Monday, 29 February 2016

My Black Dog

So...I thought I would just write down a few thoughts on my own version of the Black Dog. This phrase was coined, I believe, by Winston Churchill to describe his own bouts of depression. Many people suffer from depression in varying degrees and in various ways. I can only speak about me and mine.

I have had a few bouts of depression in my life. It has snuck up on me and captured my peace more than once. I have also had many years without it in between the bouts so it has always taken me completely by surprise and I haven't always recognised it, even though he (the proverbial Black Dog) was snapping at my heels and even sitting on my chest so heavily that I couldn't breathe!
Depression for me has been sapping, surprising and often left me feeling shocked that I hadn't seen it coming. It has hit me especially hard in times of extreme stress when my brain has been trying desperately hard to cope with all the guff that was being flung my way. I was both physically and emotionally weak, unable to make any decisions at all, forgetful and weepy. I felt such a failure and a weed for feeling like that until someone explained to me that depression is often a chemical imbalance. An actual physical response to all the guff. When you are dealing with a million levels of stressful things in your life, something has to give. It is NEVER any reason to feel a failure. Depression hits and hits hard. There are all sorts of tools to help..including medication. When you are depressed, you need help to find the best tool for you because you can't begin to find it on your own.  Being tired doesn't help either.
I have come to the conclusion that life with Jboy, although rewarding and life-affirming in many ways, is also exhausting and extremely stressful. My stress levels are always functioning at the high end (my doctor told me that so it must be true) and it doesn't take much to tip me into the chasm where my own Black Dog is waiting. So I have learned and am always learning ways to cope. A little book which I read has been really helpful. it is called 'I had a Black Dog' and it is an excellent little book.
If depression hits you, don't fight by yourself. Find someone to help you through. Don't feel ashamed or a 'lesser being'...it happens and is often unpredictable. Hold hands (metaphorically or actually) with someone who will guide you through and will not judge.
These are my thoughts...not everyone is the same. That's the beauty of being human..we are all so different. Together we make the big picture. If we were all the same, it wouldn't be a picture.
So. embrace who you are. Live the best you can. and Laugh a lot.