I have an invisible shadow following me. It’s in the shape of a dog. A black dog. 

No one can see it. Sometimes it stands guard at my front door not allowing me out. These days I stay home. 

Sometimes it’s at my bedroom door, but I must push past it as I have four boys who need me. When what I really want to do is stay under those covers and sleep. 

It’s a strange thing, depression. One moment you’re feeling positive and happy. The ‘normal’ version of you. Then out of the blue you’re cranky, teary, couldn’t give a damn. 

We are having a joint first and fourth birthday for sons number three and four. Normally I’d be excited to get the party ready, plan a cake, party games etc. 

But this time it’s going to take a lot of effort to find the excitement. I just don’t care. The black dog is holding my excitement and joy captive. This isn’t me. It’s not good. 

I’m normally a happy, positive, social being. I need people around me. 

But when the black dog is following me, I’m the opposite. I want to shut myself away until I’m feeling better. 

People cope with depression in different ways. Their symptoms are different too. It’s not nice but it is what it is. 

Home is my safety. The sunshine is my energy. The ocean grounds me. And I’m sure I’ll be needing my tribe around me soon enough. 

People don’t talk about depression and anxiety. I’m not sure why. Many many people suffer from it and there should be no shame in it. You’re not weak. It’s not your fault. It’s an imbalance in your brain causing you to feel crap. 

I’m happy to talk about it. Bring it out in the open. I’m a strong, intelligent woman who sometimes suffered from this. Big deal. 

If you judge me or hold this against me, the you’re very welcome to bugger off. 

I’m sitting in the sun trying to warm my bones. If anyone wants to chat about this, you know where to find me.