I never know if it shows. In my mind it does. Those times when the dark beast within stirs and clasps its cold hand around your heart and soul, and sucks the life out of you.
I am sure we have all been there at some stage or another, when depression starts to win , the whole world turns black. Some of us are incredibly lucky to have loving, understanding people around us to help us through these times. Others, sadly, not so and they lose the battle to survive.
For me, even after all these years, after all the strength I have gained, after all the love I am so incredibly blessed to be surrounded by, it still isn’t enough. I never really know what brings them on. Admittedly I am only on very mild anti-depressants (20mg fluoxetine) but for the most part they do the job.
I am just now coming out of one of the dark patches. Where I just feel full of hate and anger. Where there seems to be such emptiness in my life, where all of the good things seem just superficial. It can be scary. More and more the thoughts of doing great harm (not just to myself) seem overwhelming.
Often, when we would hear stories of some great tragedy where a person has embarked on a killing spree, you’d hear the interviews with neighbours: “He was a quiet man” , “Always seemed so nice”, “Such a shock”. Well, from a young age I could see such things being said about me. There was never anything specific, just a lot of blood and destruction. I don’t know where I learned it, but it didn’t take me long to understand that these were just thought, feelings, the product of a bizarre combination of brain chemicals. That all I had to do was let the thoughts go, and they would pass in time. To remember that they have no power over me .
Sure, it still worries me that there may come a time when the Beast no longer just stirs in its sleep but roars into life, flashing its teeth and claws and heads out on the hunt. But I trust that it won’t ever happen.
I remember the day when I first came face to face with the Beast. It was 6th Form (year 12 to you young ‘uns). English class. We were studying …. what was it now? MacBeth or Othello? We were discussing the dark beast that lurks within us all, the one that listens to the whisperings of others. Something happened. I could almost feel myself step outside of my body, take a few steps forward, and turn to look back into my soul. And it was dark, tempestuous. There was something almost unimaginable in there and it terrified me. But it was the moment that I faced down my inner demon. I told my teacher about this afterwards and he was pleased. Pleased that I was the only one to truly have learned the lesson that was being taught.
While my wife is an absolute saviour to me, I also thank my amazing on-line friends so very much. Without the bond we have formed, it terrifies me to think where I would be now (no pressure, of course).
Anyway, you know the John Kirwan ad where he talks about how “coming out the other side” is a feeling far better than any win he has ever achieved on or off the field? I know that feeling so well. Still not completely out the other side, but I know the sunlight is now shining on my face, and this round is over.
I will just be glad when I can start writing properly again. I have so missed it. Thank you all so much for your patience.