It’s been nearly three years now since I made friends with a “black dog” and nearly 6 months since I dropped a line to you all. A few things have changed over the last few months but I am still popping down to see my doctor for my three monthly repeats of Citalopram and Viagra. Citalopram drains whats left of any testosterone I might have had at 59 years old so that blue pill can help by directing what I have left into the right parts of my anatomy.
I am still seeing my psychologist who helps brings life back into perspective when I am about to drop my bundle. I have to say that I’m in a good space and despite what’s been going on in my life I still haven’t touched a packet of sleeping tablets for months. Razor blades and ropes with a noose are tucked away in my drawer, but, I haven’t touched any sleeping tablets…….I’m kidding. I can’t say enough about my lovely wife Katrina who has been at the sharp end of my illness and has ridden the waves of euphoria and sadness like an amateur surfer. She has put up with a lot and as I have said before the partners of those suffering from depression go through everything and more, why, because they are the ones that have to manage life while we continue to think life has it in for us.
So here I am back from the dead and about to embark on another series of blogs that will give you some indication of where I am at. Where am I ? I’m where a lot of people are….fighting the black dog that’s constantly chewing on our right arm and trying to drag us back down so that it can have another chomp on what’s left of our brain.
They say that depression is your hidden friend and when you are at your lowest it’s the only one you can see. Everyone else close to you is shut out and cast into a world that you’re not interested in because you are swilling around in your own self-pity thinking you are the only one suffering. Your not and its a sad fact of life that despite all the publicity about mental health, the disease is one the rise. I have my own thoughts about why but they are for another post.
Over the past few months I have been thinking a lot about family and friends. When I was at my worst I didn’t even know they existed, to be honest, they didn’t because it was all about me and what I wanted. Now that perspective has changed because now I know they are what’s important and they play a pivotal part in a recovery from depression. Family and friends give you perspective, most of the time you can’t see it but they do. Prior to my breakdown I never took too much notice of what was happening to others mental health. I was too caught up in my own but as I progressed I have realised that life is riddled with mental illness and it comes to people who you think are way better off, people who I believed had a handle on life and didn’t have a care in the world.
The police is riddled with mental illness, it will never admit it but, it is. Just ask any psychologist about the impact police work has on its members. That being said mental illness has a massive impact on all walks of life. The degrees vary but you see it when you open your own mind to the analysis of others as I have done. That analysis by others, triggered a flood of people opening up about their fight with that “dog” and in a warped sort of way it helped me fight my own battle. We have all done it….lifes not that bad when you see what others have to go through….it puts life…..especially yours into perspective and in a warped way helps you fight your own battle.
One of those people in my life is a man by the name of Dave Burt. Dave and I know each other through our sons and although we don’t see each other that often he’s one of those people who you hit it off with when you do catch up. We are like most men and chew the fat and pass off the macho comments in an effort to hide our frailties. I was very open about my mental health and as a result some others in our circle shared their stories. Dave….well he was the silent type. A successful businessman who had toys that I could only dream of, he was the last person who I thought would be suffering from depression. He had a beautiful wife, a lovely family, a vista of a house overlooking the Waitemata Harbour and ran a business employing over a 100 people. It’s safe to say that when he published his book “Lengthening the Shadow” in January this year I was absolutely gobsmacked. Why the fuck was he suffering from depression….he was and I never asked. Dave’s book tells his story about depression and it drives home one salient point……”whats happening in your world”. If you don’t ask the question you may never find out until it’s too late. I never asked that question of him, although suffering from depression myself I was still caught up in my own world and his book and my experience with him has made me realise that we should not assume anything and that the “Black Dog” bites anyone and we all need to ask….Whats Happening in Your World.
Categories: My Story 2016