Less peak, more trough: when the black dog comes and bites you on the arse

I wish I could pinpoint when the black dog is coming to sit on my lap. To walk beside me every step of my day. To lie on my bed and infiltrate my dreams.

Has it been the boys’ relentless badgering to get a dog and my equally adamant denial of that request that has made him return?

Or the bizarre three kilo weight loss last week which returned literally overnight?

Or the haemorrhage of money that is start of the school year (even though I have managed it! somehow).

Is it my ongoing nagging worry about Mum and her health (she is back to walking with a stick as now her left knee has totally given way).

Perhaps residual anxiety and grief about the Christmas incident as the new reality that it birthed has to be nursed. By me.

It seems ridiculous but the weather, I am sure, is a part of it. That Sydney in February is relentlessly hot AND humid to a point I feel I cannot breath let alone function must play some part to my mental health.

Am I at a point in my fitness and health regime where the mental ghoules are as scary as the physical ones reflected in my bedroom mirrors?

I will not give up. I will not.


Years ago, in the Glamorouse days (which reminds me, I transferred posts over here and MUST edit them so as not to compromise B), I used to whinge and wail about how I hated the weekends. How long and hard they were as a single parent and I am there again. I view the approach of the weekend like an animal views the approach of a human – with a level of fear, trepidation and a nanosecond to decide whether to fight or flee.

Yesterday I got through the cricket/bowling relay match to get home and be struck down with a migraine. And by struck I mean I went to lie down and hours passed in a haze of children screaming, children at my beside requesting foodstuffs or informing me of some slight committed against them by a sibling or that the internet was down. I could not focus my eyes and weird white lines of moving static strobe across them. A first.

Last night saw me have a fitful sleep of a dream in which I battled to kill the devil at the behest of a couple (played by Hugh Jackman and Winona Ryder) who had just bought this exquisite derelict mansion which was inconveniently haunted/occupied by Satan (who, why, I must ask, is always a dragon come alien come dinosaur looking creature?) and while I winced as each stunning architectural feature was destroyed I was pretty happy to be working alongside Hugh and increasingly cranky at Winona who, just as we slayed the Devil, sucked in its final smoke thereby giving it life once more. What an idiot.

Then followed a cavalcade of stars and whether they had been privy to this heinous plan which, naturally, was linked to their sexual conquests. It turns out John Travolta is incredibly adept at dodging bullets of religion and infidelity, considering there was a whole side-story where Winona and Hugh’s babysitter had confided in me her torrid love affair with John, their neighbour. I told her she had to end it and she looked at me incredulously and then pointed to John  and said, ‘would you end it?’. I let that one go to the keeper seeing as my whole aim had been to woo Hugh with my ability to kill the devil which was now severely in jeopardy as to do so would involve killing his wife. Problematic.

Meanwhile there was some sort of 30Rock substory which stars ranging from Beyonce to Pink through Nicole Kidman and Leonardo Di Caprio confessing their sex sins while dancing to some sort of pole dancing shake-ya-bootie soundtrack.

Needless to say today I am wobbly and exhausted.


But what I did not expect was the underlying sense of panic.

The fear of getting through the day ahead.

The vice like grip around my heart, that it is struggling to keep beating as much as my lungs are struggling to fill with air.

The return of being nervy about current events and them upsetting more than they should.

The intensity of just notwantingtodothisanymore








I have been caught off guard by being totally over the school routine already, even though I have everything in hand and it is all ticking along beautifully.

I have been trying to ignore the welling up of the Groundhog Day feeling.

I am growing increasingly resentful for the way everything is even though there is nothing particularly bad or noxious or untenable with  the way everything is.

But the diarrhoea is back.

As is the poor quality sleep (the first sign and has been that way for more than a month).

And the sense of dread about nothing in particular.

And all of it, quite frankly, scares the crap out of me. (literally as the return of the trots clearly indicate)


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  • oh girly.
    I hear you…….
    on so many levels…
    I feel panicy(sp) and wrung out and want to run away…..
    wanna come with me??

    I suppose…..try to breathe and take it as it comes……..????

    Who the hell am I kidding???I have no idea what to advise but I will hold your hand if you will hold mine….ok???

    massive hugs

    • Oh thank you! Panicky and wrung out. That is it.

  • does it help to know that we have seen you get through much much worse.

    That your strength and humour do get you through the bad times.

    I know the diarrhea, the constant butterflies in the tummy .. I was medicated for them… and when they have you in their clutches it seems it will never pass.

    But it will our Kim, it will.

    Mary recently posted..February 14th

  • Kill

    I wish we had a magic silver bullet or Atticus Finch on hand to SHOOT that mad dog between the eyes, once and for all. You will be OK.

    Don’t tell the boys, but Maise is up the duff, to a very small fluffy dog from next door….. Due May? Keep it in mind – cute and small and free. Then again, maybe not.

    And I would be completely insane with heat + humidity + no cooling. I’m just saying – you do well just to do anything but sulk when the weather is horrid.

    Lotsa love

    • OH DEAR GOD. DUE IN MAY? As in, FELIX’S birthday??? You know, if PaPete gave him/her the snip I would be virtually saying yes. DEAR GOD did I type that???

  • #warning stream of consciousness comment bought on by excessive driving kids to sporting events etc and on last pick up a beer on an empty stomach…

    Kim, you’ve been in my thoughts all weekend – in fact i even had a conversation about you and yr blog and how fabulous you are with 2 lovely girl friends in Bathurst yesterday – we all agreed that it would be better if you moved out here and then we started to fight over whether you should move to bathurst or orange – true! But, seriously, you have been in my head. And i’ve just now walked in the door from another insane weekend (like i’ve clocked up about 500km in sporting event clicks, obviously this is not a plus to living out here…) and my laptop is by the stove and i was flicking thru my feeds while boiling eggs for dinner and i saw you’d posted, and i thought – ‘oh great’, cause i always think that when you post, and i read it and i thought, oh no, i know this place – i KNOW it, and i also still thought – oh great – because i really do love reading yr posts even when you are down. And i never comment, because i’m just not very good at it – but exhaustion, heat, beer on empty stomach has lowered my resistance and so here i am and what i want to say is: there are a host of us – a HOST – cheering you on from the sidelines. We are thinking you are amazing to handle what you are handling. We are thinking keep going!! Keep pounding that pavement, keep packing those lunches, keep tapping those keys. Cause you are doing it – even though it sucks, even though it actually is never easier, even though even though even though….it’s a long road…we say here, from the sideline – take heart! – take heart sweet thing and keep going.
    Mags recently posted..Reality

    • Do you think you could comment more regularly? Because you just totally made my day and lifted my mood and spirits infinity.

      • well i will 🙂 #newtoblogland also thinking, bizarrely…(for me) of coming to blog conference (a conference! i hate conferences…) – but my friend (girlonaswing) has been at me…and i’d get to meet you, and and and…so maybe. Keep standing & don’t forget tomorrow is run day. I’ll be running too.
        Mags recently posted..Reality

        • OK, I am kind of giddy with delight at that prospect.

  • Hi Kim, My new book THIRTY-SOMETHING AND THE CLOCK IS TICKING: WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU CAN NO LONGER IGNORE THE BABY QUESTION is due out in March. Please let me know if you’d like a review copy and I’ll get my publisher Random House to send you one. Here is the video trailer of the book http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yUC8kZZ_Ow


    • Kasey Kasey Kasey – no longer IGNORE THE BABY QUESTION? Have you READ.MY.BLOG??? DUDE.

  • Oh wow, I really like Mags – she writes a brilliant commentbox.

    I’ll just place my box beside hers and say “Amen!!”

    I felt like you feel now when I had only two kids and they were both already old enough for full-time school. So, considering your huge work-load I think you’re doing very very well.

    But Mags still said it better.
    Eleanor recently posted..Charade

  • But Bathurst and Orange are both too far.

    So no, sorry Mags, Kim is staying here.

    G’night xxxx
    Eleanor recently posted..Charade

    • Ahh but Elemar, you could come AND STAY for extended periods of time!

  • Paola

    My sweet Kim, seems like this evil thing is running around the world faster these days… yesterday I read another blog with pretty much the same subject, in another part of the world.
    What does this tell you?
    We are women, we are doomed like that, we MUST go through this every now and then, there is no way to avoid it
    it’s ALL of us, I’ve learned, not just me, not just YOU and this should be our strength because us women are stronger than that, we might trip an fall every now and then but THEN we always get up and when we do we are taller, stronger, we have learnt from our fall and we can be there for all our loved ones (and you have a lot of them!) even more than we were before, and when we will, we’ll be amazed at ourselves.
    How do I know this. Because I know exactly where you are, you just need a moment to yourself and then you’ll rise, more beautiful, stronger.
    Un grande abbraccio.

    • OH my beautiful Paola, I love you. That is all.

  • Mrs woog

    Shit mate. Bad. Xx

  • jac

    I’ve got nothing. But I would like to point out that you were able to articulate and recognise your own problems, instead of hiding deep under the duvet faking an upset stomach. For example. xx

  • LissyLouLou

    Like Mags I don’t comment often because other people seem to express themselves much better than I. But I’m cheering for you. Hugs.

    • Oh thank you – it really does mean an awful lot – these votes of confidence and encouragement have lifted me measurably today.

  • LindaS

    I’m free for hugs anytime this week my dear. Come over for another afternoon of mineral water and tea. Bring Grover with you. Love you! L

    • Oh lovey, that would be divine. Are you around tomorrow arvo? Will text.

  • Perhaps a little check-in with the doctor? Maybe a scrip for some anti-anxiety meds?
    Just enough to get through this hard patch?
    blackbird recently posted..10 good things

    • these had been my thoughts exactly. I even have a script in my wallet.

  • OH DUDE. The only thing I can do when those moods strike is remind myself that they’re temporary, even if they don’t feel like it at the time. I don’t write all my black moods in public but I do write them down privately and reading back over things sucking and then getting better reminds me that things DO get better. Pretty much always. Eventually.

    (When it seems like they won’t, I fantasize about running away to a monastery somewhere. All the Sisters have taken a vow of silence, so I don’t have to talk to ANYONE. I have a little job, maybe working in the garden or scrubbing floors or something, that I do every single day except Sunday, and no one expects more than that from me EVER. Three meals a day, maybe some prayers that I fake my way through, a bed, and my little job. That’s my life. It’s a nice fantasy.)(We won’t discuss how sad it is that my fantasies now involve celibacy and asceticism rather than their opposites. M’kay?)
    Kathy (formerly Badger) recently posted..Currently in love with

    • Dude, your fantasy escape sounds like absolute heaven to me. HEAVEN.

  • Sounds like a truly sucky weekend. I hope things feel better today! Wishing you well, A. xx
    Amelia recently posted..FOCUS

  • Oh Kim, I hate to hear you sounding so low. I am with the lovely Mary – you’ll get through this. You are strong. You’ll get through this. xx
    Sarah recently posted..Heavens above!

    • Hey there, today was better. But that probably has more to do with the lower temperatures and three children being at school! still, onward!

  • Julie

    0Hi Kim,
    I’ve read your blog a lot but never commented – like Mags and probably for the same reasons – someone says it better. I get the impression that never commenting on a blog I read and respect and enjoy is not all that helpful to the blog writer…so here goes. I’ve got a bit in common with you – 4 kids (though mine are all girls), husband who works a lot, mother with health problems. Here’s what’s different -no money problems, mum doesn’t live with us, eldest child doesn’t have special needs. And despite these significant things that make my life less stressful and easier than yours, I still totally relate to everything you feel and describe. You have my utmost respect for the way you manage your life, your honesty about it and the humour with which you write. I suspect that a whole lot of strangers cheering you from the sidelines doesn’t actually help with the ‘notwantingtodothisanymore’ but we are here and we are cheering and we are loving your blog. So thanks and sorry about the essay! Julie

    • Oh Julie, can you just comment irrespective of what anyone else says? This has been one of the main highlights of my day. And you know what, that bevy of strangers on the sidelines? Rocks.my.world. and indeed keeps me going. At times I actually visualise you all as big broad arms carrying me through the tough times.

  • Is it bad that the daydream badger has sounds so incredibly enticing.

    Get me to a nunnery now !
    Mary recently posted..February 14th

    • *snort* I thought exactly the same thing! And didn’t think there was anything tragic about it at all. Which maybe makes me even more of a lost cause!

  • Kill

    well – you might get to meet Mags AND maybe have a half brother to her Duke (Maise’s full brother) and she will join with me in the MOVE TO ORANGE chorus (I was getting a little hoarse from screaming it on my own). Yey

  • Kill

    oh, and on the puppy front they are due….less like May…..more like tonight! I know, an honours degree in animal production and I still can’t do the sums. But according to Dr Google it’s only 58-63 days gestation (I was thinking 5 months, but that’s sheep!). She’s in the laundry now due to nesting, restlessness, howling today. Will keep you posted