My Black Dog is called Fred

Meet Fred. Fred is my Black Dog. Fred follows in my shadow. I hate Fred.

I cried in my car on the way to work today.

Getting out of bed, showered and dressed took everything I had in me to give.

Not quite like being flung into hell when I wasn’t watching.

More like waking up to find myself in a black void of sorrow.

Like every nerve ending has been scrubbed raw and the slightest breeze has me curling over in pain.

Rationally, I know how irrational it is.

The thing about anxiety and depression is that it is utterly irrational.

Logically, I know that one day soon I’ll wake up and it will be gone and the sun will warm my skin and the birds will sing.

Right now, it just feels like I’m a drowning person futilely grabbing on to a straw to keep from going under.

I should have seen it coming.

When I had to cancel a party I’d been planning for months, because just thinking about it made me want to vomit.

When I couldn’t make plans on Tuesday for Friday, because I was scared that by Friday I might not be able to look anyone in the eye.

When people around me are dealing with big issues with grace and strength and I fell apart over groceries.

Something so small and insignificant.

Something anyone else would have brushed off.

Something that broke me.

It broke me because it showed me how not okay I am.

That all the time and energy expended on pretending to be a normal, functioning adult was for nothing.

I couldn’t take the tears out of my daughter’s eyes when she lost her race.

I forgot to put water in the car.

I parked like a nana.

I bought the wrong groceries.

I gave the wrong person the wrong boxer shorts when I did the laundry.

Such small, stupid things.

So, what the hell is wrong with me that they made me cry?

That they made me question everything, that they highlighted every bad thought I have about myself.

That I’m a useless person.

That I’m a terrible mother.

That it would be better if I just disappeared.

42398940_1110502119100777_4640356143706551906_n“How are you?” asked my husband this morning.


Honesty is not always the best policy.

Because what should I have said?

“I’m not okay. I’m falling apart. I don’t know what I’m doing. I want it all to just go away.”

How would that help us when we have real challenges.

Real mortgages and debt and kids and a failing economy?

When homeless kids are going to die on the streets?

When people who have nothing are doing everything they can to eat tonight?

And I can’t put my shoes on.

And it doesn’t really matter, because I know I have depression.

But nothing really seems to matter right now.

Because it doesn’t matter how I feel.

I still have to function.

I still have people depending on me.

I still have bills to be paid.

I still have a job to do.

I can’t afford to hide in a cave and sleep until this passes.

And the kind looks, the “Are you okays” just make it worse.

They just shatter what’s left of my defenses.

And I reply, “It’s nothing. I’m just coming down with something.”

Because it’s easier for other people to think it’s the flu.

Like depression is something contagious.

But it will pass.

I know it will.

I have to believe it will.

If I can just get through this one hour at a time, things will be fine.

And when someone asks I can say, “I’m fine” and not be lying through gritted teeth.


largeI am not alone.

Thousands, millions of people just like me are not alone.

We’re not freaks.

I am not a freak.

And if by sharing how I feel today, it makes just one person feel a little less alone, than at least something good can come out of this.



Food for Thought 2018

I have my box.

It’s a comfy sort of box.

It’s a protect me from the storm sort of box.

It’s a cozy box even if it is a little cramped.

And it doesn’t have a view.

Okay, I hate my little box, but I stay there because outside is more than a little scary.


People are always saying, “Think out of the box”.

It wasn’t until last Tuesday I heard, “Forget the box. There is no box.”

Damn straight.


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I was lucky enough to attend Ads24 Food for Thought 2018 event. It wasn’t only brilliant and eye-opening, but it forced me to evaluate my life and whether safety and boredom are really an adequate substitute for danger and excitement. I realise that I may have got too big for my box.


Between Dawie Roodt, Chief Economist for the Efficient Group, Prof. Nick Binedell, and scenario planner, Clem Sunter, my (usually goldfishlike) attention was caught in a web.


My box blew to smithereens.


Things are changing, our world is moving back to a pure economics, supply and demand model.


That the way we’ve been doing things like giving away our power to banks and governments and career politicians is short sighted and short lived.


For the first time I saw Donald Trump, not as sign of the idiocy of the human race, but as global movement against career politics. A stand against bureaucracy. Maybe, he isn’t the right face, but he sure as hell is shaking things up.


It’s time to create your own job, not rely on someone else to find a box to fit you into.

It’s time for an Armageddon, a paradigm shift.

Either you reach our grab it and ride that wave with sheer adrenaline or you drown.


Live large. Laugh loudly. Play games.

In a world where we value diversity, where we respect those who dream impossible dreams, why does it only apply to adults? It’s time we celebrated our children for being exactly who they are.  Different. Brilliant. Beautiful.

Never allow your children’s dreams to die. Encourage them to find their own answers. If your little boy wants to be a fireman, take him over to a station and let him meet some real life superheroes. He can be whoever he wants as long as you believe he can.


When we cook, there is chocolate on the walls and hundreds and thousands on the floor. My home is no House and Garden showpiece. Cricket bats, basketballs, tennis rackets and guitars lie in casual piles in corners. Barbie doll fashion shows, Lego monuments and gigantic pillow forts are the artistic interpretations that decorate my home.


Bring a kid shouldn’t be complicated. It shouldn’t be about Facebook and Twitter. being a kid is about getting dirty, having fun and finding the magic in everyday things. Being a mom, isn’t that complicated either. Love you children no matter what. Respect their choices even if they weren’t the ones you wanted them to make. Be there when they need a helping hand or a shoulder to cry on. Teach them good manners. Be the best role model they could have.