The In-Between Post

This is a hard one and while it’s taking me awhile to articulate it correctly, I’m physically incapable of not at least trying to write it all out (see also: my entire online history). Like when Opus the penguin discovers he doesn’t need to fly to be an important bird, I discovered that while I may not be able to be a voice actor or an audiobook narrator, I can write anything I want and publish it into the void. But a little perspective would be nice before I launch into the goings-on of late. Before I start, I know there is a lot happening in the world, and this is inherently self-centered. I know. I’m paying attention to the other things, too, don’t worry.

Anyway.

It’s been a very long time since I’ve written anything here. Or it feels like a very long time. I was just re-reading my last post and it feels like a lifetime ago, not the month-ish it’s actually been. Since then I’ve watched people I love lose family and friends at an frightening rate- both to covid and to other, just as awful things like addiction and the unfairness of aging. Accidents and other, less-publicized diseases. More beloved pets have passed away in the last two weeks than I can count. I lost my own dog. I relied more and more on unhealthy coping mechanisms. I developed Serotonin Syndrome. I hurt myself. I worried my family and friends. I went to the E.R., and I went to the hospital.

What’s frustrating about all of this- aside from the obvious inherent awful of it- is that none of the above is THE cause of anything that followed. The final straw was losing Elly, of course; the timeline makes that clear. From the outside, I can imagine how it all looked. I’ve always suspected that given the level of reliance I had on that portion of a dog, there were plenty of people in my universe who worried about that day and how I would react. And they were right. I wasn’t well. There’s never a good time for that, but this was especially bad. I was underneath a pile of awful circumstances and awful chemistry and unwise band-aids, and when I felt her growing colder and colder in my arms, any chance of crawling out from under that pile without help was gone.

All of this would make more sense if I had finished the posts I’m writing about the dog and about the hospital. They’re both much more detailed, and fill in the gaps that this disjointed word barf skates over. I think the reason I’m starting here is that I’m at a bit of a crossroads. Talking and writing about the things I talk and write about are great- I’ve connected with people, and alleviated a huge amount of shame and embarrassment around my own mental health. But sometimes I forget that unless it’s something you’ve also experienced, this casual, almost mundane accounting of it all might be jarring, even worrying. So this isn’t so much to give insight that could alleviate that, but rather a way for me to begin laying out the pieces that make up the whole story, because I don’t want to forget any of it. A little context for myself, I guess.

I know you know how much Elly meant to me. But it’s harder to explain what she meant to me. I have a particularly difficult relationship with two situations: being patronized, and being discussed. Of course this all stems from the place that everyone’s irrational hangups come from (childhood), but that’s a blog for another day. This month has been prime for both to come to pass. I understand, even when it stings.

But Elly saw everything, from the dumb songs I made up to remember something for work to the rock bottom moments that have come and gone over the past 8 1/2 years, to the peak happiness that was woven in there, too. My therapist heard about it all; Elly saw it all. And it didn’t matter to her. I was her favorite thing in the world, and all that mattered to her was that I was there, or at the very least, that I always came back. She wasn’t capable of complex analysis, but she was more than capable of being another heartbeat in my room, and settling into a nap after making sure I knew she was thrilled I was there.

I never questioned showing and telling her everything, the way I question it with humans. Does this sound self-involved? (yes. Taking about mental health inherently is) Is it just going to make people worry more and trust me less? (again, probably) But now that she’s gone, I need to make a decision. To retreat and wait until I have another sidekick, or write more, and try to make something so alarming a little more understandable. I’m going to go with the latter. This is all a very long way of saying that I’m hoping to post more regularly on here, and that if you find yourself worrying or wondering what to say, that I’m really, really easy to get ahold of. Questions, concerns, complaints, commiseration…my knuckles are cracked and I’m ready. Thanks for stopping by.

Opus

One thought on “The In-Between Post

  1. I was one of the people worried about you losing Elly. I know how hard death of people and pets can hit your mental health because I’ve been there (still there in some ways). But please don’t be embarrassed. You did the right thing and you went and got help, which I’m sure was not easy and took courage. And now you’re talking openly about it which I think is exceptionally brave. There are people out there who need to hear your story. And I hope it’s cathartic for you to be able to blog some of it.

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