Can’t Teach An Old Dog New Tricks

This is a blog about depression. If you are easily offended or take offence to my very sarcastic humour, please do not read any further. Mental illness is not a joke; it is not something to point fun at and I fully understand that. BUT…when the going gets tough, sarcasm and humour is my defence and so I will be parading it around all over this blog.


If you need help, please get it. Whilst I hope this has a happy ending, I don’t know yet and given I’ve not been able to fix myself, I really don’t want others using this as a ‘How To Be Happy for Beginners v2.0’



I’m up a little later than I intended but given I was awake later than I should have been, it’s hardly a surprise. I am torn. My hair is at McDonald’s fries greasy but if I wash it, I won’t want to wash it tomorrow before the wedding. It’s a tough call but in the end, I settle on washing it. For the sake of others on the train as much as for my own cleanliness.


I feel a bit flustered, partially because I think I’ve lost my phone – I hadn’t, it was in my bag – and because it’s hot. I’m sweating unattractively. Whoever made up the saying that ‘Men perspire, women glow’ has not met me on a hot day running up and down the stairs. I am really hoping looking for my phone hasn’t delayed me too much to miss my train.


I run around the station trying to work out where I should go with this ticket. It’s a megabus ticket rather than a typical train ticket so I don’t know who I should show. Apparently, no-one. Apparently, you merely board the train. I’m dubious this is what I am meant to do and I’m convinced I’m going to be thrown off the train. I settle into a table seat next to the window though and cross my fingers. A family board with a very irritable toddler. I try to avoid eye contact, I can see them eyeing up the 3 seats free next to and opposite me. No, please no. I really don’t want to spend the next 2 hours listening to your child screaming. Sadly, as I look up to check their movements, the mum catches my eye. We all know I am doomed now. What’s the bet that they are not only going to sit at the table with me but they are also going to the same destination as me?


I put my earphones in to desperately try to drown out the screaming. I try to get into my book but it takes a while before I can concentrate. I know it’s not their fault, I know kids do scream but I simply wish it wasn’t on the 10:26 train and in carriage A. Thankfully, the father has realised that the screaming is annoying and so takes the toddler for a walk along the train. Thank you! I read and start to get intrigued by my book.


I am going to be 5 ½ hours early today. Friend’s AI and BI won’t be home until 18:00 and I am due to arrive at 12:40. Their neighbours, Friends AG and DG aren’t home today either. I have to occupy myself therefore and even though I spent 3 wonderful years here as an undergraduate, I feel a bit at a loss. In the end, I settle on an uber to a café around the corner from their house. It shuts at 17:30 so I’ll only need to sit outside for 30 minutes. It also means I can have lunch. I technically haven’t budgeted for an uber so I’ll have to do some manipulation with the budget to cover it but in my defence, I’d forgotten that north of the M25 magically becomes a couple of degrees cooler than the pollution filled London air. Having de-haired, I am proudly showing the world my very pale legs in a summer dress. The only summer dress that currently fits.


Having had lunch, I take the plunge and call Mum. She’s been messaging me that she’s worrying about me. The boundaries I put in place regarding calls are slightly slipping and there has been a noticeable uptick in text messages. I need to try to stay strong though. Mum is going to a family day at the hospital I was admitted to. It’s a half day to allow carers and family members understand what our depression is like and how they can support us. Mum is currently telling me how she’s going just to show how much she supports me but I mustn’t forget that this isn’t easy for her. Oh, the guilt trip, how are you? It’s been a while but it appears you can still pull the rug from under my feet. I tell her I love her and I’ll call on Monday. Let’s see if I can get over the guilt trip.


To assist with the blog write ups and to help drown out the guilt, I order a macadamia blondie and a large glass of white wine. Fear not, this isn’t the early signs of me coping via alcohol, I think, it’s just it’s hot, it’s the weekend and guilt added on top feels like a good time for white wine.


I am pleased I am seeing friends tonight. I feel I need a bit of a boost to ‘pick me up’. For some reason, unknown to me, my mood is very slightly starting to head downwards. I’m feeling self-conscious and wishing I was locked in the flat, blinds down, cats on my lap. I’m tired which doesn’t help me ‘pick myself up’. This is also possibly down to the fact that someone with depression can’t ‘pick themselves up’, depression is an illness, not an inconvenient down day. The whole ‘Think Happy, Be Happy’ is all good and well if you are not ill but sadly just makes those who are ill feel even more inferior for not being able to get better all on their own.


Friend DG appears. I thought he was away for the weekend so whilst I am sat on a bench, the lunch café has closed, and waiting for Friend AI, which we all know will mean a longer wait that planned, I head for a G&T. I’m still wary of drinking too much. It’s been a long time and alcohol is never great for a depressed head.


Friends AI and BI finally arrive and it’s a quick change the out for supper. The restaurant looks brilliant but, the price tag isn’t quite what I’d had in mind. It’s a fixed tasting menu which I know I’ll love but with wine flight added on, it’s going to take me £25 over budget. Might not sound a lot but when you’re digging yourself out of a financial mess, and a depression mess, it feels like the world. The meal is amazing and the matching wines really go well with it but I feel a little sick when the bill comes. I can’t tell if that’s due to too much food and wine or the hefty price tag. I stick it on the pre-paid card as I’ve got to keep myself honest to the budget but it’ll squeeze me for the next 2 weeks. I am also a little paranoid that my dinner chat isn’t great. I don’t have much interesting things to say at the moment. Not with all this crap going on. I mean, I can talk to you about the pros and cons of a psychiatric hospital until I am blue in the face but ask me to have a rounded dinner discussion and I’m afraid it’s an instant fail. Dear friends, I do apologise, I’ve never realise quite how boring I am.


The day has finished well. The money worry aside, I feel I’ve coped with today really well. I’ve managed the bus, a busy train station, a screaming toddler on the train, 5 ½ hours on my own yet still in public and shitty banter over supper with amazing friends. Roll on tomorrow and the wedding of Friend FH and TB!


Today’s 30 days of happiness challenge:



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