IT’S A PLEASURE today to welcome John Swallow, one of my former parishioners, to the WordPress blogosphere. John – one of the nicest blokes one could meet – suffers with depression, but – being the man he is – that’s not the end of the story. Determined to try to help fellow sufferers and their families and friends, especially in the area of communicating with others “out of the depths” as it were, John wrote a book, Depression: the already drowning Man.
The book – “Depression: The already drowning Man” explains the author’s experience with depression and how he developed a method to self-analyse how he felt in such a way that he could put a number to it and describe to himself and others which were his worst feelings. That enabled him to discuss his feelings with family and friends and together they were able to work together to help him improve how he felt.
Very quickly 100 very positive reviews became 200 and then 300. It has become apparent that many, many sufferers are being helped themselves, and – to John’s delight – the book seems to have opened previously closed gates to the families and friends of such sufferers:
I couldn’t stop crying when I read the book. I understand now why my late Mother behaved the way she did towards me. She probably didn’t hate me after all. She may even have loved me but wasn’t able to show it. I wish I’d known while she was still alive.
She suffered with depression for many years and, while I was growing up after my father left us, she became unbearable. She never seemed to want to do anything with me or spend any time with me. She was totally unresponsive and mean. Now I can understand why. Sadly she died about 4 years ago. I wish I had been given the chance to talk to her in ways she could have perhaps understood and have got to know her better.
I’m personally thrilled that this costly enterprise for John (it takes a lot of courage for any of us to own up to the fragilities in our lives) is showing signs of bearing such tremendous fruit. I hope that Swallow’s Flight may lead many more to a higher soaring – to that freedom of swallows that John’s book seems to have enabled for hundreds already, something to be warmly welcomed, as John says, in the life of a depression sufferer, even if only a moment or two’s respite.