Tuesday, October 5, 2010



I thought I could smell something strange, unhealthy, foreboding. I've smelled that smell before. Like something rotting in a wooden basement — maybe even the basement itself.

Now I can see him. He's lying there. Right in front of me. On the carpet. Big, and shaggy; unkept, filthy. Like a very over-sized wolf, but far more muscular.

His nails are like serrated knives. His teeth are like ice picks. Long and sharp are his claws and teeth. And ready. Ready for me.

Now is NOT the time for this sort of battle. I'm already tired. Very tired. So, so very tired. I don't have the energy for this fight.

He starts to slink around, moving this way and that. Circling around me. I back myself into a corner, for protection. But I know that won't work. He can come right through the walls and get me. Get me from any angle. Get me anywhere I stand, or sit, or lie, or climb.

So now it begins. The way it always does. I have to keep circling, keep my eyes on him. He fakes an attack, then falls back. He does it again. And again. And keeps circling. He's trying to wear me out. He is succeeding.

Sadie cannot see him. She cannot sense him in any way. She wonders at my behaviour. I call her to come to me. But there's something different in my voice. She stands motionless, confused. She cannot help me now.

Aaaaaahhh! He's got me. He's taken the first chunk out of me. I feel the deep, throbbing pain; I see the blood. No one else can see or feel any of this. Just me. While I was focused briefly on Sadie, the other Black Dog got me. Got me good.

But he's not really eating my leg, that other Black Dog. He's eating my heart, and my soul. Little by little, hour by hour, he keeps at me. I get weaker, more confused, less steady.

I do not know what to make of this. Why is he here? Why now? Why, when I could be doing so many things — interesting things, good things?

Slowly I shrink in his presence, as he chews the life out of me — bit, by bit, by bit.

Will this be the time he finally does me in?

I hope not! I hope not! I really, really hope not!


The Bipolar Diva said...

I just wrote last night on my other blog about the black dog coming after me. I'm not sure yet who'll win.

The Bipolar Diva said...

Gee, I keep re-reading your post. It's almost exactly the same as mine. Same feelings, same creepy, ugly dog and the victor is unknown in both.

Natalie said...

Bearet! Thoughts precede the feelings! Please tell yourself that you are good.
You are a lovely bear, you are a lovely bear,you are a lovely bear,you are a lovely bear, you are a lovely bear.
If you feel that you have not been a lovely bear, please forgive yourself because you ARE a lovely bear.

Unknown said...

Oh Rob, what a metaphor for depression this is. So sorry the black dog broke thru your barriar but it's temporary, his hold on you will lessen over time.

French Fancy... said...

I am sincerely sorry to read this, Rob. Here's hoping the black dog does not hang around too long - sorry I've not been here much, it's difficult atm. But hang on in there my friend.

Sniffles and Smiles said...

This is incredibly powerful, dear Rob...you are creating such beauty from your pain...hang onto that...you are a brilliant writer...and you touch hearts with every word you pen!! Sending ENORMOUS bear hugs your way, Janine

Annie said...

Just sending you a keep you safe hug.
A x

Jackie said...

A hug from Jackie to you, Rob...

Nancy said...

Don't let him win. You are stronger than you think.

potsoc said...

Remember dogs react to our own fear of them. Show him you are not afraid and he will back off.
I know, easier said than done...but don't give up.
Remember Corneille: "À vaincre sans péril, on triomphe sans gloire".

Anonymous said...

Methinks you're trying too hard to put a melodramatic spin on what you are suffering so that it "reads well".

You're IN THE DUMPS. Ain't no black dog and ain't no sharp teeth.

You are suffering. It is horrid. And when we're down, we're DOWN.

Bad enough, that alone.

Was it Churchill that coined his depression as the black dog?

Amanda Summer said...

i've been told - and you've heard this before i'm sure bear - that depression is anger inverted. it sounds like your black dog is a voice begging to be heard, if only he knew how to express himself.

does this make any sense?

i am sending love and hugs to you, dear bear, and wishes that tomorrow is a better day♡

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

Bear, I am back checking on you again and sending some hugs your way. Come and visit when you like.

cheshire wife said...

Keep going. I am sure that you can beat him!


Sniffles and Smiles said...

Just checking in on my dear brother bear!!!! Sending big hugs and prayers your way ~ Janine

RachelW said...

Sounds like it's time to throw him a bone, a big bloody one, then slam the door on him. This is such a powerful analogy. I've never experienced such a vicious depression, only the insidious, sneaky kind that gets in like the damp.

RachelW said...

Oh, and a big bear hug for you, too. xo

Gutsy Living said...

We all want you to fight the dog and come out of hibernation. Warm hugs.

Tess Kincaid said...

I hate that nasty dog. Hope he's scampered off by now. Have missed you since the ball.

Rob-bear said...

Thanks so much friends for your kind and supportive notes.

Normally, I try to reply individually to comments. But I'm maintaining minimal internet connection for the time being. I'm looking after my daughter's home and dogs while she is on holidays, thought I get home to see my wife and dog each day. My main concern at this point is to rest up. Think of Bear lying in an alpine meadow and watching the change of seasons. That's more like it!

I expect to be back to blogging in a week.

Jean said...

So sorry to hear that you are under the weather. Let's hope that this is a short episode and the black dog shuffles off whence he came very soon.

Sniffles and Smiles said...

So glad you are okay, and getting rest!!! You're in my thoughts!!! ~J.

CAMILLA said...

Since I have last heard from you on our owl post Bear, I am so pleased that you are recovering from black dog. You are such a kind Bear and want you to know that we are here for you.

Best Wishes from the Owl.!