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The Black Dog

The Black Dog


I’m going to break an internet rule and apologize for not posting in three weeks.

I could tell you it was because I was busy (which I was) and that things are crazy (which they are) and that I’m putting my energy towards helping my daughter make her college decision (which I am – she has 9 days, people!) — but that would only be a part of the story.

I want to be honest with you here because I know you, as highly sensitive people, are not immune to what I’m about to talk about.

A few weeks ago, my typical acquaintance with depression and anxiety turned into a all out brawl, and I was losing.  I had been sliding down for a long time, but this was tail over teakettle into a ravine.

I became re-familiarized with the term, The Black Dog, which didn’t in any way seem to do what I was going through justice, although it brought up thoughts of Sirius Black from Harry Potter, which produced at least a little ray of light in an otherwise dark world spiraling out of control.  My Black Dog was more like a pack of black wolves with rabies.

I normally have a lot of deep troublesome thoughts or things going on in my life, which I can typically carry around tidily as if in a suitcase.  The problems or thoughts are there, but I am managing them.  Lately,  not only has the suitcase gotten too heavy, but it sprung open, getting lotions and dainties everywhere, just as I was running for the gate so as not to miss my plane.   Plane missed, stuff everywhere, me sitting in an emotional, embarrassed heap, unable to clean it up or move on. (OK I’m done with the metaphors, LOL).

Two days ago I stopped a medication that I think might be contributing, but it’s only a guess because it’s supposed to act in the opposite way. It’s too soon to tell if it was helping. I only took it 10 days out of the month, and my depression was every day not just those days, so I’m guessing if it was a contributing factor it’s more of a cumulative thing and will probably take time to get out of my system.

Or it has nothing to do with it and I’m just totally out of whack.  Not sure I ever was IN whack, LOL.  Actually, not even sure what whack is. 🙂

I have spent a lot of time in the last few weeks thinking about this blog and the fact that I wasn’t blogging.  Mostly wondering where I want to take this blog.

My oldest is graduating (!), my second is in a local high school, my now 7th grader wants to go there when she hits 9th grade, and yesterday #4 asked to go to school as well, before high school.  My youngest has no desire for school, but I can imagine that will change when his best buddies are all gone.  I don’t blame them.  I try very hard not to let my mental state affect them, and am usually very successful, as I’m a good faker around people.  But slowly things have changed around here over the past few years, both educationally and socially.  They are lonely and need things I can’t seem to manage.  So the highly sensitive homeschooler may soon be the highly sensitive NOT-homeschooler. Probably not next year, but soon.

Blogging about being overwhelmed by homeschooling seems disingenuous to me if I’m not right there in the trenches with you.  To me, at least.

I’ve thought about selling the URL and associated “stuff” if anyone is interested. 🙂  It’s just a thought at this moment, and I’m not sure how I would go about it all, but I’d be happy to talk to anyone interested. The right person could really fly with this blog because there is a great need for writing about this topic. I just don’t know if I’m the one to do it.

I also am having a problem with the way I’ve been blogging — part of me wants to do the traffic driving “10 Ways to Be the Best Homeschooler EVVVVVEEEERRRRRRR” posts, and part of me hates them with a passion, LOL.  The other part of me just wants to hang out and chat about life, but I worry about it turning into a whine-fest.  As HSPs life can be overwhelming, so when talking about the HSP life I’d be talking about being overwhelmed.  A lot.  Especially as an HSP dealing with anxiety and depression. And I don’t have *answers* so I’m never sure what to say.

The flip flopping between the two types has made me feel two-faced.  I know I should just follow my heart, but my heart is  If I don’t get traffic here I’m just talking to myself, but in order to drive traffic I’m not being true to myself and having to be over-salesy (for me).  Like, if I see one more highly staged instagram photo, I’m gonna quit life and go be Thoreau at Walden Pond.

I’m just going to stop there here, and ask for your thoughts.  I’m not even going to give you a question to answer, just throw it all out there to me, whatever you are thinking, about any of it.  I feel like a conversation needs to happen, but I’m not sure how to start.


47 Things in 47 Years

47 Things in 47 Years

Excuse me while I do a little introspecting on the brink of my 47th birthday.  What can I say, I’m an INFP – I think “navel gazing” is our middle name.  But I strongly prefer the word “introspective” to the more derogatory “navel gazing,” because knowing yourself is not a bad thing!

There is so much to be learned by knowing yourself.  With self-knowledge, you can more fully understand others. What person doesn’t desire to be known and understood?

Read More Read More

Weekend Links

Weekend Links


A few links for sensitive souls…

I did go ahead and make a Facebook page: The Highly Sensitive Homeschooler on Facebook. Yes, “likes” make my day.

Taking a Break Before You Need It by Tara Mohr. Do you find your self doing fine, doing fine, doing fine, and then BAM! You are way beyond NOTfine?  Explore taking a break before you need one.

Will Homeschooling Make Me Lose My Mind? (love the title, LOL) at Like Mother, Like Daughter . So much wise advice at this blog.

15 Tips for the Highly Sensitive Parent at Sorta Crunchy. Working hard at the “minimizing visual clutter” one.  So hard for an out of sight, out of mind Mom, but the difference is palpable.

10 Ways to Love an Introverted Mom at Moderately Crunchy

(thinking my next link should be from someone’s blog who identifies as Very Crunchy) 🙂

Hope you all are having a blessed, restorative weekend!

Weekend Links

Weekend Links

Breaking a “rule of awesome bloggers” to say I’m sorry for my obvious lack of blogging lately.  All my energy has gone towards getting the kids through the last few weeks of their school year, and preparing my oldest for her first overnight trip to a youth conference. She has multiple, severe food allergies, so it was a leap of faith for all of us!

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A quick question while I’m working on my next post in the Homeschooling Styles vs. HSP series…if you know your Myers-Briggs personality type, what is it?  Do you know any other personality “styles” you fit into from other tests and descriptions?

I’m an INFP, and I must be one through and through, because no matter how I try to answer the various Myers-Briggs surveys (you know, trying to be *more* honest, or answering how I was as a child versus now, or getting someone to help me) I always come out INFP.

Feel free to tell me anything else you’d like to about your personality and your mind in the comments. 🙂



Ssslinking Around

Ssslinking Around


A few links for Sensitive Souls on a Saturday afternoon…

Is Shyness an Evolutionary Tactic? in The New York Times

Five Flavors of Homeschooling – a video from Simply Charlotte Mason

“Homeschool” – “school” = HOME at Simple Homeschool

Doing Nothing is Doing Something from Slow Your Home

Now, take two slow, deep breaths with me….



Ahhh, that’s a little better.

…many blessings for your weekend, everyone!

Seven Quick Takes – First Post Edition

Seven Quick Takes – First Post Edition


I can only stare at a blank screen for so long before paralysis by analysis sets in — otherwise known as blog-writer’s-block.  So instead of waiting until some perfect “first post” scenario hits my brain, I’m going to jump into this blog with a Seven Quick Takes! So, welcome!  I’m still sprucing things up and in the process of writing several new posts. Please check back!


My hope is that this blog will turn into a place to share about our homeschooling journey and about being a homeschooling mom who is highly sensitive and introverted.  I’m going to share resources on being highly sensitive, introverted, creative, empathic and/or gifted.  Mostly, I want this to be a place where it’s OK to be who you are…any, all, or none of the above.


This blog was born out of a very strong need to embrace who I am. God made me as a highly sensitive individual for His good purposes, and I find the more I accept that and act accordingly, the happier I am.  Now, if the whole world would just understand, that’d be great. 😉


Like it says in my about me page, I have five children. We’ve been homeschooling for 11 years, 12 if you count our first run with kindergarten that we then repeated the next year with our oldest.  Last summer, I crashed and burned so bad I put the youngest 4 in school.  It didn’t help, for a variety of reasons, and we will be bringing them back home again in June, with the exception of my 14 year-old, who will be attending high school.  So this year I’m homeschooling just my 10th grade daughter. I say “just,” but she’s intense and wonderful and dyslexic/LD, so it’s no walk in the park.  I’m looking forward with trepidation to having most of them home again!


My children are all manner of personality types/abilities –

16yo (10th grade):  extremely extroverted, creative, global thinker, dyslexic (but loves reading and writing stories), LDs, highly sensitive, artist

14yo (8th grade): extremely introverted, quiet when out but not at home, black and white thinker, will try anything once, highly sensitive in some ways and totally not in others, loves creative writing, her and her older sister are like oil and water but they try to make it work (when they are not screaming at each other, lol)

11yo (5th grade): peaceful and joyful best describe her, loves to laugh, has an amazing memory, generous, also introvert

9yo (3rd grade):  Extroverted, fiery, highly sensitive, generous, needs excitement and has an insatiable appetite for love, always has.

6yo (kindergarten):  another class clown here, lol, he’s the youngest and only boy. He’s gifted in math, loving, funny, sensitive, loves his Mom and playing on the iPad.

I almost forgot our latest addition – Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, our guinea pig! Handsome, rich, refined, shy…oh wait, that’s the other Mr. Darcy.

They’re all wonderful and I’m so lucky to have them. I’m going to go hide in my room now.


Please feel free to comment and let me know what you’d like to read about here, now or any time in the future…I know that I’m not the only highly sensitive homeschooler out there, by far!  I’d love to know what your needs are and hear about your strategies and successes, also!


To see if you are a highly sensitive person, you can take this self test at Elaine Aron’s website, The Highly Sensitive Person. I scored a 25 out of 27, and probably could have said yes to all of them, since the instructions say to indicate yes even if it’s only somewhat true of you. So yes, I’m highly sensitive! If you took the test, how did you do?

For more of Seven Quick Takes, please visit Jen at Conversion Diary!


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