He sits in his big dark cave, waiting for the scent of fear or despair. At the slightest hint, he drags out his huge, slimy, smelly body, spreading his stench as he lumbers along. I can sense him coming. If he gets to close he’ll grab me with his sticky tentacles, wrapping them around my body trapping me in his evil grip of depression.
I had a depression trigger Wednesday, and could feel him coming out of his cave. I could feel the tips of the tentacles trying to get a grip, see the black slime oozing off of his body. See the desperation in his eyes.
If I would have stayed home, by Thursday I wouldn’t have been able to get out of bed. But I didn’t stay, I went to Greg’s house, my sanctuary. Thursday morning I got up, one foot down at a time, got the coffee started, did my step aerobics, had toast with peanut butter and Nutella (my favorite) with Greg before he went to work.
OK, now I’ve got her, he thinks. Greg’s gone and she’s alone, she’ll slink back to bed where I can convince her of the warmth and comfort of my tentacles. But there’s something else he can sense besides the fear and despair and it hurts him. It sends him reeling backwards. It’s a spark of fire that burns his eyes. It’s the spark of hope.
I’ve felt too good too damn long to give in to this, so I get in the shower, blow dry my hair, put on my mascara and get dressed. I have a stressful day ahead of me contacting government agencies to fight for my child support, but I can do it. It gives me something to do. Greg will come home and ask how my day was, I have to be able to say something besides “I stayed in bed all day.” I have to look like I’m ok, like I can still function. I don’t want him to worry.
So I keep going, one step at a time, sometimes one minute at a time, but I keep going, and the Creature slinks back to his cave. He’s not going to win this time, but I know he’s still there, he’ll always be there, waiting patiently. But I don’t think he realizes this time I have more weapons than I used to, and I refuse to let him win.