I came across this quotation by Winston Churchill recently and thought it was very apt and something I should try to build into my life. You see like Churchill I have periods of depression (what he called his ‘black dog’) and so, like him, I need to learn to get on with life even when in ‘hell.’
Last November I was admitted to hospital for my own safety suffering from severe depression. Later a counsellor was to say I had been through a ‘psychotic episode’ although, at the time, the psychiatrist just said I’d ‘cracked up’ – so much for medical terminology! I was in hospital for 2 ½ weeks (it seemed an age) and have yet to get back to work.
While I was in hospital they started me on some medication that was meant to help and, in a way, it did. I was put on Citalopram and told that this would help my brain recover by helping it re-build its connections. It may well have done this but it also made me very sleepy; to the point where I was sleeping 2 – 4 hours in the day on top of a full night’s sleep.
Now this is, obviously, incompatible with getting back to work so they agreed to take me off it and monitor whether I was managing OK. What very quickly became apparent to me was that the main effect of the citalopram was to anaesthetise my brain and while this may have had some benefit the main result was that I couldn’t be myself or think properly.
While I was in hospital several times I thought about the 23rd Psalm and walking ‘through the valley of the shadow of death’ although I changed the words to ‘valley of the shadow of life’ as this was how I felt. In fact I now think I may well have been correct and this verse is about living through dark times and not, as I’d always assumed, about facing death. In fact ‘going through hell’ may also be a good description – I can’t describe what it is but I know what it feels like – so Winston Churchill’s words are a great comfort and encouragement. Comfort to know that others felt like this and encouragement because you can get through it!
I has taken me several months to pluck up courage and blog about this as I felt scared about putting something so personal on-line. If I’m lucky no-one will read it; if I’m very lucky someone will it and be encouraged by it. There is a lot more to say but I think this will do for now.