The Black Dog

That bloody dog is at my heels again. I can feel its breath, sense rather than hear the heavy thud of its paws as it feeds on my shadow and grows bigger, stronger.
I try hard not to feed it, not to tempt it closer with those intrusive thoughts or the automatic negative thoughts which move in waves – waxing and waning like the tides. 

I want to write a blog. I’d love to review a game or share something amazing with you but instead I am preoccupied with that bloody hound. 

I started this blog last week but of course my visitor meant that I was robbed of the power or will to actually finish it, let alone publish it.

This is not one coherent blog post, rather, it is a collection of snippets glimpses of how it feels for me. It’s self indulgent, I think. I don’t know, I can’t tell at the moment. And, that’s part of the problem – this paralysing mind fog. What would my best friend say? It might help people – reassure them; it might help you to share it; it might help people who don’t have mental health issues understand a bit more. 

But, on those days being my own best friend is an impossible task. My best friend on these days thinks the kindest thing is just to be brutally honest, to prepare me for the worst and prevent future embarrassment by discouraging human contact. Even the cat doesn’t care. She knows I’m a selfish bitch who deserves awful things. The way she speaks to me – even I know that no-one should have to put up with that. 

I realise I sound insane but that’s because I am. A bit. Fortunately most days I’m blessed with sharp wits and humour and I can shut her up. I can’t get rid of her completely though. Mostly I am alright…mainly… 

But I digress. I bore you. 


I lay in bed this morning after I’d dropped the kids off and stared at the expanse of grey sky, broken up by wet rooftops and bare trees. I think about things I should do. I scold myself for saying should – it’s really unhelpful language. I shouldn’t use it. My list flitters round my head and in amongst the list flicker answers, advice, strategies I *should* be using. There’s that damned word again. But it is all too hard to grasp and while I try to capture a thought I realise it’s too late and the black dog is on me. I sleep and when I wake, I feel fleetingly better until I realise how much time I’ve wasted. 


Today the insanity was palpable; a grey blanket which scratched at my skin, covered my head, made breathing stilted, shallow. I retreated into the darkness and smallness of it. Trying to catch myself, I lifted it and looked out at the sky. The measurelessness of it winded me; left me gasping for breath; floundering, drowning in open blue space. 

My body drifted through time and space confined by the madness which remained all day as a stone, lodged in my throat threatening to choke me at any moment. 


I do sink. From the heady heights of manic anxiety straight down to the paralysis of depression. Pausing only briefly to fasten my seatbelt in the car outside wraparound club and to feel happy. Momentarily I am happy and grateful for happy children and feeling love. By the time I reach work – a scant, blank 3 minute drive – I have plummeted into depression.


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