The extra bits...(Under construction).

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Black Dog.....


     The overriding thought that smothers any other in my head is that all that know me would be so much better off without me. The thought crashes into every corner of my mind making perfect sense and rendering me incapable of seeing anything else. I just sit there, head down with no other thoughts in my mind. I'm asked time and time again, over and over....."what's wrong John?", "Come on, just talk about it", "Why are you doing this John?", "John, snap out of it", "Why the hell can't you see the pain you're causing you selfish shit?" and so it goes on and on, different voices all saying the same things, all pleading with me to explain what's wrong, all washing over me not making any difference to me....I sit there, head down with no other thoughts in my mind.

     Everyone I know would be better off without me, the thought still there in every recess of my mind. The voices fade, friends drift away not understanding why, tears on my fathers face as his eyes plead with me to answer, to make him understand, he'd be better off without me. The voices fade, my soulmate hurt so many times now herself falling....she'd be better off without me. The voices fade, my brother, angry, raises his fist but backs away as my head rises and my eyes speak only of uncaring pain to be given, he'd be better off without me.

     They'd all be better off without me, I drift away from home to room to caravan to car, nowhere else to go except down. I function, just, I turn up for work an unfeeling, uncaring and unclean robot, it goes on. My head stays down, eyes unseeing just the one thought still there urging me to take that last step....better off without me. 

     These words may seem strange to people who have read my previous posts. Where is the humour, the joy of life? Why have I written such words when people come here to smile, to feel good? To be honest I don't know the answer but the words are the first I've managed to write in trying to understand and picture my darkness when it descended upon me. It's still with me and there are days still, when I know the pain I've inflicted upon others and the guilt overwhelms my mind, days when the thought that the world would be better off without me gnaws at my mind, as it does on this day. 

     I write this blog hoping that one day it'll help just one person see the joy in the world, that just one person will not feel that the world would be better off without them. If I can do that perhaps on that day I'll find peace at last. 

Take care,



  1. Well, my dear, my world wouldn't be better off without you for one. I enjoy your blog and I read the sad posts as well as the happy ones because that's what friendship is, n'est pas? And you can have friends online whatever anyone says :-) You have a fantastic sense of humour and I hope you can let that help carry you through the tough times. Read my post today- it might help. CT x

  2. John, I have come on as Anon as it was quicker than trying to log in. I'm sorry that if you have been suffering for so long from this illness that your nearest and dearest don't understand the nature of the beast. If you are having the right treatment/support from a CPN do you not have a form to fill in that tells you that you are going into another downward spiral as part of a care plan? You would then have the help from your psych team/nurse. If none of this is happening you really do need to seek help ASAP. The voices that you are hearing in your head are intrusive thoughts and need to be dealt with. Everyone has these thoughts/Black dog periods and the majority of us can cope with them knowing it is just an off day. However, some like yourself who may have an imbalance cant so need some support. Alcohol is a depressant so can make your situation worse as you probably know. If you have a CPN do ring them and ask for help. Do take care of yourself

  3. John, I struggle with these secret dark thoughts a lot myself. I always have, even when I was very small child. What I have learned is this: You often have to rise above the mire of feelings and try to see the up. Meaning that sometimes feelings are just feelings, not always real and somehow you don't need to dig deeper to find answers for, and sometimes you shouldn't. They are put to be put aside and not dealt with in this moment, and to be replaced by something better. Think good thoughts. Go light on yourself. Do something nice for someone else to try and get outside yourself and your thoughts. Experience nature. Try to see the adventure of where-ever you are in life -- and -- avoid beating yourself up at all costs!

    Otherwise, said more simply: Tame the black dog. Teach it to heel.

    I'm not sure if this helps, but thought I'd try.

  4. Sorry if I sounded too lecturey up there... (I lecture myself a lot!) I only tell you here what has been working for me. When I feel the blackness come on, I've learned I have to nip it in the bud and turn attentions elsewhere or else it swells into something out of hand and does no one any good. Sometimes much easier said than done.

    Take good care and keep keeping on!

  5. "I write this blog hoping that one day it'll help just one person see the joy in the world, that just one person will not feel that the world would be better off without them."

    Good on you! You are doing that! (OK, I go now & leave you some peace. Take good care.)

  6. I think most of us have had those moments where we feel that. I know i have. What i find is that if i'm able to wait it out, it *does* pass. Just not as quickly as i'd like. They only way through is through for me. If i stop and stay in it, the centrifugal force creates amazing inertia.

    More than once what brought me through was the cats. Sometimes by being silly, or needy, or just lying quietly beside me lending their support as i make my way through that painful place. They can't walk it with me, but they are eager to see me as i walk out of that room.

  7. Your posts often move me. They make me stop in my tracks and reread and reread. Sometimes they make me cry. I hope you can always fight your darkness because I think your peace will come through your carrying on and living. To know someone through a blog gives limits but when someone posts such raw honest words you maybe begin to understand them a tiny bit. The words help. Help understand the darkness for us fortunate enough never to have had it descend and help for those that are maybe in their own darkness. It may help them realise and cling on and keep going. From reading your other posts I am glad you stayed - which seems a silly word to use as I read back - relieved you stayed. How can words convey it when it is from a stranger. x

  8. John, Sounds like you are in need of a change in scenery and a bit of a pick-me-up. Yesterday is done and gone. There's fuck all you can do about it and there is no sense in crying over the scoop of ice cream that fell off your cone. Tomorrow you do have some degree of control over. Realize what you have no control over and what it is that you can control. Learn to accept those two, and work with them as best you can. Its your choice, and choices have consequences. Sometimes there is nothing we can do about 99% of the things around us. And the only string you can pluck is your attitude about it all. Be sure that you do something that provides some sense of accomplishment every day however insignificant it is. Sometimes it is not much, simple deeds like personal grooming or cooking a satisfying meal. It takes a while but it can be done. I have been there. I suppose that is why I blog, just to keep track of the little insignificant milestones and get a sense of progress.

  9. Worried about you & hope you are ok.

  10. As you know I've been reading up a LOT lately, my Daughter has been seriously ill this year and I've been pretty crap myself. Your body can be all out of balance with many thing. Have you had any blood tests done to see if there's anything obvious?

    I think your trying to make me feel sorry for you so you can still eat cheese next week xxx

    Big hugs and sorry if I said the wrong thing but I usually open my mouth to change feet and my Nan used to say.

  11. Life is like climbing up the slide the wrong way. When you dig your feet into the sides, you then begin to climb. We all slip in life but if we dig in again we climb again! Dig in deep john, you still have people who care very much for you! X

  12. I must learn to check my spelling before posting..........dohhhh

  13. Hi John,
    Here is my pennies worth. When the darkness would descend on me it was so hard. I now don`t fight too much with it. I just kind of accept it and accept it that the darkness will always want to call in and say hello. I now see it as a kind of time when the gears of life just slow down to a grinding crawl. I find not trying too hard to fix it and maybe just nipping in and out of human reaction seems to work better than an all out onslaught on my low moods. Everybody says contact your friends, but I actually find that conversations struck up with strangers, be it in a shop, down at the docks talking about boats, sitting somewhere drinking tea or ( a great one) going to the grain store to get feed for my hens (farmers will always respond to a remark about the weather and continue then with mulitiudes of advice about all things hens, animals and veggy. Just give them the odd comment or remark and leave them off.) works better for me. These conversations have no expectations. They come and go. You can walk away with a simple "Good luck now and bye". But the best thing is that like the practice of mindfullness which I practise daily these unplanned interactions help to clear my mind of those nagging thoughts and without trying they knock little chinks of brightness into that horribly oppressing black cloud. Funny enough, talking here on the interweb also has the same affect.

  14. Kiwi here. Hi John, I've recently discovered your blog via Wildside and just wanted to say that I've worked with lots of people who are best friends with the black dog. Sometimes that friendship gets quite overwhelming and stifling, and that's when it's important to reach out and get a helping hand from the professional black dog tamers. Please do it now. They can help, you don't have to carry this weight alone. Sending bright caring vibes from New Zealand. Kia Kaha!

  15. Another thought. I find that introspection all to often leads to disappointment. You are your worst critic for you intimately know your own short comings even if you do not acknowledge them. Thus I find that turning the sight outwards is best. If one is busy with other matters, be it simple survival challenges, daily chores or new discoveries and interests, one does not have time to dwell on disappointments and though the dog may still be there, it knows its place and is well behaved.


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