Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 17 years ago, I lost the life I once knew, but in the process re-created a better me. I am alive and functional today because of my dog, my treatment team, my sobriety, and my willingness to re-create myself within the confines of this illness. I hate the illness, but I'm grateful for the person I've become and the opportunities I've seized because of it. I hope writing a depression blog will reduce stigma and improve the understanding and treatment of people with mental illness. All original content copyright to me: etta. Enjoy your visit!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A not so Happy Birthday

It's my birthday today. I am 45 years old. It's hard to believe. I remember when I thought 35 was old! I'd go back to 35 in a heartbeat, but only if I could have the life skills and knowledge I have today with me. Otherwise, forget about it! Those were some tough early years of depression and drinking.

Today I am smarter, sober, and living with this devastating illness. Up until a couple of days ago, I would have said life is good. But today, life still feels heavy and sad. My house is so empty, and I feel so alone on this birthday. I miss Puck so much.

Typically, I'd have slid out of bed a couple of hours ago to a wagging tail and a smiling, expectant face. How could I not smile? Today, my radio blared the NPR news for over an hour before I could finally throw off the covers to face the day. It wasn't until several minutes later that I even remembered it was my birthday. Not exactly an auspicious beginning.

I've already been on Facebook, where the birthday wishes with their shiny words and exclamation points almost feel cruel. These are the same Facebook friends who comforted me with beautiful thoughts and prayers just a couple days ago. I know they mean well, and I'm glad for their kind wishes for a good day, but the hurt is still too big. A good day, a happy day, feels very far away.

I lit a candle for Puck last night. There are a few pet loss web sites out there, and through them I learned of a worldwide, Monday night candle lighting ceremony for lost pets. At the designated time, I lit my candle for Puck. I caressed the lock of hair I had cut from his tail before he died. I talked to my boy. I cried. Did it help? I don't know. But I think I'll do it again next week, anyway.

As I told my psychologist yesterday, I'd give anything, and everything, to have just one more day with my boy. One more walk. One more tail wag. One more smile. One more moment to kiss him, caress him, and hold him tight. I love you, Buddy. I wish you were here for the beginning of my 45th year. Together, we would have a very happy birthday.


jackid said...

Happy birthday Etta sorry it so soon after Puck going I am not going to preach to stay strong as I don't know you well enough and as I said in the last comment I left I lost my boy to not so long ago 4 months to exact and I still miss him and cry over him going but think of all the happy times you had with him and all the love he gave you and that way he will always be close by you
I do hope you can some how enjoy your day even for just a little while
Take care
Jacki xx

Tina Fariss Barbour said...

Happy birthday. I am thinking of you in your pain, Etta.

midnight rainbow said...

So sorry to have such a special day after the loss of Puck. I don't have many words, but know you are not alone and I feel the pain in your words. It is not easy to lose a best friend and I understand that all too well.

Remember Puck is right next to you in spirit and is still there for you.

jim said...

I agree with jackid, there really is no advice to give, no keep your chin up. It hurts and it sucks and it just will for some time.
But I hope you can know, today on your birthday, how much your simply being alive and sharing yourself through this blog has been a gift for me, and I am sure countless others.
So I hope you will let a stranger return that gift with one of sincere gratitude and thanks for you being you and for what you do.
Happy birthday.

Anonymous said...

Thinking of you. You are good to yourself.