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When Mr Grumpy Came To Stay. Wednesday January 14, 2015

"Protect Your Child from Flu" declared the informational leaflet from the NHS.

Listen hard. Yes, that's the sound of hollow laughter.

The entire population of year 8 at my daughter's school was invited to be inoculated against the 'flu virus as part of a "pilot scheme."

There were the usual horror stories related with relish by the current year 9, who had done it last year: "They stick you with a big needle and it really hurts!" "Everyone has a really bad reaction and has to have a couple of days off sick: that's why they do it on the Thursday so you can be sick at the weekend," "They get two enormous Trolls to hold you down... oh no, sorry – that's the sorting hat from Harry Potter!"

So it was a big anti-climax when the children were escorted (at gunpoint, my daughter says, but I don't believe her) down to the hall to snuff some kind of liquid up their noses, and there was no reaction at all as far as I could tell.

Sadly, there was also no protection against the particular 'flu virus that hit the school at the end of last term, and my daughter who was particularly proud of her 100% attendance record for the past three years went down hard, spent the last two weeks of the term in bed and wandered around the house for the whole of the holidays like the ghost of Christmas Future. With her dead white face and shadowed eyes all we needed was a packet of black hair dye and a slash of carmine lipstick to hold auditions for Morticia Addams.

Next was hubby, who really doesn't do being ill and is not pleasant to be around when he is ill. Normally good-natured, charming and hospitable, he extended this year a Christmas invitation to Mr Grumpy, Mr Irritable and Mr Touchy for the season. I can tell you that they quite outstayed their welcome.

Then, two days after the start of the new term, daughter number two comes home wearing that interesting white, dirty grey and purple-bruise colour on her face (never a good look)and saying in a small voice "Mummy, I don't feel well..." She's still in bed, coughing and lethargic, as I write.

So it's been the season of misery in our house this Christmas. It's been somewhat disconcerting for me to be the only consistently cheerful one in my (normally) happy and well-balanced household.

It's almost impossible to be cheerful, to have a high Moodscope score when you're ill. In this season of coughs, colds, viruses and 'flu, cut yourself a bit of slack if the score dips. This time it might not be depression; it might just be the common cold. Achoo!
Bless you!

A Moodscope member.

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The Entertrainer Wed, Jan 14th 2015 @ 5:06am

Wishing you and yours health, happiness and harmony dear Mary. Good point - 'depression' has oh so many roots... and imitators.

Hopeful One Wed, Jan 14th 2015 @ 7:13am

Hi Mary-sorry to hear that you are all mis this Christmas. A irreverent thought crossed my mind.Is that one of the reasons that psychiatrists call depression "the common cold of psychiatry"?

Rupert Wed, Jan 14th 2015 @ 8:27am

Mary I sometimes wonder whether a bit of illness and time in bed would be just what the doctor ordered. The thought of not being able to get up and go to work and be forced to read your kindle or watch your favourite films on the TV is a truly uplifting thought in some ways!

Julia Wed, Jan 14th 2015 @ 9:08am

Hi Hopeful One. I imagine "the common cold of psychiatry" keeps their large salaries coming in though, however much they appear to deride depression. I had no idea this is what these professionals think of us!

Anonymous Wed, Jan 14th 2015 @ 10:17am


Anonymous Wed, Jan 14th 2015 @ 11:54am

Well done Mary for being so healthy!!! I hope you can avoid the bug. Completely agree with this, cut some slack. This has traditionally been my worst time of year and so I'm trying to do exactly that, thank you for the reminder.

Rupert, i used to think the same...I thought if only I could be left to sleep and sleep, rest and read, be free of responsibilities etc, that my depression would leave me. I now realise it would only have closed the lid and Pandora's box would remain. I do dream of a sanctuary though, sitting outside, great view, on a padded wicker chair in early Autumn sun, with blanket on knees and tea and cake anytime you need...oh wait...that's a posh care home. Scrap that. We have lives to fill before that!
Love ratg x.

Anonymous Wed, Jan 14th 2015 @ 11:57am

p.s. Confession time:
I haven't recorded a score in longer than I can work out. Been too scared. The blogspot has kept me going. But...I will today. Biting my bullet. Love ratg x.

Hopeful One Wed, Jan 14th 2015 @ 12:53pm

Hi Mary- I am afraid so.But it is worse.We are often referred as sad-dos, no hoppers and heart sink to name a few more.I suspect what they mean is that it is very common condition in the life of a psychiatrist large salary and all.

The Entertrainer Wed, Jan 14th 2015 @ 1:14pm

Bite that bullet, dear RATG... bite that bullet!

kornage Wed, Jan 14th 2015 @ 1:20pm

@ratg - I was enjoying your vision of sanctuary thinking, "that sounds nice", and then you added the tag. Made me laugh. Thank you :-)

Anonymous Wed, Jan 14th 2015 @ 6:46pm


Mary Blackhurst Hill Wed, Jan 14th 2015 @ 9:51pm

Oh I love you all! I didn't know that depression is called the common cold of psychiatry. (That spelling doesn't look at all right.... oh well). I'm with Rupert on this one (rest, peace, my kindle), until it happens and then I'm just so darn frustrated... you are so right ratg. Hope that bullet tasted good.

Tim Thu, Jan 15th 2015 @ 4:15pm

Thanks Mary for another engaging, warming, witty, and "humanly-uplifting" piece! I know, at my worst, I couldn't have written with such insight, apparent calm, eloquent balance, and paced construction as you always muster. Not one sentence. Not. A. Word. At. A. Time. But, to everything, a season. When I think of what you do for paid work, I'm inspired. Though we might despise our "condition", don't you find it helps you identify with, and thereby help, oh-so many clients? Just ordinary folk, similarly buffeted by this human "condition" (THE "human condition"?) I know I do. And I thank God for it, pain though it was and may be again. All rather Judges 14:14.

Anonymous Thu, Jan 15th 2015 @ 10:25pm

^ does anyone else think Tim should blog...
Love from the room above the garage

Mary Blackhurst Hill Wed, Jan 21st 2015 @ 5:46pm

Absolutely! Tim, let's see something from you.

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