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Living with the Black Dog

by Bob Parker about a year ago in selfcare
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Depression, an exploration of life with recuring depression.

I found the description of depression as the Black dog a while ago. It was presented in comic format. It resonated so much with me, that image, and the explanation that I have referred to my reoccurring periods of depression as ' visits from the black dog' ever since.

Almost everyone has bad periods in their life, times when they are not at their best. Feeling low, or down. But Depression is something else.

I am not trying to describe those that really suffer, those with the condition Manic depression. I can not imagine what their situation is like. I am attempting here to describe, to explain, what reoccurring Depression, where life loses its colour, where you feel sick, where even suicide seems an option, or where suicide is too much of an effort. When the effort to move is a debate. where you feel your mind has slowed down, or is stuck constantly going over, and over the same sad, worrying thing. I am talking about that.

Now this may sound as if I am trying to compose a very dark place, and I am. It is a dangerous place for many. but the most dangerous time for those that have been through this so many times, is when you are just coming up from the mist and fog. Because you know the struggle ahead, you know that it is going to take time, and relapses, and effort that is going to drain you. And even when you get back to some semblance of normal you have no idea how long it is going to last before something, some silly, or not so silly thing catapults you right back into the cellar. It is so, so draining, so much so that every time you go through this you wonder, will you come out, or is this the time you give in.

But there are many self-help groups, online groups, Charities, and professionals out there willing to help. If you can bring yourself to take advantage of what they offer. And if you allow them to help. For some of us I can work.

Myself, well everyone handles this in a different way, every person has to find what works for them, this time. I use scent and sound. And words.

Words?

Petrichor. That's a lovely word that describes the smell of fresh clean rain on hot pavement. Just the thought of that smell, that feeling of fresh renewal helps to slightly lighten the mood.

Peloponnese. the sound of trickling waves making a whispering susurration as they end on a stony beach, and the feeling of lying in the sun, eyes shut listening to that.

Susurration, that Whispering sound, on the edge of your hearing, as if there is something talking in the wind, the sound of leaves and branches moving in the breeze.

Things to lift the soul, to remind you that there is wonder in this world, and that you have this ONE life to experience them.

That is what helps. What starts to push the Black Mongrell back into its kennel to lick its wounds. For a while.

If, like me, you suffer from its attentions. Please find something as I do to remind you, there is wonder and beauty in this world, and you know, deep down, that someday soon you will be able to fully appreciate this. That is a handle to assist you on the way back up that you may have been missing before. Hold on. tight. And know this.

You may not know me, but I know your struggle. across the fog and the mist someone is holding out a helping hand. You just have to summon up the willingness to take it. Please, just try.

selfcare

About the author

Bob Parker

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