Category Archives: Black Dog

How to Breathe for Dummies

I’m not really sure where to begin with this so I’m just going to start typing and see where that takes me.

Not knowing where to begin seems to be a huge theme in my life at the moment.  I am surrounded by half finished tasks, half tackled piles of paperwork and half completed lists.

I’m normally a list lover.  That satisfaction you get when crossing through the items one-by-one.  However, my lack of motivation recently has meant that even picking up a pen and paper to start a list (I’m old school!) has sometimes seemed like a gargantuan feat.  When I have managed it, my lists have started to include items I would never usually feel the need to include.  The other day, when my son was a bit poorly, my list went something like this:

1. Get dressed     –     TICK

2. Get A dressed (if feeling a bit better)     –     NOPE

3. Take medicine     –     TICK

4. Wash up breakfast items     –     TICK

5. Put a load of washing on     –     TICK

6. Write birthday cards     –     TICK

7. Lists for party     –     NOPE

Something has gone seriously astray when I need to start my list with getting myself and my son dressed!  What’s next?

1. Breathe in

2. Breathe out

3. Repeat ad infinitum

I talked in my last post about my growing sense of ennui and it is starting to seriously concern me.  I’m losing touch with pretty much everyone outside of my immediate family.  Friends text and I take so long to reply it’s embarrassing and, quite frankly, rude.  I’m only on Twitter sporadically now as I frequently feel I have little of any value to say but I do miss the ‘chatter’ and many on there have been really supportive.  I’m sure I’ll be back soon.

My husband said to me yesterday that I am “constantly fed up lately” and he’s right.  I’m really trying hard to motivate myself and ‘snap out of it’ (HATE that phrase but it’s been said to me so often recently it seemed apt!) but it’s feels like climbing Everest some days and I’m not sure why.  Perhaps the new medication (unconnected) I’m taking is having an adverse effect on my mood.  It’s possible I suppose but unlikely.  Perhaps the various ailments I seem to have on an almost constantly rotating basis have just worn me down.  Maybe but in the grand scheme of things I really have no right to complain about my health.

Ultimately, something has to change or all of the things I want to accomplish are going to remain unaccomplished.

Anyone had any experience of feeling like this?  How did you cope with it?

Thanks for reading



A pity party for one, Rod Tidwell and the lurking black dog…..

*assumes Indiana Jones guise, arms self with machete, hacks away at overgrown weeds, sweeps away cobwebs, blows away thick layer of dust, screams as a spider lands nearby*

Ooh! Hello blog, long time no see!

My writing mojo went AWOL at the end of last year and, despite threats to reappear a couple of times, it never did!

However, today I had a Jerry Maguire moment.  Don’t worry, I’m not about to bore you all with my ‘Mission Statement’ for life – I’m going to bore you all with my plans to change my outlook on things instead!

This morning, I felt a bit down.  This is, unfortunately, not a particularly rare occurrence at the moment but I think the dreaded PMT is creeping in and making things that bit worse.  I decided to have a hot bath to make myself feel better but who knows what Lush are putting in their bubble bars these days (essence of Coldplay?) because after about 5 minutes I was sobbing away and despairing about life, the universe and everything. (RIP Douglas.)

My poor husband got a telephone call at work, which made absolutely no sense whatsoever as, not only was there nothing he could do from a distance, he also couldn’t really discuss anything.  So my Mum (aren’t Mums great?) got the brunt of it.

I sobbed.  I wailed.  I scrubbed away at my eyes until they were red, raw and as puffy as marshmallows.  Let’s be brutally honest here – I was having my own little pity party, complete with bubbles!

My mum managed to calm me down (See? Mums are aces!) and I dried myself off to get on with a few bits and pieces.  But I still felt aggrieved.  I still felt angry.  I needed a rant and I needed it there and then!

So, I said my piece on Twitter:



I received a lot of good advice on Twitter, @GriffithsPhoto and @Helenw71 both said that A would follow the example set by his parents and that by teaching him to be the best he can be and to “be an individual who contributes to society rather than takes from it” (thanks Helen!) was the best grounding for him for his future life.

What really hit home was @kateab‘s advice that we should never compare ourself with others as we invariably don’t really know the full picture.  I am guilty of this.  Also, to reach your full potential you should focus on yourself, nobody else.

I realised who I was behaving like.  I was behaving like Rod Tidwell.  (I’m going to assume here that you’ve all seen Jerry Maguire because, come on, who hasn’t? It’s on nearly every other week. Even my parents have seen it and they’ve only seen about three films! Seriously, if you haven’t seen it – watch it!)  I was effectively sitting around, bemoaning my bad luck, my hardships, comparing my life with what I perceive of other people’s lives and not doing a damn thing about changing any of it!  I was reminded of Jerry’s speech to Rod in the changing room (where Cuba Gooding Jnr is, incidentally, naked – good scene!)

“This is a negotiation.  We want more from them, so let’s show them more from us.  Let’s show them your pure joy of the game, let’s bury the attitude a little…..”

“I’m telling you to be the best version of you, to get back to the guy who first started playing this game.  Way back when you were a kid.  It wasn’t just about the money was it?”

And also, later on in the film when Jerry gives Rod some home truths about his attitude.

“I’ll tell you why you don’t have your millions.  You play for the money.  You play with your head, not your heart.  When you get on the field, it’s all about what you didn’t get.  Who’s to blame.  Who’s got the contract you didn’t get.  That is not what inspires people!  Play the game from your heart, then I’ll show you the kwan.  And that’s the truth!”

This is what I want to teach A.  Focus on yourself, concentrate on your achievements, nobody else’s.  If you’re passionate about something, pursue it.  Put your heart and soul into it.  And, ultimately, if you want something to happen, get off your bum and work as hard as you possibly can to make it happen!  Don’t expect things delivered to you on a plate, because it just doesn’t happen that way.

In a way, I’m glad this morning happened as it’s made me realise two very important things:

1) I need to alter my focus and stop worrying about what everyone else is doing.  I will be concentrating hard on me and my family from now on.

2) The black dog that has been lurking around the corner for a little while is now sitting quietly in the corner of the room, inching ever closer.  This tweet…..

… back later on in the day is alarming.  I’ve been diagnosed with clinical depression in the past and I can recognise the warning signs.  My growing sense of ennui is definitely one of them.  I’m reluctant to take medication due to other health reasons at present but I’m certainly not going to ignore it.

I might have a wobble (I almost certainly will) but I know that I have an amazing husband, wonderful parents and some fantastic friends, both in the real world and in the world of social media and I’m sure they’ll all give me lots of support.

Thank you for reading, I’m sorry it’s so long & rambling but it’s been cathartic!