I Had A Black Dog
Written and Illustrated by Matthew Johnstone
I Had a Black Dog was my first book published in Australia in 2005. I like to think of it as an uplifting illustrated book on what it is to have depression. The idea for the book was scribbled shortly after the tragic event of 9/11, while living in New York. I didn’t wake up on Sept 12th and think ‘I’m going to change my life!’ it was more a period of osmosis. I realised that life is intrinsically short and that I’d been doing life, not living it due to having a significant unwanted companion trotting along beside me. Depression had been in and out of my life since my late 20’s and I invested huge amounts of energy in covering it up. People warned me against creating such a book, that I would lose my job, responsibilities and even friends but I have to say that apart from marrying my wife and having my children; this was one of the best things I’d ever done with my life. Not only did it set me free but I began to live my life authentically. The biggest lesson in all this for me was helping others is one of the greatest ways we can help ourselves.
With wit, insight, economy and complete understanding, this book achieves what other books take 300 pages to say Stephen Fry