Land ahoy!Posted: May 15, 2012
I wasn’t really planning to write a blog post tonight. Nor was I going to write about depression for a while, in case it came to define me. Blimey, could it be that I’m being spontaneous? Weird…
Anyway, I was actually online entering Dippyman in the Mind Media Awards in a wild act of optimism. Optimistic and spontaneous in one night? Is this really me? And in doing so, I looked back at some of the amazing, supportive, encouraging, moving and inspiring – not to mention humbling - comments so many brilliant people have left on this blog. Award entry or not, the support everyone has given me since I first wrote about my experiences of depression last September has made me feel like a winner. THANK YOU.
It’s OK, I’m not going to start singing ‘The Wind Beneath My Wings’, but I am going to liken your support to wind in a different way. Not the sort of wind that would make my children snigger, but a strong wind that blows into the sails of a little boat and guides it home from a rough voyage at sea.
My little boat has found itself drifting into troubled waters a couple of times, including a particularly stormy episode last autumn when, in the midst of a good battering from hurricane-force stress and giant tidal waves of self-doubt, the wicked Pirate Brookes leapt aboard to taunt me. It felt like he had maliciously guided me into some kind of Bermuda Triangle and taken over the steering. Now, if you haven’t read my blog before, let me just fill you in on who Brookes is. He is my evil alter-ego – the name I give to my depression. His mischief is well documented elsewhere on Dippyman.
Singing his miserable, tuneless sea shanties straight into my ear hole, Pirate Brookes rocked my boat and my brain until I was well and truly sick, and plunged the good ship Brook into a thick sea fog – like the one in the horror film The Fog, from which ghoulish figures emerge.
But, thanks to the support and kindness of my wonderful wife and family, my friends and colleagues, and the many of you who I’ve never met, the tide has begun to turn. The mist is lifting, the water is calmer, turning from grey to blue, and there is land ahead. The voyage isn’t over, but Pirate Brookes is losing his grip on my rudder, so to speak, and I am inviting him to walk the plank, never to return.
I haven’t reached my Promised Land yet, but I am hopeful that I will, and that it will be flowing with milk and honey. And maybe a cool beer. If your boat is still lurching about on the high seas, and the pirates have hijacked it, hold firm and set your course for the coast. We will be the winners in this swashbuckling adventure, and the riches shall be ours, me hearties.