When you are going through a rough time, the shining beacon of hope and light at the end of the tunnel is getting smaller and further away and every step you seem to take seems to be further from the light. The shining beacon that helps to tame the black dog from taking over and growing bigger.
Most people will go through a course of events that shape their lives to make them stronger and brighter type of person and take it in their stride. Some people lives are shaped but also become consumed by the darkness or the black dog keeping afloat but occasionally being caught in a wave. Others become consumed by the black dog and everything around them struggling to keep afloat in the rough tide. Others will slowly sink as if they have an anchor attached to them and struggle to reach out for help as the light is no longer visible.
Those that have been consumed by the darkness either by it shaping their lives or never seeing the end of the tunnel anymore as if the tunnel is part of the London underground tube map with turns and very brief moments of light. Which has sprung a leak under the river Thames and the air is being replaced with water and you are being consumed by the water and shining beacon is further away and is no bigger than a pinhead now being taken over by the darkness.
Sometimes this can be a nightmare or an actual event that happens when you finally are reaching the end of your own tether and struggling to find the power to carry on and find the hope and willpower to put the black dog to bed and encourage the dog to change to become a puppy again to stay in the dog basket. The world is still spinning and sometimes we are just a number from our employment with employee numbers or NHS number we are no longer a person of the name instead of a number of being 1 of 7.5 billion people! When you are standing behind the black dog that is bigger then you and no one can see you instead they see the impression of you which is you playing the game of impersonating who you were yesterday the day you didn’t feel the world was against you and they wouldn’t notice if you disappeared. You go through the motions for a period and finally something has pushed you too far and you can’t see any other escape until you are no longer seen or a number, you finally decide that the world would be better off without you… The final decisions and being consumed by the darkness and listening to the voice of darkness that is now in full control, you listen and block out the voice of reason you become reckless and forget what and who you once were.
Whilst you are going through the motions and you are becoming more reckless it keeps escalating to how reckless you are you are also putting yourself and others in danger when you start to listen to people who don’t have your best intentions to heart you start to believe what they are saying. This could be from not being worthy, not being wanted, sexualizing the situation and making you feel paranoid, too many other ways they could harm you and encourage this reckless approach to life.
You’re going through this and finally, something really breaks, and you can’t see the colours in the world it is all becoming dull and more grey and black. You start to consider committing an act that is illegal but also it has the ability to destroy everything and hurt more than just you. The darkness will destroy everyone around you and the actions of the darkness will make you a shining star above.
Now, this blog isn’t promoting listening to the darkness nor would I ever want anyone I know to feel there is no escape and no one would notice if they weren’t around. You see this blog has been a blog in the writing for the past 3 years as I have never been able to fully explain that night when the darkness leads me to contemplate following the black dog.
Very few people know this, but it wasn’t the first time I considered stopping the pain and being used as an object of hurt as if my emotions were a weapon against myself. I experienced it when I was 24 years old, you see I was living an unhappy life in London, my dad was paralysed and work at the time was destructive. My friends at the time who I lived near organized a night out between 6 of them and of course there was an odd number I didn’t know about them going out, so I was walking home from work going past one of my friends places and I walked into them all dressed up laughing smiling and happy. Then they saw me, and the humour and happiness were sucked out of the air instead it becomes silence as if I was an embarrassment to be no one could say anything other then “oh fancy seeing you here” … (this was my hometown and I had lived there all my life, so I don’t know why still to the date why it was a surprise.) “we are going out…” was as if someone had stabbed me in the heart with a cold ice pick. I was about to change stores going from the store I learnt my trade to the flagship store making a drastic change with a change of pace. I felt awful and embarrassed and ashamed by what had happened. I went into my final day in the store with some of the most amazing people I have worked with, basically trying to enjoy my final day around people that appear to like me. Throughout the day the group of people I classed as friends were messaging me and apologizing and giving excused for why they felt it was acceptable for their behaviour. The part of me was hurt but I accepted they had only 6 tickets and there were 7 people, also I had work the next day so wouldn’t have been able to attend. I was hurt by the way they acted and when I finally responded after a fair few hours of crying and trying to find a way out of this mess. The simple effect of being embarrassed and ashamed to be around me whilst I was dealing with my dad’s situation which they were all aware of, as Dad wanted to end his own life and go to Switzerland to the Euthanasia hospital to take the control in the situation. It taught me a lot from those 2 days not to open about how I was feeling as people don’t care, but also “friends” aren’t always friends instead they are there to do lip service and pretend. This might appear that they had the best intentions which they might have done but they didn’t as well. If they said, “oh yeah, we could get only 6 tickets and if its ok x y z is going to come along and bring their girlfriends, we can do something next time…” I would have been fine as I said I had work. So, this clouded my final day at my store and I was sad and did cry quite a bit as I felt alone.
I didn’t want to disturb people with what was going on in my mind as I didn’t really know either other than it as getting too much for me to handle. I did try to get help a year or so before but that ended up being unsuccessful as I was unsupported beyond the 35-minute counselling session for my dad but not for me.
Fast forward to 2014 I moved up to Manchester, changed my career, found a new home I was going through a lot of change. I had lost my dad 2 years prior to moving, and there was a lot of changes in my life from my friendship circle to my life. I was with my ex at the time but was being let down constantly by him and his best friend kept influencing our relationship even when I had tried to make the effort with him. So, with all the changes I started to spiral and started to feel I was losing myself as I was missing my family and my friends who I am still friends with today. I was trying to find my feet and I had been let down yet again by my ex so was home alone and struggling to find my feet and escape the flat, until I was meant to meet up with a friend and their friends, I forced myself to get out and finally see the outside I had been speaking with my ex as I accepted it and tolerated it. Well, it took me longer to get out of the house and finally got into town stopped to get cash out and had messaged my friend who moved kept moving on from location to location and I wasn’t sure where the place was, as I had only been living in Manchester 5 weeks. I froze to the spot and was struggling to control my breathing and panicking. I called my ex and told him I was panicking and unable to move so we spoke for 20 minutes and finally I manages to try find what I was looking for, which I failed to find but then walked in my friend sat in a café they didn’t see me but was messaging me throughout and I told him I was panicking and I could see him he didn’t notice me walking past so I told him to get off his phone and enjoy their friends. I got home with a shed load of sugary doughnuts and basically, I didn’t eat any of them I didn’t eat for a few days thinking back to it was in bed. I felt very alone, and the black puppy was not growing bigger, I struggled with everything and everyone around me as my housemates I was living with at the time were all over there house guest and allowing him to treat me like an unwanted guest and being very unwelcome as they weren’t thinking with there brain more of part of there anatomy like most men (few exceptions) think with. As I was a housemate instead of seeing me as a human being and someone who needed support or a friend I wasn’t wanted, and I was “cockblocking” as their friend was there. I spent 5 hours in their company trying to help and try with their friend but spoke for about 5 minutes in total. Their friend wasn’t interested and made fun of me for asking basic questions about their travels and what they did. I went home a few days later and saw my aunt and was back in London and saw my old store and the assistant manager who was basically trying to make me feel ashamed of my work I did at my store before I left. That was interesting as she had begged me for a job to come back and then was jealous that I had been more successful with what I had achieved. I couldn’t speak to my friends, so I had to send them a message to explain how it had made me feel like I was on my own and unwanted to be around. They knew how it had affected me and brought back the emotions of the previous experience not being around, they forgot basic manners and from there action the impact it has on people.
Fast forward a few months, into the new year I was newly single and tried to find the best path for me without rebounding into oblivion. Sadly, oblivion did happen, and I became emotionally attached to someone. Same time as I was trying to find my feet I hadn’t been single for over 2.5 years, whilst settling into a new job. The emotions engulfed me when they cancelled plans with me for another person. I was home alone again and was spiraling and the black puppy was not a full great Dane which would be sitting on my shoulders, I spent majority of the days in bed not able to approach anyone as how you tell someone you are spiraling beyond control, this was until it completely engulfed me and made me react and struggle to see any hope. I considered there and then was there any point and maybe it would be better if I wasn’t here. My housemates got home, and we were talking and there was a lot of talking, I reached out to the works Employee Assistance Program for support with counselling to finally approach the subject and tackle this beast. I had my reservations about approaching a Psychologist, but I had to attempt to tackle this in some way, which this helped for a while.
A few months later I had asked for less travel with work and was finishing counselling with our EAP provider to another provider for CBT treatment as well as tackling this beast. The emotions were still growing and becoming difficult for me to contemplate what was going on. Some people got involved and started to manipulate the situation where it was always in their favour, where I was pushed to the side and dumped in the gutter. The guy didn’t see it, but he was being manipulated and whenever something was planned to involve me it would be changed for their gain and I was no longer needed around. To incentive posts on social media, to conversations being insensitive around my personal circumstance with my dad’s accident and depression. I was also in the process of finding my new home where I still am.
Then the night where the world really did change, Saturday 30th August I was on edge all day and felt like I was a gooseberry around 5 other people. We started off with food and drinks I was trying to be controlled with my drinking and the night started to change and became destructive for me as the conversation and situation was becoming toxic. To the point I said to one of my friends I had to get some air I couldn’t drive and go home like I wanted to as I had been drinking so I went for a walk having a panic attack, seeing cars going past seeing the lights flickering past and at midnight I couldn’t control my breath or find the best way out of this situation. I got to the bottom of the street and finally found the power to speak and say help. I called my friends and messaged them both with the one word “HELP” it was my only attempt I could ask for help from someone. They both called me, and I couldn’t say fully what was going on or even understand what was going on in my head. It was all going into freefall. I could finally breathe in calmly enough to get back in. The night carried on escalating and the black dog appeared and it was no longer a great Dane it was the size of the house and every brick was falling in on me, every door was closing and there was no way for me to escape the constant assault from this beast.
The following morning when the dust was settling, and I was coming around I had tried to calm the voice and sweep away the bricks that were still falling. Suddenly it was a situation in which I felt uncomfortable with and went for a walk, but the walk was going to be the final walk I take.
I had left the house and had only my phone on me, as I walked the voice in my head was getting muted, by another voice, my mums the darker voice was becoming silent and my mums voice was getting louder and clearer I was looking at a picture on my phone and saw my mum and dad, then my aunt. I was walking and crying until I finally stopped by a set of shops and stood by the side of the shop and again I found the power to ask for help and sent a text, they had been messaging me since I left the house and finally I had to break the voice and ask, and I did. I asked them for help and they sent one of my closest people I have in my life now. They found me, and we walked holding hands they were holding me hugging me as we walked to a quiet stream. I cried a lot and they sat there listening and hugging me and talking when they needed to. It was a while until we went back as we did I spoke to a few people and one of my friends slapped me and hugged me as they knew I was ready to end it all.
I went to my friend’s place in Derby we didn’t talk about the situation, but he knew as I had spoken to them the night before when I needed help. They looked after me and nurtured me when I needed support and offered me a place to stay.
The hardest part for me was to tell people I nearly succumbed to the darkness and let it take over my life, telling my mum was awful we spoke for hours an hour both in tears. I then had to tell work that I wouldn’t be back for the foreseeable and they were amazing they let me take the time I needed and there as no rush to come back. I started “I Am One” started to get additional support with my illness with starting medication and tackling the problem in my head and started to stop hurting myself but others as well. I was in treatment with CBT and was never home instead I was around people most of the time in Derby, York & Norfolk. I slowly started to find myself and the voice had become silent. I found ways to cope with work, my life with wider counselling and medication. It was a lot to work through and I finally found a way to silence the voice in my mind.
Last year I had a moment where I had a relapse and was having people messing with my emotions and using my friendship as a weapon against me. They copied my mannerism and symptoms to be used in a way for themselves to gain the upper hand and get sympathy. Also, my sexual desires with someone I have liked for a while and basically using it as an ultimatum which started a very nasty spiral. I took some more time off work and spent time with my mum and started to find ways of coping without them in my life and trying to find the best way to live my life. I stepped away from them and they created an argument with me to the point where they removed themselves from my life which saved me a lot of time. I started to follow through with my coping strategies like mindfulness and the blog came back after a gap.
You see we all have many battles and there are many roads we must walk, and the path will be covered by a tunnel. Sometimes the lights in the tunnel will work and then there is always that one light that flickers and then stops working so that part of the tunnel is no longer clear of where to turn when you reach the fork in the road. Being unsure which is the correct path until you are walking it. We must find the path and when we are struggling to ask for help and get the support from friends, family, loved ones or professionals. I said earlier I learnt not to rely on friends and as you can see me in this blog alone I didn’t really learn this properly instead it was something I learnt about that group of people. We are human beings and can make mistakes, but some mistakes can be costly and its not just for the person who is suffering it will also be the wider world, your family, your friends the people that care about you can be suffering from when you lash out and they need the support that you want back.
If you need help and are having suicide ideation or just need support, there are the Samaritans.
We’re here round the clock, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you need a response immediately, it’s best to call us on the phone. This number is FREE to call. You don’t have to be suicidal to call us.
Their is also SANE a crisis helpline
SANEline – http://www.sane.org.uk/
0300 304 7000
4.30pm – 10.30pm daily
This isn’t the original blog I had planned to write but this is a subject I have been wanting to write about as it has always been a heavy scar that just seems to never heal. To anyone who is suffering make sure you reach out and don’t listen to the darkness you deserve to live, and you deserve to SHINE!
To everyone who has read any of the blogs and has been part of this journey and kept the light switch on for me during my journey to recovery THANK YOU. You have been the saviour of my life and sometimes I forget to say thank you and show my full appreciation to you. You have been the SHINING Beacon I have needed.
I have and will always be a surviv(;)r.
I am ONE!