The Black Dog

That impending sense of doom. That feeling that everything you have done so far was for nothing and hoping sooner rather than later the world would stop spinning so you can get off. As dark and dreary as this feeling can be, I have to admit I’ve always kind of enjoyed it. You’re probably thinking what a dark and depressing thing to say. You’re right, of that I’m sure. That doesn’t change my opinion. I’ve always quite liked it.

Imagine you’re sitting on a back porch on a cold winter night. You’re bundled up decently but it’s below freezing. The wind is howling, not giving your shivering body a moments rest to warm up. You sit staring up at the night sky. There’s not a cloud in sight, and you can see every star and constellation. You realize then and there that you’ll never travel those stars. Your children probably won’t either. That speck is more significant than you’ll ever be. The wind dies down and your shivering, but you don’t notice. Your eyes are transfixed on those bright dots above you. The lull ends, and now the wind blows so hard it nearly knocks you down. Still, you don’t notice because the only thing that has your attention is the constellations you can see. Somehow that dark feeling starts to fade. You go numb to every sensation and a moment of pure clarity hits you like a shockwave. You see now that you must not get off the merry go round of life just yet. You need to do something more. You don’t know what but you can feel it deep in your bones. There has to be something more for you. Someplace you must see, something you must do or someone you have to meet. You don’t know the rhyme or the reason behind it, but you don’t need to. Peace washes over you as you start to shiver. Suddenly you see your breath freezing in front of your face. You can feel yourself tremble now, and the cold finally hits you. You’re back in your body and not knowing how long you’ve been shaking decide to go inside and have a glass of something warm before you tuck yourself into bed. As you walk inside and start to close the door, you take one more look up at the stars and give a halfhearted smirk and say to yourself,

“Now what was I thinking?”

That’s the beauty and the misery of the black dog. It can jump on your back and wrestle you to the ground. Then it will sit on your chest and make you stare into its dark eyes as it mocks you and questions you without end. However, once you look away, even for an instant, its spell is broken but it reminds you of who you really are and what you’re capable of. Every time it knocks you down it stays a little longer and feels a little heavier and every time you get up, it takes that damn dog a little longer to catch you and longer still to catch you off guard so he can jump you. But because he keeps trying so do you and that’s what reminds you how high you can go, because you already know how low you’ve been. Keep fighting that dreary bastard.


Play the game for more than you can afford to lose…only then will you learn the game.

– Sir Winston Churchill

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