Change Of Scenery?

While you’re waiting on Conundrum Part 2, here’s something to chew over in the meantime…

In all the years that I have had depression, one thing has never occurred to me. Until this morning, that is…

It happened like this.

My partner was out with my sister-in-law and the two doggies walking the Divis and Black Mountains that surround the west of Belfast ( UK ).

Divis and Black mountains are 478m ( 1568ft ) and 389m ( 1276 ) at their peaks respectively. The ground is rugged and the air, even on a warm day, is bracing.

As you can see from the main photo, the views are breathtaking. You can look out over Belfast Lough towards County Down, into Belfast itself. If you look carefully, you can even see the three hospitals that I attend πŸ˜‚!!  Seriously though, if the weather is just right, you can see Slieve Donard – Northern Ireland’s highest mountain. You can even see all the way to the Irish border, to Scotland, the Isle of Man, even the North of England, ( a distance of over 156km ( 97 miles! )

But me? I had a kitchen full of dishes to wash, dry and store, a bedroom to tidy, a back room to clear rubbish out of and reorganise and a bathroom to clean.

And you may be thinking: “so?!”

Well, for anyone that doesn’t have or has never experienced an adverse or an impaired mental health condition like depression they may think nothing about the two scenarios. They may not even link the two in their minds or if they do, they likely would just shrug their shoulders and get on with it.

But because I did have and still do have such a condition, such an arrangement could potentially be problematic and so: enter the historic ‘realisation:’

“@#$@#€!!!, I’m stuck in the house doing all of this while ‘she’ is out enjoying herself!!!! “

I didn’t think that today but in the past such a thought might have begun innocently enough, but would have very quickly took on another and potentially harmful form.

And often it would then become the catalyst to pure, uncontrolled, self-feeding rage!

And worse… that rage would invariably become directed at my partner or even anything that got in my way!

With me, my partner has had a great deal to put up with over the years. The miracle, and I do mean miracle, is that after nearly 32 years of marriage ( nearly 40 years since we first met! ) we are still together!

And I have to be careful how I word that statement because it would be all too easy for me to add mitigation for my behaviour – there is no escaping responsibility: yes there were frightful, anxiety-filled, depression-fueled incidents, but there were good times too.

The main problem, though, with the depressive episodes was their intensity. In them, I would lose all reason; my rational thinking would be overtaken by angry emotion, my mood would plummet and things would invariably be broken ( although, thankfully, not my partner or kids. ) It’s strange but looking back, it all seems so alien now.

That was the reality then and yet the reality now is so different. I don’t know whether I outgrew the anger, or whether it’s the drugs that I’m prescribed. I don’t even know whether it’s because of Divine influence or a combination of all three.

But something did change for the better.

I’m not saying that every day is like this.

But just for today, I’m thankful it is.

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2 thoughts on “Change Of Scenery?

  1. Having suffered myself with the scourge of the black dog I know exactly what you’re talking about. My wife too has grown to recognise my off days very well (though she hasn’t been party to it as long as yours) and I try to place myself away from her when it’s one of those times by either getting out of the house for a walk (I usually try to find somewhere away from people as that’s the last thing I want to encounter) or moving to another room for a few hours. Of course it often lasts a few days so that’s when it’s really difficult and I’m sure you’ll recognise the situation that life either feels effin brilliant sometimes, or truly fouler than hell (it never seems to sit somewhere level in between). Good luck with your coping method. But you’re far from being alone.

    • Hi Colin,
      Never heard it called that before: ( black dog. ) But it’s a good one – I’ll remember it. Think it’s good to give the condition a name. I should imagine that it helps coping with it. But you’re right of course, it never sits in between. I’m hesitant to hope that I may be coming out the other end – bit like tempting fate! But… day at a time. It’s great that you can get out and about – I can’t – not without assistance. Hope to get my mob. scooter back on the road again sometime, though. Your blog is brilliant. Glad Ifound it. Keep up the good work and… keep in touch. πŸ™‚

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