Showing posts with label blackdog. Show all posts
Showing posts with label blackdog. Show all posts

11 June 2024

Reflections and Moving On, the Right Way


It was my birthday recently.   It was not a milestone age, but is one that I am not comfortable with.  I don’t like the number.  Or any number after it to be honest.  I always tend to reflect on my life around my birthday, so I shall my reflections with you today.

If you were to ask me how old I actually feel, I would probably say 30.  30 would be the ideal age that I would like to be, given where I am in life and what I have ahead of me.  I feel 30, but with another x amount of years experience.

I would loved to have had all my ducks in row but the time I reached 30; but that was not to happen.  But does that mean that I should regret the age that I am?  Wish to reverse time back?  Thinking more, I have to say no.

I have gone through a lot in my life in terms of mental health, depression, loss and lack of self worth.  My journey therefore has been slower than most, or shall we say some, because everyone goes through something in their life and some more than others.

Everyone’s journey is different.  Everyone deals with things in differing ways.  Some go through a lot, some go through a little.  But the journey of our lives, how we have taken and survived or thrived through that journey is what is important.  It is the story of our lives.

Today, I am ridiculously in love, happy, loved, settled, safe, calm.  This the happiest I have ever been.  By a thousand miles.  I know in my heard that every step on my journey has been leading me to this destination.

So, while I wish that I was 30 again, with the knowledge and life that I have now, I do not regret the extra years that it took to get me to this place.

I had a realisation when I was speaking with my partner the other day about how we wish that we had met sooner in life.  I would not have been ready for him.

Isn’t that strange?  (But also, true).  I met him at the perfect time.  Not when I was 20 - 30 when my mental health and experiences were a mess.  Not in my early 30’s when I was healing and finding myself.  I would not have been ready for this man.  

I do not believe that the discovery of yourself ever really stops. I also believe that healing comes from within and there is much work that you can do on yourself and for yourself.  That work and help for me, has always been writing.  My feelings and thoughts make sense more to me when I write than when I sit and think.

I said earlier that I am ridiculously happy now in my life, and that is true.  I have everything I ever wanted.  I am happy, secure and loved by a man I adore. 

What I came to realise recently is that with that happiness, comes a responsibility.

Whilst I have worked so much on myself, there are still ghosts in my life that haunt me.  Occasionally those memories and feelings surface which can result in sadness or worse, self-sabotage.  During those moments I do not believe that I am worth the happiness I have, or the man that I have, and this can lead to my unconsciously trying to sabotage that happiness.

In those moments I am my own worst enemy and I refuse to comply with hurting myself any more.

My reflections have led me to today, searching for a local counsellor to speak to.  Counselling has never been “my thing”.  I never wanted to talk with strangers.  When I really needed to, such an option was not really a thing, suggested or known about to me.  I know it sounds strange, especially to those who have undertaken counselling; but I was not strong enough before.

Just like I always knew that my perfect partner in life was out there, and I found him, I also knew that I had to be ready for counselling.  Ready to finally, once and for all, face my old demons and win that battle.  From a place of strength.

I know that I will achieve my goal.  How long or little it will take; I do not know.  But I do know that I have overcome so much and have improved my life beyond what I ever thought possible, so I know that I now have the strength to tackle the shadows that linger and burn.

I go on holiday in a few weeks and after that, my dance with my demons will commence. 

I am scared, I admit.  None of this will be easy.  But I am ready.

29 June 2020

Fighting Depression

I sometimes compare having depression to being a boxer, fighting in a ring.




Both you and the black dog are in a dance, with you trying to repel the quick jabs and the hard punches.  You duck and dance and deflect and sometimes manage to get a punch in there yourself too.  Some fights you will win, some you will be defeated.  That match is done and the next day you will get up, shake yourself off and fight once again.  





Just like boxing, depression is not a team sport and you are in the ring alone.  No one else can fight for you and your opponent is invisible to everyone but yourself.



Each morning you wake up and find out whether you have a normal day ahead of you, or a fight.  At the back of your mind you hope that one day, it is not a fight to the death.






Image from Unsplash






The things that I have heard people say about those of us who have depression disgust me.



I am not weak.  I am not lazy.  I am not as someone once said to me "wallowing in self pity".  I am strong.  Stronger than they are.  I would challenge anyone who thinks that depression is easy to spend some time in our shoes.



Unless you have had depression, you will never really know just how bad it can get.  How sometimes it feels like your soul is dying and your heart is shattering into a million pieces.  It takes a lot of strength to just get out of bed some days.  But we do.  We get up, we go to work and we hide the monsters that are attacking us just beneath the surface.





I started another battle with the dog today.  Everything I have done so far today has taken effort and strength.  All I want, and still want while I write this post, is to go home, hide under duvet and binge watch Bob Ross.  But instead, I reminded myself of what I have accomplished so far today, with each step a punch, however tiny, against the black dog who seeks to hold me down.



I dragged myself out of bed                  Punch!



I got myself dressed                                 Punch!



I left the house and got on the bus                     Punch! 



I went to work and spoke to client                         Punch! Punch!



I had a telephone conference and put my points across        Punch! Punch! Punch!



I am writing to you now                The black dog starts to back away a little



That sounds like a very normal day and indeed it is, there is nothing special about it at all.  But accomplishing even the smallest step feels impossible when depression hits and your tears are only a blink away.  Everything takes effort and will.



Some days, you know that there is no fight in you.  Not even the smallest steps are possible.  That is ok.  It takes as much strength to admit defeat when you need to, as it does to come out punching.  Even when the day is a loss and I feel like I have slipped down into a deep, black pit with that bloody dog standing at the top, snarling at me; I am silently picking myself up, inch by inch, for the next day.



I have spoken about how having depression is like being a boxer in a ring.  It also involves being an actress.  Whilst I am able the majority of time to have a normal day, go to work and converse with people, the symptoms of my depression are being held back by me, just under the surface.



My smile may not reach my eyes, but I am able to get through a day without anyone noticing that there is anything wrong.  (I do not recommend this to anyone, it isn't healthy.  But it is my way, for now).



Tears are either supressed or fit into time slots when no one else will notice.  I switch off my heart so the heartbreak I feel doesn't show whilst I speak to a client or a colleague.  How do you switch off your heart?   Practice.  Years of practice.  You are however turning yourself into a walking stone, for essentially other people's benefit.



I will finish my working day.  I will go home and allow myself to feel again.  The duvet will come into play while I recharge.  The gentle tones of Bob Ross will sooth my soul.  Tomorrow, if the black dog has stuck around, I will do all this again.



Tell me I am not strong.