It’s been a busy few days, stressful too. When we’re all off work and school we all get under each other’s feet and annoy the hell out of one another. (I have absolutely no doubt that many of you will know exactly where I’m coming from!) This week brings some respite…and the emphasis is on the word some.

The youngest is in a holiday club having a fab time with kids his own age, the eldest (still at home!) is with me apparently doing homework. I’m at work, although taking a tea break, and the other half has started his new job today. The new job has brought a whole new level of stress and anxiety to the house. Whilst we were meant to be enjoying the last week of family time we would be having for some time, at times it turned into bloody torture! Boredom from the kids coupled with anxiety about his new job left me stuck in the middle trying to keep the peace! Needless to say it didn’t quite work out and I got the brunt of everyone’s shitty mood – great, hence the ‘some respite’!

However, I have to remind myself, and him, that this is a great new start for us as a family. A job where I know he will be right at home and be bloody great at. For a while it won’t be easy as a new routine will need to be established in the house, something that hasn’t affected him thus far as he was normally out before we were all up and came home when we’d got dinner etc sorted. Shift work throws that all out. I’m dreading the mornings where we’ve all got to be up and out at the same time. As lovely as it will be to share a morning cuppa with the hubby before work, I know it won’t be without its stresses – ironing, bathroom time etc.

For me anxiety also comes with the new people he will meet and interact with…it makes me feel very insecure and, despite his reassurances, it will take me some time to be OK with it all. In turn, my anxiety will piss him off hugely even though he says he understands.

Change, whether expected or not, can bring the Black Dog out to play. It will be OK in the end, I know it will, but, for the next couple of months, I need to make sure I take each day as it comes, be supportive and remember it’s ok to feel like shit sometimes.

Social media can be an absolutely wonderful thing – reuniting friends and family, sharing memories and special occasions with people all over the world. Bringing people together.

But…it can be addictive and dangerous. Today I was reminded of how even those who appear to be strong and have it together can be weakened and threatened by social media. One of my dearest friends has decided to come off Facebook. The way people say it now is like they’re giving up smoking or drinking… addictions, because that’s what it’s become. In her case, she’s not come off because she’s always on it. It’s that when she is on and scrolling through, she feels that she’s a failure and that everyone is doing better than her which, as you can imagine, they’re probably not.

The images and comments we see are, for the most part, a cover. Of course it’s lovely to see photos of friends and family having a great time, or making a big purchase. However, you rarely see the bare bones – photos of the kids fighting, of you and your spouse bickering and one of you sleeping on the sofa, the tears when you realise that no matter how shiny your new car is, it won’t feed the kids for the rest of the month. Why? Because people want to show their best side, that they are doing well, that their kids are always well behaved…because we judge. Social media has made us ‘judge a book by its cover’ and that is very sad.

I had to remind my friend of this today. I reminded her about particular people who seem to be leading a double life – we know too well that their lives are nothing like the one on show on Facebook.

I reminded her of what she’s achieved for herself and her family, that she’s been an amazing friend to me…that over the last 5 years I’ve been sat where she is and she’s been the one reassuring me.

Sometimes we all need a break from one aspect of our lives to realise what we actually have, and I bet most of you have much more than you think.

I’ll leave this now as I don’t want to ramble on…goodnight.

 

 

 

Sat here trying to cool off (it’s very humid!) and thought I’d better say that I’m not a doctor or counsellor, just someone who’s been a little troubled and is married to someone who is troubled, yet getting better. Dark moments and days still happen, they’re now more infrequent and we hope it stays that way. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not hearts and flowers all the time the Black Dog isn’t around, but it’s good – we’re getting much better at talking and communicating…saying that, we’re both currently sulking in different rooms! One of us lost their temper over something silly and the other challenged it. One has taken their dinner into the front room, the other is upstairs. The children are very aware of the atmosphere and went to bed with no fuss (every cloud…!).

That bothers me…the youngest is sometimes questioning some of the behaviour. Before, a simple distraction would do the trick and, to be honest, it worked well for me too as I had to just carry on as if nothing had happened. I’m a great believer in ‘ignorance is bliss’, but as we all know, that can only go on for so long before it comes back to bite. Perhaps it’s a good thing that the little one is asking questions. It might just have a positive outcome…we’ll have to wait and see.

 

So, for those of you who don’t know, ‘Black Dog’ is often used to refer to depression. Churchill helped to bring the name to the masses but it’s believed to have its origins hundreds of years before. Ironic that depression is referred to as a dog when dogs are referred to as man’s best friend! What are your thoughts on the name?