What the fuck is the matter with me?
It's a pattern. I see it. I just can't seem to stop it. If I take the drugs that keep the black dogs away, it's like I lose so much else that matters to me. I can't write when I am anesthetized, I can't taste food. Can't find anything all that funny to laugh about or feel much of anything except a dull sameness. It's like...I'm neither here nor there when I take the drugs.
If I don't take the drugs, I feel my life, but then, yes...the black dogs come loping in at intervals. They stretch out and walk with me everywhere, looking up at me, not wanting to hurt me, not protecting me from anything, just...there with me. And I go into this dark place where I feel awful and can function, but just barely. Bing takes the brunt of those dogs and I know she worries, hates the whole thing. She pleads with me to take the drugs to keep them away not realizing that when I take those drugs, I lose the real me.
I long ago noticed a pattern. It all started with the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis. When it is in remission, all is fine. I am alert and happy, goony birdy and sometimes silly, sometimes serious, sometimes strong, but always there. Then the RA flares and everything hurts. For days, I can barely walk without a cane. My joints swell.
It eventually recedes and I breathe a deep aching breath of relief. And then...I will be sitting happily reading a book, writing a report, or even just washing a pan in the sink and I will see them.
The black dogs. The depression.
They lope towards me, sometimes stopping and in my head, I am willing them to back off, go away. Sometimes it works and they go away, looking balefully over their shoulders at me. Other times, it doesn't work and they come closer and I can't back away really. No place to hide.
Best to just let them come in and be with me.
I see the ache in Bing's eyes. She sees them coming through me. She reaches for my hand. Tells me that yes, she is right here. It will be fine. Just relax. She has things covered. Just come back. Please come back soon.
Part of me wants someone to shake me good and hard and tell me to just snap out of it. Another part of me begs for someone to just tuck me in and then get in with me and hold me, hold me, hold me until it is over.
I can't take the drugs to keep them away so must endure their presence.
I function. I go to work. I take care of my child. I am fairly good at acting out my life. Except with Bing. She knows me well and knows that all my strength is going to parent Liv properly. There is not much left for her and she accepts this, waits it out. But her eyes watch me. She worries that one day I won't come back.
I always come back. But, it takes time. And in the meantime, I am no picnic. Sorry. So sorry.
Thank you for staying, baby.