Posted in Blog Posts

A Wee Black Dog

I made a quiet promise to myself that I was going to blog once a week this year. I didn’t ‘go public’ with it because that just adds pressure and makes me less likely to do it, just to be awkward. I’m like that.

Anyhoo, for a variety of reasons too boring and personal to go into, I feel I’m slipping back into a depressive period again. I tell you this not to get sympathy; Lord knows, there are many far, far worse than me out there. I tell you because I’m not ashamed of mental illness and if I had broken my leg I’d certainly be moaning long and hard about that. 

Just a wee black dog...
Just a wee black dog…

I’ve been through enough depressive periods to recognise the symptoms by now. I withdraw, get quiet, get irrationally angry at little things. Thank gawd I have the maturity to hold my tongue in work because some customers have been doing my napper in. And I’m not coping with stupid people too well at the moment either. I gave up watching the news and reading newspapers a few months ago because they were contributing heavily to my downward spiral. Some people say it’s burying my head in the sand. I say the sand is protecting my head from the shit out there.

I need to get out and about more – walking helps, as does sitting at the sea, watching the grey waves under the grey sky rage against the beach. It makes me feel small and insignificant and, for some reason, that helps.

My dogs help too, all three of the little buggers. The new pup, Isla, is a handful, but she is affectionate, smart and hilarious. It’s hard to believe so much personality comes from such a tiny package – she only weight 1.5kg.

My family help by being there, but in some ways I feel worse because I feel, as I’m sure all depressives do, that I am a burden to them when I’m not my bright and sunny self.

One thing I hope will make a big difference to me – and to many other depressed people out there – is getting a wriggle on with the #TweeHee project. I need to make time to finish going through all the fabulous jokes and choosing the best to put into Crying With Laughter. If you don’t know about this yet, please head over to to find out about the project. And if you are a publisher who would be interested in backing us, all profits/royalties will go to Sane who provide marvelous support for people with mental health problems.

Off for a cuppa now. Is there anything a cup of tea doesn’t help with? And like I said, broken leg or brokeb head: they both heal in time.


How do you cope with your depression? I’d be interested to know.


Writer, photographer, creative fantasist.

17 thoughts on “A Wee Black Dog

  1. Nope. Not much that isn’t helped by a good cuppa. And I adore that ‘photo of your little one. I’m a big, big believer that animal companions can be great therapy, even when they drive us mad. They develop such a pure bond with their humans I think. I’m glad you have some in your life.

    And you have us too. No matter how often or infrequently you blog, we wanna read it. No matter whether the sun’s out or your heart’s raining, we wanna know.

  2. I’ve never found one thing that helps. The knowing that it’s coming and the feeling of it getting its claws in is a dreadful feeling.

    I’ve found being active does sometimes help but often I lack the confidence, energy and intelligence to realise this and get out and about. And there’s always that fear that I get even worse by seeing groups of people.

    Sending positive thoughts your way, whatever else – you’re not alone x

    1. Thank you. I am sorry you are a fellow sufferer. It took me many years before finally being able to see the warning signs. And if you ever need a sympathetic ear, feel free to contact me xx

  3. Hello Nettie

    I have to agree with you and Margot about the comfort we receive from animals. I love my family dearly, but when I feel the ‘Wee Black Dog’ tapping at my spirit, I want to protect them from my blue mood as much as possible.
    When my father died last year, I had two warm, comforting, soft hairy bodies to snuggle up to. (no, not my husband and son) My spaniels can make me smile when I’m feeling down and are a constant source of affection and love.
    I’m sorry you’re feeling depressed and understand that it has nothing to do with ‘snapping out of it.’ If things don’t improve, a low dose of anti-depressant will work. It has for me in the past. If you treat a broken leg with pain killers and a plaster cast, why wouldn’t you treat depression?

    Much love, Ange xxx

    1. Thank you so much, Ange. I’m glad your dogs help you like mine help me. I’m already on a medium dose and I think it’s time to increase it. Much love, Nxxx

  4. I always used to ignore the warning signs, but have come a long way and now I embrace them. It’s not worth feeling guilty about feeling depressed, my family benefits from my being active in recognising and dealing with it.
    And the ocean…helps enormously, you’re right it’s something about our insignificance and its power that sweeps away my depression (for a bit).
    I’m on a relatively even keel right now, unusual for January, I hope yours settles too Nettie!

  5. Ah Nettie, you and I are so alike it’s just not funny! I find the ocean helps me too, but to make things a bit harder for myself, we moved to an area (not really my choice I might add) where it takes at least a 3hr drive to get anywhere near a beach, and then the closest one is so crowded there is no point in going in the first place.
    Clients and customers drive me mad too, and I marvel at times at my self restraint – although I have on occasion told a few male clients to shut up and listen for a change which was met with shocked silence – long enough for me to explain the situation and what I’d do to fix it, which was lucky I guess.
    I try to stay away from medication but there are times when we are just not strong enough to fight it alone.
    Years ago, my comfort was my Golden Retriever, Tay. He was like my little brother really. (One I never had I must add). These days my comfort is found in my furry little ginger boy Clayton (just a moggy) who as a stray adopted us when we moved here…I think he knew I needed a friend and most of all, I needed him!
    Hope you feel better soon and if you need any jokes, let me know…I’m always posting them as you know.
    Take care darling lady. xxx

  6. I wholeheartedly agree with you in terms of switching of from the news, reading newspapers etc. I also suffer from depression and I recognise the signs like you…it is a horrible experience as you can feel yourself spinning out of control again.
    I think you’re doing every right, getting out more is key; although I openly admit if I’m in one of my depressive states I often make excuses and let people down…not really admitting why. Walking my dog, Max, helps, especially if we go off lead, where I see him really come alive running, jumping & bouncing, but still looking for me & making sure I’m there. Right, I’m off to look at the #tweehee stuff. X

    1. Yes, I often pull out of social commitments too. I want to hibernate when I’m feeling like this. I’m glad you’ve found activities to help you and thank you for commenting. xx

    1. Depending on where I am in a depressive period, writing is a great help to me too. I’ve started a new project and am feeling quite positive about it just now – we’ll see how long that lasts!

      And thank you so much for the nomination: I am delighted to accept it and will go and have a wee look this week.
      I hope you feel healthy just now. xxx

      1. You’re welcome! And good luck with the new project. I’m always around (here, Twitter, Facebook) if you want a new sounding board.

        I am feeling healthy now, with a good dose of nerves thrown in. (Interview on Friday!)


  7. Knowing there’s not much that can be said that would improve your downward spiral (well, very little helps mine), I thought I’d just add to your tweehee in a lame way instead. 😉

    What is pink and fluffy? Pink fluff.

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