Sunbathing in the rain a cheerful book about depression

8.95  ·  7,800 ratings  ·  153 reviews
sunbathing in the rain a cheerful book about depression

Sunbathing in the Rain: A Cheerful Book About Depression by Gwyneth Lewis

101 Ways to Climb out of the Slough of Despondency – 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 Lewiss 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 Burtons ‘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.
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Published 17.12.2018

Sunbathing in the Rain

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Gwyneth Lewis

Sunbathing in the Rain: A Cheerful Book on Depression

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Ruth's Journey with Depression

Sunbathing in the Rain is undoubtedly the best book I have ever read about one person's experience of depression. She conveys the darkness, the silence, the selfishness, the mental clutter of depression brilliantly. The text is aimed primarily at those who are currently depressed and are struggling to recover. The emphasis throughout is on the healing power of self-acceptance and truth-telling. This is a reprint of a book first published in London by Flamingo in This might well be the Age of Depression. More people than ever now experience the disease directly or see a friend or relative succumb to it.

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Sunbathing In The Rain is such a lovely title for a book about beating depression. Gentle and elliptical, it still tells us everything we need to know. They suggest two very different books. Lewis takes us through the few highs and many lows of a depression that left her dead to the world in her late 30s. She examines the triggers for the depression - alarm bells ringing on the hormonal clock; struggling with two careers as a BBC administrator and poet; a crisis of confidence in her poetry. She tells us that she is genetically susceptible - her mother's depression threw a silent curse over her childhood. Ultimately, though, she succumbs for the simple reason that she is a depressive.

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