Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Walking with the Black Dog

I've lived with depression for a long time, not just my own, comparatively mild version, but that of my eldest son, my partner and a number of friends.

Trying to support others through their depression when you are being taken for a walk by your own black dog is an interesting experience, and leaves little emotional or physical energy for anything except basic existence.

I always know when I've become overwhelmed because I stop wanting to be around others. Times like those, I could do with a desert island. You don't get many of those in Warwickshire.

Learning to cope is different for all of us and I cherish the Aha! moments, particularly when they come from my fellow dog-walkers.

My eldest son has coped with severe depression since he was 10 and was taking medication through his early teens. Watching his journey towards inner equilibrium is not easy, but I will always be there to help and support him through it. He has wonderful friends who are there with the nests when he needs them, too.

My partner's life has been so eventful with depression triggers that I sometimes wonder if he upset an Ancient Chinese sage in a previous life. His is not an easy path to walk and his black dog is large and scary, but he knows I am here for him, always and forever.

All three of us find exercise helps, at least for a few hours. My eldest son is now singing in the showers again for the first time in a few months, thanks to a friend who is insisting on 3 gym sessions a week together.

So I've started back on my own exercise program and for the first time in weeks I'm feeling energised past lunch time. If I can keep this up this time, I may find I'm taking my black dog for a jog...