You used to know all about bouncing back

In psychiatrist Dr Tim Cantopher’s thoughtful book ‘Depressive Illness – The Curse of the Strong’ he tells the tale of going wind-surfing with friends who were highly experienced practitioners of this exacting sport. He and one other member of their party were, however, Absolute Beginners.


While the others tore through the waves with the greatest of ease, Tim and the second novice fell off again and again, which probably wasn’t much fun for either of them.

Well in Tim’s case, it definitely wasn’t, as after this one attempt he decided that windsurfing wasn’t for the sport for him.

The following year though, he went away with these same friends again, determined to stay on the beach this time.

Like last time, the other beginner was one of the party, only – guess what? – he’d stuck at it and was now racing around with the best of them.

He’d bounced back in fine style.

We can’t be good at everything. My clarinet lessons didn’t do much for me. I was always the last to be picked for sports teams at school.

There’s something to be said for tenacity, however – for sticking at something through thick and thin – and to do this when it feels as if you are failing, I think you have to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again.

You may have done this literally if you learned to ride a bike.

You’ll have experienced it (but won’t remember) as you tried to form your first few words: few of us are born with faultless diction.

My point is that you’ve certainly bounced back from adversity in the past, and if you’ve done it before, you can do it again.

What worked before probably have involved a degree of bloody-mindedness.

You WERE going to ride that bike.

Perhaps the same principle can see you through other periods when it feels as though you’re falling off rather a lot?

8 thoughts on “You used to know all about bouncing back

  1. That book helped me so much! Thought I was going mad ’til I read it. Knowing the reasons for what’s happening to you is the first step.

  2. Thank you Jon, the timing was perfect today! I really appreciate your words at this difficult time. Depression is definitely the curse of the strong!

  3. Hi, my mum told me when I was young that I can choose my battles, and this has stuck, some things are worth the tenacity, and some aren’t. The trick is working out what is worth the fight.

  4. This post fully resonates for me. I have had to pick myself many times, dust myself down, figuratively speaking, and carry on with my journey.

  5. Woke up to one of those days this morning; one small disaster after another, and another – that feeling that I’m being singled out for the spite of the Gods. So thank you for your post Jon, it gave me pause to think and realise I’ve got over such days before by putting my head down and persevering, one foot in front of the other.

  6. Yes, of course, thank you. Just hang right in there. For me, I’ve been hanging in there for 50 years. Having such a lovely round number–half a century–I’ve been sick for a half century. I even implanted a device that can be called a

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *