Beating the Black Dog
(with a big stick)
Our friend and fantastic Darwin Ride Coordinator Andrew Prescott shares with us his life with the black dog of depression, and how his loved ones helped him beat it's last attack.
Andrew's experience of turning the lowest point of his life into an opportunity for awareness is an inspiring example of how awareness can empower people amidst the struggle against the black dog of depression.
In his own words:
"I was recently thinking about the circumstances that led to my getting involved with BDR and wanted to share some of the thoughts with others.
"Generally my black dog is pretty well behaved and as long as he gets his medication he is reasonably easy to deal with. But every now and again he tricks me into thinking everything is ok and medication is no longer needed. At the end of last year this is exactly what happened and unfortunately the inevitable crash was not far behind. The dark hole I descended into was the deepest I have ever experienced as the black dog had me well and truly by the throat.
"But my story is not about the despair but the silver lining of what was a very very dark cloud. I have three wonderful sons and whilst they all have their own lives to live they rallied around me and supported me through this period. They stayed with me at home on the weekends to make sure I was ok. They came to my business and brought lunch for me to make sure I was eating properly. They gave me strength to push on and even shared a joke or two lifting my spirits.
"Openly crying in front of my adult sons is not something I make a habit of but during this period they saw their father at his worst but were not embarrassed. Although the black dog had a bloody good hold on me the love and support from my wife and my three sons beat him off with a big stick.
Above, Andrew in the NT News during the Inaugural Black Dog Ride National 1 Day Ride for Lifeline
"As I started to see things a lot better I took the opportunity to discuss this with each of my boys individually and encouraged them to seek help if they ever felt continuously down or like hurting themselves. I also used my situation as a real life example of how depression and its effects can be dealt with if help is sought.
"From what was without doubt the lowest point in my 51 years so far came a brilliant opportunity to help make sure my boys don't ever have to go what I go through.
"For me this is the very essence of what the Black Dog Ride is all about and so it was a very easy decision to get involved with such a wonderful cause and group of people."
Thank you Andrew for your courageous honesty.
Please leave your message of support or feedback about Andrew's journey here.