A short while back I found myself commenting on a fine blogpost by the excellent blogger CopeHope, concerning triumph over depression and dark times, and keeping dark times at bay in the present. 
CopeHope listed "Main Secrets of My Success" -- and in my comment I said I'd give some thought to my own list. 

I did. 

I've yet to come up with a list -- but I'm hoping to do so. 

But for now, I'd like to pay tribute to that strange concept that defies any simple explanation, but which seems to hold such power, and apparently guards that fine line between triumph and disaster; between happiness and unhappiness, indeed: 


If you're asking me 
The secret of my success? 
I confess I'm stumped. 

Defining success
As "not anxious or depressed" 
There's but one answer: 

My secret is luck;
An unfathomable thing 
That I can't bottle. 

I wish I could say 
I helped myself feel okay; 
Then I could be proud.  

But now, as things stand 
It all feels out of my hands. 

But it's not all grim: 
Because, intermittently  
Luck favours us all.


  1. Luck, does indeed, favour all. I don’t believe anyone has the answers. We’re all just floating in and out of happiness…and when ‘in’ that moment…oh boy, does it feel good! 😊 I’m glad you’ve been feeling better about things! Keep doing what you’re doing… and, most importantly, keep writing! Your writing is a joy (always!) 😊

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    1. Absolutely; ‘in the moment’ is indeed what it’s all about — no matter our other beliefs! I’m glad a sharp mind like yours agrees with me… and thank you: haha I’ll try to live up to your most kind words(!) 🙂


    1. I’m sorry it turns out like that — I can sort of sympathise, because my (sometimes extraordinary) lack of judgement can ramp up the anxiety. It feels like borderline self-sabotage at times. 😦


  2. I would have never guessed your response, but it’s a good one. I once had an editor tell me that to get published and do well you need three things. 1. To be a good writer. 2. Persistence. 3. Luck. I think “luck” plays a factor in many things, but you can’t always depend on luck. We can’t control or call upon that sucker when we need to. Ha ha. Great post.

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    1. Thankyou Ipuna, you’re most kind — as ever. 🙂 Yes your editor said it well — and you were wise to keep it in mind, I think! I think when we forget that luck’s one of the ingredients to success (to at least some degree) it can often lead to hubris.
      Haha yes… if you ever find out how to call upon and control luck, let me know. 😉

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  3. I agree with everyone else above. Beautifully written again.

    And this is a huge question, isn’t it? What makes the depression/anxiety/PTSD go away, and what keeps it a bay? For me, these are two separate issues. I still haven’t been able to pinpoint that magic something that helps to break out of the latest episode so that I can bottle it up as you mention, so you’re probably right about Luck being a big factor, even though I really want it to be something more. Something that I can control.

    But when it comes to keeping my mental health in check, I draw inspiration from that old movie “City Slickers.” Remember that old cowboy Curly holding up one finger and telling Billy Crystal in his gravelly, harsh voice that the meaning of life was that “one thing?” (it’s fine to laugh at me for the ol’ timer cheesy movie reference here).

    For me, that “one thing” is being successful at something again, making a meaningful contribution, and connecting with people. So long as I can convince myself I’m making progress on these 3 “one things,” I usually (but not always) stay ahead of the tidal wave.

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    1. Thankyou… most kind. You’ve some good points — and cheesy movie references are strongly encouraged(!) Just as our own situations are unique, so is the recipe for success for each of us getting out of the black holes… our own unique recipe, even if the ingredients are very similar.
      Curly’s “one thing” reminds me of Jospeh Campbell’s concept of “follow your bliss”… I actually have three of these “one things” myself, which I’m going to blog about very soon (I hope!) so thankyou for sharing yours. You might not always have 100% good times, Gabe, but in my view you’re certainly living life right. 🙂

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