Have been a professional globetrotting chef for 25 years and subsequently a club promoter and dj for 10 years before re-locating to sunny, S.Spain where I belatedly started a family at the tender age of 56. Now a proud father of 7 year old Florence. Have suffered through depression and written a book about it called The Black Dawg which I self published with the help of the illustrator of the book, Kathryn Hockey.
Over the past year I have been involved fully in The Black Dawg project. It started off simply, writing down late at night my thoughts and feelings in the wake of a debilitating depressive episode in my life.
I have been writing or discussing depression for a few years rather than brushing the experience under the carpet. Whilst moving on to a happier and more hopeful phase, I realised I have a duty of care to share.
Oh no, not another blogpost about Depression, I wish it would go away. Funnily enough so do a lot of us. But it won't. It's here to stay, this 21st Century disease, or could there be signs of similar dark phantoms in the psyche of our past?
The upside of depression is it can give you an opportunity to have a heightened awareness of another' s suffering, whether it is feeling alone, uncared for, unloved or unsafe. You can now fully appreciate the importance of providing understanding and support. Sharing your time and your compassion can make a difference.
Many sufferers do not have the vocabulary to adequately describe their personal hell experience of Depression or to shine a bright light onto that despairing darkness and verbalise what they see and feel. Sometimes words are just not enough.
People espousing being child free as a choice and not by circumstance are somewhat missing the grand point. Which is this: the childless person making that decision is completely different to the person they' d become if they were to have one.
How many of us are only one short step away from a disastrous life-changing event whether it be loss of a job, a loved one, an accident, repossessed house, illness. We can never be sure what is coming round that next bend but are we prepared? How can we be?
In this Modern Age the pressure and stress to fulfil multiple roles simultaneously means we are juggling with too many balls, so sometimes you just have to drop one or two to keep the others in motion. We all want to be loved and to love but we don't want complications.
Always remember that Depression is lying to you constantly about what you can or can't do. These are Baby Steps for confronting, distracting and confusing the Big D and in the process give you some measure of comfort.
The bully for many of you, who you either acknowledge or not, is within. He is the dominant, overriding voice who demands your attention but not your affection, your compliance not your defiance, your obedience, your subservience. He is the omnipotent Black Dog, logged in to your psyche, he knows the passwords to get in and won't log out.