Walter’s busy weekend

As I was at Dom’s Mum’s wedding all day on Friday and Dave was in work, Walter spent the day at my parents house. He loves going there. As soon as we arrived, Walter’s tail was wagging and he was so happy to see my parents. I made a quick exit so as not to upset Walter. When he worked out I had gone he was looking for me around the house and kept putting his paw up on their front door which is what he does when he wants to go outside. He had a lovely time at my parents house and was fussed over. 

Fast asleep on my mum’s knee!

Saturday was week 6 of 8 of Walter’s puppy class. We looked at lead pulling. Walter did really well with this; responding quickly to what we we told to do.

Saturday afternoon we went round to visit our friends at their house. Their border collie called Fly was the first dog Walter met. They had a lovely time together. Walter was so playful and didn’t stop for hours. My friend got her camera out and got some lovely photos:

On Sunday we had a lazy day. Walter was worn out and I was from the wedding and a busy Saturday. So much so that Walter and I ended up snoozing on the couch. I really appreciated Dave taking this photo!

We decided to open up the bed we bought Walter when we first got him. When Dave picked it up from Argos it was huge compared to 9 week old Walter. Plus on Saturday Walter enjoyed sitting in Fly’s bed! 

I decided this week that I would teach Walter to high five. I only started yesterday and he has picked it up really quickly. He can now do – sit, lie down, turn, wave, speak and high five. He gets so excited when he knows I have treats out for when we are going to practise 🙂

Back on the horse

After a chilled out weekend I managed to get myself in a better headspace about the gym. It helped that I talked to my friend from the gym via whatsapp. The conversation wasn’t about my mental health. It was just a typical conversation between friends. One of my big worries was facing her after what happened at the gym on Thursday evening. 

The anxiety was still there today. Dave was messaging me words of support and encouragement. But I went to the gym with the mindset that I wouldn’t let my anxiety win today…and it didn’t! I did the entire Bodycombat without anxiety rearing its ugly head. 

Gemma 1 – Anxiety 0

I also didn’t let the current low I am experiencing stop me from taking Walter to puppy class with Dave. This week we asked to bring something that your puppy sleeps on. We took one of Walter’s blankets that he sleeps on in his crate. We were then shown how to get your puppy to go on his bed. Walter already responds to “in your bed”. He has a routine of going out to the toilet and then going straight into his crate ready to sleep each night. It is something Dave and I have instilled from the beginning and it was evident during the class. Walter was definitely one of the most responsive dogs. I was so proud of him! 

The last half hour of puppy class is a chance for all the dogs to socialise. We let them off their leads and they can do what they want. The puppy class we take Walter to is on a huge secured field. It has taken weeks for Walter to get more confident socialising, but he is definitely getting there. At the beginning, he would sprint towards the gate to leave the field. I don’t think he will ever be as lively as the labradors in the class. But considering he is the smallest dog in the class by a lot I can understand his hesitation. This week I managed to get some photos of Walter socialising:

The lovely Tilly

One of the trainers brought her 12 week old minature labrador called Wibble. Walter loved her!!!

Betty the black lab

Walter did so well considering he has been out of sorts. He is teething and lost a tooth on Friday. As you can imagine, he hasn’t been very keen to eat. He was also sleeping a lot more than usual and generally being more cuddly (if that’s possible!) more than usual. 

This is Walter’s teddy Jesse. Yep…Walter is named after Walter White from Breaking Bad. We had to call his teddy Jesse. This is a kong teddy and it is fab! It has minimal stuffing and has rope inside it. 

I am happy to say that Walter is much more himself. He has eaten all his food the past two days and has been playing a lot more. 

Tomorrow I have Dom. On Friday his Mum is getting married. Dom is an usher and I am going to support him. I am worried about how I will cope with the day. But the most important thing for me is ensuring that Dom is ok. It means one less thing for his Mum to worry about and I am so glad I can help. I will post about how it went. 

Up and Down

I have continued to be up and down throughout this week. I don’t know which is worse; knowing why you are feeling anxious or unexplained bouts of anxiety. I’ve felt on edge a lot this weekend which has been frustrating. Especially when I have had such a chilled out time and managed to catch up on sleep. I have talked with Dave about it. I wonder if I am anticipating something going wrong and that’s why I am anxious if that makes sense. 

On Wednesday I have an interview for the job I applied for! I (well, my depression) convinced myself I wouldn’t be shortlisted. I have to travel to London for the interview. Dave has taken the day off work to come with me. I told him I would be ok but he insisted. He is so sweet. We are going to travel to London by train. My parents are going to have Walter for the day. I have sorted out all the documentation I need and what I will wear. It’s hard not to think about the interview. It is an amazing opportunity. All I can do is try my best. 

Walter continues to do well at puppy class. We did a recall exercise yesterday. One of the trainers kept hold of Walter’s lead. Dave and I were asked to stand opposite Walter some distance away. We then had to call Walter’s name. Our little dude did amazingly. As soon as he heard us shout he ran as fast as his little legs could carry him. This week I am going to work on teaching him to turn. 

Walter with his new teddy. We have to take a favourite toy of his to puppy class next week. I think this will be it!

No rhyme or reason

Today marks 10 years since 52 people lost their lives and over 700 people were injured during terrorist attacks in London. This was the worst terrorist attack in British history. It has been heartbreaking to be reminded of the atrocities of that day. I have read a number of articles from survivors and victims’ families this past week. But these accounts have shown the determination and spirit of the British people. The refusal to let terrorism win. 

Currently I am experiencing a massive low. This has seemed to have crept up from nowhere. I’ve had a nice weekend with Dave. The gym was fine last night. I did feel quite anxious before Bodycombat started. The studio was busy and I felt really trapped. I had to keep telling myself that it would pass and it would be worth staying for the class. The class was really hard. I hadn’t been the gym for a week and it was noticeable. But I didn’t walk out or listen to my anxiety and that is a good thing. 

Today I have chilled out with Walter. We went for a walk this morning, played fetch and tug of war and worked on him lying down. Yet I could feel myself struggling to concentrate as the day went on. I have felt spaced out a lot. For unknown reasons I sat and cried earlier this evening. 

Wednesday is always a busy day for me. I go the gym in the morning and I pick Dominic up when he gets home from school. It would be a lot easier if I could stay in with Walter. But then I would be letting my anxiety and depression win. I can’t let Dominic down regardless of how bad I feel. 

Being brave

So I decided to be more brave with my hair. This is a big deal for me. I normally would never have suggested an undercut to my hairdresser for fear of looking stupid, hating it etc. But after spending the week looking at different undercuts I decided to do it. 

My hairdresser and I decided to go for a softer undercut which you can see on my left side. I love it. It looks different and I can always cover the undercut if I want by putting my hair over my ear. I am now contemplating getting some colour in it. 

Yesterday I spent the day round at my parents. I had a lovely time. Walter loves my family. He had lots of fun running round in their garden and getting lots of cuddles. 

This morning was Walter’s first session of his puppy classes. At first he didn’t know what to make of it. He is the smallest puppy there. A lot of the puppies are really lovely but hyper labradors. Today was a chance for the puppies to have a run round off the leads on the massive field where we will do the training and to get used to each other. By the end of today’s session Walter was a lot more settled and much more happier going up to the other puppies and vice versa. The real work starts next week. We picked up some really good treats for Walter after the session. Dave and I are really pleased with the puppy classes. Walter did really well and we are really looking forward to going again next week. 

I felt pleased that I coped at the puppy session. I didn’t feel anxious. I was able to talk to the other puppy owners. Having Walter has made me be more sociable. We are constantly stopped on walks by people wanting to stroke him and ask questions. As such, I have to interact with people. One of the neighbours near ours always says hello to Walter now whenever he sees him 🙂

Walter is absolutely shattered after the puppy class. Our friends are coming round in a bit so he is having a much needed rest. This was him earlier in the week. He was sat with me on the couch. I leaned forward to get my drink from the coffee table and he stole my seat!


Help and support

The NHS counselling I was having wasn’t working for me. I felt like I wasn’t getting anything from the sessions. The counsellor would speak to me like a child. As a result, I dreaded going. Not the usual anxiety filled dread. But rather the dread of having to spend an hour doing something unproductive. I have had counselling in the past and I found it beneficial. I think it was the counsellor that made me feel like this. 

After much messing round with different people through my local NHS services, I finally got an assessment appointment for CBT. I had it this morning. It went fine. I am now on a waiting list. This shouldn’t be an issue as I still have some sessions left with the private CBT counsellor I am seeing.  CBT has been so much more useful to my recovery compared to counselling. I feel more in control and have found strategies that help me. I want to build on this and CBT through the NHS will hopefully allow me to do this. 

I decided to cancel my counselling. The relief I felt after I had done it reiterated that I had made the right decision. Plus, someone else who is currently waiting for counselling can now access it. 

Walter loves going for walks. He gets so excited when he knows we are going for a walk. He is such a poser:

Beside the fact he takes ages to go on a short walk round the block, Walter is quite good when we are out. He is overwhelmed by all the new smells. Plus, he is super nosy whenever we walk past anyone. I have had so many people stop us when we are out. Walter loves the fuss that is made of him. 

Walter had a little play date with our friend’s border collie Fly. They got on well. Fly is so laid back which helped:





They played in the back garden and went for a quick walk. Walter was exhausted when they left. My godson absolutely loves Walter. He kept going over to stroke him. Walter loved it!


I have loved spending time outside in the garden and on walks with Walter. He is coming on loads. We’ve managed to get him to sit and put his paw up instead of jumping up on the couch. He also waits for his food now. When we first got him he would dive at his food like we were going to take it away from him. I enjoy having Walter to focus on. My mood hasn’t been as low since a few weeks ago. The only thing I am struggling with is that I’m not getting enough sleep. Walter wakes up at 5am each morning (regardless of what time we put him in his crate for the night) to go the toilet. He then wakes up each hour after that. Dave thinks the sun wakes him up. We are going to put a blanket over his crate and see if this has an effect. I think it will be just a matter of time before Walter can sleep through the night. He is only 14 weeks old and his bladder is only small. 

There is going to be another Fit for 5ive event at the gym in July. I am really looking forward to it. The gym is still helping me to regulate my mood. With having Walter, I really enjoy having some ‘me’ time that the gym offers. I am planning on increasing my weights in Bodypump as my fitness seems to have improved. 

This Friday = new series of Orange is the New Black!!! Dave and I absolutely love this show. We are planning on spending Saturday afternoon watching it. I have just started watching Misfits. I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I have done (so far). 

“Woe is me”

So the presenters of Loose Women are of the opinion you can think yourself happy. Now I do appreciate the act of gratitude. I took part in the 100 Happy Days Challenge. A discussion that should have been about how keeping a diary can help with happiness became a discussion about depression. Jamelia and Coleen Nolan both talked about how they have been prescribed antidepressants and didn’t want to take them.

I am not saying that antidepressants are for everyone. However, I felt as if this discussion just adds to the stigma surrounding mental health. The phrase ‘woe is me’ was used by Coleen Nolan. Her answer was to think positive and after a month all was well. 

Jamelia and Coleen Nolan gave the impression that those that take medication are weak. I wish a bit of positive thinking was the answer to my depression and anxiety. It wasn’t easy for me to decide to take antidepressants. Even taking 40mg of Citalopram daily, I still go through some extreme lows. There is nothing more terrifying then fighting the battle that is going on in my head every single day. I have been told that those with depression live in the past and those with anxiety live in the future. So having depression and anxiety is truly scary. 

Rant over. Moving on…

My CBT session yesterday we looked at me doing some gradual exposure to certain places/social events that trigger my anxiety. We talked about building up to going the pub one evening. This is something I have not been able to do in months. It is something I would like to do. The first step I am going to take is to go for a late lunch/early tea with Dave. The key to getting over my anxiety about going the pub is before going to acknowledge that I will probably feel anxious. That it’s ok to feel anxious. If I start to feel anxious I need to stay for a few minutes. This will, in theory, help me realise that even though I was anxious I was ok being in a particular situation. 

Dave and I are looking to take Walter to puppy classes. We’ve been recommended a place near to where we live. I’ve been in touch with them via their website and I am waiting on them to respond. Walter is worn out today. He has been in the garden a lot and I bring Dom round to see him each week. Walter gets extremely happy when Dom comes round. He is so hyper and follows Dom everywhere. Dom now has a 10 week old black labrador. He is adorable. Walter is so little compared to him. Dom’s Dad and I talked about him meeting up with Walter. 

Sleepy Sunday

Walter had us up loads during the night. It’s a good job he is so damn cute!



Walter had his last injection yesterday morning. We can finally start taking him for walks next Saturday!!! I think he was unsettled because of his injection. He is normally fine at night but we had to take him the toilet a lot more than usual. We are having a lazy day as we are all really tired. 

I was surprised how much easier I found the gym yesterday. Reducing the number of classes I go to each week has possibly helped. I really enjoy my Saturday mornings at the gym. More so now then when I was doing more classes.

I’m back at the doctors tomorrow morning. Although I am doing a lot better, I am still struggling with the occasional suicidal thoughts. 

I’ve not got much planned this week. Got the usual stuff like the gym and Dom. My sister might be coming round with her friend and her friend’s 5 year old daughter at some point. Our friends are coming round next Sunday with their dog. So happy Walter can be around other dogs next weekend. 

Lovely, long weekend

I had a really enjoyable long weekend with Dave. We chilled out, took Walter in the garden and spent time with our friend and my brother and sister. Dave and I went out for tea at a local pub on Tuesday night. We had a nice time. 

I had a CBT session this morning. It was a lot more productive compared to my last session a fortnight ago. My homework is to think of things for my ‘toolkit’ for when my depression or anxiety are bad. Essentially, anything that I can do instead of ruminating on things. 

Walter has been such a help to me. He is always so happy to see me when I come home from the gym or an appointment. I love coming home to him; his tail wagging loads and his gorgeous little face. 



Dave and I have nothing planned this weekend. Walter is at the vets again for his last injections. So we will be finally able to take him for walks soon 🙂 We are intending to do some work in the garden. The grass grows ridiculously fast so we need to keep on top of it for Walter. 

Onward and upward

I’ve managed to get an extra four CBT sessions on top of my existing ones I have left with my current counsellor. I’m really pleased. It seemed like I was starting to get a good understanding of myself so I am grateful I will be able to continue this. I have a session this afternoon. It’s my first one since coming home from Australia. 

I have been really busy these past few weeks. It’s been good. I have spent time with my family which has been great. I feel closer then ever to them right now. Dave and I saw my parents last weekend. For the first time, I talk with them about the guilt I feel for various reasons. I also expressed concerns that I worry that they don’t think that I am mentally ill. They were really supportive and said that this wasn’t the case. 

I also spent the day with my sister this week. We ended up going Pets At Home for more things for Walter. We also had lunch in Pizza Hut. I would recommend trying their salted caramel cookie dough dessert. We shared one and it was divine. My brother is coming round after my CBT session and we are going for lunch. 

I went back to the gym last week. Last Wednesday was my first time in 3 weeks. Les Mills have released their new stuff and it is brilliant particularly Bodycombat. My first classes back were really hard. I felt like my fitness was noticeably worse. However, my body seems to have needed the break from all the intense exercise I was doing. My knees have not caused me any problems since returning from Australia. I am able to use weights again during the leg track of Bodypump. I am back to doing the high impact moves in Bodycombat and Bodyattack. My friend from the gym thinks I was over exercising before Australia. She and a number of other people at the gym have said I look like I have lost weight. My metabolism will also be working constantly as a result of regularly exercising. 

So tomorrow is the big day – we go to pick up Walter! Our house is all ready for him after sorting it out all week. He is registered at a vets. I am excited and nervous. A puppy is a big responsibility. Dave and I want Walter to be happy with us. My friend from the gym said that her parents got a dog when her Dad was struggling with depression. She said it really helped him and she thinks Walter will be a good thing for me. She is going to come round to meet Walter on Wednesday. My Mum, brother and sister are meeting him on Monday.