The Black Dog

Day 359 of sobriety. Day 359 of recovery. Day 359 of my second chance. Day 359 of the rest of my life.

You may or may not have heard of ‘the black dog’ – It has been a metaphor for depression for centuries but was popularised by former Prime Minister Winston Churchill. He is quoted as having speculated that therapy might be helpful for him “if my black dog returns. He seems quite away from me now – it is such a relief. All the colours come back into the picture.”
He often referenced this black dog being in the corner of the room when his depression was prevalent.

I don’t associate my depression with dogs and in fact a black dog like the one in today’s picture would probably help me but hey, each to their own. What Winston describes isn’t what I’d go for. I’d probably describe depression more like a Sumo Wrestler sitting on my chest. No escape, acceptance I’m going nowhere and that heavy feeling of failure. But like I say, each to their own. There are loads of resources online if you search for the black dog of depression but whilst the metaphor itself is useful, the choice of animal less so for me!

Since taking alcohol out of my life and allowing my body and mind the time to recalibrate (it took a few months) I haven’t (touch wood) had a bout of depression which I’d become accustomed to throughout my life. My depressive episodes would hit me hard and fast without much warning and would keep me floored for on average 7-14 days which is a long time to be suffering the symptoms of depression. Whilst I still struggle with my anxiety I don’t find that low mood and depression are prominent and I can’t dismiss how much sobriety will have helped. I’m not immune to the condition and it has snaked it’s way back into my life on a few occasions over the last year but not to the levels I’ve experienced as a teenager and adult.

Another tick in the positives box for being sober.

Author: Happy Daddy

A married thirtysomething Dad of two young daughters navigating my way through life a day at a time

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