Why do you turn up from time to time and make me feel awful?
I appear when you are hitting a wall in your emotional life, Jane. Knowing you as well as I do, I’d have to say that I tend to roll by when something shatters you or you experience an intense sense of helplessness.
Couldn’t you give a couple of barks to warn me and then disappear and leave me to get on with life?
The reality is that by the time you catch a glimpse of me snuggling up by your side, I’ve already tried the tail wags, barking and lick to attract your attention. Sometimes you spot my overtures and we look together at what’s hurting. Occasionally you crash and burn emotionally in the time it would take me to fetch a ball. Then I need to be there. Be vigilant. Mostly I’m there and settled and you stop. I’m the automatic braking system in your mind.
Much as I love dogs, I’m always relieved when you finally wander off. Why do you go?
You don’t need me any more is the short answer. You’ve taken control. It may be lots of things remain hopeless, unresolved and freakish from your perspective, but your relationship to them has changed.
Mostly I think your perspective changes and you allow a part of yourself to face a painful reality. Reaching conclusions and acting on them is the beginning of re-claiming your sense of self. It’s the start of healing the deepest hurts. You are a survivor once more. No longer a victim.
So weirdly, and I can’t believe I’m going to say this – you are a friend to my deepest self and not someone I should fear?
I am a friend who shows that darkness isn’t all there is to see. That’s a good thing.
Where do you go when I’m no longer depressed?
I’m there with you; I’m a part of you but we create, we write, we teach and research. I’m there but I’m not the only thing.
Would you prefer dental sticks to a Bonio biscuit or maybe a tennis ball?
I don’t mind. But I realise I’m not a cheap date. Knowing me is costly.