Monday, 5 April 2010

Life in Black and White

Imagine waking up in the dark. Not the usual darkness though this is close and black like there are walls surrounding you, shutting everything else out. Looking up you can see a small circle of daylight way above you and hear everybody else up there. The blackness is pressing in and you need to get out. You could call out but people may just point and laugh at the daft situation you’ve got yourself in, and anyway you pride yourself on your independence and resourcefulness. So you start to climb.

It is not easy, the blackness is cloying and sucking and you have no energy. Just moving takes a tremendous effort but by the end of the day you make it and collapse at the top, exhausted but glad to be back with your family where you belong. It was a strange experience, one that you don’t fully understand so you do not mention it out loud, perhaps it was just some sort of virus you think as very tired to go to bed early that night.

Next morning you wake up at the bottom of the pit again. And the next morning, and the next. Each day you climb out or attempt to, for some days you are so tired that you fall asleep halfway out and just slip back again as you sleep. Eventually the weariness becomes so great that you cannot climb, you decide to rest at the bottom for a day to regain some strength. That helps the next day and for a while things seem to be improving but the effort of constantly climbing day after day with no respite, no sun, no joy, gradually becomes too much again and you sit at the bottom wondering what is wrong with you . . .

“Go to the doctor” said Nicola, “And tell him how you feel, the truth!”

So I did and it seems that I am suffering from depression. It also seems that I have been this way for a long time, most of my life probably and because of that have become very good at hiding it from others.

But it can be treated . . .

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