Some years ago I heard a talk given by the late Lord Tonypandy, George Thomas, that was moving, thought-provoking and inspiring at the same time. I guess that’s how good you get when you have been Speaker of the House of Commons. The subject was, “Watershed Days”. Those days or times when things change, anything can change, in your life, that is clearly a watershed point. There is often more than one during your lifetime – and more often than not you know when they’ve happened.
It could be that “ love at first sight” moment when you meet the love of your life and go on to live happily ever after together. Or a political epiphany. Perhaps a charitable one.
This week has been a hard week but we’re through it, nearly. It began when the trip to the docs on Monday proved that my brain tumour was benign. Ok, only joking, I had a new mole behind my left ear that was causing me some gip and I wanted a medical opinion because I couldn’t see it. Didn’t mean to scare ya.
But on Tuesday, someone I know and love, spent the day in bed ill. In a darkened room, hardly any food or drink, just sleeping and occasionally reading a magazine. Over the years I have, through hardened experience, learnt to notice the early signs, and handle them, of the descending depression. I knew what was coming.
Wednesday was when the crashdown happened. The weighted yoke sank across the shoulders and the force field that beats away Reason and Love went up. When this happens – we both get scared. But we know that.
Thursday and we made it a shorter day. The yoke still weighed heavy but we stood a little taller though the effort of doing that will hurt for a while. The force field has lifted but we remain vigilant. We know the way to keep it out is to be mindful of our limitations but strengthened in our love and respect, and to keep away those people and things that can bring the force field down again. At least as best we can.
Today, is Friday and we step forward hour by hour, minute by minute, dodging the traps, aiming to get through. I can’t be there all the time. I have to trust that the snares and mantraps can be avoided until I can be.
Clinical depression is a physiological reaction in the brain. It has it’s triggers and it’s mysteries. No-one chooses to live like this and suffering from it is not now as stigmatised or derided as it once was. Only the ignorant now say “ Pull yourself together” . I’m one of the lucky ones. I don’t suffer such bouts. But my friend does and it took me years to really understand. I too, was once ignorant. Now I hang in there – we hang in there together.
For our relationship it has been another watershed few days and life will go on. Watershed decisions have been taken. We will climb the up-curve until we have re-set the course and everyone will carry on. And just before it gets too comfortable we will search again for invaders on the horizon.