Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Guess what...?

We have a new home!


Drop by and visit the fruits of my toil. It turns out, designing & building your own website when you have no previous experience in either...is tricky. But I did it! Just goes to show that anything is possible if you try (3 times, at least!) and have access to Google, Tech Support, an emergency credit card and unlimited amounts of tea & coffee.

I will still be posting on depression, mental health and general wellbeing. Please don't think I've forgotten you. In fact, there's an update coming very soon #CrazyStupidDepression

Ponder on, People!

And don't forget you can still join the fun on FacebookTwitterPinterestInstagramGoogle+. And you can see what I'm up to on LinkedIn too.


Friday, 21 November 2014

Activity vs. Achievement

I just wrote a post on my non-depression blog that, about halfway through, became a depression-related blog.

How unexpected!

I thought I'd share it below for you to check out. I've realised just how much achieving something - anything - can help keep me sane. Sometimes the tiniest step in the right direction is just enough.

Remember, little steps folks.

Follow on Facebook and Twitter @PondersNeverEnd or use #CrazyStupidDepression

Friday, 31 October 2014

My Way

If you are supporting someone who suffers from depression, you absolutely have to take care of yourself. Wherever possible - and I know most of the time it's impossible - you must put yourself first. Any chance you get to do something for you, do it. Anything that makes you smile, satisfied or gives you solace.

To that end, I am going to be selfish with today's post.

Every day for the last 31 days I have posted about my Sufferer's depression and our life together. I haven't missed a day. I can hardly believe it. In the face of all of life's myriad challenges, I have achieved what I set out to do.

Beyond that, people have actually been reading what I have written. The cherry on the top is that those who have shared their thoughts with me have told me how they have enjoyed the blog, found it helpful, related to it, learned something.

Undoubtedly, I could have done better. But I did it, nonetheless.

And I won't stop doing it. As and when I have something relevant to share, I'll post it for all to see. Keep popping back.

In the meantime, I leave you with my sentiments on this project :)

Follow on Facebook and Twitter @PondersNeverEnd or use #CrazyStupidDepression

PS: Huge thanks to my Sufferer for lettin gme share all of this with the world x

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Where to next?

How things have changed in only a month. We still have so far to go. But I actually believe we will get there.

Today my Sufferer had an appointment with the right person in the right department in the NHS following a referral from our GP. At last! Apparently the letter had only gone to one wrong department before it reached the right lot. And he only had to make one phone call to point out their mistake so not too bad on the whole.

Despite the unimpressive start, the meeting was very positive. Although she confirmed that he has clinical depression and has probably been suffering from it all his life, she offered a way forward. Immediately, she was able to alter his new medication and refer him to the head of department for counselling.

What really helped my Sufferer was that she showed a genuine understanding of his situation. She got it. She seemed to understand his depression. Not only did this give him a better understanding of his depression - caused by a chemical imbalance rather than triggered by a particular life event - but it also gave him hope.

If nothing else, that is the one thing we are taking with us from this project - something we didn't have before - HOPE.

Even if you can't see it - there's always hope. Always.

Follow on Facebook and Twitter @PondersNeverEnd or use #CrazyStupidDepression

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Epiphany & Inertia

My Sufferer read the post I wrote yesterday and he liked it. Always nice to hear - especially as he wasn't expecting to enjoy this project and half-expected a collection of 31 rants about how rubbish he is! [In fairness, I'm as surprised as he is!]

What has exceeded all of my expectations, however, is that my post made him think. And he realised something. For the first time in fifteen years, he has been able to see that he is constantly waiting for the next thing to happen that moves his life on. He doesn't see that he is master of his own destiny but rather a pawn in someone else's game.

He went on to tell me how disappointed he has been with his progress - or perceived lack thereof - over the last couple of weeks. From my perspective, he has taken many steps in the right direction and I'm really pleased for him. What was particularly interesting was that this wasn't delivered in the usual context and by the usual means. This wasn't the black dog beating my Sufferer iver the head with how much better he should be doing by now. Oh no. This was HIM talking to me. Like two people discussing the weather almost. So matter of fact. And yet so considered. I consider this a bloody huge breakthrough!

I can't help but think just how tough it must be to live in a state of inertia. Maybe that would be a better name for depression. Living as though someone else has the strings. Sometimes thinking for a moment that you can take control but always being pulled back by the perceived puppeteer.

It made me think of this song - a song I know well and love. Reviewing the lyrics, I can't believe how apt it is. This one's for you.

Follow on Facebook and Twitter @PondersNeverEnd or use #CrazyStupidDepression

Tuesday, 28 October 2014


I've just realised that the title of this post sounds like an advert for a hair product. Or for pet food. It is not.

I am about to argue semantics so please pay attention.

The opposite of depression is not happiness. The opposite of happiness is sadness.

My Sufferer may not be happy but that doesn't mean to say he is sad. He is depressed. And he recently found a way to describe how he feels. For him, depression is feeling as though his life is on auto-pilot. As if he is going through the motions - powerless to steer his own course, and incapable of fully interacting along the way.

I can't help but think of Adam Sandler's unfortunate character in 'Click'. [It's worth a watch.] Having fast-forwarded through life's 'boring bits', he finds those same bits zipping past him time and time again. The moral of the story being that the little things in life usually prove to be the big things, with hindsight.

Although counselling can be extremely effective for many suffering from depression, my Sufferer has always struggled with it. He is open to it. He doesn't find it difficult to sit and talk to the counsellor. He participates fully. He can see the merit it what he is being told and how that relates to the situation. But he can only relate it to a third party, not to himself. He cannot, despite many attempts thus far, 'feel' the results of counselling first hand. It's as if he is watching the conversation playing out on TV.

I like to imagine that bloomin' black dog has hit fast-forward and hidden the remote control somewhere...down the side of the sofa, behind the radiator, in a hole in the garden. At least that way I'd have a chance at finding a way to switch it back to 'play'.

Some clever soul has apparently already found the real opposite of depression:

"The opposite of depression is not happiness, but vitality"

What an excellent word. A perfect choice. Naturally, he is a sufferer himself.

If only there were a shampoo that could restore my sufferer's natural 'vitality'. Make him shine again. If only.

In the meantime, we'll keep on keeping on with all of the other helpful steps towards recovery. Towards finding that darned remote. Towards kicking that black dog over the garden fence. Towards feeling, breathing, living life again.

Follow on Facebook and Twitter @PondersNeverEnd or use #CrazyStupidDepression 

Monday, 27 October 2014


I can't help but think how similar this is to those who don't understand depression saying "You can't be depressed, you have X in your life", or words to that effect.

My Sufferer and I are incredibly fortunate - we have three children in our lives who are healthy and growing up every day. They are beautiful - inside and out. Obviously I write this as an utterly biased mother of said children.

My Sufferer knows they are beautiful. He knows that they are full of joy, love and excitement (when they're not busy being tired, miserable and contrary!) He recognises how like him our elder son is. The baby does nothing but smile, coo and wriggle.

Along with so many other aspects of life, they bring me endless happiness.

But I am lucky. For I can see the colours all around and interpret their beauty. Afterall, it is in the eye of the beholder.

My Sufferer can't quite manage the same. He knows all of the above to be true - but he can't always get his head round it.

It is for this reason that we have decided not to try one of the suggestions I came across recently - making a Black Dog Box / Memory Box. The idea is to fill a box with reminders of those things which make you happy. When a Sufferer feels their mood slipping, they take a stroll through those happy thoughts to help regain mental balance. But that wouldn't work for him. He finds himself trapped by the very common feature of depression - worthlessness. Being reminded of his children would only make him feel undeserving of them as a Sufferer of depression.

I was disappointed when he seemed reluctant to try the Black Dog Box - I quite liked it when I read about it. But it taught me an important lesson too - not everything works for everyone. Yes, it's worth giving something a try - but there must first be discussion. Then, understanding. No matter how enthusiastic you are, that won't be enough to overcome your Sufferer's legitimate reluctances.

But never stop trying. You will find things that work. Together.

Follow on Facebook and Twitter @PondersNeverEnd or use #CrazyStupidDepression