I’ve been battling the black dog over the last few weeks. It’s a fight that I return to from time to time + it can be triggered by the very small (sometimes imperceptible) or the very large. The very small can be harder to attack head-on, because it’s so generic + yawn-inducing. Feeling like I lack direction, some stress at work, a certain anniversary, too many grey days… + suddenly… bam! I’m face to face with the dog again. The most debilitating part of depression – for me – is the tedious familiar can’t-be-bothered-ness of it all. It’s like taking a sudden unexpected step into thick, grey quicksand. Whooshka! Where am I now? Oh shit, it’s this place again.
I understand the “snap out of it” sentiment of people who’ve never experienced depression, because I will that on myself. Just snap the fuck out of it! But my genuine motivation to snap to has been usurped by a generalised urge to crawl under the bed until the world goes away. I could talk to someone but I can’t be bothered. I could pick myself up + go for a walk but I can’t be bothered. I could write about it but I can’t be bothered. I can’t even be bothered with the fun stuff, + where’s the fun in that?
In this situation I have to push myself back towards what I know. Tackle the small malaise with the small things that have already proven themselves. Good food, good exercise, good sleep (as far as the insomnia allows) + good company. If I focus on how beautiful those things really are, + discipline myself to discard the unnecessary extras for a while, then this too will pass. If I get sucked down by the fatigue + irritability + lack of joy then I’ll be entering a mighty big hole that takes a mighty big effort to dig myself out of. Like Jose says, don’t let the darkness eat you up.