Friday, September 19, 2014

Dealing to the 'Black Dog'

I'm so lucky I have this on my doorstep to escape to.
It was Winston Churchill who described it as his 'Black Dog' and John Kirwan has been knighted over it, for me Depression has been a constant companion since my teens.  I love the work JK does, working on the stigma within not only a sufferers psyche, but in the wider public also.

This is what my 'Black Dog' usually looks like when my life is in balance.
I'm lucky.  My 'Black Dog' ninety nine percent of the time is a happy smiling, tummy scratching, tail twerking black bulldog.  Something I don't mind at all hanging around.  I was lucky enough early on to learn coping strategies to keep the this pooch under control.  Herbal supplementation (and yes, I know I'm from Gisborne, but not THAT type of supplementation) in the form of St John Wort, plenty of sleep, a healthy diet are all important to keeping you on track.  So too is a great support network of family & friends, those who care and love you without judging you & when tell you to take care of yourself when they see the dog starting to get agitated and snarl.

There's nothing better having friend who turn up with 'emergency supplies' when you have had such a  bad day.
So when this past few weeks I realised I hadn't been attending my mental needs as diligently as I should, being told by a medical professional that even Wonder Woman would struggle to get her dog under control after it had morphed into a massive, snapping, lathering mutation reminiscent of the Hunger Games, it was time to put the brakes on.

Flowers that just brightened up my week.
The worse thing about your own dog going feral, is the effect on those around you. In my case it's the reaction from The Ginger.  He's a lean mean racing machine.  Like any child with ASD, when everything in the team is working well, he's runs like a dream, when the alpha starts going off line, all sorts of problems start cropping up.

Like JK, cooking is a great stress reliever.
So the next month is about getting myself back on track & getting The Ginger fine tuned and running back to his best.  The form it takes is a months enforced leave from work, a weeks 'Rainbow R&R' with the gay hubby, a family break during the school holidays and of course a lot of knitting.  SO if you think a 'stray dog' might have followed you home and is hanging about, do not be afraid to get help, because taming this beast isn't has scary as you might think.

It was wonderful to take time to have a great cup of coffee with a school mum today.

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