Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Dr 'Black Dog' Jekyl and Mr 'Black Dog' Billy

I've been hearing this song a bit lately.  Lisa Mitchell is one of my guilty pleasures.  Not that she's at all embarrassing... not like BROS (my first cassette) or Taylor Dayne - Can't Get Enough of Your Love (my first CD single).  It's just that Micko doesn't buy into her at all - or any kind of folky music.  So, I'm left to listen to her in my own time and own space - like driving my car, or while he's at work.

Anyways... I like it because it sums up in a song where my head space has been over the past year.  Thankfully, I have managed to kick the old black dog away and now, next time it comes creeping into my backyard, I'll be better equipped to recognise and deal with it.

What I have noticed throughout this journey is that so many people don't get it at all.  They want to make excuses for you.  They can't believe 'you' could suffer from depression. They have no concept of how you could be functioning at all... Why aren't you crying all the time?  Why aren't you in bed all day?  
And I get that... I think at some point I may have even been looking at things from their perspective.

Coming out the other side, I've also noticed how all encompassing depression really is.  At the depths, and after being diagnosed, it was all I could think about, all I could talk about.  I was totally in it... and it was all around me.  Nothingness, numbness, confusion and sadness (if I could break through the nothingness, numbness and confusion).

See, for me, the worst part is not being in control.  The black dog decides itself when it's ready to move on.  The choices you make do help it on it's way... but you can't just magically make it disappear. 

Countless hours on the therapists couch, the support of the people I love and a little hard work did the trick.  I can feel again... happiness and sadness.  Emotion truly is a great gift.  A gift I won't be taking for granted any time soon! 

It is true what they say... in order to feel the highs, you have to have known lows.  I'm not at all saying 'you have to suffer from depression to understand what happiness is'.  Not at all (in fact, in it, I knew neither sides of the coin) - but you definitely need to experience sadness in order to recognise happiness. 

And for me, now I know that the lows kick arse over the nothing at all.  These days I'm not supressing my emotions for anyone... I now believe that people should be encouraged to cry, not have to apologise for it. 

Because what it boils down to is... if you can't cry...  you can't laugh either.


Amy said...

You sound as if you are in a very healthy place right now girly. I'm so happy to hear that:)

jprp said...

oh Karls, this post gave me shivers. The other side of it, in my opinion, is that the word "depression" is thrown around too easy, like youre sad from a break up, you must have depression, or you lost your job, youre depressed, when you and I both know theres a hell of lot more to depression than feeling sad. thats where a lot of depression misconceptions come from. I could rant and rave about depression till the cows come home, so i'll just leave you with this; I'm glad the black dog has left you, and hasn't taken any of your friends with it, and more impotantly, has left us with the Karls we know and love


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