In Indian paddy-fields, there are harvesting people wearing face masks on the back of their heads. The belief being that the neighbourhood tiger won’t attack if they believe the farmers are looking at them. For the tiger is a predator who would prefer to creep up when it’s prey least expects it; sinking it’s teeth deep into the victims flesh so there can be no escape.
Unfortunately, there are no face masks that will fend off the predatory beast that is depression.
Like the tiger, depression hunts by stealth; creeping up on you when you least expect it. Sometimes there are triggers, events in life that can start that familiar downward spiral, but all too often – for me at least – there is no real explanation.
Which is what happened this week.
I know not why, at all. Only that I was crying, curled up in my room, wondering whether it was worth carrying on. This was last Wednesday evening.
For me, this isn’t new territory. I’ve been here before, though I had thought I had conquered these demons, apparently I have not. Fortunately, I was able to make a phone call to Samaritans who are wonderful people and, with their help, have dragged myself through they last few days.
Without pretending that I’m now okay, because I’m certainly not that, I’m a million times better now than I was three days ago. I’m back on a higher dose of anti-depressants and taking a bit of time for myself; both of which seem to be helping.
More than a few people had warned me that recovering from mental illness would be a tough journey, and not without its challenges. I knew that there would likely be setbacks along the way. I did not, though, quite appreciate how, like a tiger, they would attack me out of the darkness, out of the night, with no warning.