Well it has been an interesting week to say the least. It started with me writing about taking a metaphorical light saber to my personal black dog that had started barking and it draws to an end with the dog still barking a bit albeit less loudly.
To butcher a line from the 12th man: it’s a funny old game depression. Perhaps more aptly put: it’s a funny old game life! I say that because this has been a week where I have, on the one hand, been tested and,on the hand, been heartened. It is the heartening that I want to talk about more because to linger on the testing would be to allow negativity to win and, by extension, the black dog to rise.
So why have I been heartened this week: it is simple really … I have been asked by more than few people this week about my blog from last Sunday and also about my forthrightness in dealing with the black dog. That is heartening because, particularly in the case of men of my generation and those of earlier times, we do not talk about our own mental health enough.
Now I am aware that I am a talker and expressing what I am feeling is an important part of my own therapeutic journey. It is an approach that will not work for everyone.
My point is though that this is not a disease that should be pushed to shadows or stigmatised: simply, if you want to talk about your problems you should be able too.
Don’t just take my word for it though: I read an excellent article during the week by one of the greats of Australian racing Lee Freedman in which he talks about his battles with depression and the bottle and his new beginning having fought those demons.
Being able to talk about it helps me and, more importantly, starting a dialogue about it must help reduce the stigma that sits around depression. That is the big thing that heartens me when I see those who actually have a profile in the media and in life speak out (after all I am just a hack with a blog few people read).
I know I am going to keep talking about it (sorry if that bores you) and use talking about it is as a mechanism to wring the black dog’s neck however short term. Of ever you want to talk about it dear readers I am always happy to listen.
I repeat: we need to talk more about this disease. Too many people are suffering without a semblance of a light at the end of the tunnel because of the natural worry of by stigmatised. Please listen if one of your friends wants to talk to you.
Finally, to everyone who has reached out this week for a chat be it face to face, by text or on twitter thank you. Not just for being in contact but for sharing your stories too. Let’s talk more and talk loudly!