The black dog

So, the black dog is here. For those that don’t know, black dog is a euphemism for depression. Ours has made itself at home for the winter, and seems content to snooze by the fireside. No amount of chasing has convinced it to go outside in the cold.

It’s become almost impossible to stay downstairs with P in the evenings. The overwhelming urge to be upstairs in bed hits us at about 8pm, and we can only fight it off for so long. By 9pm, we’re upstairs. We have a computer, telly and DVD player in the bedroom, so we’re quite cumfy up there, but we’re alone. P sleeps downstairs because of our pain issues and broken sleep patterns. So our bedroom is our safe haven, ours alone, quiet and peaceful and calming. No disturbances, unless it’s P bringing us a cup of tea and checking we’re ok. He’s really good like that. Or it’s Teenage Son coming in for a chat. Yes, we have a 15 year old son who still wants to chat with his Mum! So, maybe not completely alone, but not downstairs in the hub of family life. We miss that.

And we feel so guilty about buggering off upstairs and leaving P to look after Youngest Son. It makes us feel like a shite parent, and that’s something our Mum instilled in us from the moment TS was born. Everything we did was wrong, every decision we made was wrong, our routine was wrong, the clothes we put him in were wrong, the foods we fed him were wrong. And of course, she was right, and if we didn’t do everything her way, we were a crap parent. She did this for TS, for YS, and she still does it now. Subtle, and not-so-subtle, undermining of us at every turn. Intellectually, we know we’re a good parent. Our kids tell us we’re the best Mum in the world. P knows we’re a good parent, and doesn’t mind us going upstairs when we need to. But we still feel the guilt. Our Mum did a good job on us over the years *sigh*

Come to think of it, she’s undermined and dissed every choice we’ve made in our life. Nice.

Anyways, back to the depression. It’s sucking the life out of us. We just feel so blah all the time. Everything’s an effort, too much effort, can’t we just stay in bed and not have to think about stuff? No, we can’t. Nor do we really want to, we’d be missing out on so much life, time with the kids, time with P. But still, there’s the urge to hide away.

Did I mention, we have a kicking case of PTSD about being stuck in bed? Lovely contradiction of wants and needs and trauma and flashbacks. Sometimes we can’t win for losing.



2 thoughts on “The black dog

  1. hi tony, we’re all really sorry to hear that the depression has got you. we’ve been fighting it a bit ourselves, there’s something about the winter, isn’t there? and then if anything else stressful comes along on top of the cold and the dark, it’s like we’re that much more susceptible. i just put on some extra warm clothes and filled a hot water bottle, so i feel a bit cozier right now, seems to help slightly.
    wanting to be in bed a lot is something i can definitely empathize with, but the ptsd must make that more confusing than it should be. the kids know you are a great parent, and so does P, you do the very best that you can, and that best is a lot! i know all about the feeling of a mother’s demeaning voice playing pretty loud in your head, and i’m sorry you have to deal with that, it’s not fair, but you really are a great parent regardless of what she has said in the past.
    depression is really awful and i hope it doesn’t last. we care about you and want you to feel better soon.


  2. Thanks Hats. I’m sorry the black dog’s visiting you too. Hot water bottles are great, they make us feel so snuggly! We’ve got lots of them with different covers, so the kids have a choice!
    We know in our heart that we’re a good parent, we trust the boys’ judgement more than anything, but our Mum did a number on us our whole life. I hate that you know how that feels, I wouldn’t wish that on anyone *hug*


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