Dante and the Giant Bone. It was left by his huge drooling cousin. I love, love, love this little dog, with all his little quirks and oddities. Last night I actually laughed! I was keeping the dog for my son and his wife, who were away from home. They have come to pick him up and after less than 24 hours of having him here, I miss him. I’m thinking a small dog may be in my future. Weirdness.
Yesterday I spoke with a nurse on the crisis line. She was a good clinician. Believe me, it doesn’t help when you know the difference between a good clinician and a bad clinician. Or maybe it does. In any event, she listened to me, did not argue with me, and actually talked me into trying a new drug. God help me. She said in such a kind way “Mary, I know you are feeling terrible.” She also gave me advice about what to do this weekend.
Just that alone has helped me tremendously. She suggested I only do things I like to do. She suggested I double up on my mileage, because running is so good for depression. She suggested I take it easy. I thought about how I drive myself relentlessly, and decided everything can wait. I won’t be getting anything done if I keep on this path I am on anyway.
I went to bed last night with the freedom of knowing I would not be joining my running club this morning. I did not want to have to hop out of bed and drive across town into the cold morning. So, I leisurely got up and had coffee, then hopped on the treadmill. I got 5 miles done, which is not twice the planned mileage, but it felt like enough. Then I went outside and in the just starting snow raked the remaining leaves in my back yard. The dog came out with me, and it was a pleasant thing. I don’t think it did much for my back though.
I know I may appear to be incredibly self-absorbed at the moment. It increases my guilt to think so. I also know there are people who have “real” suffering going on in their lives and are tempted to tell me to get over it and be grateful for my good health. Pretty hard to do when your brain isn’t functioning properly, you can’t think clearly, life seems like meaningless drudgery, you feel like you are losing your grip on reality, and becoming increasingly convinced that the world and all its people would be infinitely better off without you. I have to tell myself a thousand times a day “LIES! They’re all LIES! Don’t listen!”
Our department at work is making a “wine basket” for some kind of benefit. Why is it always booze? Anyway, I said I would knit a wine bag. And this afternoon, I actually found a free pattern on Ravelry, found the correct size needles in my collection, and even found a skein of yarn that will be beautiful. So, I can start that today with no money involved.
Then tonight, I have a commitment to be at Adoration from 7 to 8. I am so grateful for that. I made the commitment two weeks ago, and right now it feels like a gift from God. I get to go and be in His presence for an hour. With no one else there. A Saturday night in a silent church, until my replacement shows up at 8.
I’m just putting one foot in front of the other and trusting that I am in God’s hands, even though it doesn’t feel “good.”
This afternoon, I pulled “Infinite Jest” by David Foster Wallace off the shelf and found the best description of suicidal depression I have ever read:
The person in whom Its invisible agony reach a certain unendurable level will kill herself the same way a trapped person will eventually jump from the window of a burning high-rise. Make no mistake about people who leap from burning windows. Their terror of falling from a great height is just as great as it would be for you or me standing speculatively at the same window just checking out the view; i.e. the fear of falling remains a constant. The variable here is the other terror, the fire’s flames: when the flames get close enough, falling to death becomes the slightly less terrible of two terrors. It’s not desiring the fall; it’s terror of the flames. – Infinite Jest, p. 696
David Foster Wallace, who died of suicide by hanging on September 12, 2008.
Not trying to scare you. I am in the care of health care providers. I have a family who understand that I am in this crisis. My sponsor is by my side (figuratively, because she is on the other side of the state). I have friends I have confided in. Even my boss (the psychologist) is aware now that I am in this condition – thanks to my ridiculous tearful episode at work on Thursday.
And mostly, I know that God knew me and loved me as I was knitted in my mother’s womb. I am also greatly consoled by the lives of the Saints. They did not have “higher powers” who ensure that their lives were full of “abundance” and happiness. I also know that the way I “feel” is no indicator of my spiritual condition. So I will keep on keeping on and have faith that this too shall pass.
Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. – Psalm 139:23-24
Also, thank you so very much for your kind and helpful comments. I can’t tell you what that has meant to me. <3, m.