In the shadow of the black dog

To shamelessly borrow from another – “The black dog has been used as a metaphor for depression from classical mythology through medieval folklore to Churchill. It acts as a symbol to externalize moods and thoughts that are difficult to communicate…”

I doubt it would come as a surprise to those closest to me, and perhaps not to those that have spent any time with me, but I battle with depression. It’s been a life-long battle, beginning as early as I can remember.

I’d never heard depression called the black dog until a few years ago, but it seems to me a fitting metaphor for the spectre that’s always been with me. I like “black dog”, because it just is what it is. It has no malice or intent, just what you take from it, or let it be. The black dog is just always there, and he’s part of who I am.

For me, depression is like (what I understand of) being an alcoholic. They say if you’re an alcoholic, you’re always an alcoholic – there is no cure, and you’re always in recovery. There will be bad days, and there will be glorious ones.  Cherish the good days, and try to remember what made them good.  One day at a time.

The images are from “I Had A Black Dog” (Living With a Black Dog in the US), which is available on Amazon.


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