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Thursday, January 15, 2004
Before I belonged to Mac I was depressed. Not just sad and lonely, but clinically depressed. I actually considered leaving this out of here, but as Mac said to me yesterday, it is a part of me. I was not always depressed, but there were times in my life that began in my teenage years where I experienced long periods of blackness. For months on end I would be exhausted and sleepless and I felt dead inside and each and every day was a struggle just to get through. Nothing would make me happy, nothing could touch me on the inside and I hated myself.
I would go for weeks without saying anything to anyone except to answer questions that I was asked. I would only eat as much as I had too to escape attention from my parents. Everything tasted like it was rotten and I would heave on each mouthful. I had a constant headache that no amount of painkillers could ease. This could last up to half a year and then it would go away and I would be relieved and I would go out and live again. Then it would come back.
Eventually it was diagnosed as depression when I allowed someone outside the family see how much I was hurting myself and much to my embarrassment I was not allowed to be left alone. There was medication and there was a psychiatrist and there was talk of hospitalisation but my family refused to allow me to be 'locked up.' My mum and dad and my sister all took turns at making sure that there was someone with me at all times.
Months later I was no longer considered a danger to myself but it took a toll on my family. Their lives had been disrupted a lot by me and felt an awful amount of guilt. A couple of years later it happened again and again they refused to allow hospitalisation only this time the medication didn't help. They tried four different types over a year and my family were exhausted and angry with me and I just couldn't get seem to get beyond a certain point. It was then that my psychiatrist told me that I wouldn't get better unless I wanted to and that was a very liberating thing to be told. I had some power over how I felt. I just had to learn how to use it.
The medication stopped and instead I changed my diet, I exercised more, I stopped all caffeine, alcohol and antihistamines. I forced myself to go out with friends, especially when I really wanted to hide from everyone and over time things got easier and I got better and I found some people I could be friends with and everything was ok.
Only, depression is something that is cured. It's always there, lying dormant until the next time it rears. And sometimes it sneaks up on me and blindsides me. I went through three rejections from men in 6 months and suddenly I found myself watching the world closing in. It became too hard to go to work. It became a struggle to go out. I couldn't sleep and everything tasted like it was spoiled. Even just putting clothes in the washing machine was just too hard.
When I did realise what was happening, I didn't want to do anything about it. I knew my family couldn't handle going through it again and I think they must have seen the signs and decided to ignore them and hope they went away. I hid away from it as long as I could until Mac asked me what was wrong. W/we were just friends, but W/we knew each other well enough for Him to know there was something not right.
I didn't even tell Him straight away, but eventually I emailed Him and told Him this:
"I am sad Mac, I am more than sad. I feel it pressing down on me. And it's not because of anyone. It's just me. I can't sleep, I can't think straight. I am getting flaky around the edges.
I lose track of what I am saying unless it is written down. I am exhausted by 11am. I can put on a good front, and I can battle through, but that's what it feels like. Each day is a battle and each achievement is a small victory. Some days I gain a few metres, some days I retreat.
I am going to go now.
His reply was:
"I think I know what's wrong."
Those words filled me with relief. I didn't care if He did know what was wrong or not, I was just happy that someone thought they understood. There was no admonishment to "pull up my socks and get on with it" there was no accusation of being silly. He just said He thought He knew and that was enough.
He came to see me and W/we talked and He was worried that telling me I was depressed would push me away and I couldn't tell Him until He said it, so I fought with Him and W/we both went away mad. He came back a few days later and told me He was still mad. I told Him that was ok, I was still mad too.
He told me I was depressed and I surprised the hell out of Him when I said 'I know' and started crying. He didn't hold me and but told me that from now until I was better He would look after me and I had to do what He said. He asked if I agreed to this, and I told Him I would.
I fixed an appointment with the doctor for the next day and the doctor and I agreed on a plan to keep me well that didn't involve medication. Mac was reluctant about the lack of medication, family members of His had used medication while depressed and He said the difference had been notable, but He was happy to go along with the Dr as long as I kept improving. If I didn't improve then I was expected to take the meds.
Mac added in the proviso that I write to Him each day and tell Him what I was feeling and how it was going and whatever else I felt like saying. It took me about six weeks to realise that He wasn't reading these long and exhaustive pages of emails but by then it didn't matter, I just wanted to write and write and write. He would always glance over them to make sure my tone was not down and then skip over the rest and call or message me and say hello. I learnt that if there were something I really needed Him to know I had to put it in a separate short email otherwise He wouldn't see it.
It was two months before I was feeling well within myself and He was completely supportive and caring and as much a friend as I could need. During this time He never touched me and I actually think He may have spent a little time avoiding me because He didn't want to abuse the position He had in my life until He knew that I was capable of making the decision to be His all by myself.
I remember it was just over two months that I had been in His care that I went away for a weekend with my sister and her children and I took my niece and nephew on a hike halfway up a mountain to be at the bottom of a waterfall. (I still can't work out how we walked up to be at the bottom, but we did.) When I got home on the Sunday I emailed Mac and told Him how wonderful it had been to stand at the bottom of the waterfall and completely out of character, I told Him that I had been fantasising while I stood there.
"It was almost as if I could feel the man's hands moving over me while I watched the water spray tumbling down the side of the cliff. He slid his hand along the buttons of my shirt undoing them one by one, sending shivers all through me as he casually brushed my skin. My protests were quietened by a gentle hand caressing my neck and a commanding voice saying 'It's ok, no one can see. I will take care of that.' And when my shirt was opened and my breasts were bared, his mouth had closed over mine and the world had slipped away."
I don't think I said much more than that. I actually didn't keep a copy of the email myself. I had also made the guy seem to be some imagined Male that I was still waiting to meet. I don't for a moment think I fooled Him. He knew I had written it about Him and for Him and that was as much of a hint that I would give Him.
He has actually never mentioned it, and I doubt He remembers it, but it was the next weekend that I stood before Him and offered Him all that I was and He accepted. This last year and a bit has been the happiest of my life. I feel loved and secure and protected and cherished and it's hard for depression to take hold when I feel so good about being me.
Mac and I both realise though, that there is a very real chance that it will come back and though He tells me not to overanalyse sad days, I know when He questions me that He sometimes wonders too. If it does come back, W/we will deal with it together. I know that the two of U/us combined have amazing strength.