I decided to spend the weekend at home. I love being at home but one problem I always have is the fact that being home muddles up my sleeping pattern. Both my Mum and sister are early risers… I mean really early risers. They both have an ability to be awake and fully functioning early in the morning. Something I develop an adversity to whilst being back in York. Not only are they able to be awake, cheery and fun; but they also have a habit of having conversations that tend to wake me up!! They know I still love them despite this irritating habit. Due to their earlybird nature, they also both go to bed early in order to be able to wake up early. Again this is something that isn’t rather compatible with student timings. Whilst at home I quickly slip into the early-to-bed early-to-rise routine and therefore return to York with a bit of a wonky sleeping pattern; aiming to stay awake later with my housemates but undoubtedly waking up early as my body wants me to be awake as per Suffolk-time. The result of this is usually a week of being rather sleepy and grumpy!!
Today I was wide awake just before 6am, determined to get back to sleep and be victorious over my body clock… however this was not to be so… and I find myself wide awake at 7am having been so for over an hour… HUMPH! Clearly today will feel long…
Anyway… this is just the background to today’s entry. During my hour of attempting to get back to sleep… browsing on Etsy on my phone (the fact I had yet to open my laptop at this stage demonstrated my determination to remain asleep… my phone clearly doesn’t count!); I came across the inspiration for a blog. Now for me to have such a strong blogging idea is something rather unusual. I am definitely developing the view that writing is very cathartic and therapeutic; something I am keen to do and enjoy a great deal. However, often strong inspiration takes it’s sweet time coming to me. So… alas today was a unique experience of morning inspiration.
So my idea for today… now that it’s had one heck of a build up and will undoubtedly now end up sounding like a bit of an anticlimax… HA! Basically I was thinking about mental health problems, as you do, and was thinking of a way to try and describe the constant battle an individual who has them faces each and everyday to someone who perhaps hasn’t had this kind of experience. The idea that came to be as I attempted to doze was that of two dogs who were forced to be together who didn’t get along. Now bear with me… there is solid 6am reasoning behind this of course!!
Imagine the scene. There are two dogs out on a walk who are on one of those funky double leads. They have something they are both trying to do (go on a walk) which represents someone with mental health problems trying to kind of get along and through each day. So…. these two dogs… one represents the person (let’s go for the little dog) and the other represents the mental health issue (let’s go for the black dog for depression symbolism too…. wooo check out all this symbolic-ness!). Check out funky diagram!
So… these two pooches are pretty excited to be on their walk… the trouble is they don’t get along at all. There are the obvious issues that they each have different length legs, so one walks faster than the other which is irritating for both or them. Also the black dog doesn’t really feel like walking after all and wants to go in a different direction and stop to sniff different things along the way. Basically the two of them aren’t really compatible, but they can go for little periods where they can get along on and make compromises for each other and manage their walk. They’re not happy about it… but they manage to do it with some kind of normality. Apart from anything… whilst not really getting along, they have to remain about 2 feet away from each other at all times. They’re together if one of them needs to take a dump, or stop for a drink or even while one of them takes a moment to sniff another dog’s backside. They are forced to share all of these experiences together. Obviously at points it all gets too much for them and conflict erupts. If you’ve ever seen two dogs having a spat who are forced to be in such close proximity… it’s a bit messy and violent.
So what am I trying to get at? For someone with a mental health issue…. and I really feel this analogy works for a whole host of mental health problems… there is a constant battle with the individuals own form of ‘black dog’. There’s something there beside them or within them that constantly makes things difficult for them whilst trying to do everyday things, whether these are mundane things or something a little more unusual. Rather like the dogs on the lead, often it’s possible to muddle through or carry on as normal as possible, but the mental health problem is always there in the background. I think however there’s a certain sense of empowerment about this. The mental health problem is close and part of the person but it can be temporary… the dogs don’t have to be on their shared lead forever… the mental health problem can be moved further and further away until it has less of an impact (through different coping mechanisms and self development) or it can be separated from the person entirely.
I wonder if this little analogy will seem a bit pants later on today. But right now I like it and I’m going to run with it. Perhaps now I’ve written it down I might be able to have a snooze for an hour or so before accepting defeat and properly waking up. On the subject of therapeutic things, it’s raining. The sound of rain is one of the most relaxing things ever for me. In terms of my analogy… my own personal black dog gets soaked when there’s rain and left outside in a puddle! I love the sound of rain on the rooftops or on a window. Back home in Suffolk I have a sky light above my bed which amplifies the sound and acts as the best relaxation soundtrack ever. I guess I’m not as huge a rain fan if I have to go out in it and get soggy, it was a real pet hate when I used to do all of my horsey things. Wet, muddy rugs are the worst and tend to get you drenched and filthy as soon as you touch them… but when I know I can spend a good majority of the day inside watching the weather and having a play with my new little vintage jewellery shop
… it’s just bliss!
Anyway… I’m going to stop there. I hope you have gained some insight or enjoyment from the ramblings of someone who is clearly not properly awake/totally insane.