Chasing the black dog

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  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    This isn't actual proper Black Dog stuff - I don't think I'm clinically depressed - but having thought I was doing very well, several weeks after D's death, about Not Crying, I'm finding that the silliest (and most unpredictable) things will set me off.

    When I opened Facebook this morning, the memory that came up was a Christmas advert for Heathrow Airport with teddy-bears meeting each other off the plane, and I was in floods; my eyes are welling up now just thinking about it.

    There must be a point when you run out of tears, mustn't there?
  • In your situation if you never cried, you would not be doing very well, @piglet. It needs to come out and if it comes out for teddy bears (and you love yours, and they stand for your D) why not? Thank God for the teddy bears which help you not to bottle it all up till one day you explode. I know what I am talking about.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Thanks, @Cathscats - my brain tells me you're right, and then some other part of my psyche says, "stop being such a wuss, Piglet".

    I need to accept that I'm allowed to be a wuss ...
  • Piglet wrote: »
    Thanks, @Cathscats - my brain tells me you're right, and then some other part of my psyche says, "stop being such a wuss, Piglet".

    I need to accept that I'm allowed to be a wuss ...

    Exactly, Piglet. Tears are therapeutic.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    I suppose they are - they just don't feel very therapeutic at the time!
  • Piglet, it’s not being a wuss (although you would be allowed to be one) - it sounds like normal grieving, as well as dealing with all the difficult tasks that accompany it. It’s nearly two years since my dearly loved OH died and the strangest things still set me off. (And it is equally a legitimate and normal thing to ask for medical/counselling help, if ever you feel you need it. There are no right or wrong ways of coping, only what’s best for you.) Sorry, lecture over.
  • {{ Piglet }}

    I seem to have an inexhaustible supply of the salty liquid from the eyes at times. Best wishes and love from the Antipodes.
  • Jemima...do not be hard on yourself. We all react differently to drugs, and it may be SSRIs, or a subset thereof, or whatever, just didn't agree with you. I've had a few medications promised as miracles that sent me off to la la land...

    Be kind to yourself. :smile:
  • Piglet - from what I see from your comments on the ship - you seem to be handling everything amazing well, and with so much courage. As others have said, I see tears as healing.... All my very good wishes from here.
  • Loads of love to you, piglet. I haven’t lost a husband, but I remember from losing my mum that the weirdest things would set me off into total floods of tears. Her handwriting still does. I don’t think you’re being a wuss in the slightest. I second everything landlubber says.

    (And thanks, Climacus.)
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Too right about the handwriting!

    After the first operation, when he was still high from the anaesthetic, D. wrote down a list of foods that he'd like to eat when he was able to eat again. I brought it home and was in floods when I read it, but I've put it in my "memory box"*, and one day I might be able to look at it without crying.

    * actually an old shoe box :blush:
  • (((Piglet)))

  • LothlorienLothlorien Glory
    edited November 2019
    Loads of love to you, piglet. I haven’t lost a husband, but I remember from losing my mum that the weirdest things would set me off into total floods of tears. Her handwriting still does. I don’t think you’re being a wuss in the slightest. I second everything landlubber says.

    (And thanks, Climacus.)

    @Jemima, thank you for this, it brought back memories.I was the eldest of my maternal grandmother’s grandchildren and we were extremely close.

    After her death many years ago we went upto her house, quite a few weeks later.

    One her kitchen wall was a cheap calendar, annual gift from local pharmacy. It had phases of the moon and local tides on it. Someone flipped a couple of pages and there was my name written in her distinctive handwriting on the date of my birthday. It was too much for me..

  • MooMoo Kerygmania Host
    I always think of episodes like this as being ambushed.
  • Yes, I think that’s a good term. I say broadsided, which I think of as similar (and possibly because I like the beer of the same name).
  • Hoo boy yeah. This is a bad brain day :(
  • I hope things get better and tomorrow is a better brain day. Be kind to yourself.
  • Much love to you, Arethosemyfeet. I hope tomorrow goes better.
  • (All)
  • I miss God. I tell Him that. He Zens back. Or not. My blood pressure spiked Saturday. I'll soon kn



    (or not :smirk:)
  • DooneDoone Shipmate
    Here’s hoping @Martin54 🕯!
  • {{ Martin }}
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    edited December 2019
    That got a very tight lipped smile. Meaning I was chuffed. See what nurse says tomorrow. Beta blockers I hope. Me palpitations, as me Nan used to say, won't stop. Then I'll pay for someone to give it to me straight.
  • Dah. Stress. Anomalies. I thought they were going to tie me down and call an ambulance. Cuh. Fuh.
  • My warmest and best wishes for some calmness and good rest, Martin. So sorry to read.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    edited December 2019
    You got the right lipped smile and a laugh down my nose Soren! All will be well bro. And thanks again. My daughter says I should get a shrink. It has been a bit of a bastard of a year. I shared my rationalism with her, an atheist, and she played God's advocate!
  • DooneDoone Shipmate
    🤣 sounds like a daughter to listen to!
  • I'm concerned about the media push for people to embrace mindfulness, as it does not suit everyone. When I was going through a period of severe depression, I was persuaded to try mindfulness and unfortunately became seriously mentally ill as a result. My psychiatrist told me that mindfulness is inappropriate for management of psychiatric problems, branding it as just popular psychology which is ok for those who are well but not at times of mental illness when professional help is needed. I am grateful for his help and subsequent recovery although depression is always trying to get at me again.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    edited December 2019
    Best wishes, rhubarb.

    I know I'm sometimes torn between helpful advice for people's general wellbeing and the lack of information (usually) that it may not work for everyone nor in all circumstances. Maybe I'm misreading but it seems to often be presented as a cure-all.

    Mindfulness is in my toolkit generally, and in depression* (such as now). But in times of depression a few extra things are needed by me.


    * usually walking and trying to focus on the plants, trees and birds rather than my thoughts...
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    I'm sorry it didn't work for you rhubarb, I know it doesn't for everyone and claiming it does is destructive because it can make some people worse and they think that they have failed.

    I was more fortunate - it helped me change my life for the better. I would never have believed I could have turned my life around the way I have. Close friends have noticed and commented favourably on changes I have made too, so it's not just me being carried away with fluffy feelings.

    Initially I did a 4 session introductory course because I wanted to ensure I felt comfortable with the process and the leader, then the 8 week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course which I found really challenging. Initially I felt a bit disorientated by the process. I don't think I could have managed it if I was actively depressed at the time, nor if I didn't have regular appointments with my usual therapist who knew I was doing the course and agreed to offer her support, and a good friend who was there at the right times for me.

    As I said - that's just my experience, other people's may differ. In the same way medication suits some people, whereas the last anti-depressant I had landed me in the public hospital with liver failure. I maintain that the only reason I walked out of there was that I suspected what was causing it and refused to continue taking it.
  • I read the above comments with interest. I am curious about mindfulness. Sometimes I think of it being like meditation (which I find very difficult to do), and sometimes I think of it as concentrating on things in your immediate surroundings, in an effort to pull yourself out of your ruminations, and into the here and now....
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited December 2019
    I have to admit that, despite having (at times) my own Black Beast, I haven't been following this thread.

    However, I daresay that many Shipmates will find Black Creatures Of Various Types crawling out of the woodwork as a result of the disastrous (IMNSHO) UK general election train-wreck.

    I am one of them.

    <votives galore> for all those similarly affected.
  • Not a good morning :confounded: Sympathies to you too Bishops Finger....
  • Not good for me either - the SAD kicks in about now and doesn't lift for months and which I have just about learnt to manage - but the election result has been a real blow. More than I was ready for.
  • Well, yes - SAD is bad enough in all conscience, without all the other shite being poured upon us.
  • Schroedingers CatSchroedingers Cat Shipmate, Waving not Drowning Host
    To all others who feel the same sense of utter hopelessness that I do.....

    Hugs.
  • Love and thoughts from Down Under.
  • DooneDoone Shipmate
    I’ve been managing my SAD really well for a couple of years, but thinking I may have to go back on medication now. Hoping my usual coping strategies will kick in soon.
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    SAD, and the election results are a double whammy. Thinking of you all facing these.
  • Diomedes wrote: »
    Not good for me either - the SAD kicks in about now and doesn't lift for months and which I have just about learnt to manage - but the election result has been a real blow. More than I was ready for.

    I have SAD, too, and know well about it not lifting for months. Once I'm "inside" it, I can't pull myself out on my own, until the weather is better.

    However, I've gotten help from a few things:

    --IANAD: I'm on Lamictal/Lamotrigine specifically for SAD, though it also helps me with migraines and general depression. It's made a *huge* difference for me. FYI: I take it year round, due to the other reasons; then the dosage is raised during SAD season. YMMV; but, *for me*, it's the difference between not functioning and being more or less ok.

    --I was gifted a light box, a gadget specifically made for SAD. A Happy Lite, IIRC. It's small. I'm guessing maybe 8" x 6" x 2". It plugs in, and has a simple on/off switch. You can't adjust the amount of light; *but*, beside the main "face", there are slots at one end, and light comes through them, too. So I started with pointing that end towards me, and gradually built up to using the main face. At this time of year, I try to use it every day. I place it in an area where I'm apt to be for several hours, switch it on, and more or less forget about it. Then I have to remember to turn it off! Really needs a timer or something.

    --I have sort of mini SAD year round. I really need a dose of full-spectrum light. So I've got full-spectrum incandescent bulbs (FSPIBs) in all my fixtures and lamps, and I've done that for many years. One brand is Veri-Lux, I think. I might, someday, consider LED lights **if** they can be full spectrum, too.

    Anyway, FSPIBs aren't enough, on their own, to pull me out of bad SAD episode. But they help; and IME they help with mini SAD year round.

    FWIW, YMMV, IANAD, and this is purely IME.

    (Now, to learn the other letters of the alphabet... ;) )
  • I too have a SAD light (which I call Happy Light). Brighter than a bright thing. Helps though.
  • MooMoo Kerygmania Host
    When I lived in New Hampshire I suffered from mild SAD every winter until I was advised to be outdoors for more than a half-hour every day around noon. Even when it was overcast, enough sunlight came through the clouds to ease my SAD.
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    Moo, I remember you posting years ago about walking outside in winter, and how useful I found it. It made a huge difference for me. Thank you.
  • It's really comforting to hear other's experiences! No other SADs in my family and it's hard for them to understand why I can't 'snap out of it'. I force myself outside everyday too, whatever the weather, and it certainly helps. Each December I decide on 3 winter projects - this year it's Irish language lessons, scanning and sorting all the family photographs and playing music everyday whether I feel like it or not. I've done without medication for a few years but I would never rule out returning to it if I felt I was sinking too deep! My biggest success from a lighting perspective was buying an alarm clock that simulates the sunrise - even though it's fake sun, it gets the day off to a good start. My best wishes to you all!
  • DooneDoone Shipmate
    Yes, popping outside frequently and my SAD lamp are part of my ‘arsenal’ as well.
  • Hello hello. Wishing my fellow black dog wranglers well. I hope everyone survived Christmas and New Year without too much difficulty.

    I’m idly wandering what a good black dog type metaphor for anxiety would be. Angry caterpillar I think. One of those big stripey furry ones.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    I'm currently on my way back to Canada after a lovely, long stay with my family in Edinburgh. Tears have been (mostly) contained: Christmas Day itself was such a blast I almost felt guilty for not crying.

    I've had a few episodes of Leaky Eye Syndrome, most of them in the privacy of my bedroom, although the ups and downs of selling my house have had their moments ...

    Wishing everyone well (in mind and body) for 2020, and may your Beasties stay in their lairs!
  • Piglet, I’m so in awe of your travels and all the things you are up to. I’m very glad you had a blast on Christmas Day and managed not to feel guilty (even if it was a close run thing).
  • Hello hello. Wishing my fellow black dog wranglers well. I hope everyone survived Christmas and New Year without too much difficulty.

    I’m idly wandering what a good black dog type metaphor for anxiety would be. Angry caterpillar I think. One of those big stripey furry ones.

    I like the caterpillar metaphor, though for me anxiety is more like a slow-moving, cold, black, SLUG.
    Ewww....

    Ah well - another year, another bout (now and then) of Black Beastie wrestling. I blame Trump. And Johnson, of course. And the mice in the church hall.

  • EsmeraldaEsmeralda Shipmate, Waving not Drowning Host
    This is your periodic (or randomly occasional) reminder that we have a private board for all Shipmates experiencing any kind of mental health difficulty. To join Waving not Drowning you have to:
    • Have a mental health condition of your own, not be joining to help a friend (no doctor's certificate needed!)
    • Have over 100 posts on the public boards.
    • Have your last 50 posts checked by a Waving host to make sure you are keeping to Ship guidelines (don't worry, we've only ever rejected one person).
    • When you meet all these criteria, I will ask Simon to enable access for you and the board will appear at the bottom of your boards list.

    It's a small but very friendly place where as well as having a good moan when we need it, and supporting each other in our daily struggle, we also often have a lot of fun! Do consider joining us if you want more privacy than this thread allows. Just DM me, Esmeralda.
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