What’s In A Title?

So what’s the meaning in a title of a blog? Or even the title of a post? How do I, as the writer, capture your interest as a reader? Is it the title, or not until the first paragraph, that you know if you want to keep reading?

I chose Gray Clouds, Clear Skies as my blog title because I regularly use that analogy to remind myself that the negative thoughts of depression and anxiety are not permanent; they aren’t even true.

In the summer, when the line of a front brings dark heavy rain, it’s really cool to see the bright blue sky and then this distinct dark line that seems to be holding back the oncoming storms. On many summer days, I can look into the sky and see the towering cumulus clouds beyond the hills – like giant heaps upon heaps of whipped cream – beautiful indication of summer storms.

But in the winter, especially here in the northern US states (I currently live in WI), we can go days and days without seeing any sun at all. The skies are different shades of gray – sometimes light gray and sometimes darker. But without seeing the sun, it’s often hard for me to remember that the sky is up above those clouds – clear and blue and sunny. It takes conscious effort on my part to remind myself – the clouds aren’t permanent.

I was reminded of this a few weeks ago when my husband and I flew to Florida. We left from cold and damp and oh so gray. The plane lifted through clouds – they looked almost feathery from the view inside the cloud, not the heaviness that they appear when looking at them from the ground. And then suddenly, we were above the clouds, and the sky was bright blue as far as I could see. The sun was so bright that it made the plane window hot to touch.  “Oh! There’s the sun!”

Depression can be the same. The darkness, the heavy negative thoughts, the hopelessness – they are like winter skies. They seem to go on and on, with no indication that things will ever change, that I will ever emerge from them to be the happy person I want to be. But that’s not true. My depression is not permanent. Yes, I will probably live with it all of my life. But the dark thoughts break and I go into remission and I’m more like the me I want to be. Thus my tagline – I am not my depression.

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