living with depression

dog

It’s been rough having flu, a raised temperature and a secondary infection. Rick has been fortunate just to have had flu which is bad enough but he has been forgiven for giving it to me. I’m assuming the secondary infection is respiratory as my right lung has been clear but my left lung hasn’t been.

The first few days I just wanted to sleep all the time. Food has tasted like cardboard so I haven’t been esaing properly. This evening I have eaten a bit better although our doggy dustbin aka Cassie has eaten well.

Last night and this evening I have been cheered up by Jacob aka JJ aka Tigger has been out with me and Cassie. JJ thinks it’s great fun and makes a game of it although he will walk with us.

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I had convinced myself that we wouldn’t have a holiday until next year. Thankfully we were able to book a week away starting Friday for a week. Already I am feeling much better which is a relieve as I was close to having a breakdown. Stewart being away for two weeks didn’t help although I don’t begrudge him having a holiday.

Yesterday we had the bright idea of going over to Millport which is on Cumbrae as foot passengers. We had a look round Largs first and it is very much the same as last year which was good. Cassie wasn’t too sure about the ferry when we got on it but soon settled. When we got there we were told it was about three miles and as we didn’t have enough money for the bus (can’t use bus passes in Scotland) we had to work. It was a lovely walk as it’s the coastel road but we were exhausted when we got to the town. We think it was more like a four mile walk and took and 1 hour and 45 minutes to walk there. Cassie loved the walk but that slowed us up a bit as she can’t walk in a straight line unless she has her halti on. Having osteoarthritis was a hinderance as well yet we managed to get there so I am proud of that.

We could hardly move this morning yet went out anyway as we like the area. Today we went to Greenoch which is another nice town. As we had Cassie we couldn’t go into the shopping mall but we still did some ‘window shopping’ on the way to what the locals call the splash. It’s a lovely walk for dog owners and dogs plus it is a clear day (sunny) so it was enjoyable even with aches and pains. On the way back we stopped just before Wemyss Bay holiday park to let Cassie have a paddle in the sea which, as always, she enjoyed.

Rick was a bit concerned as it’s my birthday yet I can’t think of a better way to spend the day. I am sitting at the table looking out a on lovely view of the bay. Tigger aka Jacob was an early present so I’m more than happy.

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Dear Mum

I love you lots and lots because you showwer me with love and make sure I eat well.

I am sorry that I am a V.D.K. (very demanding kitten) but I know how much you love me and find it theraputic to cuddle me and stroke me. It’s fun though to be a crazy kitten racing around and tormenting Cassie the dog. She has got to learn how to be as crafty as me. Of course I’m a lot faster than Cassie and can get into smaller places than her. I love curling up with Cassie on the bed with you and Dad lying round us two. Cassie will protect me when I’m big enough to go out as we are B.F.F (best friends forever).

It’s great that you have allowed me to make a new friend, Zimba, and I am looking forward to having play dates with my sister, Nicole. Thank you for taking us and our three siblings to see Stewart and he was quite happy to look after them until they went to their forever families.

I will be better behaved when I’m older and Ilove you very much.

Lots of love
from your V.D.K.

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When our last dog, Bruno, died two years ago we both agreed we wouldn’t have any more dogs. We had ahd dogs throughout our marriage which was over 21 years so we knew we needed a break and we had a well deserved break. Rick started saying several months ago he wanted a lap dog in our retirement years but I kept saying ‘No.’

Recently I started to soften and started to look online and I guessed that Rick was doing the same. Last Wednesday Rick showed me some pictures on the Newcastle Dog & Cat Shelter then rang the shelter to find out more information. We went to the shelter with some I.D. and found out that our first choice, two dogs in need of rehoming, had gone two days previously so went to see what dogs were in the kennels. All the dogs were beautiful including an eleven week old puppy however we saw Cassie, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, whose picture was also on the website. I just knew there was something about her although I wanted to be sure yet instinctively we both knew she was the dog for us. We went back to the office, filled out a form, told we would need to show our tenancy agreementand were told we could have some time with Cassie. That did it for both of us as she is such a happy, playful dog. We both took turns in walking Cassie round the enclosure after playing with her. It made me smile when I had Cassie and I stopped for a moment as Cassie stopped as well then looked at me. I fell in love with her at that moment.

We went to the office and told the staff we wanted her and would get back to the office either that evening or first Thursday morning. Thankfully we were able to get back there Wednesday evening, filled out more forms and the tenancy agreement was good enough as it shows we can have two dogs without getting permission. One little dog was very happy to come with us.

Cassie has been the best medicine for me as by Thursday morning I was feeling so much better. I have been so severely depressed it has been something of a miracle that I haven’t done anything to make myself feel worse physically. Pets do help people feel better about themself and I am so thankful we have her as Cassie makes me feel loved and I love her so much.

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For weeks now I have been severely depressed, suicidal but managing not to self harm.  I am getting very snappy simply beause I’m so depressed.  When I see friends my smiling mask is on my face and simply telling that I am having good days and bad days.  If they knew the truth they would be very worried about me which I don’t want as they have enough on their plates.

Last week we heard very sad news.  An aquaintance suffered burns due to his house being on fire and his dog died from smoke inhalation.  We don’t know if he knows his dog died and he is in an induced coma at the Newcastle Hospital intensive care.  A good friend is giving us information when she gets it – Rick had let her know as she does help this person.  Nobody can visit at the moment and we are worried about his mental health when he is awake.  It was awful seeing him pain when he had have his other dog put to sleep on the grounds of being ill, suffering and being old.  He knew it was the right decision.  I’m glad it was us who were with him as we understand exactly how he felt.  I enjoy the freedom we have but I still miss all of our dogs as they knew our moods and how to help us feel better.

I just want to get out of this very dark place.  My appetite is bad and I am eating all the things I shouldn’t.  We did some shopping earlier and I bought food that is good for me.

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I feel guilty for thinking about myself, for wanting support, wanting time out and not having someone I can talk to.  It’s bad enough feeling selfish and even worse to put it in black and white.  The black dog is back with a vengeance and I can’t talk about yet I am trying to persuade someone to talk about why they don’t want to live.  I haven’t ‘really’ known this person for very long but I can’t force myself myself to step back.

Since Saturday my mood has gone from being very happy as I had enjoyed our holiday to being tearful.  Being away from home meant nobody would disturb us unless it was an emergency which I appreciated.  It felt like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders and gave me back the emotional strength to keep me going.

Since Saturday we have been asked to do various things yet a social worker should be taking the weight of us and letting us do what we are best at and that’s giving support.  Rick and I do know the struggles of depression for different reasons and with different types of depression.  I openly admit I am an expert in denial as I lived with it for so many years.  Okay when it first started I didn’t even know I suffered with depression.

I couldn’t explain why I felt the way I did.

I didn’t understand my feelings were normal for someone with depression.

I was ashamed for feeling this way.

I didn’t know that it wasn’t normal for a parent to treat their child badly emotionally or verbally.

I was embarrassed.

But I have always cared about other people.  It pains me to see anybody hurt or upset.  I have always wanted to help.  My Mum would be frustrated with me as I was always there for my friends yet they weren’t always there for me.  She couldn’t verbally knock it out of me … it is a natural instinct for me to want to help people.  I have learnt over the years that I can’t heal the world.  Not everybody wants to be healed.  I have been used and abused at times yet it hasn’t stopped me wanting to help other people.

I know what it is like not wanting to continue living.

I know what it like to feel worthless.

That I won’t be missed.

Nobody cares.

Everybody close to me is better off without me.

But that is in my head and the Lord has held me through the bad times as it’s not my time.  So I put my happy mask on each day when my mood is low.  I can’t bring myself to ask for help.  Other people’s needs are more important than mine.  I simply feel selfish for wanting to cry out for help.  I have my health.  A roof over my head.  A husband who loves me.  Our bills get paid.  I love my cats.  I have friends.  I have nothing to feel depressed about but I am depressed so what happens now?

What about me?

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