Tag Archives: Black Dog

I have a black dog

Today is World Mental Health Day.

For a large part of 2019 I have found myself struggling to find the words to describe how I feel. If I was asked to narrow it down to three, they would have been failure, ashamed and empty. It took several months, a lot of support from the Funny Boy and more than one trip to my GP before I was finally able to admit something was wrong.

I am relieved to say that things have slowly started to improve but it didn’t happen overnight. Here are a few things which made the difference for me:

Getting Help
My doctor prescribed me with regular medication and since then I have started to see a Psychologist.

Talk, talk, talk
Being open and honest about my true feelings with friends and family has been the biggest help. It is through them I have come to fully appreciate that I am not alone and everyone experiences poor mental health. We need to break the taboo and recognise that mental health is equally important as physical!

Peace of Mind
Finding peace of mind has been a challenge. My life sometimes feels like a treadmill of appointments but learning how to fully switch off has been valuable. Personally, I find my peace when walking the dog. No phone, no music – just me, the sound of the birds and Parsnip’s little paws plodding on the path.

Physical Activity is a wonder drug!
If you could bottle all the benefits of exercise and put it on the shelf at your local shop – it would literally be sold out in seconds. Activity is so good for the body and soul. There are literally thousands of different ways to be active; sports, exercise classes, dancing and even walking! I find it incredible how something as simple as a stroll around the block can improve my mood and change the way I view the world.

Put it down on paper
On the difficult days when it feels like there are too many thoughts, I find it helps to do a brain dump. Physically writing the things that rotate in my mind can help me switch off. This really helps on the nights when I struggle to sleep.

A good friend of mine recently completed Mental Health Awareness training and shared the following video with me. I hope you find it as useful as I did.

I had a black dog, his name was depression – Produced, written and illustrated by Matthew Johnstone in collaboration with the World Health Organisation

Depression is sometimes referred to as the Black Dog. Just like a real dog, it needs to be embraced, understood, taught new tricks, and ultimately brought to heal.

As always, FUCANCER