sit. stay. good boy.

Eject! 29/07/2016

I want George Jetson’s bed.George Jetson

The one that stands him up and deposits him on a conveyor belt when the alarm clock goes.

It then takes him straight to the shower to be washed (and wake up properly!) before it progresses through an area where he is dried and finally, his clothing put on.

It’s the hardest part of starting any day.

The most impressive thing is that this idea is universal enough to have become a very popular part of the opening theme of a television cartoon series (… at least for all you generation X-ers out there).  Everybody could identify with it.

Getting out of bed and preparing to face the day is not easy.

It’s not just George who needs a bit of help.  How many shows and movies show people being “encouraged” out of bed in the morning by way of a bucket of water? A swift removal of the covers? Somebody violently shaking them and calling their name?

How often do you see people portrayed stumbling to the shower in the morning, still half asleep?

Sometimes I think that its easy to forget that difficulty in the mornings is not just something that came with the onset of Depression or under the influence of medication.

It was always hard for me – since my teens.

It has always been more appealing to stay in a nice, warm bed than to move and get to the point where I am heading off to work or school, to uni or some appointment somewhere.  Especially the things that are compulsory – even the ones I enjoy.

Sure I think it’s sometimes harder than it used to be – but sometimes, when I’m not really depressed, I wonder just how much.  I just have another reason to add to the others when it comes down to it.  The reason is real … but the issue itself isn’t new.

Sometimes I wonder if I look at the period before I was hit with depression wearing a nice and sparkly pair of rose-coloured glasses.  After all, if I have gotten to the point where the idea of “normal” is strange, who’s to say that I’d even recognise what was once “normal” for me if it hit me on the head.

The truth is that despite the fact that this illness does affect my energy levels; despite the fact that my medication can slow my system down and make me drowsy; despite the fact that there are days where I feel really unmotivated (and by the way I, like most people had my share of those before I had Depression); despite the fact that I have less in my day …

I’m not sure that I could say with any confidence that getting up and ready for the day was ever something I greeted with enthusiasm …. beyond perhaps birthdays, Christmas and special events as a kid.

I don’t struggle with mornings because I have depression.

I just struggle with mornings.

… a little like a big chunk of the rest of the population.


But I still want a bed like George Jetson.

(… and I’m not the only one!)



Boxing 14/05/2012

I sit here in the living room of a place that I moved into a couple of days ago surrounded by half unpacked boxes.  Behind me is the TV … I wanted to watch Bones last night, but do you think I could find the cords for the antenna or power? Nope.  I did find the ordinary drinking glasses that I was determined to unearth the evening before.  Eventually (after Bones was over) I did find the cords … in a shoe box that the removalists conveniently placed on the TV unit (duh! I had just put a stack of papers on top of it).  This is what happens when you are too busy to do all of the packing yourself and get the movers to help with the packing!  I know exactly what is in the boxes I packed … they’re also labeled with more than the room that they were packed in.  I am in the process of washing every bit of linen that I own because everything has been in storage for a couple of months in cardboard boxes and a lot of it has been wrapped around sundry items for padding … it all smells musty.  The clothes from storage will all need ironing before I wear them (although the were bagged in somewhat more smell-proof containment for the most part so don’t all need the wash fest …

It strikes me that life is a bit like this.  It’s all a bit of a journey.  We can mark time for ages and not feel like we’re going anywhere and yet be changing all the time; we can be going backward, or round in circles … or other times our world shifts and we have to figure out what to do with everything that we have and all that we are.  The things that we think are important get re-sorted and stored differently and things find new places.  Some things it is hard to fit.  Other places leave vast holes.  Some things about our new places lack things we really liked about our old worlds, yet there are things that perhaps are vast improvements and what we would wish for might be a mixture of both … but a journey doesn’t allow that.  We must leave one place in order to go to the next and then to keep moving onwards.

This is what the process of living with Depression has been like for me.  When I discovered that this was what was going on in me and that it was not going to resolve itself and just go away my whole world shifted.  Dreams died.  Hopes were broken.  My heart broke.  I needed to learn how to travel a different journey.  It has been a long road, and the path has not followed the course that I thought it would, but I find that perhaps broken hopes heal and perhaps dreams don’t need to die after all.  Perhaps they look a little different to the glorious picture that they once were.  Perhaps they are now more humble.  The journey is not over, it is a life long one … there is always room to grow and that includes the times where health is not great.  My heart has been healing and knows joy.

In the mean time, I unpack my boxes and place my bits and pieces in their new homes for this next leg of the journey.

Now … if only I could find the play doh …

(and the camera)


I Resolve 15/01/2012

Filed under: Mindfulness & the Senses — jillnottelten @ 3:31 pm
Tags: , ,

I resolve to make a resolution.

It will not be a grand one.

It will be simple.

Something that I can stick to – but not trivial.

It will have meaning – but not mean the world to me (or anyone else for that matter).

It will be inspiring, though.  Something that will make me feel better for having stayed my course.

Yes.  Simple but hope filling.

It will be something that will make me feel alive.

It will need to be something that can be easy to keep – and yet a challenge as well.

I could spend a year making a resolution like that.

Perhaps this year I shall simply resolve to breathe …

… and not take every breath for granted.


It’s Not Fair 18/12/2011

Filed under: Experiencing Depression — jillnottelten @ 1:00 pm
Tags: , , , ,

It’s one of the first things children learn to say.

“It’s not fair!”

It could be.

It might be.

It might not be.

Lots of the time it’s not.

I was picturing life as fair a couple of weeks ago.

There was an endless row of storks lined up for miles on end, each with its very special bundle to deliver.

Each bundle was allocated – not necessarily the same things but things of the same weight and number.

So each stork took on ‘x’ amount of tragedy and ‘y’ amount of suffering and ‘b’ amount of joy and ‘c’ amount of strengths and ‘m’ proportion of weaknesses.  And then there was a minimum space indicator allocated for tragedies and suffering – so they couldn’t come on top of each other – because “fair” – as we all know – allows time for healing.  And each of these little bundles then was given a special value key that they would hold each other’s strengths and weaknesses, joys and sufferings, tragedies and so forth as as valuable or important as their own.

But life’s not like that.

Storks are impatient creatures.

They fly out when they’re good and ready and often when the load’s not ready to go.

And tragedies and suffering, joy and strength and weakness don’t get dished out in measured helpings at nice comfortable intervals either.

No.  Life’s not fair.

It’s not really designed to be.

In lots of ways we’d be a lot more content if we all stopped looking for fair.

Sure, I think that we should act in a way that is decent and even-handed to others when we get the choice … but there will always be someone who thinks that a choice wasn’t fair.

Why do I have treatment resistant Depression?  I don’t know.  Essentially because I had brain surgery for an aneurysm that they found.

Would it be more fair if it hadn’t been found and I’d have died in tact in my mid-20s?

What sort of question is that?  Both were possibilities.  Neither seem ‘fair’ to people who love me or my family.

Do we have to remain in some kind of pristine condition for things to be ‘fair’ then?

How old do you have to be before it is ‘fair’ for your body to start deteriorating?

No, if we go by what we usually think of as ‘fair’ then almost nothing is fair.

I don’t think life is designed to be fair.

I think it’s about growing and letting ourselves learn from the things we encounter.

I’ve met quite a lot of people who have been through a lot who are wise.

I think that they’ve learned what they could from the hard times and the scars that they’ve left.

So I’ve set my sights anew.

I want to be wise.

(but maybe by learning efficiently, not by having too many lessons????)



Apologies for a long absence

Filed under: My Black Dog — jillnottelten @ 8:57 am
Tags: , ,

Good Morning, good evening and good night.

Apologies to all for a long absence.  I have been running around in circles.

Miserable circles.

Busy circles.

Changing circles.

Family circles.

Circles of decision.

Circles of despair.

Circles of relief.

Circles of exhaustion.

Circles for lack of direction.

But I think that I have finally found where I am going.

The dog is back on his leash.

This is merely a short entry to promise more and that I will be back – probably later today and will catch up with the people I regularly visit and have been neglecting shortly.  I have been very short of energy for anything over the course of the last few weeks.

More later.  And that is a promise …



Renovations & Powa Toolz 25/11/2011


Regulars might recognise some familiar faces in the photos below.






The latest news is that the house is being renovated. Construction of the new wing has progressed thus far:

The house extended



The rear wall is to be replaced with the potential addition of windows. The new wing will include a front door and windows.  The indoor walls remain unsecured and no front wall exists because I failed to purchase the correct type of nail (bullet head 25mm) last time I was at the hardware shop.  I need to return sometime over the weekend to collect further supplies for another project so that should be corrected soon …

The roof as planned - notice if you will the beautifully level 45deg cuts at the edge of the eaves!

The outside shall be repainted a resplendent shade of white, while the roof the product of many hours of problem solving and labour shall need to be redesigned (original model included eaves which limit opening area for the house) and will eventually be painted a lovely cottage green.  The original stain and varnish mix ran out and there is not enough to paint the extension.  As a point of trivia, the main house was constructed principally by two boys, aged 10 and 12 who took sheer delight in wielding (with their mother’s comfortable permission and my trepidation) my power drill and hand saw, PVA glue, hammer and nails and delighted in painting on the stain.  Their 8-year-old sister and 5 1/2 year old brother undertook the interior decorating (neither their mother or I were brave enough to entrust them with the bigger tools). The indoor walls yet unpainted could wind up any one of a number of neutral to more warm happy colours or be covered in wall paper (the lower half of the green room that usually serves as a kitchen will almost certainly be softened by a half-length of wall paper.  Beyond this … we shall see.

Curtains are as yet unplanned and await decisions about window placement and paint.  Carpet and tiles await in readiness. The Black Dog and populace await their new home with bated breath (while I look forward to watching visiting kids play with the doll house.  My niece is especially fond of removing the mermaids from the bath toy collection and populating the house with these).

My other project is something that I have undertaken just because I figured that I could make one and because I know I’ll use it.  I was sure I could.  I worked out how.  Then I even found a DIY leaflet at the local hardware centre that agreed with my plan!  So I am making my very first home-made book-case.  We shall see how it turns out! It should be extra good, because as an added improvement, while I have been building I have acquired a ROUTER (gotta love the power tools!) and so I shall be setting my shelves into the upright pieces of wood.  I cut the groove straight across both pieces side by side to make sure that I got them at the same height when I measured them all up – so it should work.


Time will tell.  I now only have to get the pine lining for the back – they only had bendy bits left when I was buying wood the other day and that would have made slotting the wood together near on impossible – so I decided to go back when they got more in.  Plan is to do a layer of stain before construction so there’s no pokey little corners.  Construct, then one or two more coats of stain depending on what the pigment does.  Finally, I’ll finish it up with some estapol with a nice satin finish.

Next one I make I won’t space the shelves evenly though, I’ll make a couple taller and shrink a couple so that it will hold folders and such.  This one is just for books so it’ll do.



What do you do with the Shockers?

Yes, I am still here.  Still living, breathing and blogging.  Just fell victim to a couple of very shocking weeks (interspersed with some lovely moments, but very few and far between).

This week I’ve barely been able to tolerate daylight, let alone the computer screen – migraine like I have not had in a long time since my medication includes migraine voodoo concoctions … but … amidst my Barry Crocker of a week the week before and the ensuing weekend I became a bit disoriented and missed a couple of doses of my meds, hence the hole in the firewall (just to mix some more metaphors).  Yesterday I went to the GP to get a medical certificate for work and stopped at the shopping centre on the way home.  Talk about sensory overload!  My world had not yet totally stopped spinning so I had this strange spacey kind of sensation as I was walking, the noises were louder and more jarring, lights and colours still bright, smells still sharp.  I couldn’t get out of there fast enough!

Work has been crazy and exhausting trying to manage the politics and dynamics within the office.  Don’t get me wrong – I like my job.  If only work could just be about going and doing your job and coming home again, what a relief it would be!  But there are systems and other people that one has to navigate to do one’s job.  Equipment that one and space one has to somehow get adequate access to do it.  Preferably in a way that lets you stay well without creating more stress than is necessary – which is where the battle lies at present for me.  At present it seems that I am destined to bang my head against a brick wall and progress nowhere and to endure life in the office that gets claimed by miscellaneous team members to serve as their staff room – while my office buddy and I are trying to work in it!!!

But alas!  These are not healthy things to dwell upon.  The goal is to work out how to attack and push through.  I had thought that we had had a strategy for the work one, but it is back to the drawing board on that one next week as it looks like this is rapidly fading into embers.

At present I am struggling not to dwell on the difficulties of the last few weeks.  I grew frustrated that my usual seasonal dip in mood was dragging on longer than usual, but didn’t really look beyond it for other triggers until much too late.  Sitting down with a friend a couple of weeks ago to go over what had been happening clarified things a lot more for me.  One of the reasons that I am so focussed on work issues over the past couple of weeks has come about because through sitting down and working through my usual triggers and warning signs with my friend revealed that my workplace is simply loaded with triggers.  There is little wonder that I have been struggling to emerge from my usual brief decline and regathering of mood.

It’s so easy to forget to go back to the basics when one gets busy.  I can sort of see why Mary Ellen Copeland, the woman who designed the WRAP suggested that going over triggers and warning signs should be something that someone should do daily to prevent relapse.  I’m not sure that I would ever go to daily, but I do know that I need to be going over my WRAP a lot more frequently than I do.  The whole point of knowing one’s triggers and warning signs is so that you can be alert to them.  It’s one thing to know them – but so easy to miss them unless you’re really watching.

So – What do you do with the shockers?  Do you beat yourself up over them?  There’s no point in that.  To me, it seems you need to do is stand back and detach a little.  Stand in the moment.  Not the future.  Not the past.  Just the moment.  Examine – and for me, it helps if I can find someone to help me stay in perspective … at least to get me going – and learn.  This helps me to see cause and effect relationships; it helps me to learn and relearn trip hazards; it helps me see things specifically rather than looming ghouls and it leaves room to remember that there were a couple of good moments in the last fortnight too.

From there I can start with a plan.  If the plan needs adjusting, then so-be-it, but perhaps – just, perhaps … next week can be a bit better …



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