Black Dogs and Fuckery

More often than we care to admit, sensitive, intelligent and creative souls fall down into the pit of depression sometimes. And I’m not talking the ‘blues’ here, like when your favourite jeans don’t fit anymore, or you didn’t get that job, that ring, that funding for your project, that house. No, what I’m talking about is that big black dog, the silent visitor that comes along every now and again, scratching its ugly claws at the door while you keep pretending, keep trying to ignore it. Keep trying to drown out the hunger of its need to get inside your head, to hang out there with its incessant negativity. You’re not good enough, you’ve nothing of value to say, to contribute, you‘re going to fail and nobody really likes you anyway; you have failed. You’re shit and the world would probably be a better place without you in it. Complete and utter fuckery with your mind. But when you are under siege, you can’t see that, can’t hear that it’s all bollox, and in your own unique way, you will let it in, because its growl is louder than yours, and it bites.

And some of us don’t cope, because we don’t know how. No-one talks about ‘that’ anyway, and no-one admits to being defeated by it, because that would be complaining, and sure, what have we got to complain about?  We don’t want to be annoying anyone, or worse, showing that we are weak, that we can’t cope; that we are not perfect. And so, we hide it, and we fall, sometimes so far down that black pit, that for a while, it is too dark to see any way out. Most of us ‘manage’ it; some might talk it out with that one friend who arrives at short notice, having stuffed her pockets with tissues on the way. Some of us want to be alone, to hibernate and let it all work itself out, to avoid upsetting the ones we love, to allow space for the brain to process, or more often, to allow the fucker to just do its worst and mentally kick the shit out of us, so we can then lick our wounds, get back up and get on with it.

I don’t know when the next hit will come, as ‘it’ won’t be making an appointment first, but this I can say: When it does come scratching at your door, WAIT. Wait five minutes, then ten, then thirty. Then wait some more. TAKE TIME. Time out to rest, breathe, create [write, paint, draw, doodle, strum, sing, sculpt, plant, bake  –  doesn’t matter what the results are!] in the best way you know how to heal, and WAIT for TIME to bring LIGHT. Light shines harshly on that black dog, shrinking his negative presence, diminishing his power, his bullying growl.  And the light will always come, eventually. Maybe, if we keep reminding ourselves of that, next time, the climb out of that pit will not be so daunting.

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