The black dog of depression – Sunday 29 April – 30 weeks and 1 day

The dogs’ scratching on the laundry door wakes me.  I do not want to wake up.  I don’t have to go up to the hospital.  Jay was discharged two days ago because her cervix had not dilated any further and her tightenings and contractions had calmed down.  She is, as far as the doctors are concerned, stable.  Jay is really happy to be home.  I am happy for her to be home.  That journey was starting to get to me.  Now I don’t want to get up.  I want to stay in bed.  Asleep.  I am seriously not a morning person.

The dogs aren’t giving up.  Finally, I haul my obese frame out of bed and stomp through to the laundry.  I burst open the door.  The dogs are really excited to see me.  They wag their tales furiously and jump up my legs.  How can I stay angry at such happy little beings.

“Come on then angels, out you go.”  I let them outside to do their morning constitutional.  I climb back into bed.  Five more minutes, just five more minutes.  Two minutes later, H is barking.  His sign he wants to be let in.  They are total indoors dogs.  For a moment, I wonder why we decided to get dogs.  More barking.  I know my neighbours are not going to love me at letting them bark at 9am on a Sunday.  I pad through to the pool room and let them in through the sliding door.  They dash through to my room and jump on my bed.  This is a luxury they are not normally allowed but Dee is on his usual Sunday cycle.  I snuggle into bed and the dogs jump all over me.

Eventually, I know I have to get up.  It is days like these I wish I could be allowed the luxury of just curling up in bed and not doing anything.  I know this is a symptom of my depression, but I try to fool myself that it is only because I am tired and just need a bit of rest.  The truth is I “rest” a lot.  I rarely venture out of the house (except to visit Jay) and when I do, it is to go to the shops.

Shopping malls are the depressed person’s friend.  They afford us the company we crave without any of the anxiety that comes with the fear of rejection or the energy required to maintain a friendship.  The internet provides exactly the same thing.  Lately, I have been favouring the internet greatly over venturing outside into a shopping mall.  My body and mind are tired and staying indoors with my laptop on my lap (funny that) enables me to indulge that exhaustion.  Let’s face it, plunking away on a keyboard that is situated on your blanket covered lap requires little effort.

I am in this position when Dee returns from his cycle.  “Wow, what a tough ride,” he says.

“Really?”  I try to sound upbeat.  This requires a lot of effort.

“Yeah, we did rolling relays all the way up the one hill and then intervals down the next.  It was pretty intense.  There isn’t much juice left in my legs I can tell you.”

I envy Dee his energy to cycle 80 or 90 kilometers, never mind doing rolling relays.  I know what these are as well as well as other cycling terminology.  It is Dee’s passion and he passes it onto me.  It is not my passion, but I like to hear him talk animatedly about his antics on his various cycles.  I live vicariously through his passion.

He goes to shower and I return to my laptop.  I search the internet for while, googling nursery bedding, writing courses – wherever my mind takes me.  I decide to write my blog.  It has been five days since my last entry.  I am slacking off.

“What to do you want to do today, Sarah?”  Dee has emerged, clean but unshaven.  He doesn’t like to shave on the weekends.

I ponder the question.  I want to spend time with him, but I know he wants to do the gardening.  “Shall we go into the village and get a few bits and pieces that I need for the house?”

“We can do that.”  He smiles at me.

I smile weakly.  What I want to really do is curl up inside my blanket and not move, but Dee’s gardening will make me feel guilty at not keeping my end of the housework bargain up.  Us shopping is a way to negate that guilt.

We arrive at the shopping centre.  Dee heads for the supermarket, I head for K-mart.  I am in need of pyjamas and they have some for $9.  I also have this idea of sorting out the spare rooms, so I buy some hanging shelves and drawers for the cupboards.  I tell myself that I am going to sort out the study and spare rooms tomorrow.  I don’t know if that is true, but I like to keep my intentions up.  I try not to be a defeatest.

Dee and I meet at the coffee shop.  He has a large soy cappuccino and I have a pot of tea.  We talk about his folks and my dad.  We worry about them both a lot.  “Are you okay?” Dee says, “You seem funny.”  I have been waiting for this.  All too often I am unable to keep up the supposed cheeriness for too long.

“I’m okay,” I say, “Just a quiet day today.”  This satisfies Dee and we make our way to the car.

I haven’t spoken to Jay since she was discharged on Friday, so I send her a text.  Hi darling.  How are you today?  It doesn’t take her long to respond.  I’m okay.  Just watching TV on the couch.  What are you doing today?

Not much, just some shopping, then relaxing at home.  How is the new couch?

Comfy, really good.  Soo good.  The cat is playing all over me.  When in hospital, she really missed her cat.

I’m glad.  I can’t wait to come round and see it.

“Shall we take JC to see The Avengers?” Dee asks me.

I smile.  “Yes, that sounds great.”  I don’t really want to go to the movies, but I have been lamenting the fact that JC never leaves his room so don’t feel I can tell them to leave me behind.  JC would want to stay behind too.  Dee books the movie.  It is at 4:30pm.

Dee announces he is going to do some gardening before the weather turns.  I look at the looming clouds and feel it is the perfect excuse to crawl under my blanket.  The washing up from last night’s dinner can wait.  I lay under my blanket and let my eyes close. I opt to ignore the voice in my head telling me that I should be getting up and doing all the work that is begging for my attention.  It reminds me of the massive dust ball that I spotted walking into the house.  I put the voice in the box I have specifically built for it and breathe in and out.  An old meditation trick that enables me to quiet the voice and allow sleep to take me.  It works and once again, I am in a land with no depression and no anxiety.  Bliss.

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