The Black Dog by @learningtodanceintherainblog
Posted by SANE
24th Sep 2020

The Black Dog

Who else has seen Sane Charity campaign? Its been going on for years and they even have a book about it. Its all the about the black dog. The black dog represents our depression. I find it a nice analogy for it, humanising my depression and making seem less of a scary uncontrollable thing. Usually my black dog is a westie, no idea why it was just what related to me. If you haven’t seen it then I recommend looking up Sane Charity website or on social media.

So my black dog, I often refer to it when depression is near or taking over. I can often see that dog near or lurking. If you have seen other blog posts recently you will know that lately my life has returned to some form of covid normality and the environment is not great. This has meant that the black dog is out and about again. The little westie was lurking around outside but now it has grown to a Labrador that is laying in the door way.

Depression is lonely, cruel and trying to trick you. You isolate yourself and it makes you feel even more alone. It is difficult, dog or no dog. How do we manage it? So I know I am depressed as I am crying a lot, especially for someone who doesn’t cry, more than most. I love to sleep, if I didn’t have a child I probably wouldn’t eat and if it wasn’t for not wanting to share my mood with work I wouldn’t be showering and I would be at home. Depression up ends your whole life. I know mania is hard and damaging but when depression hits hard I always hope that a manic episode is not far away. Bad right, but I dont want to feel depressed or sky rocket. I just want to have stable mental health. How do you conquer depression though? Meds are a bit of a crazy maze and its all about what works for that person. Meds definitely help me and reduce the severity of my moods.

Meds aren’t the solution tho. They are something that can help oave the road to recovery. Recognition of that black dog can be a massive help. This post was started a week ago, when i felt weighed down by everything. But i stepped back, evaluated what may be triggering a depressive episode and planned lots of self care to help me. I looked at what was essential in my life to help me and what could be left to a later date. Now a week later, im finishing this post. The black dog hasn’t gone away but i dont feel it so closely. Its still a labrador sitting waiting but its not in the same room its down the hallway or some days even in the garden.

Sometimes, in life, you just need to remove any tinted glasses you wear whether they are rose or dark. Facing reality is scary but i have learned the hard way that the reality in your head can be much worse than facing whats causing you pain. Being honest about your life and how it makes you feel (with yourself) then gives you the power to address the issues and start more well rounded self care and cope with the day to day reality.

None of this is easy, it takes time and if that black dog comes back and takes over dont beat yourself up. Life and the world is a great big mess at the moment and everyones mental health is impacted by it. You dont need to shout from the rooftops your troubles, being honest with yourself can be just what you need.

Humanising my depression helps me to see it more clearly. Maybe it will help you too. Medication is not for everyone and neither is being honest with ourselves. Just keep fighting the storm cos you can and will make it through to brighter days. And if you haven’t already, check out Sane and their black dog campaign.

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