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.


16 thoughts on “The Black Dog

    1. Thank you Audria! Not exactly sure if I’m going anywhere yet, but if I do I would sure miss you stopping by with your awesome “likes”! (That sounds so weird but I mean it, seeing those likes makes my day.) 🙂

  1. I’m so sorry you are suffering. I have been there, too. I agree this topic needs to be explored. I sometimes feel the need to vent to friends that I never get one. single. minute. of peace, but I’m mostly just met with looks of disbelief since I chose this life. But just because I chose it and it’s a privilege doesn’t mean it’s easy peasy forever and ever amen! Anyway, all that to say I really appreciate your words on the subject. Blogging or not, you are succeeding just because of all the love and care you are pouring into your kids. 🙂

    1. Thank you Megan – I’m sorry you have suffered in this way as well. I like what you had to say about not being able to talk to anyone about it. I mean, just because we “chose” this (and not everyone really feels like they had a real choice) doesn’t mean it is easy. People “choose” to get married but that doesn’t stop them from complaining when things get hard, and people seem to accept that. Well anyway, I’m here to listen because I get it!

  2. I came across your blog for the first time two months ago, and it felt almost pre-ordained. I stay home with my two small kids and have been feeling a pull to homeschool the oldest for at least preschool and kindergarten. However, I’m an HSP and very introverted, which made me nervous. When I found your blog, I was like, “MY PEOPLE! They exist!” and immediately forwarded a link to my mom and husband 🙂

    Also (and already this comment feels like big time putting myself way too out there)…I just started medication for depression and anxiety for the very first time yesterday.

    Anyway, I’m a very grateful (generally too shy to comment anywhere) stranger that will be combing your archives as I begin homeschooling this fall, hoping you continue to write with as much openness and honestly and you’re able.

    1. Thank you, Emy, for being willing to put yourself out there to help me see more clearly. I’m so glad you stopped by. Good luck with your new medication – I hope it works wonders for you! 🙂

  3. I second what Emy said. I’m homeschooling my 6yo (and trying to entertain my 3yo), and I love your posts. As a HSP, it has been so massively validating to come and read and sort through archives. I know I’d love for you to keep blogging, even if it isn’t under this exact name. Your perspective is so helpful to me and many others im sure.

    1. Thank you, Teresa. I guess I could be the Highly Sensitive Former Homeschooler, LOL. I appreciate your comment and kind words. 🙂

  4. I just found you and I adore your humor and that you are in the exact same stage of life as I am. Not many of us blog from this stage of life anymore and we need voices of moms in the middle years of mothering/homeschooling especially as an HSP. Posts like this one make me feel like “you too?!” and that is so so needed. I appreciate your vulnerability so much.

    1. Thank you Aimee! You are right, there are not enough people blogging the middle stages of homeschooling and motherhood, although I think that number is slowly growing. I love your comments in that now I can say, “you too?!” as well. 🙂 Thank you for sharing you heart.

  5. I am a new reader, too, and would miss your voice. I carry many suitcases 🙁 Reading your posts and the comments from others reminds me that I’m not the only one. My homeschooling boys are 9, 13, and 15 and seem to enjoy leaving the house sometimes(!). I’m sure the right thing for you will show itself. I hope you feel better soon, and I thank you for making my bag a little lighter. <3

    1. I’m sorry about your suitcases. 🙁 I wish I had one of these for you – (wish me luck I’m going to try to insert an image)

      I’m glad to know I have helped, and thank you for taking the time to tell me. My kids like to leave the house sometimes too. What is up with that? 😉

  6. Amy, it’s good you’re taking your own advice and help heal yourself. Recognizing where we are is the first big step!

    Big hugs and prayers! I wouldn’t make any decisions about the blog…let things unfold. God will show you when it’s time.

    I’m also entering a different season of life, no homeschooling next year, a surgery, and working outside the home. It’s all a bit nerve wracking.

    1. Oh Jenn, I didn’t know about all of those things! Do you have another surgery coming up? Many prayers to you.

      Thank you for the thoughts about my blog. I guess you are right, I’ll know what to do when it’s time, I was just at sixes and sevens about it all and there was no clear path. Everyone’s comments have at least cemented the fact that I’m not alone and my story can help (or more likely serve as a warning, LOL).

  7. I just found you today! And I’m an introverted HSP (recently self-diagnosed, ha!), currently homeschooling my 5th and 7th grade boys, my kindergarten son is in public just for this year and a 3-year old daughter pulling up the rear. I love what I see here so far and I think we need a lot of conversation out there on this topic. It’s because of who I am that my husband resisted me homeschooling for about 5 years. I get overwhelmed and bleak very quickly… but reaching a diagnosis of ADHD/possible Aspergers with my now-10-year-old son is what tipped us over the edge and my husband was the one to suggest it. If you do decide you need to sell this blog… maybe talk to me? I’m kidding… kinda… I have a blog but it doesn’t have a real direction at this point… sigh…

    1. Hi Margi! So nice to see you here! I certainly understand that “tipping point” you mention. Ha, and I feel my blog has no real direction either, although it seems to on the surface. My mind is another story. 🙂 I hope to start blogging here more soon, so I don’t think I’m going to sell quite yet, but I’m always open to thoughts about that or working with you in other ways! Thanks for stopping by and your nice comment. 🙂

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