Today has been a lazy day. After having not slept for the past couple of nights, I broke down and took my trusty sleeping pill. Precious sleep — that’s what was needed. So, upon waking up late this morning (ok, so it was really noon), I got busy and did a few things around the house before coming to the computer.
A dear friend, Dennis, had called me last night to tell me he was proud of me. He is such a blessing to me. (There was a time in my life when I would have cringed when someone paid me a compliment. However, I was able to say “Thank You” to Dennis and sincerely mean it.) We had gone to high school together and our parents had been good friends so there has always been a connection. Upon moving back to my hometown six years ago, we had reconnected at a high school reunion and the friendship was rekindled. He had moved away from our hometown, but still came back home frequently to visit with his dad who has since passed. His visits back to our hometown have not ended, thankfully. We always try to get together when he comes home for a visit and a lunch when we can. At one point after one of his visits, I was talking to my children about how much fun we had had and, of course, they had to start teasing me. I told them that he was quite married, quite in love with his wife, and that we were just special, special friends. After having mentioned him numerous times, I finally gave in and started calling him my “out-of-town, married boyfriend.” I certainly get some odd responses when I do that, but since his wife calls me “my husband’s out-of-town girlfriend,” and has sent me messages to “please go to lunch with Dennis when he comes to town next weekend,” I figure it’s OK. I even call him that when speaking of him to my therapist, the magnificent. She gets a laugh out of it, too. One of my favorite memories is the day Dennis and I spent an entire afternoon sitting outside a restaurant in downtown. We reminisced about life in the 60’s — high school, teachers, friends, white two-piece bathing suits with purple polka dots, old loves, old rivals, who had owned what store in town, music, families, unfilled (and fulfilled) goals, dreams, and a whole lot of BS. That was such a great afternoon. I cherish those types of friends and afternoons. They make my heart happy. A few weeks ago, his sweet wife, Linda, had come down for the weekend with him and the three of us had a great visit at our town’s most favorite restaurant. We joked about how we were having a 3-fer and how much fun it was. Anyway, we had a long discussion last night about my blog. Dennis knows of my fears, my illness, my hopes, my dreams, and my terrors, and is always a bit protective of me. He wanted to make sure I understood that, while this endeavor is good and great and worthy, I must remain vigilant in the process of taking care of Betty. There was much reassurance given to him that it would be done. After hanging up the phone last night, I truly had a happy heart. Someone had seen and understood my purpose in starting this blog and was supportive and protective of my health while doing so. That, my friends, is a true and loyal friend.
Dennis called me back this afternoon to make sure that I had understood what all he had said last night and to again compliment me on my desire to reach out to others. Bless his heart. I once again reassured him that I would be careful, that I would not be consumed, and that I knew how to draw the line. I’m beginning to think that perhaps he has spoken with my daughter, Marti, because she is saying all the same things to me. “Mom, this is great, but remember, you have to take care of Betty first.” So, just to ease anyone’s fears who might want to warn me not to become obsessed — I got it, y’all. I KNOW I am not special enough to be the only person in the world to have depression. I KNOW I am not special enough to be the only person in the world to be overcome with these feelings. HOWEVER, I also KNOW that I am not special enough to think that I can “cure the world of depression.” That is NOT my goal. My goal is to be able to reach a very few and give them confidence and reassurance that it is safe for them to open up, to find that one or two people in their own lives with whom they can become honest about their feelings. If I can do that, I will be a happy girl.
THOUGHTS ABOUT MY THOUGHTS: I am proud that I can look at my depression as something that is not shameful. There was a time when I would have never told anyone that I battle daily with this awful, terrible, ugly thing. I no longer feel that way.
TODAY’S FEELING BAROMETER: Today has been a good day. I feel content and confident. I am pleased with myself today.