Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Not the best day in my life

Lilacs - how I love the scent. Things are not good in the Life household at the moment – various family problems, by far the worst of which is my son-in-law’s depression. Which is intermittent but completely disabling when it strikes. Anyone have a magic wand? He seems to read this sometimes, so - we love you, J, and you're great. Just keep determinedly thinking about the good things.

Also I just don’t have enough time to read all the interesting blogs I keep coming across. I’ve just had a big catch-up, and people have had panic attacks, babies, grandchildren, knitfests, quiltfests, painting sessions and so on without waiting to see if I was watching. So thoughtless.

A while ago I was kindly awarded the Thinking Blogger award (but I have no idea how to put it on my template – if that’s the word). Actually, because I read so many thinkers’ blogs, I can’t now think who hasn’t had it. Most of you have. So give me a few days to pass it on. Also I’ve been tagged for 7 random facts, but – I have to go! I’ll be back- but don’t do anything exciting in the meantime.

I do wish all you bloggy people could all come round for coffee. Including you, J, and Daughter I - oh, and you, dear husband, if you wanted (but you'd probably hide in the study). I don't think Son or Daughter 2 reads this, but they'd be very welcome too. I'd make a cake.

This post is probably full of mistakes because I am in a great rush, and this would serve me right for the odd critical comment which has appeared on these pages (are they pages?). Still, see me dash off....


  1. Awww, Isabelle. We're always posting with you in mind. (Really, I'm always thinking...did Isabelle catch my grammar mistakes today? ;-) ) You're terribly busy -- hope you can find some YOU time soon! XOXO

  2. Ha ha! I check my grammar for Isabelle as well!
    {((hugs))} Isabelle.

  3. Me too!

    I know all about the busy busy part. And wanting to have everyone round for coffee and chatter. Sigh. Lesson plans call.......

  4. Thanks for sharing the lilac photo and for your thoughtful comments on my blog.

    I'm sorry about the various life problems. About the depression - there are so many things which can cause it. Personal experiences, diseases, one's brain chemistry, stress. That's part of what makes it so vexing to tackle, and unfortunately, one person's magic wand may not be another's. It can be a very crushing, annoying condition to the person who has it: "I have everything in the world to be happy about. Why am I so unhappy?!" It can also be inexplicable and frustrating to onlookers.

    Some things to try, in no particular order:

    Keep a mood diary, and try to figure out if the depression is associated with anything. Stress, diet, life events, the particularly horrid purple curtains in the bathroom.

    Consult a physician; there are many physical issues that can cause depression. (Undoubtedly your son-in-law has already done this, but I thought I'd throw it in for the sake of completion.)

    Consult a therapist. (Another thing he's probably already done.)

    Consider trying medication. It isn't for everyone, but there are some who benefit from it. There are also some who find it useful as a temporary measure, to help get through a rough patch in life.

    Exercise and get outside in sunlight every day. (Some believe that the brain's serotonin production is related to the amount of sunlight one gets, although that may now be debunked. Exercise helps depression in various ways, such as by lowering stress.)

    Consider trying cognitive therapy. It's about analyzing and changing one's thought patterns. Some people find it helpful and some people don't. One good book on the subject is David Burns' "Feeling Good Handbook".

    To sum it up, sometimes there isn't one single thing that makes a difference but many smaller things. Sometimes it's a great deal like fighting Malaria, with occasional attacks that reoccur over a period of time. However, their severity can definitely be decreased and life can become a great deal more pleasurable. For some people the attacks can be stopped altogether.

    In the meantime, all of you have my sympathy.

  5. Hello, Isabelle.
    I am flattered that i your busy life you found time to all by my place.
    Sorry to hear about the busy and the sad bits.
    We are haviing a rather awful time too courtesy of one 13 year old.
    It is exhausting sometimes.

    All I can say is exercise.
    Which releases endoerphins, which can help. Get him up and out there, at least 40 minutes every day. The more panting and sweating, the better. Run.
    If there is a pool,make him swim. Swim far and fast as possible. wear flippers if not that great. kick hard.
    Get the face red.
    Believe me, this makes a huge difference.

    Medication is ok, but such a lottery, and so awful.

    Well I should be off and doing my bit, hopefully ther will be no phone calls from the school today about any vomiting 10 year olds. Makes it hard to think poetically, at the very least.

  6. I am often thinking of you and wondering how things are fairing where you are. I send you hugs. And, yes, busy here, too,although I have had no babies or major life changes (fingers crossed that life stays fairly quiet! :))I wish you well... do you like tea? I'd share a cuppa with you if you were near. :)

  7. If only we could all get together! I am sure we would solve all our problems.
    Keep well. You have my thoughts for your son-in-law... it is hard to live with & hard to watch.

  8. Hello Isabelle, what a beautiful lilac tree the colour is tunning.

    We have a group here in Australia specific for men with depression and I think it is on the web I believe it may pay to take a little look they do such a lot for men and they are working with anyone including the farmers while the drought is on.
    ((many hugs to you))

  9. Hi Isabelle .. have to agree with fifi on the depression ..

    In my late teens and early twenties I suffered from acute anxiety, panic attacks and depression. Running helped enormously.

    I'm no medic but I think, apart from the endorphins, the running provided time to just be physically and get out of my head for a while. If your son could just try it ... he might find that it gives perspective on other issues. I certainly do.

    Lovely lilac, something very stately and dignified about them!

  10. Love the lilac -- I need to find somewhere here to plant one. As for the depression ... I took a mindfulness training seminar last year, based on the writings of John Kabat-Zinn (Full Catastrohpe Living). It's not targeted specifically to depression, but has been seen to help in some instances. I thoroughly enjoyed it and wish I'd more completely integrated the teachings into my life... I keep meaning to go back.

  11. Hugs to you ((Isabelle)) and to ((J)). I've always wanted to see Scotland (ever since having a Scottish pen pal when I was a teen) so perhaps I shall pop around for coffee one of these days :-)