I suffer from depression. Yes I'm that 1 in ten of the population who feel persistently sad for weeks or sometimes months. The affects are felt in many different ways. For me it ranges lasting feelings of sadness to losing interest in the things I used to enjoy (fishing and fly tying) and often feeling tearful. Physically, I feel constantly tired, I sleep badly and sometimes have no appetite, though to look at me you wouldn't have thought I've missed too many lunches.😀
When those who know me first become aware of my illness their initial feeling is one of disbelief and I'm not surprised. Professionally and socially I hid it well. Whether in self preservation or self denial I know not, but I played a bloody good Walter Mitty until one day my world came crashing down, the
details of which are not for this forum.
An extended period off work, weekly visits to a therapist quickly followed, and yes I can confirm it is
like the movies- there is a couch and I do lie on it and chew the fat. Nevertheless it is an important part of my recovery.
Of equal importance is The Caurnie Angling Club and the members within it and one ex member now living in St Andrews and this is the real point of my post. Like most clubs you become closer to some members than others. My closest friends (four in particular and I won't embarrass them by naming them but they know who they are) well, they knew something was wrong but were sensitive enough not to intrude or judge. Instead, they stayed in touch with an odd email here and a wee text there just letting me know I was in their thoughts and that despite my walking away from my club they valued My friendship. They didn't let go in the same way I deserted them. For this I am will be eternally grateful.
The upshot is I am well down the road to recovery, enough down the road to write such a revealing post. We all need our hobbies and the friendships that come out of them. I lost sight of that but thankfully my chums didn't and as a result my interest in this wonderful past time of ours has all but fully returned and with it the banter that I have missed so much. I'll finish by leaving you with this story. I think it's very apt in my case.
A guy is walking down the street and suddenly falls into a hole. It's a very deep hole with steep sides and he can't clamber out. The guy looks up and sees plenty of people passing but they don't stop. suddenly, while looking up, the guy sees his doctor and shouts him for help. The doctor stops, looks down and writes a prescription before dropping it down the hole and walking on. A few hours later the guy looks up and sees his minister walking by and he shouts him for help. The minister stops, looks down and prays for the guy before walking on. A few hours later the guy sees his friends
passing. They stop, look down and without the guy asking, all three jump into the hole. The guy says "what are you doing? Now all four of us are stuck down here". One of the friends says "relax, we're you friends. We've been down here before and we know the way out".