When, earlier this year, I wrote at some length about my experiences of depression and the harrowing effects upon my mental health, I did so as someone who felt that he was emerging from the dark, dank forest; as someone who was no longer feeling doomed to wander, lost and alone among the tangled undergrowth and snaking branches of the great black trees that were blocking my every turn: instead I was now almost on the very outskirts of this grim woodland with the promise of open, blue skies sunlight and fresh air becoming daily closer and more reassuringly within my reach.
Of course, from past experiences of a longish life during which – from my very earliest years – depression has been no stranger, I was aware that the daily (sometimes hourly) existence of the depressive is ever a roller-coaster rising to points on an unpredictable undulating journey where bracing wind is suddenly whipping through your hair, causing tears to start into your eyes and filling your lungs deep-down deep enough to purge the accumulated dust and debris of many wearisome days and unending nights.
But then, of course and all-too soon, there is always that moment of teetering before the scary-as-hell hurtling plunge into another dark, subterranean abyss from which you cannot believe you will ever again emerge.
At odd moments, like this bleak early Friday morning, I am going to use this blog-that-no-one-reads-any-more to jot down some of the raw feelings as I am in the grip of experiencing them.
Maybe it might help me – if and when (or to strike a more positive note, as and when) I claw my way up again – to look back and so better understand the process by which my depression (for it is wholly mine as opposed to some alien force) goes from merely dogging my heels like a constantly shift-shaping shadow to the point where it has me in its claws and is dragging me away into that shuddery darkness where it is most confident of holding its prey hostage.
Writing even these few over-metaphored paragraphs has caused the shadow to momentarily hesitate and to scuttle a little way off, but I know it only bides its time and will, maybe today or in a few days time will again make its move...