Chase the Rainbow

Chase the Rainbow

Chase the Rainbow, written by Poorna Bell, “is an affecting, poetic and deeply personal journey that teaches us to seek hope and happiness, even in the most tragic if circumstances”.

Suicide and depression and addiction are not easy reading material. But, a book like this helps cast light on the shadows in a life and reduces the stigma.

I am so sorry for Rob and his loved ones. 

My sister died by suicide in 1991, aged 27. Poorna Bell’s writing stirred many emotions in me and I can highly recommend this book, as it inspires each one of us to talk openly and candidly about depression.

7 Quotes for Thought from 'Chase the Rainbow'

An illness such as depression affects about 20 per cent of the people in the world, yet, as Professor Mark Williams of Oxford University, one of the most articulate and empathetic authorities on clinical psychology, would say, people think they know how heavy it is, and they don’t know at all.
‘None of us thinks we know the cure for cancer,’ he said, ‘but we all think we know the cure for depression.’

He tells them he loves them, but he cannot stay. he cannot live with the person he has become…and amid the sound of insects, the murmur of birds roosting in the trees, he goes to the woods, and he slips the noose around his neck.

Depression wasn’t something I knew much about. I knew people felt sad, but then after a while, they stopped feeling so terrible…so how bad could it be?

The doctor asked, ‘So, what came first? The depression or the addiction?’ And, as if reading my thoughts, he fixed his gaze on me and said: “We will never know.”
“I can treat the depression. With the right medication I can treat it…but I don’t know if Rob really understands how much the addiction is also part of it”.

I look at him. This is probably the first time I’ve seen him. I mean, properly seen him. I’ve always known about the beauty of him, but, finally, I have seen the destruction. It has looked me in the eye, it has burned itself onto his flesh, and it is so raw, so much older and powerful than me. It scares me.

The danger of suicide hangs in the room like the stench of an abattoir, death flapping its wings like a moth in the darkness, worms wriggling in the dank earth.

I close my eyes and think of the twelve men who will die that day by their own hand. And the next day. I know this number will tick on and on, unless we stop calling to the dead and instead decide to turn our gaze towards the living.


Here you may read my poem ‘GRANITE’ inspired by visits to my sister’s grave.

If you have read ‘Chase the Rainbow’, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.

Or, if you have a book recommendation on any topic, let me know.


Beir Bua agus Beannacht,


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