... The Monkey
I have an image of my illness as a monkey. Not a cute little fur ball of fun, but a devious, clever and tenacious monkey (who happens to talk as well). This image came to me when I used to get home, open the door and “wham” a feeling of dread and hopelessness would drop from the door jamb and land on the back of my neck. It was an empty home and as I entered, feelings of despair and darkness seemed to wreath about me. In this emptiness the whispered thoughts of how difficult it would be to get through the night crept into my mind. It was too much to bear. Within seconds I changed from happy and safe into lonely and scared. Clearly, there was an invisible talking monkey waiting to drop on my shoulder when I got home.
This might seem strange, but it helps me to understand my thoughts if I put pictures in place to represent ideas. A more clinical view would be that I have an addiction that triggers a subconscious craving, but I find the image of a monkey trying to trick me into feeding it to be easier to imagine and resist.