Nom de Plumage

January 8, 2013

Enter The Black Dog


Or more commonly known as – depression.

One of the fastest growing illness in the world, that touches the lives of many. One can also assume, that depression touches the lives of almost everyone. It may be the individual who has suffered a tragedy or it may be a loved-one who has it, either way, it has a profound affect and it changes your life.

Personally, my depression has lay dormant for years, slowly festering and waiting for the opportunity to rise and knock me hard to the ground. I only ever denied the problem or was so busy dealing with other peoples dilemma’s, that I could forget my own troubles. Well not anymore. It goes without saying, that travelling solo can either make you or break you and I had no one elses problems to deal with but my own. So the situation I had placed myself in was perfect to let my ‘black dog’ loose.

After spending an amazing day touring the sights of Budapest with Warren, I awoke already feeling like I had fallen into a deep hole and could not breathe. I lacked any motivation to do anything and felt so emotional, that tears would swell into my eyes for no reason. The walls were closing in and I needed to get out.

I walked the cold grey streets of the city in no apparent direction. There was no place I needed to see, no one I needed to be with and no energy to propel me anywhere. My steps were heavy and my body numb and the only thought I had was to place one foot in front of the other. Life was going on around me, but I saw and heard nothing. I cried with each step taken and had never felt so alone, helpless or afraid in my entire life because it was then, at that moment, I wanted to die. Thoughts raced through my mind as to how I wanted to end it. I tried willing the concrete paths to open up and swallow me whole or hoped a bus would pass and end my misery. Never, had these thoughts ever crossed my mind before and they frightened me. It was here that I finally admitted that I needed help and that I have depression.

You know that feeling of always being strong for others, for just waking every day and getting on with life and never admitting defeat or that you cannot do it. Then that moment of admission. That incredible feeling of relief, the emotions that rise and release and the burden that you finally throw off your shoulders, can only be described as enlightening. To finally admit I have a problem and to release years of pain, was the salvation that I so desperately needed. This journey was something I desperately needed. It made me come to grips with my mental state, my life and direction and the most profound of all, that I am number one for me,myself and I. Do you know what the hardest word to say in the English language is? NO! Two letters, but so painfully hard to say. Why? You want to make others happy. You want to please others and you want them always to think the best of you. You want praise, affection and the ‘thank-you’ at the end of the day. You give, give and give. At what cost? The cost of one’s health or sanity, is a high price to pay and I may never have come to this conclusion if not for a tarot reader telling me of a journey that “I had to take”. In two days my life had changed. Two days, one amazing soul and one amazing city, changed my course in life and set me on a new path.

I had no camera to document my day, nor to remind myself of a day I would never forget and so I kept walking. The incredible monument dedicated to the men from the past, who helped create and shape Hungary was on full display. It is the only thing worth mentioning, for I saw nothing else today. I stood below each statue and looked up, wandering what miseries and burdens that they carried to bring about unity and peace to a once troubled country. That their troubles were so much greater than mine and yet here I stand, tears streaming down my face at my own miserable existence. It does not get more pathetic than that. When I recommenced my walk, I chose a wide boulevard full of humanity and noise. I needed companionship and something to focus on. But all in vain. I was embarrassed by my tears and so bowed my head and became lost once again in my thoughts. So lost in fact, that when I came to to my surroundings, I realised that I had indeed become lost. I had no map to guide me and thought I could keep going and I would eventually make my way back into the city. But the more I walked, the more lost I became and panic slowly started to emerge. When finally that feeling of defeat hits and knowing that going forward is a surety for failure, stop and turn back. It was all that I could do. I retraced my steps until I came to familiar surroundings. Having wasted my day on getting lost both mentally and physically, I realised that I had not eaten anything and was hungry. A quick stop at a cafe to eat a late lunch, I headed back to my hostel for much needed writing.

The hostel was quite and I had the communal computer all to myself and so I sat down to write an email to my cousin in Australia. For me, writing has always been the best therapy. It has ever been my best way of communicating, expressing my emotions and getting my voice heard. It soothes me and invigorates me at the same time. It brings out the best in me and it saved me. I wrote the mother of all emails, every emotion, every thought I wrote down and some. Drained, I retired early to bed and felt saddened that tomorrow I was to leave Budapest and leave my new friends. But it is a journey and I need to continue……………

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