Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 19 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 25, 2012


As I sit here alone on Christmas morning, it is quiet, sunny and cold outside. The sky is brilliant blue. I am sitting in front of my living room window, the typical spot in which I compose all of my posts. And while not a creature is stirring upon my street, I imagine the houses of my neighbors are teaming with excited revelry. My house is quiet. I am sipping my coffee, listening to NPR, and thinking.

I am trying not to focus on waking up alone. I am trying to avoid thinking about Puck's absence, picturing his smiling face and wagging tail instead. There have been no tears yet, but I am making a concerted effort not to be sad. It's been a long, long time, at least 13 years, since I awoke in an empty house, alone, on Christmas day.

Perhaps I am feeling sorry for myself. After all, it looks like there was some revelry here. There are still empty gift bags lying on the floor, the remnants of opening gifts two days ago with D, before he returned to his home. I don't know why, but I haven't bothered to pick them up and put them away yet.

I had a lovely weekend with D. We were particularly close. He was impressed with how I was handling Puck's death. I was happy to have his strong arms wrapped around me. We celebrated my birthday with a quiet, happy dinner with best friends, Bill and Cindy, on Saturday night. We were the only people in the restaurant, the food was fantastic, and we lingered in conversation for a long, long time. I felt surrounded by love.

Earlier in the day, D and I ran 6 miles together, and I ran another 9 Sunday evening after he left. I set out to run 4, but I couldn't bare to come home, so on running I went. Yesterday was supposed to be busy, but I only worked 3 hours, as the nursing home was locked down with the flu, and I had the rest of the day to myself. After napping for 3 hours, what else was there to do, I donned my running clothes again, and ran a chilly 5-miler as the sun sank. That helped.

I've taken to leaving the radio or television on while I'm out running or doing errands. It makes coming home a bit easier when there is noise in the house. College football tempted me to sit in solitude after my run last night, but instead I gathered myself for a Christmas Eve candlelight service at a local congregation. I was concerned about attending alone, but I felt the need to be closer to God, and I went anyway. As expected, I cried as we sang Silent Night with candles aglow, but the tears were brief, and in the end, I felt peace.

I know Puck is up there, at the right hand of God, bouncing and wagging his tail. I instructed God to let that tennis ball fly, and in Puck, he would never find a finer, more loyal friend. I asked God to take care of my boy until we meet again.

Merry Christmas, friends. Though we may never meet, I am humbled by the opportunity to spend this day with each of you. Thank you for your support. As I walk this journey with you by my side, I know I am never truly alone. I am grateful for that. Peace be with you on this special day.


Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas, Etta. Glad you had good weekend with D. Know the house and routines all feel painfully different with the loss of a beloved pet that you are used to being by your side at all times. Sounds like you are allowing yourself to grieve - but, also, staying connected and appreciating moments with friends. Peace be with you, also. Thank you for sharing this blog.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for updating your blog. I spend some time sending my warmest thoughts to you.

jim said...

Merry Christmas Etta.

Grace said...

Merry Christmas. Thanks for sharing your journey here. It means a lot. Some days I can only put one foot in front of the other. Coming here gives me much hope! =D

Ruby Tuesday said...

Happy Christmas Etta

I know you miss Puck and I'm sure he is watching over you

Take care x

Stationary Runner said...

Merry Christmas. I'm so glad you got to spend time with D.

I'm truly sorry for your loss. Puck sounds like the most wonderful friend.

Sending virtual hugs across the miles.

Tina Fariss Barbour said...

Merry Christmas, Etta. I am still thinking about you and Puck and sending you prayers. I went to a candlelight Christmas Eve service, also, and it was so peaceful and comforting.

Anonymous said...

I am someone else with depression, and my dog is 13, and the day perhaps not far away. I wish you a peaceful Christmas. Thank you for your blog, it made me feel not so alone in the world.

Willi said...

Your blog is recommended on the app SuperBetter so I hope it brings you more followers.