Monday, 5 May 2014
Black Dog Days
It's a whole bunch of things that have gotten me down. My Beloved's been stressing out lately; we're experiencing a cold-snap and I've been stuck inside, because it's too cold; I got a scratch on the lens of my brand new pair of glasses & I recently realized that I will have to postpone my trip to America for an indefinite amount of time . . .
So, I'm not a happy chappy today. And this feeling I have at the moment, it's still not so bad. I'm enjoying some of the fun things, I have fun talking to my girlfriend, I am really proud of what I've done with Duke Forever's latest chapter (you should seriously check it out if you haven't already) and I recently saw Disney's Frozen, (it took a while to come out on DVD in Australia) it's an awesome movie that you need to check out now if you haven't already. But after all that, when I'm left here on my own, sitting in front of a screen . . . I don't want to do anything. And the worst part is, I recognize this feeling. It's depression. Luckily, it's not chronic - I'm just having a bad week - but I'm going to talk about it. Because at the moment, it's the only thing on my mind; and, more importantly, I think it's something worth addressing.
The Word of the Day is: 'BLACK DOG'
Black Dog /'blak dog/ n. Informal Melancholy; despondency; the blues: The black dog is over him.
If you's not sure what I'm talking about, there was a video made by the Black Dog Institute, called "I had a Black Dog, his name is Depression" It explains the way that depression can affect the way you think and feel, and I'm sad to say that some of the things they describe in this video, sound very familiar. I don't feel like doing anything, I'm not having as much fun here, writing, I'm not even taking as much joy out of watching the (somewhat minor spoiler) musical number "Let it Go" for the 20th time as I once would have.
But see, I've already gone through this before. The whole depression thing. I got medication, I told my friends, I got over it. I'm actually better now. But as they say at the end of that video, the black dog never really goes away, and sometimes you can have "black dog days". This isn't a relapse, because I've still got my head, I still feel pretty good, but I'm just feeling despondent because I haven't got a job; I'm cold and tired & I'm upset that I won't be able to go see a movie with my girlfriend, like we'd both been planning.
All I'm going through at the moment are just a few down days, and I guess that's what I want people to see. At the moment, I'm sad - there have even been a few tears - but I know that I'm going to be happy again and I have hope. Why? Firstly, because I've been through worse and gotten over it. But more importantly, because I want to be happy again, I know I have things that help me smile, and I have friends, family and as always my Beloved to help me get over this slump.
There are ways to manage depression, and an important way is talking about it. Just writing this post is helpful. Putting my thoughts to paper, being honest with myself and being honest with you too is making me feel comfortable with how I feel. Because you're not supposed to be ashamed about being depressed. You are allowed to feel depressed.
It's something I've never quite understood this attitude towards chronic depression, that people think you need to hide it away as though admitting it is a horrible thing. But I see it as nothing better or worse than a broken leg. If you broke your leg, you'd go to the doctor, you wouldn't pretend that it's fine and then try to walk on it, limping - because you'd only make it worse. It's the same thing with depression, it's just a wound that needs healing. And, just like a broken leg, if you don't seek help, it's very unlikely that it will heal on its own. It will probably just get worse.
But if you're feeling down, you should ask for help; because there's no depression that cannot be healed, and there's no black dog that cannot be tamed.
Anyway, that's all I'm in the mood to write right now, but I'm feeling better already, I'm a couple of steps closer to getting my black dog back on the leash. Right now, I might go cook dinner, and wander around a bit, and tomorrow I might go for a walk (wrapped up in jacket, trousers and warm socks, to keep the cold out) and move on from this. Because life's too awesome to spend it being depressed . . .
I'm the Absurd Word Nerd, and until next time, I may be upset, but later I won't be. And that's the most important thing to remember: "Now is not forever", and just because your sad today doesn't mean you'll be sad tomorrow or the next day or the day after that. I look forward to that happier tomorrow.