Another of the wonderful illustrations taken from Matthew Johnstone's book 'Living With A Black Dog'.?

. . . long time, no post . . .

It seems like a long time since I posted anything on my blog, for which to anyone out there who have followed what I have written in the past, I apologise profusely for what may seem a lack of commitment on my behalf. As I mentioned in my last post, it is my intention to alter tack completely about the subject-matter that I decide to write about. As much as I love all things related to human and robotic space exploration, I have come to realise that this is not the case for most of you out there.

With that thought in mind, I fully intended to widen my net about the subjects I wished to comment and write upon and had drawn up a mental checklist of likely candidates. However, as you may have guessed by the image that I have decided to place at the beginning of this article, an old friend had decided to re-visit and as such his visitation has impaired upon my ability to really concentrate on the most mundane of everyday tasks, let alone to think coherently about submitting quality writing for a post.

As those of you who know me already realise, I suffer from clinical depression and as hard as I try to suppress it by taking my medication, I am not always successful in my attempts to break free from its suffocating influence upon my daily life. On occasions such as this, I find it helpful to try to personalise my illness. Hence the ‘Black Dog’ analogy.

A few years back I came across a marvelous book entitled ‘Living With A Black Dog’ by a talented illustrator named Matthew Johnstone. Like me, Matthew suffers from depression and because of his chosen profession, decided to personalise its malevolent presence in his life by picking-up on the experiences of a well-known fellow sufferer, Sir Winston Churchill. For those of you who didn’t know, Sir Winston Churchill suffered with depression all of his life and in an effort to explain to those around him how he felt during in one of these episodes, used the analogy that ‘Black Dog’ had come to sit with him.

'Living With A Black Dog'

Mathew picked up on this analogy that Churchill used to describe his recurring bouts of depression and harnessing his graphic artist skills, decided to create a series of books depicting ‘Black Dog’ as a character and how he affects the daily life of a sufferer. I have to confess that I am eternally grateful to Matthew for him deciding to portray ‘Black Dog’ as a character in his poignant and touching books. His words and drawings are truly touching and in my opinion, capture how depression truly feels. By personalising the depression as ‘Black Dog’ it enables you to imagine the grayness and physical pressure that you feel when it envelopes and isolates you from the world and those others who you struggle to interact with.

So there you have it. I have tried my best to explain to anyone out there who is reading this post, why I have struggled of late to post anything meaningful to my blog. I fully intend to do so in the future but now, am not in the right place both mentally and physically to do so. As soon as this episode decides to release me from its dark grasp, I am sure that I will have the mental agility and desire to rejoin the world of the living and find the enthusiasm to explore those new topics of interest that I wish to write about.

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