Tag Archives: The Black Dog

Easter break


The running weekend for my youngest almost did not happen as the black dog lingered. Eventually she set off back to Manchester but remained in two minds about the whole thing. Then the ferry she was meant to catch crashed into something….and all travel plans went haywire. After lots of talking she decided to try and find an alternate route and if that was not going to be possible, just come home.

She made it – a ferry at 2:15 in the morning to arrive to do a 10 k run.

In the meantime oldest is back and full of stories about life up north. She plays Japanese pop all the time, which I really don’t get, but otherwise she is well and that makes me happy.

We took a big pile of items to the tip and charity shop including all the ex’s clothes that he left behind. There was a sense of finality with that.

I fell out of the shower and in the night bumped into the headboard on my bed and now have a big red bruise/scrape on both my ankle and forehead.

All my siblings are in touch a lot now about the pending move for my parents. They have left it so late to buy a house that they will be forced to rent in the short term. We think they are just overwhelmed by the whole process of closing this chapter of their lives.

I have not been in touch with dear ones of late but will do so soon…. you know who you are!

May you all have a peaceful, happy Easter break. x







Youngest has been home for a few days to recharge her batteries. She has had a tough time with the Black Dog of late. We talked a lot, ate really healthy food and she ran. I did too, only in the gym along with lifting weights!

She has gone back to get ready for a running festival over Easter…she loves to run and then will return for a few days where she will overlap with her sister, who arrives tonight. It will be lovely to have them both at home.

My father continues to battle bravely with his illnesses, but has been rushed to hospital more than once lately. Good news is that for now, no further invasive treatment, they are giving him a break.

I continue to procrastinate over essays and get very cross with myself. I did manage however, to clean the lawnmower and get it working again and cut the back lawn….

My priorities are a bit off kilter. It has been hard to blog.


Plodding on


Still struggling a bit with the black dog, or its shadow at least, which has made routine tasks challenging this week. Things are being done in tiny increments, rather than in energetic blitzes.

He in Paradise has let me know that his company has now been dissolved and that the money will be available soon…but the flat is not selling and the agents are about as useful as a chocolate teapot! The tenant tells me that 7 flats have sold in the street in the last half year…..and they are all with other agents….but, we are almost half way to me getting out of here.

Oldest daughter went back, somewhat better than she arrived, and now youngest is here to run in the GRIM challenge in Aldershot tomorrow with some friends. (Can’t post a link for some reason, but it is a muddy race over army training grounds…). I am driver and photographer and am looking forward to it. They will be filthy, wet and cold at the end…..

Uni started this week with a gruelling month of lectures planned before the next placement starts in March. The exam results were fair to middling. Whether I resit will be determined on the results of the essay. Two low scores means a definite yes. I have a personal target for my grade average…

Today 7 DVDs went to the charity shop.  7 less things.

Little steps….the day will come when I can put up photos of an empty house.





The Black Dog


The Black Dog is the metaphor for depression and is used by the charity SANE to promote mental health awareness.

The Black Dog lives here at times, and very sadly as a mother, the dog visits my beautiful, intelligent, funny, kind daughters. A dog lives with my father and has done all his life. At the age of 77, my father got to know his dog and now manages it well with good meds and support. I cannot imagine a WHOLE LIFE living with it and not being able to do anything. There is much to be said for our more ‘open’ society. (Dad’s word).

It seems that it ‘runs in the family’, like curly hair, or freckles, or a talent. Interestingly, my mother claims it is only on our father’s side!!

In the last few weeks, as I have been studying, posting blogs and getting on with things, the dog has been growing and finally it rendered me unable to do a thing. We got back from our sunny walk in Brighton and it moved in, sitting on me, heavy and bleak, and there was nothing I could do. One waits for it to go. It always does.

While my dog was here, daughter’s was too and she is new to coping with this phenomena. We talked a lot about it, how we recognise the signs, what we do to cope, how we treat ourselves, and most importantly, to be patient.

Rest helps if it possible. Not endless hours of inertia, but rest as needed. Good healthy food helps. Exercise helps. I did a 5k walk with the real dog yesterday and it made a difference. Time and love help. It is ok to cry, feel down, bad, blue, worried, scared, anxious or what it is one feels. Being told to ‘snap out of it’, ‘pull oneself together’ etc. does not help.

The dog is moving off now and who knows when it will be back. But thinking about it, living with depression and functioning in our high energy, high expectation society is an amazing feat. Hats off to anyone who lives with the black dog.