Friday, February 6, 2009

Churchill's Black Dog

I am no stranger to Churchill's black dog.
So much so, that when a friend of mine suggested his quote "Going through hell" for this blog, I leapt at it.

Lately, his black dog has been my constant companion, staying with me during the day, eating my meals with me, watching over my shoulder when I relax with the TV, music or a book. Holding me tight, like a lover, when i try to fall asleep.

i am held deep in it's clutches, and it is slowly destroying me, not allowing me to come up for air. i cannot breathe, the life force of me, my very essence, body and soul are being sucked dry. I fight, I keep fighting, but deep down I am more afraid than I have been in a very long time, that I won't be able to fight much longer, and will slip completely into it's grasp.

Somehow I always knew that it would win, that it would win during September 2008 and September 2010. And thus, I wonder, at 4 am in the morning, with a pitch black sky, rain and no stars, if what the Ancient Greeks and Romans believed was true. That our destinies are set in stone from the moment we draw our first breath coming out of the womb.

Or maybe Shakespeare had it right in Julius Caesar- which ironically was the my first thought in naming this blog....

"Men are Masters of their fates,
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in the stars,
But in ourselves,
That we are the underlings"


Gianna said...

may I remind you that twice in the last few days while in conversation you've told me you've been having very good moments. One day you cleaned your entire apartment...

it's so easy to forget that these feelings come and go but it seems that even now while you are struggling you are having times when you're okay...and it's important to remember these moments when you are in the darkness you write from in this piece.

emotions are ephemeral and they come and go...the dark ones sometimes seem to hang around too much and too often but they do indeed still come and go.

hang in there...there is nothing inevitable about your future...but we sure as hell help shape our future by what we choose to believe.

I'm sick as hell too, but I refuse, most of the time, to believe I will do anything but get better in time.

love to you.

susan said...


I know. I write about the bad so i can keep working on the good, if that makes any sense.

I know things will get better.
The couple of good days I had make me appreciate the bad ones.

I worry about you.

Pyrs said...

The last time I felt similar to what you wrote (and there have been many times) was when I procrastinated on picking up my Paxil, and started feeling deep feelings again which felt good at first, but damn did it get dark... when the kite string broke. I had no taper plan, like I assume you do since Gianna's got your back. I was just sick. But I had not joined this blogging community yet nor found a support group. I was just absolutely isolated and alone in my bunker, while the world exploded around me. I am so glad that you are bleeding it out on your blog rather somewhere else.
Hugs & Purrs,
P.S. But keep that squirt bottle handy!

Wendy McIntosh said...

I'm sorry you are having these horrible black days and nights.
I've started seeing a new therapist about 6 months ago, and it has been the difference between life and death to me. There is such a very thin line. You can, you will see the light - keep talking to your good friends like Gianna -she has such good words for you. Today at my therapists I had an anxiety attack, and got up - walked out... I walked around the parking lot for a few minutes and then went back in - her door was open so I just walked in.. She was on her knees, tears running down her face - and she was praying for me!!! So now I can remind myself (and you) that although my life sucks and all the horrible shit I have been through, I am still provided with beautiful moments of blessings - and I have to keep those moments at the forefront. Because we all deserve better days.
Peace to you

Wendy said...

Reasons to survive

by Wendy McIntosh

Because you deserve to live.

Because your life has value, whether or not you can see it.

because it's not your fault,

because you didn't choose to join the circle of parents surviving their child's suicides.

Because life itself is precious,

because you are connected to each other and every other survivor, and so your

daily battle automatically gives others hope and strength.

Because you will feel better, eventually.

Because each time you confront despair, you get stronger, and you can't know

now what you will ultimately be able to do with this new morsel of strength,

what future battles you will be able to win,

because we need more warriors against this tragedy.

Because the seconds do not cease their passing,

because even if it feels like time has become an unbearably heavy stone, it

has not, and you only have to endure,

because you have known the resiliency and courage and stubborn will to make

it this far, and no one can take that away,

because the will to live is not a cruel punishment,

even if it feels like that at times; it is a priceless gift.

Because you deserve more than anyone to be healed and comforted;

you are heroes against impossible odds.

Because you will not erase the meaning of your child's suffering, their

incredible endurance and the battles they won.

Because you already have the skills to find your healing path; you have

proven this over and over again,

Because we need survivors to offer testament against this horror and despair,

because no one knows better than you the meaning of suffering, and agony that

breaks and deepens the heart,

because you deserve the peace that will come after this battle is won, and it

will be won, but only minute by minute,

Because it is critical that you survive.

~Wendy McIntosh 6/23/06~

Stephany said...

Yes, focus on the good parts of the days and nights! it's all we can do sometimes, but it helps.

Have a good weekend!

Merelyme said...

i do believe you will overcome this. you are an amazing woman and very resilient. what is especially amazing about you is that you are going through your own hell but you always reach out and help others. like me. wanted to personally thank you for helping me during my bad time recently. i am feeling better and i hope you will too.

susan said...

@Pyrs, I am glad you found the blogging community and I am really enjoying watching your blog bloom, oh fellow cat friend. Thank you.

@Wendy, I am speechless, but I thank you for your compassion, understanding and friendship.
I will copy what you wrote and keep it with me.

@Stephany, you are an amazing woman and I thank you for your support and friendship.

@Merelyme, you too are an amazing strong woman and I am glad to have met you.

Sherry said...

I remember all too well that sense of this stuff dragging on and on and on, past the point of endurance. It really is scary.

You're not alone. And that's of your own doing, you're the one who's reached out to create your own support network. So many people fail to do that.

By the way, I think your writing skills are coming back. I know you thought that would never happen, but I'm seeing phrases pop up here and there nowadays in your writing that can only be your writing coming back to you. You may not be aware of this yourself, so I thought I'd better mention it.

Pyrs said...

I have a feeling that the weekend has been rough for you. Its 11:10pm here in Jerseyland. As the night progresses I know it can feel so strange, as if the entire world outside has gone missing.
B.T.W. I wanted you to know that I sang happy birthday to Holly cat today. It probably sound crazy, but I actually did. I doubt she heard me. Good thing too I guess.
Hang in there. I look forward to hearing about how you are doing.
Both of my cats are curled up next to me on the couch right now. THEY never have trouble sleeping!

Bruce Steven Dolin, Psy.D. said...

Another approach is to recognize that the black dog is, for some of us, an archetypal bringer of light. After wrestling with the beast, we eventually learn that we cannot beat it, but we can respect it, even love it, and ask it what it wants to teach us. Sometimes we learn that we have run from our power, and it has turned surly because we have misunderstood its role entirely.

Namaste, Bruce

Timothy said...

Can I participate?


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