DISCLAIMER: I am okay. I am posting this as a glimpse into depression. This is one day. Not every day. I know these are lies, to a degree, that the disease tells me.
The Black Dog* is visiting today. It is snapping at my heels with frightening fervor.
I am sitting in my truck watching as a storm threatens while on a break from cleaning up after other people.
A bit of trash skips like a sandpiper along the drift line. Takes a piece of me with it down-shore, past sleeping skimmers and gulls.
This is all I can think in the moment. Where is my heart? My joy?
A howl sets up through the slight opening in my truck door, the wind mourning the passing of day after day of seemingly purposeless existence.
I lean my forehead to the glass, the cool lets loose a torrent of tears. Where is my heart, I wonder again?
I lost most of it nine years ago when he “put [his] foot down” on my existence. I recently buried what tiny, insignificant fragment I lost in the wake of a confusing friendship.
I have no room now for a heart that loves. There’s an ugly, pitted stone in that space.
I cannot see myself ever truly loving anyone romantically again. I tried and got it wrong too many times. I am the common denominator, as my ex would gleefully point out, no doubt.
It’s risky business, love. Frightening and pointless at this age. I am too old and soon to be undesirable at any rate. Better to enjoy meaningless fun with an FWB. Better to be a stone.
I push the truck door ajar. Feel the damp, warm air tickle the almost impossibly fine, invisible hairs on my calves. Feel the salt find my lips and eyes. Feel the sand blow up with a quick storm gust. Prepare to do battle with discarded Styrofoam and plastic bags again.
I often think of leaving this island. Is there anything here for me?
Birds. I will always have the birds. If I love anything, it is these denizens of the coastal sky: gulls, pelicans, terns, herons. All are frequent guests of the rehab for which I volunteer. All at one time or another, have been passengers in my truck. Raccoons, opossums, alligators, have also found their way into “Betty’s” cab at one time or another. I live for them: the animals.
I know my child needs me in that way adult children need us even though we don’t actually do anything but burden them after a point. I know other family would miss me. I know the dog loves me but, doubtless, someone else would make a better pet owner.
So, I live for the birds.
Someone well-meaning said, “You only get one life.”
I was supposed to grab that and stop mourning my losses, I guess. Stop missing someone I care about. Stop being sad that my marriage failed. Stop regretting losing my job skills. Stop fearing a future that looms, money-strapped and unfulfilled.
Instead, I thought, “Well, thank the Universe for that, because I’m tired and I don’t want to do this sh*t anymore.”
I know I can get past today’s bereavement. I know, somehow, I can find purpose again. I have no clue how. Picking up peoples’ trash, saving animals other people willingly destroy, walking an unruly dog, and burdening my child with my loneliness do not seem like valid purpose and only slightly better than those my ex always tried to comfort me with: “but you keep the house clean and cook for us.”
So, how? How do I find purpose in this storm of mediocrity?
The Black Dog snaps. Growls, “you are worthless,” in my head. I am unsure how to tame it today.