If you’ve been wondering where I’ve been the last few weeks/months, I can assure you I haven’t disappeared off the face of the planet; however, I have been hiding in a cave from a big black dog.
In March this year, I was diagnosed with stress-related depression. At that moment, six months of brain-fog, loss of concentration and reading ability, drop in motivation and chaotic prioritisation all made sense.
I had not seen that train coming, and it floored me.
Oddly, there seems to be a relationship between writers and depression. I am not saying all writers have depression, or that they should, but that there are a lot of writers who are followed by that black dog. Just looking at Amazon.co.uk brought up a ton of books about writers, depression, and – most famously – Winston Churchill, who has been quoted to say that he was followed by a black dog. That’s right folks, Sir Winston Churchill, the stalwart leader of Britain during and following WWII, who agreed to some harebrained ideas which helped change the course of history, and helped to save our little island from attack.
Maybe the depression helped…
For many years, the word depression was NEVER spoken. It conjures up images of straight-jackets, institutions and archaic treatments.
It is still a word that, when spoken, causes most non-sufferers to look at you wide-eyed and become tongue tied. No one seems to know what to say or do.
And guess what – I’m a Christian too!
Churches all over the country, if not the world still cannot consider depression. It is a stigma which can release comments or thoughts such as, “you’re not trusting God enough,” “you’re not a true Christian,” and anything else that you can think of. I can tell you this. It is not true. God is with me through this foggy woodland I find my self in. He has hold of my hand, and has a rifle to keep away that wild black dog. The bible speaks umpteen truths to me, and its longest prayer (Psalm 119), is about depression. I can’t read my bible regularly, simply because I do not have the concentration, but I read what I can, in short bursts, and let God do the rest.
My depression takes all sorts of forms, these are a few of them:
Usually happy to be with a large group of people, more than eight people in one place causes an odd anxiety which makes me want to escape. I feel claustrophobic.
My bubbliness is infrequently apparent, and I have appeared to have lost my ability to calmly cope with rude people. I have to walk away from them; otherwise I will start an argument. Or slap them, whichever would come first.
Logical thought is virtually none existent, so I apologise if this post is all over the place as I struggle to lay out writing logically.
Most annoyingly – and importantly – I have been unable to read anything, nor have I been able to write a single thing.
I haven’t even been able to look at my own blog for ages. Twitter? Forget it! Facebook has forgotten me.
So what have I been doing whilst in the cave?
I have begun making jewellery, and letting out a creative side that I boxed away sometime between 1998-2005. I have met some great people as a result, some of whom have similar experiences to myself, and all who have turned to jewellery making for a release (and some me-time therapy).
I was encouraged to start a creative blog which is here: http://beadsbymel.blogspot.com
In terms of my poetry, I attended my very first open mic night at Gladstones Café & bookshop here in Liverpool, on 8th June. I loved it, and even met a great poet called Mike Richardson whose website is www.poetscode.co.uk (currently under construction). My poems went down well, and hopefully, I will be invited back sometime after the summer.
Oof, so that’s an awful lot to take in. This has taken me the best part of an hour to write, but, at least I have written it!
At some point soon, I will put on one or two newer poems on the sight, but for now, I’ll see you soon!