Living with a Black Dog

blkdogThe world is not ideal in so many ways that people have learned to cope with any mechanism they see fit. Sometimes, our mind considers going mental a fitting mechanism – which means, being a little broken is still better than being dead. Hence, people and their own (hidden) crazies.

Nobody wants to be mentally disrupted, but sometimes our circumstances unknowingly send us over the edge and here we are, looking into the mirror and seeing a complete stranger – or in my case, seeing a black dog clawing on my shoulder.

I have never considered myself meek. I believed I was a tough go-getter. Any problem and insecurity have always been manageable… until they weren’t.

It was an especially straining 6 months of my life. A failed long-term relationship with yet another cheater, a series of emotionally draining family arguments, a very slow business period resulting in poor cash flow, and a short term fling between two broken people with a lot of muddy back stories and white lies (which made things even worse!) – all of them has awakened the sleeping black dog I didn’t know existed.

I thought it was just a phase, so I worked even harder to correct my circumstances. I focused myself on things I thought I could fix. But honestly, every attempt was a dead end. I was stuck. One day I woke up with a black dog lying right next to me. It clung to my shoulder and it grew bigger and already it was clawing on my neck making it so hard to breathe, so hard to think.

The black dog was poisonous. My appetite was gone; my sleeping quality haphazard; my brain frozen; and time creeping ever so slowly. I forgot how to enjoy my hobbies. All I could do every night was stare blankly to the ceiling, replaying every piece of bad memories, reliving every strand of disappointments, recalling every thread of insecurities.

I became hard to talk to. I shut myself behind a tough exterior because I didn’t want people to see how much I wanted to crawl back to bed and weep. I was constantly angry and screaming inside my head because I felt so helpless. I felt worthless, unwanted, unloved. One day I started thinking about death, and it made me feel even lonelier. What if I died in a car crash but none of my families or friends noticed and none ever looked for me let alone claimed my dead body?

That very thought slapped me hard and woke me up. I realized that something about this black dog wasn’t right and I needed to get help. So I did, and it was the best decision I could’ve ever made for myself.

The black dog is not as rare as we would like to think. Many people have been living with a black dog without ever knowing how often it has turned their lives bitter and dark. It is not so uncommon to live with a black dog yet it should never be taken lightly. It can damage your life and your relationship with those around you in so many ways. I need you to know that there is help available. Nobody should ever fight this alone.

The first step towards recovery is to admit that we have a black dog. The second step is to actually get help, the earlier the better, before the black dog takes over the reign in our life and kills us in the process.

Here is a video that I think explains the black dog quite accurately.

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