain when he was sad, the slave trade and Blues music and also old Navy traditions, where a blue flag would be flown if the captain or any of the officers were lost at sea. That's what came up when I searched anyway. It basically means feeling sad, depressed and generally down in the dumps. One website actually said it meant you felt physically ill. I suppose in some cases this is right.
So how does one desribe the feeling of 'blue'? I guess it's different for everyone, depending on what shade of blue you go for. Some days I am definitely a light turquoise, a rather bouncy and upbeat colour, whereas other days I might slip into a dangerous navy. All these shades of blue can be very confusing, especially when you don't get gradual shading in between each one - a valuable lesson learned in high school art lessons.
So, here's a grand tour of the 50 Shades of Blue (see what I've done there?!).

Pale Blue

Here we have a very pleasant coloured blue, with many desirable associations such as new born babies, the sky and the chalk we used to draw on pavements with when we were kids. For me, this colour is when I feel most stable. I can only really describe it as 'normal' or 'fine'. It's not perfect, but at least it's not one of the other colours. Sometimes when I'm in this phase I feel like it could last forever, which would be quite good because I'm 'normal'. However, I'm not exactly happy. Other times I know that it won't last, even though I feel OK, which can be offputting, but mostly I just try and get as much done as possible while I'm functioning normally.

Steel Blue

This colour is slightly more grey than the 'normal' pale blue and I would normally be in this stage when I'm on my way to a low period. I'm still able to do things and go out and function but I also have a cloud hanging over me constantly threatening to starting pouring rain. The cloud keeps getting darker and darker and I know the rain is coming and there's nothing I can do to stop it. I will sprial downwards until I reach my lowest point, like tumbling down a hill: you can't get up and climb back up until you stop at the bottom.

Royal Blue

In royal blue I find a state of almost bliss. Up in the high end of 'normal', I feel optimistic, energetic and happy. I thoroughly enjoy this colour while it lasts because I'm jolly and upbeat and having fun. But (there's always a but) I know that it's only so long before I climb too high. I can compare the feeling to parachuting off a mountain: you are floating along gently feeling very relaxed and enjoying the view, while still getting that adrenaline rush from the danger, but you are aware that you are drifting towards a cliff face where the wind is deflected upwards and eventually you will be caught in the updraught. So I can feel uneasy at times, but I mostly just try to accept my mood as it is so I can enjoy it, rather than worry about whats to come.

Electric Blue

Electric blue is a fantastically dangerous colour. Think of lightening and e-numbers. Lightening zips across the sky with immense speed and excitement, lighting up anything it passes, but burning whatever it touches. E-numbers give our favourite sweets and drinks an exciting colour and makes snack time way more interesting, before we feel sick from the sugar and chemicals. This pretty much describes a high phase: my mind jumps from one thing to another and there's no thought pattern, I talk uncontrollably and have huge amounts of energy. Decision making is irrational and I don't need any sleep. Sounds fun, doesn't it? Do check the terms and conditions before you try it though, it comes with severe side effects such as confusion, dizziness, headaches, sickness, memory loss, bad decisions and the ever looming burnout.

Dark Blue

What springs to mind for me when I think of dark blue is old, creepy forests and the deep bits in the sea - two things which I personally find a bit scary. When I am this colour, I am most certainly scared and also very sad, although this is definitely the less severe part of my depression. In this phase I feel horrific: sad, lonely, vulnerable and pretty much any other negative emotion you can think of. Except anger: I am too exhausted to be angry. The physical effects are strong too, as I am often mentally drained so nothing seems to work properly. It's also in the low phases where I am most likely to have a panic attack, which brings about anxiety and all of the baggage with it. But I do see a small light in this phase, like a single star in a vast sky, and I know that eventually it will change. I can hold on to that and get through.


Navy is the darkest colour, so of course it is the darkest time. Down in this murky colour I am trapped in the depths of my depression. There is only one way out. When I am this low I have no hope, no reason for living, no energy, no nothing. I am completely lost in a dark shadow, wondering aimlessly having given up on everything. I cannot do anything: get up, wash or even eat. These times are when I am at my most vulnerable and I cannot be left alone. I hate it. I dread these times more than anything. And it is this colour that I will go into more detail about when I am ready.

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