The Black Dog and The Big Steaming Pile of Shit.


This ramble had intended to be a very deep and serious soul bearing skin cringing discussion on depression and mental illness/ill health whatever the correct terminology is these days. I can’t keep up with it all. However as with most things in my life I got distracted. I watched a bit of music on YouTube, which led me to Christopher Hitchens which in turn led me to George Carlin and somewhere in the middle of all that I’ve been dipping in and out of ‘The Book of Human Skin’ by Michelle Louvric (a good read by the way if you like sadomasochism, melodrama and history).  So I’m probably in a very strange place emotionally and psychologically. I am an over thinker. There I said it. I obsess, I replay scenarios in my head, and I ponder on ‘what if’ like some sort of Dungeons and Dragons game; if this happens then that will happen, roll dice to attack dragon, what do you mean the dragon is in my head?  See, I’m easily distracted.

So I pondered on depression for a while. I don’t mean the down days, or the I feel fat days, or life isn’t giving me what I think I’m entitled to days. I mean depression. My Mum reliably informs me that Winston Churchill referred to his depression as ‘the black dog’. I should research my sources better, but she’s my Mum so suck it up buttercup, this isn’t an academic paper.  Well Mr Churchill all I can say is bollocks. The only black dog in my life is young Master Fred the shifty little stray from Antigua. I like to think of my own depression as a big old sack of shit that I carry around with me every day. On the days that the wind blows in the wrong direction the stench from it is over powering, exhausting, it saps the very life force from my body and crushes me under its weight.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not looking for pity, please spare me your pity. I am just telling you what depression is to me. I could bore you with tales of feeling like a cuckoo chick in life but I won’t. I should imagine most people feel like that; it’s the sucky side of being a sentient being endowed with the capacity for self-reflection.  Anyway, I have depression; I live with it, for the most part cope with it, recognise when the wind has changed direction and prepare for the stench to hit.

The sack of shit also might explain my intense emotional reactions to things. On the days and sometimes weeks that the stench descends I feel nothing, so during the times that I smell only sweetness I revel in emotions. There are several fellow dog walkers who can testify to this. Only yesterday when walking the dogs I was listening to George Carlin’s ‘When Will Jesus Bring The Pork Chops?’ and I was struck by his diatribe on why women are crazy (because men are stupid, seriously read it, listen to it whatever but everyone should experience his logic before they die, even if you don’t agree at least open your mind to the possibility of another point of view) and I let out a huge raucous tree shaking laugh, much to the shock of 2 people coming towards me! I scared the crap out of the dogs as well. Holly gave me a withering glance and Fred went into ninja mode which he does when he’s confused/worried/hungry/happy/awake.

I think my intensity and blistering extremes frighten the hell out of some people. I wouldn’t like to try and understand me, and I am me.  My husband is pretty much the only person who has come close to understanding me and at least he’s accepting of the full Trish; although there was fear in his voice on the day I phoned him to ask if we have an axe.

Someone, I don’t remember who suggested I might like to go to church and do the whole Christianity thing and all my mental ills would vanish because God can cure that. Well, I don’t have God or Gods or Goddesses or any sort of Deities in my life. Maybe if I did I’d not have the sack of shit and that post colonial western white version of God would lift this sack of shit from my shoulders and release me from all my ills?  To be honest with you a lot of religious people come across as clinically insane anyway so I’ll err on the side of no spaghetti monsters in the sky thank you very much. Its tough enough living with the stench let alone adding guilt, sin, feeling bad for having a wank because you think some god is watching you (fucking pervert, why would a god care about self-pleasuring anyway. Giving humans the equipment for pleasure and telling them not to use it just plain cruel.)

So no I don’t subscribe to the glow of faith being a great healer. I’ll stand alongside all the other non-believers in the world, proudly and defend my right to be so.

And guess what? If my lack of faith offends you…..FUCK OFF.

Oh and Fred is doing just fine.


2 thoughts on “The Black Dog and The Big Steaming Pile of Shit.

  1. Excellent piece! There are lots of versions of the Black Dog and the bag of shit….. I think we all have our own versions. Some peoples are bigger than others. Great writing though!


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