The Fog

People often refer to depression as being like a black dog. For me it always something I compare more to being trapped in fog.The fog descends gradually and without warning. It is all consuming, this need to get out of the fog. I feel lost, helpless and utterly alone. 

I can hear voices in the fog, but they are distant and they often don’t make sense. I cannot see clearly because the fog clouds my vision, so I don’t take the words of loved ones at face value. I think they might have some other weird agenda and that makes me anxious about trusting them.

Being in the fog means that things that I would normal deal with rationally, I can’t because my senses are dulled.

So when my ex husband texts me out of the blue with strange demands, I don’t spot what I would normally spot. That this is him drunk, trying to goad me into a response so that he can offload his anger and upset on me. The fog gets in the way, so I don’t ignore it the way I should. The resulting stress and upset that occurs is hard to deal with, harder than normal, because of course half my mind is constantly trying to find a pathway out of the fog.

I try herbal sleeping pills to relax me, I throw myself into my work, because the fog is thinner there. I’ve bought a vitamin D mouth spray, my boyfriend has bought me a SAD lamp, I try to get outdoors each day.

The last one is particularly hard. I love being outdoors, but the effort involved in moving around and doing things while surrounded by fog is horrific. Plus, there are people out there. People I would normally be happy and confident to interact with, but the fog brings paranoia, because as I said earlier, I can’t see properly, I don;t trust my judgement.

Food doesn’t taste as good. I lose my appetite. I force myself to eat three meals a day because logically I know I have to, but it sticks in my throat and I can’t even bring myself to eat chocolate. I burst into tears randomly, because every day is just so fucking hard. 

My children don’t see me upset, but I’m well aware that my patience is stretched. It’s a Herculean effort to try to remain outwardly normal while inside my mind is in free-fall, encased in thick, grey fog.

 I know, rationally, that the fog will lift again, but the worry is when? How long do I drag myself through each day, mask in place so that people don’t see how much I’m struggling? 

Yurts, Friendship and Exercise

<p>I spent a Saturday night in July, in a yurt in North Wales with friends and our various offspring. It was brilliant fun.</p><p>I drove there and took a friend and her son with me as she won’t drive on motorways, or that far. Our other two friends drove up together too. We arrived first and we got a picnic lunch out for us and the children and set to work blowing up balloons and hanging bunting to decorate the yurt as it was one of the other women’s birthdays.</p><p>The others arrived a bit later and by that time we were settled on chairs and rugs in a lovely field, near a stream and some woodland. The children were able to run about to their hearts content as it was such a safe area. Also, we were the only ones staying in the yurt camp that weekend, so we pretty much had the place to ourselves!</p><p>The place we stayed at was Tyn Dwr, which is owned by the University of Central Lancashire. The place is usually used by the students but during holidays they rent it out. We had booked our nights stay via the Big Daily Deal company, so we paid half the price. Usually it is £280 to hire the yurt for the night, it sleeps 8 people and this price includes a continenetal breakfast. You have access to a shower and toilet block and also a room near the kitchen where you can sit and eat your own food.</p><p>So was it worth the money? I’m going to say ‘No’.</p><p>We had a great time, but if the weather had been bad all day, it would have been appalling. Although the facilites were clean they were basic. There is a kitchen, but it only comprises a sink, kettle and microwave. We hired a barbeque for saturday evening, but that cost £25 which seems a bit steep!</p><p>The yurt itself was not what I was expecting. It wasn’t a traditional yurt, nor had any attempt been made to make it look like one. It was basically a wooden trellis structure covered in tarpaulin type material, with a clear plastic circle in the centre to allow some light in. There was a solar powered light, but as our yurt was under the trees it had no charge and if one of us hadn’t brought a small camping lamp, we would have been sitting in darkness all evening! The layout inside was 4 bunk beds around the outside edges and a small table with fold out chairs underneath. There was also a log burner, but we didn’t use it. It was in the “yurt camp” which was rather closely packed. I’m glad we were the only ones in residence, as the noise would have travelled badly from one yurt to another.</p><p>For us, the problem with the accommodation occurred in the evening once the children were ready for bed. By this time it was raining heavily. Initially we put the five children to bed and sat under the trees outside to allow them to settle. Soon though, the rain was so heavy as to make this impossible, so we had to move into the yurt. This is where it was a pain. We had to try to stay quiet so the children would go to sleep. There was no division between where we were sitting and where they were sleeping. A simple awning outside would have solved this.</p><p>While I appreciate that this is used predominantly for students, if they are going to rent it out to the general public, for the prices they are charging… I expect a little more.</p><p>Our booking included various activities for the children, such as den building, orienteering and a night goggles rope walk. I was a bit disappointed that these were not led by anyone. We were just shown where the things were and left to get on with it. I think that this disappointment is more to do with managing expectations. I assumed that this would be a led activity and I was looking forward to gleaning ideas on den building to use in future, as my children are big fans! As it was, we managed, but it wasn’t what I was hoping for.</p><p>We had a brilliant time, and we all agreed that we would happily do a similar holiday again.. but probably not there. Which is a pity, the breakfast was lovely and the staff were all extremely pleasant and helpful, and the area is lovely. The grounds are great for children to play safely in while feeling that they are away from parental eyes, while you can actually still see them in fact ;)</p><p>All in all a brilliant time away. The weather was thankfully pretty kind! The worst of the rain held off until overnight, and then our homeward journey on Sunday afternoon. Driving along the M53 at 30mph in torrential rain during a thunderstorm is not much fun!</p><p>Following what had been an extremely busy few days out, I decided that Monday would be a chillout day at home for me and the kids. So much so, that my daughter only got out of her PJs at 5pm! We played with beads and lego, played games on the Wii, watched a bit of tv and just generally slouched about doing whatever they fancied. They did not want to go out and so we stayed home.</p><p>I had intended to have a quiet and relaxing day, however… The temptation of re-jigging my kitchen cupboards was a bit too much for me. Of course, it never ends there! Soon I was stuck into a massive clear out, binbags of junk were being hurled out of the back door and things put into a box to pass to the ex. Then of course, furniture was moved, dusters and hoovers were deployed and within a few hours the whole of the downstairs was in a state of upheaval!</p><p>Thankfully, a few hours further on and it was looking a bit more normal again.</p><p>The children’s dad arrived to collect them at 6pm, and then I finished up what I was doing, ate a quick, boring dinner (tinned Irish Stew anyone? No thought not) and then headed out to an aqua aerobics class I had booked earlier. Or so I thought…</p><p>I got changed and wandered out to the poolside, where a different lady was standing there handing out weird floats that tie around your waist. I asked her if we needed them for aqua aerobics.. She replied “Oh this isn’t aqua aerobics, it’s aqua jogging!”</p><p>Ah.. I’ve never done that before. She passed me a float. “Put this on, just under your bust. It should sit high on your ribs and be tight. Like a corset.”</p><p>I tightened it. “No! Tighter than that!” She smiled as I yanked it in tighter. “It should be hard to breathe”</p><p>It was.</p><p>Into the pool and she had us jogging around using our cupped hands to drag ourselves through the water. It was bloody hard work. But she was excellent and encouraging with the result that I really felt like I’d had a tough workout at the end of the session. It has to be said though, doing star jumps in the deep end of the pool with a little float around your waist is extremely difficult! My arms are like jelly today and my legs hurt.</p><p>Naturally I’m going to aqua aerobics tonight!</p>