If you think this post is going to be about the nightlife where I party…well you will be disappointed.
It’s about sleep or the lack of in my case. Let me set the scene for you.
The husband and I are at the age where we like our sleep at night. Because of his severe back problems we set up his bed in the living room. Yes, not the prettiest living room decor but it is what it has to be.
He loves his TV. He watches it all the time. For him, it has to be on twenty-four hours a day. Even when he sleeps.
Now me, I must have a quiet semi-dark room to sleep. I have never been able to sleep with a TV or radio on. As I grow older it gets worse. I hate noise at night except the white noise of my fan. This is the only way I can sleep.
My bedroom is right off the living room. I keep my door closed and he turns down his TV to the lowest he can have it and still hear it. Now, have I told you he is also going deaf? Yes, unfortunately, he is. He wears two hearing aids which help a lot.
Now, for the most part, the TV is not the problem. I’ve kind of gotten used to it. Although I must admit, the odd times the power goes off and the TV is quiet, I rejoice inside. Don’t tell the husband.
Ok, back to my story. The husband is on super strong pain medication and he takes sleeping pills at night. Two of them. Most times he sleeps for about an hour or two then he is up and down all night. And here lies my problem.
As he is awake off and on all night he snacks later at night. I don’t mind that, as he needs to gain weight and if he wants to eat at 1 am, who am I to tell him no? The only rule we have is no using the stove. (he sometimes forgets to turn it off. Danger!) So he raids the refrigerator and eats like a teenager. In fact, he lives sort of like a teenager. He sleeps most of the day and eats in the middle of the night, and waits for me to clean up after him.
So, what am I complaining about then, you ask? This was last night….
I’m all comfy in my bed with Sam (my dog) at my side and just drifting off to sleep when…
*crinkle, crinkle, CRINKLE!*
My eyes pop open as I wonder what the hell that noise is. I hear it again…
*crinkle, CRINKLE, CRIIINNNKLEEE*
After hearing it again I finally figure out it is the husband eating potato chips in bed and it’s the noise of the bag.
I shake my head and close my eyes and just start to go into a sweet slumber when I hear…..
*bang! rrrrrrrrrrrrr, ding, ding, ding!*
The husband running the microwave for his snacks. No problem, I hear it most nights so I close my eyes again.
*clink, clink, clink*
*clink, clink, CLINK!*
Eyes popping open, again.
*clink, CLINK, clink*
I finally figure out it’s the husband eating and is the sound of his fork hitting the plate, plus the potato chip bag. Rather damn loud too. Sighhhhh.
I swear under my breath and look at the clock, 2 am. I was asleep for all of half an hour. I’m tired so I close my eyes and snuggle down into my pillows.
Sleep, sweet sleep. Finally. My eyes pop open and I sit up in bed in a flash as I hear someone shouting…….
I almost leaped out of my skin. It was so loud it sounded right next to me. It wasn’t. It was the TV. The husband fell asleep and turned over on the TV remote and turned it up very high. He turned it down before I went into the living room like a raging harpy and threw the remote and the TV out the door. Lucky him.
My heart slowed down and I looked at the clock and frowned, 2:34 am. I was so tired!
I get up to go to the bathroom as my bladder has decided since I was awake now anyway, why not empty it. I grumble as I do my bladder’s bidding and think if I am woken up one more time, the husband won’t need sleeping pills as I will put him to sleep myself. The hard way.
I crawl back into bed and close my eyes once more. A deep sigh escapes as I drift off into dreamland. Finally. Hopefully.
As I write this, the husband is sound asleep and I think it’s time to do some vacuuming.
(This post was done for WordPress’s Daily Prompt Later and yes, it’s all true.)
I walk into my home office and it glares at me. Stopping in the doorway, I look at its poor scarred face and feel guilty.
The poor thing should have been retired years ago, but I can’t seem to let it go. It’s gray with age, has small snags and rips from the cat’s claws. It needs a good vacuuming also. So much hair on it, as the cats like to lay across its back and watch the birds out the window.
Its hydraulic lift doesn’t always work anymore either. Sometimes when I sit down it will slowly lower itself. I then have to get up and raise it higher. I mutter to it, but then feel guilty as I know it’s old and tired.
Even though it’s old, it is the most comfortable of chairs. My butt feels at home in it. I can sit for hours, and most days do, without discomfort.
I’ve tried to retire it a few times. I really had good intentions of doing so. I have bought shiny new office chairs to take its place. They are never the same though, they don’t have that softness for my butt that this one has. The backs are not high enough so I don’t feel drafts on my neck. They are usually just not up to my old one’s standards. So I give them away or put them someplace else and take my gray one out of retirement.
I know if it could talk it would beg me to retire it for good, but I can’t. I need it too much. I love it and it would break my heart to give it up. I do apologize to it every day. I pat it and say, “Sorry I can’t let you go. Maybe one day I can find and afford a younger one. But not today Mr. Chair, not today.”
I hear its heart-felt sigh as it slowly lowers when I sit down. I get up, give it a loving pat and raise it again. Swear to it that I will vacuum it soon and then sit down once again.
Every day we go through the same routine. I feel the same guilt. Then I sit down in it and feel the comfort of an old companion and whisper, ‘I love this chair’.
I took a sip of my cooling coffee and watched the other patrons of the café. I didn’t know any of them and they didn’t know me. Or so I thought.
I was on holiday. I didn’t want to know anyone. I didn’t want to be disturbed. I wanted a little peace and quiet for a while. So in my office last week I put a map of the world up on the wall, closed my eyes, threw a dart and where it landed was where I was going.
So, here I was. Drinking a flavorful cup of Joe, feeling the tension between my shoulder blades finally dissipating. Through half closed eyes of contentment, I watched a young mother and her tow headed young charge laugh at the antics of a small puppy at their feet through the large picture window that faced the outside patio.
My chair leaned against the wall behind me as I took in the calm scene. Old habits die-hard, my back was always against a wall, in my business ingrained habits might just save your life.
I nodded at the waitress and held my coffee cup up for another refill. I was enjoying the quiet of the little café. Smiling to myself I thought I should have taken a holiday months ago. The waitress wandered over and poured me another steaming cup of black gold, gave me a small nod and walked away.
I heard the tinkle of the bell over the café door and casually glanced over. A tall thin man stood just inside the door. I felt a small fissure along my skin, telling me this man was here for me. I get those feelings sometimes. I don’t question them anymore. I watched him slowly glance around the half empty café till his eyes landed on me.
I stayed in my relaxed position, waiting for him to do whatever he was going to do. I couldn’t see his face yet, as it was shaded by a round derby hat and the sunlight behind him afforded him the anonymity of shadow. Through my half closed eyes I watched him walk slowly towards me. I put my cup down on the small round table in front of me and rested my hands next to it. The man stopped in front of my table.
“Hello are you Charly Cumberstoke? Better known as CC?”
I almost said a flat-out no, but my damned curiosity came into play. One of these times that same curiosity is going to get me killed.
“Yeah, that’s me.”
He gestured toward the empty chair and asked, “May I?”
I nodded. I was still cautious, it pays to be in my line of work.
He sat and pulled off his cap. I took a long hard look at his face. Narrow, with a long nose, long chin, and unusually pretty eyes for a man. Wide, steel grey with long black lashes framing them. I knew several women that would have been jealous of eyes like that. His black curly hair just brushed his forehead. I didn’t know the face, and I remembered faces. His was not one most would forget. I wanted to ask how he found me, but figured he’d get around to telling me soon enough.
“I’ve been looking for you.”
His voice was soft, cultured is how I would describe it. Wasn’t New Briton, Oz Land maybe. High end either way. What I could see of his hands clasped in front of him, they were soft, non-callused. His eyes stayed steady on mine, calm from what I could tell. One cool, long-legged man.
“I have a job for you.”
“I’m on holidays.”
“You’re a hard person to track down. I had to employ rather nefarious means to find you.”
“I’m still on holidays.”
I tensed as he reached inside his coat pocket. His hand stopped for a second then slowly pulled an envelope from it. He put it on the table and pushed it to me. I glanced at it and saw my name written in a bold hand across the rather pristine front.
I looked at him and raised an eyebrow in question.
“I don’t know what the letter says Ms. CC. I just do as my master tells me.”
“And who would your master be?”
“I’m sure the letter will explain everything, if you would be so kind as to read it.”
I picked it up and stared at it. I’m not sure why, but I didn’t want to open it. Cowardly of me, which is usually not my problem. I guess the only way I would get answers is to read the damn thing.
“I believe I shall see if this establishment has anything of a decent tea to drink. I will leave you to your reading Ms. CC.”
With that, he got up and walked to the counter to order his tea. I looked at the letter again and with a reluctant sigh tore it open and pulled out a single piece of white vellum. As I read my heart stopped for a moment and then I felt my anger stir. Of all the damned nerve!
I slowly, with my anger burning deep, put the letter back into the envelope. I waited for the stranger to sit back down.
“I had to explain to the waitress how to make a decent cup of tea. It’s amazing that she didn’t know how!”
“Never mind about the damned tea. Who are you?”
“My name is Michaels. I am Mr. Cumberstokes manservant.”
“I don’t know how my no good father put you up to this, but it’s not funny.”
“No jokes Ms. CC. Your father needs your help.”
“My father hasn’t needed me since he walked out when I was a kid.”
“I’m sure it’s something he regrets.”
I just laughed at the absurdity of the whole thing. Something stirred in my mind. Old forgotten memories. Ah, shit, I was going to go meet my father, who I haven’t seen in over 25 years. This should be interesting…………
This story was done for the Daily Post’s daily prompt, Greetings, Stranger. I have also brought back my favorite character CC whom I have written about in previous stories. To read the first one, please go here. Thanks for stopping in and giving my story a read. Hope you enjoyed it!
What’s the oldest thing you own? (Toys, clothing, twinkies, Grecian urns: anything’s fair game.) Recount its history — from the object’s point of view.
Ah, I remember the day I left my sister cookbooks and was mailed off to my new owner. Such a glorious day that was. I was new, fresh, smelled like newly printed paper. I was so excited to be whisked off to my new home. I just knew I would be put to good use.
Inside of my shiny new covers was one thousand recipes, tested and proved at the Priscilla Proving Plant. I was even a special edition! I was so proud! Class of 1928.
Now 86 years later, I’m still going strong. A lot older, yellowed with age, lots of brown spots. My binding might be weak, loose, but I still have all my pages. I have a few handwritten notes on some pages in different handwriting. I’m into my third generation of owners, all from the same family.
I started with the grandmother. She was so happy to receive me in the mail. She was a young mother then with six children, two more would be born after I arrived. She had a hard life, poor, with a stern husband. She ordered me through a catalog in the hopes of finding new dishes to please her young and growing family. Always an excellent cook had been Martha, always wanting to improve. She used the recipes in me for many years. Her youngest son Russell, would be my next owner.
Russell received me after my beloved first owner died. He too had a young family to feed. He loved his mother very much and wanted the one thing that was so special to her. Me! So there I was, in a new house sitting in a cupboard, bored, neglected. The man was so distraught over losing his mother it took him years before he would even look at me again. I stuck around, waited, patient, for his grieving to end. He enjoyed cooking and baking, so I knew if I was patient, I would be used once more.
Then one day it happened. The cupboard opened and he took me in hand! Oh my that was an exciting day for me. He wanted a bread recipe. He knew his mother used a recipe in me that was simple yet so good. He felt like baking. So I was used again and it felt wonderful!
For many years this family used the recipes inside my covers to make satisfying meals for their family. I opened up to find new cookie recipes, new casserole recipes. It was during those years that many new stains were left on my pages. New comments were written in my margins. I was happy and fulfilled my duty well.
Then the man died. He fought a great fight against cancer for years, but just grew tired. The cancer spread and took the mans life and I was once more put in a cupboard and forgotten. Or so I thought I was forgotten.
One day the cupboard door was opened once more and the widow took me out of the dark. I was packed into a box with many other mementos of the family’s life. I was being shipped away from the family! I was so scared. Where would I go? Who would cook my recipes now? It was such a sad, dark time for me. Till I arrived at the door of my new owner.
She is the youngest daughter of the man. I was still in the family, but a long ways from home. I was even in another country! Canada is where I ended up. I remember the woman taking me out of the big dark box. She lovingly opened my covers and looked at all the favorite recipes that her grandmother and father used to cook. I remember the tears that fell upon my pages, the soft caress as she saw her father’s handwriting.
She made me famous as she blogged about me. She used recipes out of me just as her father and grandmother had done. I might be old, yellowed, a bit brittle with age. I have a few new stains, like the tear drops that fell on me those few years ago. But I am in the same family, being used once again.
Open the first photo album you can find — real or virtual, your call — and stop at the first picture of yourself you see there. Tell us the story of that photo.
I have no real photo albums anymore. I used to but they are all gone now. Long story there for another time. As for virtual photo albums, I have a lot of photos, but they all are about Sam, my dog, or Notwen and Pouncer, my cats. I only have one photo of me and that’s what I use for my Gravatar photo. It was taken about five years ago by yours truly. Yes, my own kind of selfie. I had a new digital camera, one of those small ones, and so I was playing with it when I took my selfie. No duck face, thank goodness. I never understood that craze!
That’s pretty much the story behind this photo. One day I might take another one just to compare how I’ve aged LOL…or then again maybe not.
I don’t enjoy having my photo taken so there aren’t many around, anywhere. I’m usually behind the camera not in front. I’ve always been this way, camera-shy. So I suppose once I die, I’ll only be a fading memory somewhere. That’s ok. I can live and die with that.
The alarm rings, jarring me out of sweet dreams
I yawn, stretch, not wanting to rise
Swing my legs over the edge of the bed
Stand and scratch, another day begins
The day drags on and I’m worked to the end
My boss is an idiot and I just shake my head
Wishing I was rich, no need for this job
Watch the clock till my time is done
Finally, the end of my work day arrives
I run out of the door, my way is clear
I start my car and the music blares
The sound washing my boredom away
I drive home shaking off the day’s frustrations
Thinking of hot coffee, freedom, relaxation
But first to walk the dog, feed the cat
Make dinner, call friends, sort the mail
I drink coffee, eat my food, watch a bit of news
Then finally, when I’m all relaxed, my fun resumes
My music plays softly, I open a book, I laze on the couch
The words they take me so far away
This is how I mellow out my days and night
After the world gets rough in its play
I go somewhere else, even if only in my mind
For adventures, comedy, drama, mystery, suspense
It’s a world of words, but it’s so real to me
I feel my cares get washed away in black/white squiggles
Whether I write them or someone else, makes no difference
Imagination is a great place to be, so I visit regularly
This was written for two challenges, NaPoWriMo and the WordPress Daily Prompt, which was; After a long day at work or school, what are your favorite ways to wind down and decompress?
So today is day 4 for me with NaPoWriMo. Today’s topic is also the WordPress Daily Prompt, which worked out quite well for me. Another day of 2 challenges in one. The topic is Jealousy, that green-eyed monster.
I think we’ve all been jealous of something or someone at least once in our life. It’s one of those not so nice feelings. The key I think is to keep jealousy at a minimum. Ok, fine, let it sweep through you if you must, over that beautiful new car, home, dress, whatever someone else has and you covet.
Then let it keep going right out of you. Don’t hold it inside, don’t let it grow until you can’t see what you are. A beautiful person.
Be content with what you have and who you are. If you want something else, then work hard for it, because you’ll enjoy whatever you get that much more.
Be joyous, be content, and light and love will always be yours.
It sits upon a chair, this green-eyed monster
so please beware!
It whispers things in your ear, like a siren
its call, you must ignore.
As you gaze into the mirror, it’s not you that glances back
it’s someone else, not real I fear.
You work, you play, you live, yet satisfaction is beyond your grasp
this presence is never far and makes you feel always last.
Sad, depressed and down, you’re never happy as
in jealousy your feelings drown.
Its ugly head rears, eyes flashing, hate spewing
with utter nonsense this monster feeds your fears.
You refuse to appreciate all you have,
gifts that nature and hard work does grant.
Wanting more, much more, needing it less
the green-eyed monster demands its pound of flesh.
Have you got a code you live by? What are the principles or set of values you actively apply in your life?
Why yes, I do have a code I live by, thank you for asking. I’ve been in this world for a while now, some might consider me ‘old’, some just middle age. I don’t consider myself either one, but that’s a whole other story.
I have had situations in my life that have shown me at my worst. I’m not proud of those times and thankfully it was way in the past. I’ve grown since then, lived, loved, lost and soaked it all in.
I’ve developed a few codes of conduct that I usually stick with pretty closely. It’s not something written down in some book. It’s something I’ve developed on my own from just living life. I’ve thought about it and the best description I can come up with is this.
My ‘code’ that I live by is relatively simple. It’s a combination of the Toltec Agreements, my Native American heritage, and just plain old me.
Be impeccable with your word: Always say what you mean. Speak with integrity. Don’t gossip and don’t put yourself down. Speak with love, truth and kindness.
I do try to do this always. I don’t like gossip and I try not to spread any. It’s just a waste of breath, as you don’t know what’s going on in someone’s life. You may hear bits and pieces, but unless you are behind their closed doors you don’t really know. There is usually much more to someone’s story than you hear. And well, Karma, you know, that’s a big one for me. Talk with respect, kindness and truth, and it will never come back to bite your ass later on.
Don’t take anything personally: What someone else does is NOT because of you. They made a choice. What others say and do has nothing to do with you. They are the owners of their own words and deeds and when you accept that, and become immune to others deeds and words you won’t become the victim of needless suffering and hurt.
This one took me a great many years to learn. But it is so true. Everyone has their choices to make, how they make them is up to them. NOT YOU. So next time when someone says to you, “You made me do this”, call them out on their lie and then walk away with your head held high. You didn’t make them do anything, they did it all on their own.
Don’t make assumptions: Don’t be afraid to ask questions or to say what you really want. Talk to others in a clear and concise manner, it avoids misunderstandings, drama and sadness. This alone can be a life changer.
I have learned the hard way that this is true. Don’t be wishy washy on what you want. If you aren’t sure about something, ask questions! Even if those questions are to yourself. Ask them and get answers. Always, Always be honest, especially to yourself. Talk to others in a concise manner. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Don’t say one thing and then do another. Don’t lie. And don’t dramatize what you are saying. Whether in writing or in speaking. No misunderstandings can help you and others not get hurt. And might lead to wonderful things to happen in your world.
Always do your best: Your best is always going to change. Sometimes daily. Sometimes several times IN a day. Whether you are sick or well, tired or rested. Whatever the circumstance, do your best for that moment and avoid self-judgement, self-abuse and regret.
Yes, yes, yes! Be kind to yourself for one thing. There is enough hardship and criticism in this world, why add to it? Especially toward yourself? It’s not a good thing to do. Others will follow suit and start criticizing you also. Don’t let that happen. Always do your best or try to. You owe it to yourself to do so. Also, you will feel so good about yourself knowing you did try your best. In my life I have always tried my best at everything I have done. So when something did fail, I knew deep inside it wasn’t because of me. And I could be proud of that fact. Regret is something I have very little of in my life.
Do you have a code you live by? If so let me know, as I am always listening and learning.
For today’s prompt, tell us three things that you believe in your heart to be true. Tell us three things you believe in your heart to be false.
Three things I believe to be true:
1. Our lives depend on what choices we make. Sure, some things are beyond our control. Illness (most of it), genetics, government interference. But, we all have choices to make. Our lives revolve around them. Big ones, little ones, some we never even give a thought to. With each choice there is a ripple effect that surrounds us and goes outward. So the choices we make also affect others in our lives. Unless of course you live on a deserted island without another living creature. No one ever makes the right choices all of the time. I make choices that affect me the most, selfish in a way I suppose. But I weigh those choices carefully. The major ones, the life changing ones. I weigh those choices and I try to see how my choices affect those around me I care about. Then I pick the one that would best suit me, the one that would work the best. Ah hell, who am I kidding, most of the time throughout my life I have gone with my heart choices, and you know what? It has rarely steered me wrong.
2. That there are some people who are completely evil and none that are completely good. There maybe a few people who have come close to completely good, but never are. Why? Because it’s impossible to be completely good. Or maybe it’s because I have never known a completely good person. But I have met a few that were completely evil.
3. That there are ghosts or spirits around us. I know a lot of people don’t believe in them, but I certainly do. I have seen them, heard them, and even talked to them. I have one that has lived with me for years. Just because you can’t see or touch something doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
Three things I believe to be false:
1. That we only have one life to live. Seems pretty pointless, doesn’t it? How can we ever learn all we need to know in just one short lifespan? Impossible! I do think we need to give each life the best we can. Learn the most we can, love the hardest we can. Then and only then can each life get better.
2. That liver is good for you. Yuck! I do mean the kind people eat, not your own inside liver. Ha-ha! How can anything so nasty, that came out of an animal be good for you?? No thanks! I think my mother lied to me.
3. We as people are entitled to everything and anything we want. NO! You are not! Neither am I. Treat the world the way you would want to be treated. Treat animals and all living things with respect. That includes your fellow-man/woman. You are not entitled to anything, you earn what you get. So earn that respect. Earn that love. Earn whatever it is you want. And most importantly, teach your children to earn those things in life and not just expect the world to supply it just because they exist.
Tell us about a situation where you’d hoped against all hope, where the odds were completely stacked against you, yet you triumphed. Be sure to describe your situation in full detail. Tell us all about your triumph in all its glory.
Photographers, artists, poets: show us LONGSHOT.
Years ago, when I was married to my ex, I had gone to a doctor because I had a small red spot under my chin that itched but wouldn’t go away. It had been there for more than six months and my Mother-in-law thought I should have it checked out when I told her about it.
So she made an appointment with my father in laws dermatologist. My MIL was on a kick about spots on faces as my FIL had small spots on his face that had to be cut out with a laser. So she insisted I go and see what the spot was about.
The doctor did a biopsy of the spot and a few weeks after that he called me to come see him. He told me bluntly, I had cancer. I almost hit the floor. I remember things becoming blurry, distant. I could hear the doctors and my mother in law’s voice, but nothing much registered.
All I could think about was….. I had Cancer. I can’t have cancer! That’s what my mind shouted while I fought the dizziness. No way I had cancer!
He said I had a rare form of lung cancer, the beginning stages. I was told that it rarely showed up on the outer body, but did in some rare cases, the doctor told me I was lucky it did show up on the outside of my body, as usual, with this type of lung cancer people didn’t know they had till it was almost too late. I just sat there stunned. Did he just say I was lucky?! What the hell kind of thing is that to say to someone you just told had cancer!
I asked him about treatment. He said at this stage the treatment that is usually done was steroid shots through the chest cavity into the lungs. I looked at him as if he had lost his mind. Shots through the chest into the lungs? Wouldn’t that hurt? Yes, he told me it hurt, but it was the best treatment.
I know we talked more about the treatments, making appointments with specialists and everything else that goes with that. But frankly, I don’t remember much of that. I was trying my best to keep it all together and not go running, wailing out of the room.
I had cancer. Now what? My ex and I had no insurance. How were we going to pay for it? Hell, how would I live through the damn treatments! I was in shock. The doctor told me to make an appointment with a cancer specialist as soon as possible. I said sure.
My mother-in-law took me home. I know she was shaken and scared for me, but I had no reassurance to give her. I was all ready slipping into denial. She asked if she should stay with me and I told her no, that I would be fine. The ex wasn’t home, of course, and I had no way to contact him. Didn’t want to at the time anyway. I needed some time alone to process the information that I had cancer.
I went in the house and sat at the kitchen table and cried my heart out. I was certain I was going to die.I felt more alone at that time than I ever did before or after in my life. I cried for hours that day alone, except for my dogs who sat around me trying to comfort me. I decided that I wasn’t going to call my family. I hadn’t talked to them in several years and I was not going to call them with the news I had cancer. I would deal with it alone.
I was used to dealing with things alone.
The ex finally came home but by then I had cried myself out and was calm. I told him what the doctor had said. The first words out of his mouth after I told him were, how would we pay for treatments.
I know it was the first thing that came into my mind, but it sounded pretty cold coming from him. That was pretty much all he ever said on the subject. The ex was not one for talking about unpleasant things, unless it was about himself.So just like he never talked about the four miscarriages, I had the preceding years, he never brought up the cancer. Ever. So I dealt with it alone. If you want to call it dealing. I ignored it. I just simply ignored it. I got phone calls from my mother-in-law and the doctor and ignored them both.
Now most anyone would have prayed. I didn’t pray, not exactly. I am not a religious person. I talked to my higher powers, the ones I do believe in. I talked to my animals. I told myself the doctor made a mistake, that I didn’t have cancer. I told myself the doctor was an idiot and that I was not going to take shots through my chest into my lungs. Hell, the cure sounded worse than the disease.
I also stopped smoking. I had been smoking on and off for years. I stopped the same day the doctor told me I had cancer. I stopped cold turkey.
Then I sunk into a black hole. A black hole of depression.
I started having anxiety attacks if I tried to go outside. I started having delusions about the phone being tapped, so I stopped talking on the phone. I started having thoughts that the ex was trying to poison me, so I only ate things I made. Which looking back was crazy, because if the ex wanted to poison me he could have poisoned anything in the refrigerator. But when one is sinking into that black hole thoughts don’t make much sense anyway.
I either didn’t sleep for days, or that’s all I did was sleep. It went back and forth, sometimes in the same week. I would sit at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee and just space out. I would suddenly come out of it and realize I had been sitting there for hours. I would cry at odd moments. I would just start crying and couldn’t stop. I didn’t care about anything except my dogs. I kept enough sanity to feed my dogs and let them out in the backyard.
I would unlock the front door and then open it up a crack. Just enough to peep out and look at the front yard. Of course, no one was around. We barely got any traffic on our street. The block was full of houses that belonged to cops. Even so, I could not step foot out the door. I would start to breathe hard, my heart would race and I would have to slam the door shut and lock it again.
Between that hate of my ex, who ignored me and stayed away from home more and more, and the anger that was starting to boil inside of me I was determined to climb out of that black hole and stay out. So I struggled. I made myself do things I couldn’t months before. I forced myself to take a shower every day and get dressed. Every small step felt like I was walking through quicksand. But every morning I would get up and force myself to do things. I would push my fears aside and do it.
I finally moved my stuff into the extra bedroom. I told the ex that I didn’t want to disturb his sleep when I got up all hours of the night. The truth was, I didn’t want to be near him, especially in bed where he expected sex. He wasn’t getting any sex, at least not from me. He had girlfriends for that.
I kept telling myself I wasn’t going to die, then in the next breath I would tell myself if I died the pain would stop. Years before I had contemplated suicide and didn’t do it. I promised myself that day that no matter how bad things got I wouldn’t take my own life. I kept that promise, even after sinking in that black hole I kept that promise to myself.
I was in that dark hole for almost 2 years. Then I started my long climb out of the hole. What got me climbing out was that I didn’t die. Sounds crazy, I know. But in the beginning I thought I had cancer and was going to die. I didn’t die. I didn’t even get sick. Hell, I didn’t even catch a cold those 2 years. My brain took hold of that thought, that I didn’t die and wouldn’t let go.
My reasoning was if I hadn’t died by then of cancer I didn’t have cancer. I wasn’t going to die of cancer. Period. And if I wasn’t going to die of cancer I needed to get my ass out of that black hole. I needed to crawl my way out and get on with the business of living.
I got angry. I got angry with myself and I got angry with that doctor. I believe to this day, that is what saved me from living permanently in that black hole. It would take me another year or more to finally get out. A long year of fighting unreasonable fears.
Every day was a challenge. The first time in over a year that I managed to go out in the backyard with my dogs I cried. They were tears of joy. They were tears of achievement. I did it! Next I tackled the mailbox. It took me a few more months, but one morning I opened that front door, took a deep breath and walked out into the sunshine.
It wasn’t easy. I was terrified, but I kept telling myself that no one was going to hurt me. I got to the end of the driveway and opened the mailbox, grabbed the mail and ran back to the house. I did it! I might be breathing hard from running and fright, but I did it! The dogs danced around me as I laughed and threw the mail in the air! I don’t think I ever felt such joy before. It was that day I knew I would make it. I knew I would win.
Truthfully, I don’t know for certain I had cancer, at least the doctor was convinced I did. But I was so terrified of the ‘cure’ there was no way in hell I was going through that. Or, I never had cancer, the doctor had it wrong and my fear of needles was so strong at that time I would have rather died than go through the cure. I may never know the true answer. Unless one believes in miracles than I never had cancer and the doctor got it wrong, because here I sit today many years later.
So I fought two battles and won. Against all odds. Without any professional help. I beat cancer (if indeed I had it) and I beat depression. The odds were certainly stacked against me. But I beat them down, I climbed over them, I struggled on.