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FREE FOR 48H: My Book - Fluffy: A Journey Through Depression

The Beginning

ďEven though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.Ē Psalm 23:4.

I've walked this earth for over 40 years and been fortunate to be blessed with good health, but in 2011, I suffered an episode of acute reactive depression, my cards were dealt and this was my time.

The valley of death just about sums up what itís like to have depression. Itís a desolate, un-compassionate place, full of darkness and despair. The landscape is rocky, haunted by thoughts that torture you and the dark shadows are home to creatures that trick you into decisions you would never ordinarily make.

The onslaught can be surgical or like a wave of shock and awe. The attack is relentless and can last days, weeks or even months. The injuries are severe, and for some, fatal. Unlike Psalm 23:4, there's no rod to guide you, the fear of evil is constant and for many, the path can be lonely.

Iím not entirely sure how it all started. From what Iíve been told, reactive depression is caused by the stress of an event or a series of events. They could have happened recently or a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away and just need a trigger to start the process of emotional nuclear fission.

It crept up on me by stealth, a potent cocktail of a difficult and stressful job, not switching off from work, trying to move house when we actually didn't want to, not spending enough quality time with my family, and as I've only recently come to realise, my constant drive to improve myself without considering the costs.

Other things that may have driven a nail in the coffin of depression: the sudden death of my mother and father while I was just a boy. I was recently told 'losing your parents is one of the hardest things to recover from', I don't think I've ever faced up to it, let alone attempted to seek closure.

Finally, the inevitable milestone of turning 40, but Iím pretty certain that was coincidental, as I never worry about things I can't control, and the aging process is as old as time itself, but let's throw that one in for good measure.

From the outset, I decided to write a diary, with the hope of understanding why this was happening to me. I wrote down my thoughts, actions, dreams and fears.

My story is presented in A to Z, but can be read in no particular order, this is my journey through the valley of depression, youĎre not alone.