It would be too long, even for me, to write out the whole of my world since the beginning of November so I’m not going to try. I had a slow slide into mild depression, the first I’ve experienced since my mother died in 2006. It took quite awhile for me to notice it was more than my regular hermit mode of winter. Partly because some days were better than others and partly because I’m lacking experience in depression and what it feels like. From late 2015 and through a good slot of 2016 my life has been full of stressors. Usual coping techniques began to fail and I didn’t really notice I suppose. It was a bumpy up and down and somehwhere along the line I lost touch with my ever present Joy. It was still there, just not accessible as easily.
My downward swing seemed tied to the lack of sunlight in how it progressed so I bought a lightbox to see if this was so. It is definitely, if not wholly, tied to the diminished number of hours of daylight. What had been choice in how I spent my days became not a choice with the depression, and I felt the choice come back with usage of the box. This brought me gobs of relief that was quickly lessened by our beloved 14 y/o cat slipping out of the house unseen and being gone for 16 days. By his actions in the days prior to his disappearing act we assumed he’d slipped out to die even though he has been indoor only cat for 7 years. We had just informed his vet to mark his file “deceased” when he turned by up about 20 minutes after we returned from the vet’s office.
He’s pretty wasted from lack of food and he was severely dehydrated. He is slowly recouping and I have dubbed him the miracle cat. While I have some caution about celebrating a full recovery just yet he appears to want to live and many of the odd signs he showed prior to leaving are gone. My one friend said he decided to go on a spirit walk and this seems more true than any other reason. The vet’s office felt it was likely he’d been accidentally locked in someone’s garage and that’s why it took so long for his return, and why his body is so wasted. We’re just happy he is back. Immediately upon his return the weight of grief over him lifted from me and I realized just how much the lightbox was helping me. The tangle of depression and grief was bloody awful, and anxiety opted to roll in on top of both.
Grief I have experienced before. Some anxiety I have, too, but the combo of depression+anxiety+grief – well, I can’t really express it. I am thrilled to be coming up out of it. I feel better equipped to identify it in the future. I will be using the lightbox until the days are longer. I will pull it back out in Autumn as soon as DST ends. I don’t want a repeat of the past few months.
This post feels very rambly, but I’m not going to go back and try to tidy it up. I expect to return to blogging with some regularity, but my goals for awhile are going to be small, easily attainable, and things that brings me Joy or I’m not doing them.
Art disappeared from my life and that will definitely return. I have missed it so. That leads into my next post …. which is the main reason I wrote this post, to write the next one. I felt it necessary to explain my absence first.