Black Dog in the Corner

I learnt many years ago that one of the safest ways for me to handle anger and pain is to implode rather than explode.  It is terribly unhealthy of course, but I guess we all do things that aren’t as healthy as they could be.
It’s odd being able to write but not speak.  I’m never sure why I can’t speak but it is as exhausting and complicated as a triple back flip somersault followed by a speed tabogan ride.  From the inside looking out it feels safe and natural to be as I am at the moment but I realise it isn’t how most people handle their distress.  It’s as though my psyche powers down all but the most essential functions.  I have no desire to speak.  I don’t want to make eye contact.  I want to hibernate.  I have my beanie hat on to remind my disassociative self that I have a head.
I thought it might help if I explained some of this process.  It’s a risk, mind.  I’m expecting many will judge and few will empathise, and that’s OK. It still needs to be said.
For now I am in my bubble.  I lack curiosity, concentration and humour.  I’m thankful I could get a gold medal in sleeping, that I am safe and that the dogs are loving hot seating next to me.
It’s an odd feeling because there isn’t any.  I’m feeling nothing much at all.  
How long will it last?  Not sure but it’s an excellent sign that I’m writing.  Shouldn’t you try and carry on; not give in?  Yes, a bit like that home spun philosophy that says you should snap out of it and not be so self indulgent, there may be a smidgen of truth in finding distractions and activities that will aid healing, but, and it’s a big but, if I battle on I will crash harder and for longer.  Better to pause and go off piste for a bit than crash, burn and need intensive care.
I’m sharing this to help other people understand; not see mental ill health as a scary, horrid thing but as something as pedestrian as a migraine or an upset tummy.
For those of us that live with depression, one of the hardest lessons to learn is to not fear the black dog’s return but embrace it; see it for what it is – a massive inconvenience which sadly a single dose of Immodium won’t put right.
The black dog has been pacing today.  Unwilling to settle and believe I’m fully accepting of his presence.  I am leaving metaphorical treats for him.  A psychological Bonio biscuit.  If I am to grow emotionally from this experience then we must be friends and then he will gradually return to his obedient, protective self.


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