Everybody Hurts

To some extent, all of us have days where things just don't go well, where we wonder if it's all worth it. For others, myself included, those days are much more frequent and that much more difficult. I have made no secret of my long history of depression, sometimes bordering on complete insanity. I've been seeing a psychiatrist for years now and with the help of my therapist and some pretty good medication, I'm for the most part able to function relatively well.

Alas, from time to time, the meds seem to stop working and I go into a tailspin where my world comes crashing down on me. That happened this week and if truth be told, is still wrecking havoc on my life. Lately, it seems that the only time I'm happy is when I'm at work. I'm fortunate in that I have a job that I adore and I'm thankful for the respite that it gives me. The rest of my time, well, it's sometimes very difficult to simply get through the day. So, what exactly is bothering me? A lot actually and if you happen to care (I swear I'm not looking for sympathy here), read on...

1. I have a lot to be proud of. I own my own home, I just paid off my car today, I have a job that I love and 3 of the best dogs one could ever ask for. Still, it always seems that something is missing. That something is someone to share my life with. Now I've made no secret of my disdain for marriage, I can't imagine what kind of hell it must be, but it would still be nice to have someone to be intimate with from time to time. Sadly, I'm pretty sure that I'll spend the rest of my life alone and sometimes that's very depressing.

2. Mom. I lost my Father in October and it was crushingly hard to fathom life without him. The fact that he lived so far away and I didn't see him all that often has made it easier but losing a parent is never easy. I think about him everyday and I hope he knows that I loved him dearly and miss him much. As for Mom, she lives just a couple miles from me and we talk on the phone several times a day and get together for dinner, lunch or no reason several times a week, much more in the summer. She is in excellent health and I expect to have her around for quite a long time. But, the thought of losing her is always on my mind. She is my crutch and I do wonder if I will even be able to survive once she is gone. She tells me that I'll be fine, that I'm stronger than I imagine, but I'm not convinced.

3. My babies are starting to get old. Both Sammy and River are 10 years old and showing major signs of old age. River has pretty bad arthritis and Sammy has problems with his thyroid as well a propensity for non-cancerous tumors. Both have gotten a bit more grumpy and aren't afraid to show it. Shadow, my lab-mix, is about 7 years old and aside from a major seizure disorder, currently under control with medication, is in pretty good health. I can see the day when it will just be me and Shadow and that just breaks my heart.

I've had Sammy since he was 10 months old and he and I have been through so much together. Throughout everything, Sammy has been my one constant, always there for me and always eager to let me know that he loves me. I love him dearly and they say that all dog lovers have one lifetime dog, a dog that is so special that they can't imagine life without them. Sammy is that dog and I can't imagine life without him.

River came to me when she was 2 years old and quickly became a part of the family. She is as rotten as they come but I love her to death. She is actually a very sweet dog and seeing her deal with this arthritis has been very hard on me. I've let her get a bit over weight and that hasn't helped things. I have her on medication to control the pain and a supplement for her joints and we have lots of playtime and walks. I'll miss my Plump and Juicy when she is gone.

As for Shadow, well, I'm not sure that I've ever had a dog love me as much as this one does. When I adopted him from the humane society, he had been living at the shelter for almost a year. Someone had been paying to keep him alive and when I took him home, you could tell that he just didn't think it would work and he would once again be disappointed. Well, it's been 4 years now and he's still here and he is never more than a foot or so away from me.

These 3 are very special and I know that the day will come when they are gone. That brings big tears to my eyes and sadness to my heart.

4. I have a small group of really good friends but overall, I am lacking in this category. I'm not sure why, but I just don't have many friends and I get lonely as a result. I spend most of my free time at home, just me and the dogs, envious of those who have something exciting to do. It does get lonely and all that time to think is not a good thing.

There are other things on my mind, but those are the biggies and each promises to be with me for the rest of my life.


alan | February 21, 2010 at 4:39 PM

Tears welling in my eyes as I read of your pets...I know that day is coming, if not past due and dread doesn't begin to describe the ache in my heart. A medium large mix, at almost 14 my Angel is the oldest "big" dog I've ever had.

You do have much to be proud of; that isn't going to lessen the angst life throws in other ways. Hedy Lamarr came to my rescue in my early 40's as my spouse doesn't believe in talking to anyone about anything (there's a reason from her childhood).

In her book "Ecstasy and Me" Hedy speaks of figuring out after years of therapy that the problem wasn't her...

She said that everywhere we look, Madison Avenue and the media try to convince us everyone else is happy, and if we're not, there is something wrong with us...that if we buy this, or drink that, or take something else we'll be "happy" just like those smiling faces on the billboard.

The truth she said she figured out ist that (paraphrasing) life is like the pedulum on an old clock, swinging back and forth. It's never going to stay on one side of the line between "happy" and "sad" any longer than it does the other side; if you push it further to one side it's going to swing back just as far as the other; and it's never going to stop on one side or the other, it's always going to swing back the other way...

Her thoughts have done more to save me than anything I've ever read! No matter how deep the hole I'm in at the moment, I know I will find my way out and it will be sooner than I think!

Thinking of you...