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Day one (again)

January 9, 2017

In a few minutes I have to ring a woman at ICBC who is going to tell me what miserly amount they are willing to give me for my old Echo. I need a coffee and cigarette before I make that call.

Truth be told, things are not going well. Ergo “Day one (again)”. I think I need to start a new project. God knows what I’ll find to say, but it seems I do need eyes (other than mine) on my words to ensure something gets written every day.

After the totalling of my car on Boxing Day, I sank into a funk out of which I was finding it impossible to lift myself. Back I sank into the quicksand of Spider Solitaire, Freecell, Hearts and Backgammon. Hours lost, well into the evening. Saturday evening was the first time in more than a week that I cooked myself a proper meal. (The two other post-Boxing Day “proper” meals I’d had were based entirely on heating up the Christmas leftovers given to me before I left Sointula.) Other than that I’ve been living on grilled cheese sandwiches, popcorn and chocolate. Not good. I haven’t been to the gym since December 22nd.

(Short break to make the phone call to ICBC. Straight to voicemail. Bad news postponed.)

At my check-in doctor’s appointment last week, it was decided to increase my dosage from 10mg to 15mg daily. Although my doctor, bless him, did point out that anyone, whether they were dealing with depression or not, would be in a funk after the experience I’d just had – both the accident itself and the delayed realisation of how much worse it could have been. Hmm. Good point. It doesn’t seem to occur to us, the black dog walkers, that our reaction to something bad is not necessarily heavily tainted by depression. That we are reacting the way anyone would.

I did perk up the next day, not because of one evening’s increased dosage, but because I’d ended up having enormous fun replacing my Echo with a newer model. And the following day when I had a rehearsal for my play. I began wondering if I’d been wrong about the need to increase the dosage.

And then on Friday, after I got home from returning the rental car I hated, instead of sitting down and continuing the piece of writing I’d started that morning or forcing myself to go to the gym for the first time since before Christmas, I played stupid fucking spider solitaire until nearly 10pm. Jesus.

Yesterday started well. There was the news that a dear friend of mine will be able to visit next weekend. There was a phone call from my favourite cousin and a chance to catch up on all the doings of family in England. In the afternoon I was going to the first of a three-part acting workshop, taught by a good friend, which I was certain would be fun (and informative). Then two things happened.

The second involved the snow which had been falling steadily since the beginning of the workshop. My new(er) Echo does not have snow tires (one of the things I need to sort out with ICBC) and I confess there was a knot in my stomach when I set off to drive home in the slushy snow. It was a white knuckle ten minute drive, not least because I was suddenly (although probably not surprisingly) having flashbacks to the accident, terrified that the car was going to start spinning out of control. It didn’t. I got home safely. (I need to sort out snow tires.)

The first of the two things was worse and stayed with me all evening. It lingers on today. The workshop leader asked us to spend a moment conjuring up an image of and our feelings towards the biggest, most important person in our lives. It felt as if someone had picked up a huge knife labelled “loneliness” and stabbed me in the stomach. There was absolutely no one for me to conjure: no lover, no partner, no sibling, no child. At least no one I could conjure up in the present tense. Thoughts flitted briefly through my head of Mike, of my mother and of my bipolar Welsh friend. All dead.

I know (as I have been reminding myself since yesterday afternoon)  that I have many friends who care about me and about whom I care deeply. Friends from my school days, friends in London, the friends I have been fortunate enough to make here. But none of them were conjured up in my head as I sat there at the workshop trying to latch onto the most important person in my life.

So I came home after my white knuckle drive and sought oblivion by play computer games for three hours.

Well, fuck that. Enough already. There is no most important person who is going to come along and lift me up. I have to lift myself up.

And apparently, dear reader, I need you to help me. I need someone to know I did write something every day, I did  go to the gym, I did not play a single game of backgammon or stupid fucking spider solitaire.

A few people have told me they wished I was still making daily entries. I’m not sure why. One friend says it’s like getting a daily letter from me. I suppose I can see that. God knows I love receiving letters. (By that I mean real letters. You know, pieces of paper in envelopes with stamps on them. Trust me. When you live alone in a rural community, opening your post box and finding something that isn’t a bill is a big treat. But good luck trying to get anyone to write letters in this digital age.)

A wish comes true for those people. I’m back, let’s say for a month and see how it goes.

Happy New Year.

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One Comment
  1. Mariam permalink

    Anne, I discovered the black dog diary during the break, and read it all compulsively in one sitting. In awe of your openness and honesty in putting it out there. I keep hesitating over saying that I’ve really enjoyed reading all of your entries, as that somehow seems wrong, given the subject matter… but it’s true! You’ve made me chuckle to myself, guffaw out loud, recognize things in myself that I hide away, and a few times, cry.
    Love, Mariam

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