Disclaimer: I apologise if there are typo’s and my tenses jump around. I will fix it at a later date when my brain decides to function… and if I remember.
I don’t get heavy depression days as often as I used to. Thank goodness, and even when I do I have become quite adapt at pulling myself out of them using my skills. Still, there are days where the depression settles over me like dense fog. It presses itself into me, it fills my lungs and makes it harder to breathe, my chest aches, my whole body feels heavy, my own useless lump of flesh that I am forced to move around in. My mind feels separated from my body and indeed from everything else around it, trapped in its own void, I can focus on nothing but the weight of my existence. Days like that. Days like today are usually spent in bed, in the bath, or on the couch…
Earlier I was lying in the bath, tears streaming down my face while I breathe slowly, feeling the pain of each breath and feeling stupid that I could have ever thought that I wouldn’t feel like this again.
Eventually I pulled myself from the bath because the guilt that I have yet to take my dog outside and it’s 3.30pm has managed to penetrate my fog of numbness and sadness. I leave the bathroom, only half bothering to properly dry myself before pulling on the clothes I was wearing before climbing in. I promise myself that I’ll take her out but still, I feel too exhausted. I open the door and I’m greeted by a wagging tail and a happy whine that momentarily breaks through fog and into my mind void. I move to my bed and lie down, still guilty that I’m not seeing to her needs… but as if she knows… she had yet asked to go out yet, instead she seems to have engaged camel mode in order to stay indoors.
I lie on the bed. In my fog. She jumps up and sits in-front of me, perfect petting distance away so I can stroke her fur and mumble apologies through my tears. Next… she flops, like a dead weight, onto me, lying on my arm and tucking her head just under my chin.
A few moments pass and she squirms onto her back so I can rub her belly. She wags her tail and licks my face.
I chuckle at her cuteness and wipe my tears away. I decide to sit up.
In the time it took for me to pull the weight of myself into sitting she’s rolled back onto all fours, leaped of the bed and is wagging and smiling at me. Yes, dogs smile. Look it up.
I feel less heavy, and I remember the responsibility I have for this furry mound that has foolishly decided to love me unconditionally.
“I’ll just take her out to for her to do her business and then I can return to my hole . to resume my misery”, I thought to myself. But once we were out she seemed so happy to just be out.
Round the block then… even though the wind is howling and I am freezing. The cold distracts me from the pain.
…. Fine! The park’s not that far away.
She runs circles around me, seemingly happy just to be alive and it’s infectious. Other people notice her joy and they smile, I see them smile and I smile.
The smiling reduces the pressure in my chest, My head is still foggy but so long as I focus on her I have a little clarity.
We’re home now and she’s dozing by my feet. Before she was in my life, I had no reason not to succumb to the depression fog. Nothing was distracting enough to pull me away from the misery that held me so tight.
My dog is my furry anchor. She tethers me to reality and with her… I’ll never truly lose myself in the fog again.