There is a very old joke about a guy going down to an operating Theatre, just before he is handed over to the Anaesthetist, he asks the Doctor if he will be able to play the violin after the operation. “Of course” replies the Doctor. The man smiles and replies “That’s bloody marvellous because I can’t play it now.”

This is relevant because this week I discovered how pervasive and debilitating a rapid onset of depression can be. It doesn’t just stop me playing the Violin, it stops me doing everything…

On Monday, I was feeling a little bleak, this is not unusual given that it was around the time my Hormone Treatment switches over, and the  reverse Progesterone cycle (don’t ask its complicated)  kicks in. This often hits me quite hard, and results in a big emotional drop. But this week, there was an added bonus. Out of nowhere came a simply enormous low that took me off my feet, both literally and figuratively.

By the middle of the week with the  added complications of some low level conflict factored in, I was completely  finished. Pushing a fully loaded Ural, with a flat tyre was easy in comparison to the effort needed to make the tiniest step forwards.  Giving up was uppermost in my mind…

Depression is a Vacuum cleaner for the troubled mind, it sucks up anything in its path, Motivation is the first thing to go, followed by Energy and Passion. By the time, the five thousand Watt Hoover of Depression has done its work, nothing is left. Nothing !

Complete Emptiness maybe a difficult concept to imagine but it is absolutely what it feels like. But please understand , this is not a harmless, peaceful empty space. This void is as destructive as it is cavernous. I’ve lived in that space before and the damage it does is real. Relationships, feelings, sacred possessions, anything and everything is at risk, because in that vast expanse of darkness, nothing is important because there is only the darkness.

With my hormones settling down, and after catching up on some large chunks of missed sleep, I’ve made progress. A couple of conversations have really helped  pull me back from the brink, and I am incredibly grateful to those people <3

I’m incredibly grateful because this evening I was able to discover that I still can’t play the Violin, but that’s fine. Because at least I tried.

Thank You.