Thursday, December 8, 2016

"I'm here..."

Last night, I ran across an interesting essay written by Charlotte Thornton, a woman who recently married.  She struggles with depression and anxiety.  Her essay was basically a love letter to her husband, who stays with her even when she "falls out of love with life".  I tagged Bill in the essay because I related somewhat to it.

There are a lot of days when I wonder why I exist.  Somedays I don't want to do anything or go anywhere.  I fret over things that probably won't happen.  I get upset about things I can't control.  I don't let go of things I should stop thinking about.  I feel like a loser who hasn't done anything worthwhile or meant anything to anyone... even though I know deep down that I mean a lot to Bill.

Based on Thornton's essay, I wouldn't say I'm as bad off as she is, at least not anymore.  There was a time in my life when I literally felt like I was going crazy.  Every day was a struggle and I truly feared for the future.  There were many days when I fantasized about suicide.

I didn't have enough faith in a higher power to "let go and let God", so I sought the assistance of medications and a therapist.  I eventually got over the depression hump.  I rarely have problems with debilitating depression these days, although I do suffer a lot from anxiety.  I think the depression was mainly caused by the situation I was in at the time.  I am probably naturally more anxious than depressed.

Most of the time, all it takes is for me to talk myself out of it or distract myself with something.  Music often works.  Sometimes reading or watching TV will snap me out of it, as long as whatever I'm reading and watching doesn't cause more anxiety.  The news is generally not a good thing to turn to when I'm feeling revved up with fear.

This morning, Bill said to me as he was about to leave for work, "I read that post you tagged me in.  I'm here.  I'm not going anywhere."

Sometimes, I think the key to overcoming the mental spew, at least in my situation, is to focus more on positive things.  I have been so focused on one or two things that went wrong.  I have not focused on what's gone right.  Take, for instance, my sweet dog Zane.  I've been so worried and upset about him having a cancerous tumor.  I've pictured him being sick and debilitated, and fixated having to make that horrible last decision.

I have not focused on the fact that he actually seems to feel better than he did two months ago.  I've not been thinking about how we've been making changes that seem to agree with him.  I haven't thought about how the tumor he had was operable and was apparently removed.  He's here now and doing fine.  I shouldn't borrow trouble.  Trouble will find us no matter what.

I know I should focus on how fortunate I am on so many levels.  I have a wonderful partner who is here for me and loves me no matter what.  He sees the good in me and supports me.  He listens to me, even when I'm upset and angry.  We have a very good life, despite the problems.  And he's so patient and decent when I'm feeling crazy with anxiety or mowed down by depression.

As I was writing this, sweet Zane walked into the room and looked at me adoringly.  I went over and petted him, unable to stop myself from searching for new bumps.  I didn't find any and the ones he has already aren't any bigger.  He wagged his tail at me as if to say, "I'm okay.  Good morning.  And I want to go back to bed."

Sure enough, when Arran jumped off the bed to see what was going on, Zane took a flying leap back into my bed and tucked himself in.  Arran is now lying on the floor near me, looking at the twinkling Christmas lights.

I need to relax and enjoy these days with my dogs and my husband.  They're here now and they're fine.  There will be time for sorrow when sorrow is actually warranted.  For now, I need to take a deep breath and enjoy what I have.



  1. You're right. It would be good to relax and enjoy the days as much as you are able. It's more easily said to someone else than actually done, though.

    1. Yep. Zane has had a good day today. He played on his walk and got in my lap.


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