I am apparently having a day.
I did art. Of at least 2 types I enjoy.
I put things in a pot, knowing at the end of the day, there would be yummy, hot, comforting food to eat for dinner. (Chuck roast. Potatoes. Carrots. Beef broth cube. Fresh ground pepper. Salt. Water. A drizzle of olive oil.) I was right. It was lovely. I also took concentrated orange juice and powdered sugar and made a glaze for an orange vanilla pound cake I had baked the night before, and I drizzled it over the bundt cake. And then I covered it and took it to work. I checked the break room before coming home and half of it is gone, which makes me very happy. (Not just because people ate it. Also because breakfast for tomorrow. There are 4 eggs in a pound cake. It’s totally breakfast.)
I also worked on a tattoo design of the tragedy/comedy masks with a ribbon with words on below. It’s much closer. I’m trying to decide if I want to scan in and try to teach myself vector design in Pixelmator so that I can get it all pretty and neat and tidy and colored and sized properly to take to my tattoo artist so I can say “This. I want this on my leg above the last tattoo please. How much and how long, so I know what to save, and when should we schedule it for?” But I’m scared of teaching myself a new thing. So I may end up tinkering more with pencils and paper for a bit.
And yet. And yet I’m sad. And I’ve felt lonely today. And I’ve felt as though I’m strange and different and Not Right all day long. There are weird moments, where I almost feel as though I found the correct key, and I’m part of the melody and I fit with my little silly, unique side bit, and then the main piece shifts into a major chord, and I twang discordantly in my minor key and I want to hide.
I tried to see the pretty things. There were several. I threw a frisbee ring so high and far. It was lovely and gravity defying for a moment. The leaves were drifting down in fluttering showers of yellow-orange-rusted-red to gather in the gutters, on the grass, in the street.
But I still came home tired.
And for a bit, my sweetheart was home. And we ate dinner together. And fed cats, and cuddled and played with them. And I got to curl up on the couch and just rest with my head on his chest, tucked up under his arm while he checked things and showed me things on his phone, and I mostly listened to his heart beat and felt at home; safe and loved.
And that was very, very good.
But it was still a day.
And now I want … something. Someone? Someone to talk to by typing, I think. So I’m blogging. Sometimes, I think it’s that I miss gaming on *mushes. Where there was socializing OOC and RPing that was really community story-telling or a giant game of “Yes, and then…” But I am so rusty, I don’t know what I’d do if dropped in such a world again.
Perhaps I am only feeling old. Perhaps it’s hormones. Perhaps it’s winter coming, and much as I adore Halloween and Thanksgiving and Christmas, I dread the anniversaries of loss.
I don’t know. I just wish my heart would settle and I could find focus in something for longer than 2 minutes.
It’s about that time again.
I should probably say that when I use the word “depression” for myself I don’t mean the clinical sort. Every once in a while, I debate going to a licensed professional and finding out if I have a mild version, but as I can usually shake myself out of the mood or just wait it out, I haven’t bothered. It costs money and energy that I’d rather spend on other things.
In 2004, in September, I separated from my ex-husband. Our marriage had been in various stages of implosion and explosion for at least 4 years (although, with the power of hindsight, I suspect that it was having problems much longer). My dad was fighting lung cancer that had metastasized and gotten more complex (it got into his larynx, among other things), and somewhere between then and October is when he and mom told us that he was going to back out of his trial program. The benefits were nowhere NEAR outweighing the negative side effects. We also abruptly lost my mom’s youngest sister to a rare form of blood cancer. For us, there was no warning. I’m not clear on how much warning her kids and husband had. She’d felt horrible for years and finally was getting pushier at getting doctors to listen. I went back to see mom and dad in November for Thanksgiving. Dad had a collapse and had to go into the hospital. The next 3 weeks are a bit of a blur, but we finally got him admitted to hospice and home where he finally felt safe leaving us on his birthday, December 16th, 2004. He was 62.
Six years later, 2010, in late fall (I want to say November, but it’s actually blurred and I don’t trust that), mom also chose to check herself into hospice. Mostly because her doctor was honest. He might be able to give her up to a few more months. Maybe longer. But it would hurt and she might spend a lot of it in the hospital. Hospice would allow her to be at home. On Christmas Night, she finally was able to let go. She was 64.
Two years after that, in October, I lost Domino, my cat of 14 years. He was more than just my cat. He was my baby boy. I still tear up sometimes thinking of him. That was 2 years ago.
It isn’t all bad.
I still love the fall, even though it hurts to remember. Some of my best family memories are of Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Mom loved the cooler seasons. Dad loved any excuse to be silly and eat food that was probably too rich for him but oh-so-delicious. I’ve inherited all of that.
We adopted our two current cats right after the Thanksgiving after losing Domino. I thought it was much too early, but I was also probably worrying Terry a bit with being so sad and he missed having someone furry and welcoming in the house. We were only going to get one, and found a shelter participating in a Black Friday event at a pet store in town. We picked out Shadow, and took her to the vet, who gave her a relatively clear bill (she had the feline equivalent of kennel cough), but strongly suggested another kitten about the same age to help keep her company and to socialize. So we went back out the next day, and found Phoenix. After a week or so of separation to allow their individual upper respiratory sicknesses to get through their systems, they got to meet each other and actually began to get along much more quickly than I expected.
And I can’t forget that my sweet hubby proposed to me on New Year’s eve.
So there are good things to look forward to, most definitely, but I can very much empathize with people who suffer from seasonal affective disorder as well as depression. I have a much higher likelihood of wanting to hide somewhere cozy with a book during this time of year. And for the last few years, that’s been more about escaping than just enjoying whatever I might be reading for what it is. I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I feel much better, even if the book makes me cry (The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman did). In its own way, that’s a welcome catharsis from the greyed out feeling I experience a lot of the time. Sometimes I can forget. Or keep a mask firmly in place.
But it’s part of the season now.