My Daughter is Distressed: A Q&A

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Sometimes a parent mails me with a query about their anxious child.

Last week I received such a query. Her particular issue is such a common one at the moment (ungrateful nod to COVID!) that I asked permission to publish both her question and my response. There can be so much isolation, pressure and even shame around parenting that it can come as an enormous relief to find that another parent shares your experiences!

And of course these difficult feelings are exacerbated hugely in lockdown.

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Do you need support with your teen?

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Is your teen on a waiting list with a psychologist, therapist, counsellor or CAMHS? This might interest you.

I’m increasingly aware that there are many teens on therapy waiting lists, and that these lists are getting longer and longer…

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8 Things to Call Yourself Out on

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(Gently but firmly …)

I saw a list of 8 bullet points on a meme last week on social media – Twitter if memory serves – and I saved it. Today I trawled my way through various rabbit holes in Google to find the original author and cannot, so I can’t credit appropriately, which always irks…

But I’m sharing them anyway! Because they’re good. I’ve added to them here and I think they’ll speak to many, as they did to me.

SO – without further ado:

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The Best of a Brutal Year

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Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!

F I N A L L Y … Can’t be much worse than the last!!


I’m left with a feeling of awe actually – at how we’ve managed to pull together and survive this, most of us. I’m sorry for those who have suffered loss – whatever form that loss took, and will continue to take.

So much loss…

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It’s a weird one!

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Usually at this time of year I’m writing posts like “how to survive the family at Christmas”. So this is weird. This whole year has been weird hasn’t it?

Weird, strange, difficult, scary, heartbreaking, lonely, interesting. Quite a lot to pack into to a 9 month long existential crisis. It’s been a a prison, an escape, a torture, an opportunity, a learning, an eye opener, a mind opener, a mind closer…

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Poor Ollie the Otter, we’ll miss his soggy furry cuteness!

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He was “just” an otter. But when Ollie started dining regularly in Youghal we were all excited and more than a little flattered. There’s something about an animal’s visit isn’t there? A sense of trust, an unspoken bond between living creatures that somehow crosses boundaries set by species, genes, chromosomes… but what a cutie…

photo credit Marshall Hadin (not Ollie, one of his cousins)

Did he think we were cute I wonder? He probably thought we were ridiculous with our clothes and cars and lack of fur…

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They used to get help… now they get likes

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I saw this post on a friend’s feed. It’s grim stuff. Got me all annoyed and rolling my eyes.

And then I watched it a second time with my husband and it felt even worse.

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Up to your neck in &*it..

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There’s a slurry pit. And woweee it stinks!

But y’know the way we get used to smells eventually…

You’re there, in the pit, with your family let’s say. You’re all in there together, up to your necks. You’ve tilted your head up and back to make sure you can breathe. It means you can’t see straight ahead but at least you can breathe. It’s getting tiring though, and your neck hurts. You can’t fully relax – if you do you might get lots of shit thrown at you. Worst case scenario you might drown. At the very least it might just get in your face and up your nose – ya, no, messy, not worth it.

So you stay still. You don’t make waves.

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