Blogging, Depression

Lights and Tunnels

You know the saying that goes something like “I can see the light at the end of the tunnel but knowing my luck it’s the headlights of an oncoming train”? Well, I’ve been suffering a bit of that recently. Not the fact that I’m being hit by a train more that I am convinced that I’m going to be because of my natural depressing outlook at the minute.

There have been so many things going on recently that it’s hard to know what has been caused by what, and how my outlook has affected the way things have unfolded and vice versa.

If you read my latest Daybook entry you’ll know that finances have been tight recently in the household. You’ll also know that my daughter has recently moved back home after splitting up with her long-term boyfriend. I can cope with the tight finances (been there, done that, using the t-shirts as rags now) but the relationship breakup has really hit me for six. I am amazed at just how much I’d counted her boyfriend as part of our family and for him not to be included and involved now is a big shock. I really care for him, and to know that he is in as much pain as my daughter over the breakup is heartbreaking for me too. I am going to miss him even though I feel that they are probably better off without each other at the moment.

That’s a hard thing for me to say but deep down, I think they both know that their life paths are different and it probably wouldn’t have gone on for much longer anyway, especially after my daughter graduates and joins the Royal Navy. She wants to sail the world; he wants to settle down to have a family. Both of them are perfectly right to want those things from life and it would have been wrong to expect one of them to compromise to accommodate the other’s wishes. Such is life…but it’s bloody hard!!

You may also know that I am studying with the Open University again and I recently submitted my first assignment (TMA) for this course. I got it back from my tutor last Friday and I was gutted to learn just how badly I’d done on it. I had expected around 60-70 for it, but my score was a “bare pass” which was totally unexpected. I don’t mind getting a bad mark if I had been struggling with the content, but I really thought I understood the subject and had a fairly good grasp of the essay material.

What has shaken me up was that I was so wrong about my capabilities. I know I’m not the Brain of Britain, but I’m no dummy either. Well, I didn’t THINK I was a dummy…! It has affected my ability to knuckle down and get back to studying again and I fell behind quite a way last week. The light at the end of that particular tunnel has appeared because I’ve managed to catch up a bit and I don’t feel like I’m out of control with where I’m up to now.

The question remains as to whether it’s the end of the tunnel or another train because I’ve got another assignment due in a couple of weeks which I should be working on now. We do have a tutorial on Saturday afternoon but I’m going to have to miss it because of a paid job. As finances are as tight as they are and Christmas is just around the corner (thank you TV commercials for reminding me every 10 minutes that I’ve “got to get that special gift for that special someone”) I can’t really turn it down, but if I don’t go to the tutorial I’m jeopardising my studies. Short term it isn’t a problem but long term it is. I have to get my degree to improve my earning potential. At my age and with my skills my options are extremely limited so I’ve got to try and do something to help myself.

You see what I mean about lights and tunnels?

Having been in this depressed state so many times in the past I know that (here it comes again) there IS light at the end of the tunnel, but I also know that until I can look backwards at now and view it from an “up” state of mind then I won’t ever be able to trust that the light is hope rather than the 10.24 express from Piccadilly.

I usually do get down at this time of year and I usually manage to pull myself round eventually, but this year it feels so different to normal. I am not as emotional as I usually am, but I know I’m more “down” than I’ve ever been at this stage. There’s more to be down about though, so to be fair I think I’m doing rather well considering. I won’t bore you with the other stuff (who wants to hear someone moaning about being in constant pain?!) but the things I’ve talked about here are the biggest icebergs floating in Pam’s world just now.

To end on a positive note I have spent the evening watching my daughter’s gerbil rearranging his cage after she’d cleaned him out yesterday. She put a load of new sawdust in for him and gave him the tube from the centre of a kitchen roll, which he has been busily chewing up tonight. He has been burrowing tunnels all over the place and it has been really comical watching him through the sides of his tank. He’s a lovely little creature and he’s certainly cheered me up tonight. If something so small and simple can be happy about exploring tunnels then so can I.


Claude having a rest in his newly cleaned out tank. Cute eh?!
Claude having a rest in his newly cleaned out tank. Cute eh?!

Just a footnote to anyone who knows me personally – this isn’t a cry for help or anything, I’m just blowing off a bit of steam about some things that are all a bit stressful at the minute. I am ok, and I know that this is only a passing phase so please don’t worry about me! Thank you for worrying though xx




5 thoughts on “Lights and Tunnels”

  1. Sending you some hugs and prayers! This may sound strange, but I’d love to send you a Christmas card. I get that you might not be comfortable giving your address out to a comparative stranger on the internet, but maybe I could mail it your church? If you get a moment, could you email me about that? I think that you can see my email address when I comment but if not it’s


  2. There is a pattern to mood, isn’t there. I’m thinking of the seasonal changes as we lose sunlight and spend more time in the gloom. There also seems to be a ‘clustering’ of problems in our lives, sometimes leaving us agog at the sheer nonsense of yet another challenge.
    But Pam you have our friendship, virtual though it may seem, you have your faith and your family too. You also have a strength of character which I’ve seen endure through all sorts of ‘icebergs’.
    Always here and never phased by a venting session. Xx


    1. Thanks for your comments Dave, I appreciate your support. You’re right – mood does come in cycles and there is a definite pattern to them. I know myself well enough to know now that this time of year is the worst for me. I wish I could pin it down to something or other because after 42 winters I should be in better shape than this! I usually ride the type of things that are weighing me down at the minute and I get frustrated that – yet again – I’m in the position in November where it all is just too much and I’m panicking I’m going under. I know from experience that there isn’t an easy “snap out of it” neither, it’s just hard work and determination not to get bogged down totally. We’ll get there! > Date: Fri, 22 Nov 2013 08:57:17 +0000 > To: >


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