Day 4 – Part II – What does the black dog say…

Well Ylivs, pretty sure it’s not Ring-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding!… Here’s something you may not know, unless you actually suffer from clinical depression (and not the made for TV version)… It can still happen when things are going well, in fact it is often when things are going smoothly that some of the truly scary dark bits rear their heads…

When things are going badly you expect to be stressed, angry and feel useless, so you trundle along and function, with whatever your coping mechanism is… Alcohol, food, pain and many others… I tend to lean towards food and pain… I was never good at escaping with a bottle, I have children, the idea of being drunk enough to block things out while the kids are here is repugnant to me… Eating the feelings with a side order of ice-cream is losing its effectivess… That left me pain, now don’t get all freaked out! Not going around beating people, or paying to be beaten… There is no sexual component, it is not a whips thing (I know that isn’t my bag, I have tried it and the whole thing was just a bit sad, and also difficult to keep a straight face through)… It is simply a method of focus,  a way of throwing a chain around those feelings of deep sadness or destructive anger… I assume it is the same as teenagers who cut, this is the same… It is just that I work without the angst and drama, and pointless scars (I already have enough scar tissue to build a football player)…… A tattoo gun with no ink, a strike with a metal ruler, physical exercise to the point of thinking you might die… All work well,  and I have done them all… All quiet… All safe…  And then I carry on… I Function… I get through that moment and I get back to functioning….

But when things are ok, and you realize there is still only functioning, it is only in those moments that you notice you can’t feel joy… You don’t have any reason to be stressed or distracted… So you focus on the realization that you can’t feel happy… Happiness is an emotion that is not in your reptoire any more… The years of functioning have dulled the other feelings… So when people ask me what’s wrong, they expect an event or issue… Sometimes there just isn’t one… There is a just a man who works hard to provide joy for others, but can’t feel it himself… A man with love to give, that he hides because of past betrayal… Fear of rejection, fear of no rejection, fear of failure … So you build your walls with whatever you have to hand, and with the materials that work best for you… The workaholic builds a job to occupy, the drunk beats those around them with a bottle till they flee…. and me? I am much more subtle than that… I smile, I say witty things, I am doing something I can’t get out of at the moment, I can’t come over today because this needs doing… I say next time a lot… I hide behind the duty of single parenthood and maybe there is a part of me deep down that is grateful my ex-wife is a crap parent…

So I think the black dog says… I know you…

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