Banishing the Black Dog
I’ve been out in the garden this morning to dutifully take some photographs for tomorrow’s End of Month View. Whilst it is blowing a gale this hasn’t normally thwarted my enthusiasm in the past so to feel that I had to make myself go out added to my general feeling of melancholy at the moment. The photographs I started to take really reflect how I find myself increasingly seeing the world. However, and there is a big however self-realisation is a powerful tool against depression and melancholia. I am well aware of my tendency to let the black dog through the door and I generally recognise the signs of it creeping up on me but this only works when you have had time to think clearly and this luxury has been in short supply lately.
My current struggle is more of a struggle with a complete lack of self-belief and confidence. I have never been a confident person and find myself time and again deferring to others and then being irritated with myself. I have been through phases of having to work hard to deal with this and find ways of working through it. On a normal day to day basis it doesn’t cause me too many problems and I manage it OK but over the last year work in particular has been incredibly challenging and over recent weeks it has got the better of me and my demons have found cracks to sneak through and play havoc. I hate feeling as I have felt recently. I have had to battle with not bursting into tears in front of work colleagues, I have felt vulnerable, I have found myself physically grieving for part of my former role as it was my security blanket.
BUT I am lucky as I work in an environment where others seem to see something in me which I can’t see. They have given me the opportunity to step up and take on significantly more responsibility and challenges not because they want to test me or catch me out but because they believe I am very capable. I have been told by the big boss that they want to give me a chance to flourish, I have been told by the nearly big boss that I have been growing over the last few months since the box I was trapped in was opened, and that I underestimate the high regard my colleagues hold me in. I have had a pep talk from the biggest boss about pushing out of my comfort zone, through my learning zone, and reducing my panic zone. I know it sounds all gobbledygook but the diagram he drew to explain made real sense. Every one, it seems, believes in me apart from me.
While I have been busy over the past 6 months dealing with the transitions, covering essentially 3 roles until a few weeks ago, and wondering what on earth the answer is to countless questions I have also been unconsciously putting up my self-protective barriers. I have always done this at time of stress and unease. I’m a natural loner, a real introvert, and I retreat even further when I feel threatened or vulnerable and I realise now that this is what is really behind my withdrawal from social media, first Twitter, then Facebook and latterly my blog. Perversely due to my struggle to find anything in the garden to blog about, mainly I think because of my depression, I tried to find other inspiration which led to the attempt to do the blogging challenge which in blogging terms pushed me over the top!!
Yesterday, I went to the HPS group and was cross with myself, yet again, for not joining in the group discussion about a plant I grow which few do. Mr Brown told me off, nicely, but he is right. So it’s up to me now. I have to pull myself together and start believing in my abilities and stop worrying that I will make a mistake, or look stupid, or upset someone.
Last night I went back on Twitter, very hesitantly as it can be a challenging place for someone of a fragile nature, but I was welcomed back and had a good chat with a fellow plant nut, something I missed. This morning in the garden after seeing the decaying roses and leaves I started to notice the new growth including the bulb above, which might be a Scilla autumnalis, and today I have written this post. I have written it to tell myself off, to rationalise the emotional maze I am stumbling through at the moment and to try to make myself move forward. Readers of this blog have always been incredibly supportive and I am not looking for more support or crying out for help – as I have said above I am not short of that both at home and work. I suppose I am just throwing down a marker to myself that I need to move forward now.