How to describe it? Empty, lost, flat, energyless, joyless, humourless, hopeless, worthless.
There is no shaking it off, getting over it or making it better – it’s about curling up, feeling safe and waiting for it to pass. Everything is an effort and there can be a lot of tears.
There is paranoia, fragility, loss of focus and an inability to write, think, do. There can be much sighing, there can be much head holding. There are headaches and a need to sleep. It can be crippling.
It eventually passes – sometimes quickly, sometimes it lingers, but each episode can leaves a weakness, another crack in the pot.
I have learnt to ride it, I know it will go and I know what I need to do when the black dog pays a visit.
I write this, not for sympathy but for a need to share, to be open – this is what my practice is about and because it might help someone. I passionately believe in being open about mental health. I, like millions of other people, live with this every day – it doesn’t stop me from being good at my job, I can still parent well, I can still love life, I just have days when I really need to rest, to look after me and cling on until it passes.