It's time to come clean. This winter has been a tough one emotionally. It's not been all home cooking, veggie beds, crochet and fun stuff.
Oh no - this year I've been lucky enough to have been hosting the 'Black Dog'.
Personally I don't see depression as a Black Dog; but more as fog....
.....a grey, featureless blanket that surrounds you, shutting out all colour, life, scent and sound.
A fog that sucks out happiness and energy and leaves you feeling flat and emotionless; incapable doing the very things that usually bring you joy.
It weighs you down making it almost impossible to get out of bed in the morning and leaves you sitting on the sofa when you'd normally be up and about making soap, laundry liquid, sorting seeds or baking.
It muffles the sounds of caring concern and love from your nearest and dearest and leaves your heart encased in ice unable to feel the most basic of emotions.
It has you sitting there staring into space for hours, a blank cipher of a human being; alive but not really living.
I'm lucky. I've had a rock named Jean-Luc to lean on; someone who's hugged me and made me cups of tea; who's held me when the tears came; who told me he loved me when I couldn't get out of bed; who rejoiced with me on the good days; who was patient beyond belief and who sat down and listened when I was finally able to articulate what I was feeling; who was there for me.
Thankfully I think I'm coming out the other side. The fog returns sometimes but these days there are more days of sunshine than not. I'm lucky because there was a physical reason for my depression - so much easier for me to come to terms with and work with.
Why am I telling you all this?
Because mental and emotional ill health is still taboo; because it is so easy to put on a mask and pretend everything is ok when you're falling apart inside.
Because I don't think it should be this way.
The link below is a wonderful cartoon from the World Health Organisation.