Almost three months on from the lowest point for you in 7 years, we are starting to leave the depths of the valley. I will never forget that first night. That night you sent me to bed because I had been ill. The night that changed our relationship.
The night you first shouted help
It all seems like a distant memory now. Worrying as you locked yourself in the bathroom, the feeling of relief that you came out and spoke to the paramedics, the sadness that I felt, the guilt for not realising, and my disappointment in the support when you appeared back home at 4 am having walked back from the hospital alone.
I know you panicked. I know you thought I would want to leave. That was the black dog, telling you you didn’t deserve me; tricking you into thinking I couldn’t possibly care enough to stay.
You are a step forward
We are getting there, now. You’re on waiting lists again but you are a step forward. You have started trying mindfulness. I know you are getting better at fighting to get off the downward path when you feel the black dog pressing down on your whole being. I am glimpsing the light.
You got upset the other day, you had to change your plans. I couldn’t afford another day and night of worry. I had an appointment. So I held my ground and this time I would not change my plans. It was 10 am, but you accepted it and had a nap. Apparently it helped. Especially because the cat gave you cuddles too.
Feel the light
I know I could not have stood my ground 3 weeks ago. I know you now look at your arm, worried about what people will think. Worried that it feels leathery. In time, the new scars will be like the old ones, part of what has formed the person you are. The person I love beyond measure. They will probably get added to again, but hopefully not for a few more years. I can feel the light; it’s started to bounce off your face again. Your smile isn’t just a mask at the moment.
I’m trying to not count my chickens, but I’ll build the hen house, in hope. Let’s find that light. Let’s treasure it like our little one treasures the teddy she hugs every night. Even if the light doesn’t last this time, we know it is there. Hiding, buried, and needing to be found.