The Black Dog Part One

So my best laid plans of posting everyday and starting this fabulous new life as a blogger went the way of most best laid plans…straight into the toilet.

And the reason for it? My good ole buddy Depression AKA The Black Dog. I used to find that a really strange expression for depression, I mean I love dogs, when I think of a black dog, I think of this:

Newfie Puppy4
image sourced from google

So the term The Black Dog never really resonated with me when used to describe depression. Recently however, it has begun to fit very well with my current struggle.

Before I get into this post, let me start by saying this: I don’t claim to be an expert on depression. I am not a Doctor, or Psychologist or any type of expert on this disease as a whole. I don’t know what causes it, I don’t know what cures it, I don’t know all the symptoms.  I am however an expert on my depression. When it comes to me and my depression, there is no expert that understands it better than I do.

Which leads me back to where I have been for the last few weeks, and the short answer is, right here. I never went anywhere….except into my own head. Like most people my age, I have parents that don’t generally “believe” in depression. The way they were raised, if you are sad, just stop being sad. If you are tired, harden up and work through it. If you are scared, stop being a baby. If you are anxious, you are being silly.

So growing up, if I was suffering from depression, (which lets be honest, I probably was) the option of taking pills just wasn’t on the table. As I got older I had spent so much of my life pretending that I was ok, that it seemed silly to stop now. Going to the Doctor and taking anti-depressants seemed like a cop out. I was certain that all I needed was a new job, a boyfriend, a new house, a dog, a night out, new friends, make up with my old friends. I was convinced that one or more of these things would fix all my problems. Until it didn’t. Until the Storm came.

image sourced from google

So once I finally admitted I had a problem, I went to the doctor, got my pills, and I was fine. All sorted.

Or not.

What followed was months of adjusting and readjusting, dosage changes, medication changes. Did you know that some versions of the pill can affect how effective anti-depressants are? Me neither, until I couldn’t get out of bed for 3 days. Cold and Flu medication and anti-depressants? Could make you a little (or a lot) crazy. Anti-depressants and Caffeine? How about heart palpitations and panic attacks? Alcohol and those little magic pills? Computer says no!

So lets pretend this caffeine addicted, asthmatic, smoker who is allergic to her dog and definitely loves her booze, lets pretend that she behaves herself. Just takes the pills. All good right? WRONG!

image sourced from TheFunnyBeaver.com

Why? Side effects….which include but are not limited to :

Unexplained Rashes

Sensitivity to light

Dry Mouth (Oh my god, such a dry mouth)

Nausea

Constipation

Inability to Orgasm (Yup)

Constant Drowsiness (oh naps, how I love you)

Manic Episodes

And last but not least or final…..long term use can lead to Liver and/or Kidney failure.

 

So, the question becomes….

Why in Gods name do people willingly put themselves through this? And why is it sometimes referred to as The Black Dog?

Well Winston Churchill once famously referred to his depression as a Black Dog that sat in his lap and followed him around, creating an imagery that his depression was separate from him and not what defines him. I get that now.

 

As to why we put ourselves through the horrendous experience of trying to find and maintain the right balance of meds?

Because on days we are WINNING……it can feel like this: 

image sourced from google

And the days we are losing? Well that’s another story…….

Yours hopefully,

K

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So here we are……Unemployed. Again.

So it’s day 2 of my new life as a blogger, and I woke full of hope and inspiration…..well actually, I didn’t. I woke up exhausted, threw my well planned and calendered day (remind me to tell you about that little thought fart) straight out the window. In my defence, I did get up, I made a cup of coffee, sat down and then thought ‘dafaq’ (more commonly referenced as wtf).

You see I am currently unemployed. Unemployed and it’s a month before Christmas, so possibility of finding a full time job in the corporate world? About as likely as #smashedavo not trending on Insta. Anyway, I digress. So I had a plan, a great nay a MASTER plan (sniggers quietly) and that plan went out the window immediately as 99.9% of all my well laid plans do. This plan was to clean my house, do my laundry, wash the sink full of dishes, do some Yoga, shower…..generally act like a productive member of society. Instead I watched the latest episode of Arrow while playing some random FB game. Suitably exhausted, I took a nap. FOR 3 HOURS.

Upon waking, finding myself ravenous, I devoured an entire bag of Maltesers in about 7 secs. By now it’s nearly 1pm, I’m still not wearing pants (the long kind, not the knickers kind) and my biggest accomplishment of the day is managing to feed and water Yoda (my pomchi not the Jedi Master). Buoyed by that success I decide to apply for some jobs only to crash back down to earth about 3 minutes after logging on to Linkedin.

Linkedin has this feature called ‘Recommended Jobs‘ which I am now beginning to think is a secret sado-masochistic tool designed to remind you that your are a pretender to the Career Throne and Khaleesi and her dragons are flying in to smite you for your arrogance any second. Alternatively, their algorithms need some tweaking and the users need the ability to decline jobs under the option ‘Totally and completely out of my league‘. Secretly I hope it’s the former. If I have to go out, being taken out by a Dragon would be a great epitaph.

Digressing again I know, the point is either I was really under qualified for every job I have ever had OR recruiters have their own secret language that no-one understands and people just apply for every job they see that lists the perks and is in their salary range. Examples of Recreak (recruiter speak) that I see in 90% of  job ad’s.

  • Ability to work to KPI’s – Is there any job on earth that does not require some kind of performance indicators? Key or otherwise? just because it’s got a snazzy acronym. It means ‘In order to not get fired,the following list of things are the minimum requirements of stuff you must do’. Also as if I am going to tell you I can’t work to KPI’s – you won’t give me the job. (DUH)
  • Consistent over-achievement of quota in past positions – No one is going to tell you…I will lie and say yes even though we all know that no one consistently over-achieves in a sales role. Targets go up, markets change and shit happens, mate, I have 6 weeks of annual leave and sick leave a year, that alone will dictate that I can’t consistently ‘over-achieve’. What does that even mean? I sold 11 and my target was 10? How about if I missed my target but increased sales by 80%? And the over achiever in the office only increased sales by 2%? I know who I would employ. Also, you think my reference will tell you? Understand that I have chosen my reference with care and sound reasoning (reason being – they got my back) so they will say the right thing, especially if you are a competitor or likely represent a competitor – they won’t be risking their job by giving you commercial in confidence information in a reference.
  • Ability to communicate with and experience selling to ‘C’ Level executives – Translation….Must not walk into a meeting with a CEO and say ‘sup dawg. Now two things on that score – I’ve met a few CEO’s in my life – They are just people. You just talk to them as professionally as you do with any client. Secondly, most CEO’s are a law unto themselves, it’s normally middle management that get all fluffed up on protocol and formality. The first time I met the former CEO of a major tech company I worked for, I was in Sydney at our head office in a room with 11 other people and she popped her head in to introduce herself. Everyone in the room went with differing variations of ‘Nice to meet you‘, I said ‘ I love your shoes’, (they were a kick arse pair of Loub’s). Guess who she said hello to by name every time our paths crossed? Thats right, this guy! (for reference I am pointing both thumbs at my chest)

So, thus suitably enraged and therefore exhausted, I took myself off for another nap before I got sucked into the ‘I’m useless…I won’t get another job…I’m going to be homeless…Yoda will starve (A problem I won’t have….)’ despair vortex that is my current opinion on job hunting.

After yet another short nap, I roused myself to play some games, drink some coffee, watch some tv, smoke some cigarettes (yeah yeah, boo, hiss, I know) and then I realised I hadn’t posted today. When I started writing this post, I thought that I really didn’t have much to say today….guess I was wrong. I’m sure I have broken all the blog rules and digressed too much and there aren’t enough pictures, but today didnt feel like a pictures and pretty day. Incidentally, the image I used is a stock photo. I don’t use an iPhone and my manicure isn’t that good.

I feel suitably lighter after that small vent, expect more in future.

yours hopefully,

K.

 

Why am I here?

Don’t worry, this isn’t some existential millennial crisis. Just an explanation of why I felt the need to add my voice to the many millions of other bloggers out there.

So, why am I here? Well, I like to talk…..a lot and right now,more than usual, I feel like I am overflowing with words. Why not share them, I mean I have often somewhat arrogantly thought that I had the wherewithal to write a book or two, but as with most, have never put my money where my mouth is or more aptly go out on a limb and show the world what I think I have to offer.

Now, I humbly put forth what I have in a hope that my arrogance is merely confidence and that the limb I am climbing out on will hold me up. Do I have anything earth shaking or controversial to offer? Is the next Harry Potter hidden inside me?

Only time will tell…………………..

yours hopefully,

K.