Depression Is

Hating your life and feeling guilty because you know how lucky you are.

Wanting to talk, but not wanting to bring any of your friends down to your level.

Hiding away at home, even though you know that company lifts your spirits.

Dragging yourself through the days and then feeling worse because you have achieved so little.

Thinking you're a pathetic ungrateful person who doesn't deserve nice things or a good life.

Wishing that your GP could give you something - anything - that would stop you from thinking and feeling.

Wondering why antidepressants are not pro-happiness instead.

The Power of Sleep and Another Birthday

It's mid term break here, but only my son has the week off. Angel's course continued through bank holiday Monday, Smiley was back on her post school programme on Tuesday and the appointments began again on Wednesday. On Thursday there was yet another birthday - they seem to come round faster every year...


You know the night when the clocks go back and parents are normally gritting their teeth at all the people boasting about getting an extra hour in bed? Well it happened here. In fact I got several extra hours in bed and I woke up naturally, no alarm clock and no child was involved. This almost never happens and was a brilliant start to the day. Then my son got up at the same time and adjusted all the clocks, unasked. That day I felt happy and energised and productive and I saw the difference in Smiley too.

On THAT letter and being happy parents

Did you read it? The letter from a mother to her 10 year old son complaining of his lack of respect towards her. It caused a predictable twitter storm and a rush to judgement.

I found the letter an uncomfortable read: initially I felt like a second class parent as I failed many of this woman's parenting essentials. My second thought was relief that I didn't breast feed. But it's not that bad surely? I also began to be uncomfortable with the tone of it, and felt sorry for her son because of her martyred tone, and I recognised myself in her too. Then I caught myself on. Like everyone else on the internet, I was judging this woman, while knowing almost nothing about her.

It's a letter. As readers we don't know have the full picture of what her life is like, or the exact nature of her son's 'rude and aggressive' behaviour. Her son could be hitting puberty early. My son's behaviour also changed at age 10, and I did not cope well at the time.

The pros and cons of being an independent woman

I always wanted to be independent. That seems old fashioned now, with so many people staying at home well into their 20s and 30s. But I couldn't wait to leave and make my own way (but with a little help from my parents, which I conveniently forget most of the time).

In my first flat I installed an electric cooker over five nights, with a new set of instructions every day from my helpful work colleagues. I learned the basics of car maintenance - before all this electronic stuff made it almost impossible to work on a car at home. I managed my own life.

Of course I was half of a couple for almost 20 years, but I'm now I'm independent once again. But it's not always easy, so many things I have to do...

Reasons to be cheerful 21.10.15

I'm not feeling it this week, with on-going worries about the children and new health and house worries. My regular blogging time has been co-opted for Mammy duties and life is once again resembling Groundhog Day so I have little inspiration. Now that I've actually written that, I'm expecting the blogging inspiration to flow...please?

In the meantime, some reasons to be cheerful.

Answering the grey question and other reasons to be cheerful

Is it okay to go grey? The feminist in me always thought so.

Until it happened to my hair.

Okay, so I know I'm not really grey, I just have silvery highlights and grey wings and for years I enjoyed being one of those women who didn't dye her hair.  It was a great time saver too: home hairdressers have been tending to our tresses for many years - all four of us in one evening.

I used to dye my hair all the time when I was younger, from black to blue and every shade in between. It took a lot of time and effort. You could spend four hours at the hairdressers, and even more time at home boil washing the multi coloured towels and scrubbing walls and skin afterwards. I also see lots of poor dye jobs every day, on both women and men of all ages, and some women with fabulous shiny grey hairdos.

So I was kinda torn.

What every parent needs to know about school refusal

Did that title get your attention? I hope so*. Because the thing about school refusal is that most people don't see it coming. It's diagnosed in retrospect, after a pattern of not going to school has been established. No-one seems to realise that it's affecting your child until it's become a habit.

A habit that can be very very hard to break.

Journey to the bottom of my garden

My garden is a mysterious place, rarely visited, except to hang out washing and water pots. My habitat these days is the kitchen, where I look out at the bins and ivy covered walks, where nothing else agrees to grow, and that little patch of sky above the next door chimney pots. There's a hundred years of history in the garden, china fragments rise to the surface, plants unplanted appear and flourish. In fact they flourish too well. The bottom of the garden used to look like this, with wild flowers enjoying the dappled sunshine and shade provided by a beautiful yellow-blossomed laburnum tree. But sadly it never recovered from the snows of 2010 and 2011, it just limped on like a raggedy old scarecrow.