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Churchill’s “black dog”, what to do when it starts to return?

Glen1981 Community member Posts: 18 Connected
Hi again Scope community

In am still struggling, on my second lot of group therapy now (this time with Apple A Day) and tonight I’ve started getting worse and thought I’d share and look for advice.

I don’t call it a black dog, for me I imagine a cold black hole deep in my stomach, freezing cold and empty, it gives me the shivers and takes all my happiness and energy and hope and pulls it out of my grasp.

It was there from my early teenage years right up to my grandads death 7 years ago, when I managed to use that grief to flip it, it became a warm star of light, hot and pouring all that love and energy into me, full of happy memories and reassurance. 

But tonight I even lost that. It was back, and it has been for a while. But I just noticed it there, cold and dark as ever, cold and hungry for all the positive thoughts in my head, all my dreams and hopes and plans. Tonight I saw it again.

Maybe it is a good thing, maybe when you can manifest your “black dog” you can deal with it. Or maybe it’s a bad sign and it’s just an old daily pain that is back to torment me.

I don’t know. 

But it has been over a year now of being at my worst, and it’s exhausting. 

It does feel like a turning point tonight though. So I’ll be thinking of that star and my grandad and all the happy things in my life and hoping that the black hole doesn’t eat it all up.

sleep well everyone, I know I will be trying to.

and thanks for sharing stories, I don’t post often but I do find reading posts helpful, and I hope this may help others who are feeling similar pain


  • Alex_Alumni
    Alex_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,562 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Glen1981 thank you so much for sharing with us. I'm glad to hear you feel you've reached a turning point. You talk about flipping your grief, I think that's an incredibly powerful thing, and I'm sure it will resonate with anyone going through something similar. 

    Dealing with your "black dog" must feel like an impossible challenge, but it's made easier with support, and by sharing stories, just as you say :)
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  • shadow66
    shadow66 Scope Member Posts: 28 Courageous
    Hi @Glen1981   I can relate. I call mine the 'darkness', because it is all consuming and wraps itself around me like an invisible cloak, pulling tighter and tighter until it's difficult to even breathe.

    I hope the happy memories of your Grandad got you through and you are starting to feel more positive again.

  • leeCal
    leeCal Community member Posts: 7,550 Disability Gamechanger
    Have you tried meditation when you feel this way?

    “This is my simple religion. No need for temples. No need for complicated philosophy. Your own mind, your own heart is the temple. Your philosophy is simple kindness.” 
    ― Dalai Lama XIV

  • Danielle_2022
    Danielle_2022 Community member Posts: 266 Pioneering
    Hi @Glen1981,
    I'm just seeing this and wanted to check in with how you're doing? Sharing stories is so powerful and I'm so glad that you felt like things were looking up, when you last posted here. On a personal note, when the "Big Sad" (as I call it) makes a particularly heavy appearance, I focus on recognising that this will happen sometimes. I'm not going to win every day -- and that's okay. It doesn't diminish any of the progress that I have made in getting to this point. Besides, there's always, always hope that tomorrow will be brighter. It's definitely worth sticking around to find out :)
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