Darkness and Light

Sometimes it comes insidiously, a quiet mist which moving from a cloud to a shroud, encompasses me, swallowing my emotions, removing my pain and my pleasure, my sadness and my joy. There is almost a reward, the sense of self-pity, a temptation to swim in the pool of despair.

At first it is a little innocuous itch which comes and goes, but growing it becomes the black dog snapping at your heels. Less easy to ignore and requiring a great deal of effort to shake off. It drags you into tiredness, a worry about where it has come from, what route it is going to take this time? Will I survive? I have been here before. I am already beginning to plan strategies to change the direction.

I have found the initial step in the journey back is the acceptance that it is fighting to take me over again. Sometimes it’s okay to wallow a little in it, lull it into sense of winning. I feed myself in sad pieces for the cello that bring me to tears, uncontrollable tears that allow my otherwise flat self to have an emotion of some sort. A starting point.

A hint of recovery.  The return of the sudden fleeting warmth in a thought quickly lost like the sun disappearing behind the clouds. But cloudiness will become less, the coldness is defeated sporadically by those little moments of warmth that increase until they again take the upper hand.

My mind is moving worlds. It is not now the feel of the cold wind and the sound of lashing of rain on the window. It is the feel of the warm room, cosy in the chair protected from the fearfulness of outside. Harshness, soothed by the soaring of a bird, the gentle billowing of the breeze, the beauty and innocence of my grandchild, the unworried way he appears to handle his young life. This is the positivity. I realise having been at the bottom and that I am climbing again.

My energies return, I am getting stronger. I have reached the spring of my recovery, but it is not yet summer and the first edges of spring are closer to winter.  I am careful. I can be weakened and recognition can be tougher than denial. But it is recognition that has given me strength, a label, a path to follow to get out. The power to recover and the knowledge of having that power.

The power to survive!


Don Russell