Black by name and by nature I suppose. As the clocks ticked down to the end of Summer Time, an old but unwelcome friend came to visit and I hope not to stay. Blackdog has been with me on and off for some years now. Slinking away to the shadows on the good days but leaping up with snarling countenance on the bad. How he came to haunt me I am unsure. Many things in my life have conspired to unleash this troublesome beast but no single one has proved to unleash it, at least not to my knowledge. Maybe its just the accumulation of failures of expectations or the erosion of well being by the contemplation of life's mistakes.
I seem to have failed quite a lot. I seem to have lost quite a lot; money, friends, the respect of my son, a wife and more. A few things might just be bad luck, but so many seems to be bordering on careless. I used to think I was mad or bad to be so profligate with my lack of care for the precious things of life; brought up as I was by a Catholic mother and a father steeped in the austerity of the non-conformist chapels; it had to be my fault. Despite clear demonstration in therapy that this was not the case, it continues to be my mantra. Blackdog is my alter ego, the name given, by me and many before me, to my chronic depression.
Many traumas down the line, the last, was the tipping point into a misery that I had never dreamed could be so terrible. So completely, all embracingly Stygian that it seemed it would never end. Even now it returns to petrify, debilitate and emasculate, often with no warning. But it's less in intensity than it was. I can visit the scene that started it all without complete breakdown, see a blue light without too much dread. I used to hide my depression when it came by; pretended to be normal as much as I could. But this; no way. It was beyond my control, I could not function as a person, only as some robot performing life's tasks.
Contemplating regrets more than dreams is a bitter pursuit, but it has been one I have followed all too often in my long life. I seem to have taken more than I have given, yet others tell me otherwise. There often seems more I hate in life than that which I love. But when the sun shines and I feel well, I can at last saviour the moment. They don't come easily or often but they do come. At last I see in the flowers and shrubs nurtured by my love, in her garden, a beauty I never saw before. The simple pleasure she derives from these, has begun to impinge on my soul. I see no God in this, or indeed in anything else, but there is a pattern; perhaps the only one I will ever see.
I would like to say I see hope, but Blackdog follows me around at present even when the sun shines. I am not my depression, but it is a constant battle with Blackdog snapping at my ankles to get through each day with hope. They say it springs eternal; I'm unsure. I can but keep trying. I do have the undeserved and unconditional love of someone so precious to me for it to hurt and that is a gift few can boast. It should be sufficient for anyone.