What the Black Dog Feels Like

the black dog

(originally posted June 10th 2013 at vulnerablog.com)

It’s been building up but what a freaky day yesterday. I’d just decided to lie with it, do nothing else, not even eat. It was kind of calmly menacing. Thoughts of suicide. It is horrible. It was quite numbish yesterday. A kind of ‘I don’t give a fuck’ about anything ness. Numb. Receiving texts and just thinking ‘fuck off. I’m not responding. I have nothing to say to you or give to you. Fuck off’, I’m beyond connecting . . .

Just horrid horrid horrid ness.

Feeling extremely heavy, dark, black, bleak, hopeless, helpless.

Depression is a god awful state.

It completely saturates you. It lurks around you most of the time and then it descends upon you, through you, into you. The big black dog lies across, through, over you, in every cell. In every breath.

It is utterly unshruggable.

Every nano particle of you that has any potential for contentment is gone. Your central core self, snuffed out. You are just utterly unable to be any other way.

And trying to be any other way just compounds and intensifies the depression, makes it get a tighter, darker grip inside.

And you can’t concentrate or focus at all. It is this part of it that makes me wonder if it is a physical brain disfunction, because it feels like it is. I try to focus upon something and I end up recognising the impossibility of my heavy, fragmented, dispersed, spinny mind.

Meanwhile the mind, whilst spinning and numbing and fragmenting and fogging and feeling like its been cast in concrete, starts thinking of ways out of these feelings. of course it latches on to suicidal thoughts, as it knows these are are the thoughts that make the most logical sense, for they are the only thoughts that have a definite conclusion, which is what you are wanting – FOR IT TO STOP.

It is frighteningly tedious to have your mind doing laps and laps of this thought process. it is scary for me to write and share about it because i know that people that don’t experience this will probably worry about it. However, I know that people who DO experience this will get some relief from hearing it shared from another –

One of the conditions of depression is that at some point it will take you to suicidal thinking.

The suicide thoughts get sooner and stronger with each depression that comes back, for me anyway.

The depressed part of my mind has collected as many of these scary thoughts as it can, and continues to create new ones, and flings them at me with gusto and with more readiness each time.

So when the depression descends those thoughts just come with.

It is a horrible, wretched sickness. And there seems to be not much one can do to keep it at bay. And it’s regular, heavy recurrence is an abominable burden to know and carry, when in that state. It seems that you are totally helpless. A lost cause. “I’m going to have to live with this for ever”. “I can’t cope with this keeping coming back”.

Depression is an intense and debilitating experience. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. It is not easy to handle at all. And there is a huge tendency to really beat oneself up about ‘having’ it or ‘doing’ it.

It is really hard to accept yourself with it, when every instinct is telling you to push it away.

It affects you in such a way that you are rendered helpless by it.

For me my self help techniques, all the practices I use to keep myself balanced and in a state of well being become useless once depression has sunk in. And I can’t practice them to keep it from sinking in. If it’s going to come, it’s coming. (I like Stephen Frys analogy of bipolar/depression being like the weather “if its going to rain then it WILL rain. It doesn’t matter how much you think or wish about it not raining. If its going to rain IT WILL RAIN”)

There’s instead a gradual weakening of my self help muscle. The light that was in my brain starts to dimmer, and it will go out.

The ability to imagine, visualise, think deliberately gets flooded with a heavy, bleak anaesthetic.

The willingness to do the most simplest things; move, eat, make tea, becomes set in a heavy suffocating glue. It can literally keep you stuck in the same position, non moving, for hours, whilst revolting thoughts chew up your mind space and spit dark images into your head.

It is really really hard to move through this. And often moving through it is only pushing it elsewhere for a revival later on.

I find I need to allow it. Be with it. Sit with it. Lie with it. Let it do its thing. But it’s not easy, because your mind is always spinning with analysis’s, escapes, desperate grasps for understanding, what ifs, get out plans.

And, as well as your mind being the part of you that’s doing/experiencing this depression thing, your mind also, simultaneously, wants nothing more than for it to STOP, so it will keep energetically conjuring up ideas about how to make that happen. These ideas sometimes match with, as well as collide with the suicidal ideation from moment to moment. It is an exhausting state to be in. Your brain and mind feel absolutely knackered from depression, let alone the rest of you.

I couldn’t even cry yesterday. I was beyond that. And I’ve woken up this morning with my head feeling like its wedged in a giant, invisible, tightly creaked vice. But there has been a letting up of the depression. My brain feels like it is recovering from something? Like its been enflamed and is now settling back down. That is a physical sensation.

I am so confused about this bipolar journey. Only when it starts to make any kind of sense does it flare up and tip me sideways again.

I don’t know whether its mental, all in the head, physical, reactive, nutrition related, diabetes related, hormonal, spiritual, deficiency based, body created, thought created, real, unreal, my fault, not my fault, stemming from old trauma and /or belief patterns, or just down to plain simple over sensitivity. I have no idea. And whenever I think I get an idea it kicks me in the face again and shatters all my understandings.

I wonder how long I’m going to have to be living like this before something changes? If it will ever change? These depressions are just too intense and regular for me to find acceptable. And my brain doesn’t feel strong enough to research and find answers at the moment. It all seems to always come back to the concept of completely surrendering, over and over again. I find this scary, as I’m left with nothing to hold on to and I see myself as really faulty and broken.

Self acceptance is an on going moment to moment process, sometimes easier than other times. I’ve gone through phases of believing that I am becoming really proficient at self acceptance. I’ve been able to be so super caring of myself in the midst of psychological and emotional hell. But I admit, now, right now, and lately, my self acceptance is really crumbling and instead I am feeling angry, frightened, furious, hopeless and shit scared about what the future holds.

Yeah, I might be a light worker, but I tell you something, I struggle immensely with all that is dark. I don’t find my path lit up with bliss with every step I take. And it infuriates me that my mind thinks that in order for me to be a ‘good girl’ I should be on a bliss trip. I am NOT on a fucking bliss trip and surely I am entitled to feel worthy being where I am. I wish there were more space, more allowance for people to share, be real, cringe, open, freak out, be vulnerable instead of this incessant leaning towards being ‘nice’, which I’m sure gives my depression it’s fuel. Perhaps if it were ‘normalised’ less judged as being ‘wrong’ it might get easier? Perhaps? I don’t know.

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