I know I’ve mentioned before…I have two dogs…a 5-1/2 year old and a new puppy that was born on 1/11 of this year. Both are female salt and pepper Miniature Schnauzers. They are my reason for living. My only reason. They are happy to see me. They fill my house with life and energy. They can be a lot of work, especially the puppy! But if not for them, I would return each day to a totally silent, empty house. No one to greet me. No reason to keep going. My dogs give me a reason to get out of bed and do a little bit more than I think I can manage; to push myself beyond the icy hold of depression and emptiness. It’s not much. A crumb, really. But my life is so much more with them than it would be without them. I just need a few people in my world.
I am isolated, to put it bluntly. It’s totally my fault. Can’t blame anyone else. Even if I get a rare phone call, I usually don’t answer because talking to someone on the phone 1) is difficult because I don’t feel like I have anything positive to say; 2) take more energy than I have to spare, and; 3) interferes with my eating disorder. I rarely go anywhere other than the grocery store or vet or gas station or pharmacy…you know, those errands you HAVE to do whether you like it or not. I spend all my money on groceries that I throw up and flush down the toilet, so I don’t have any funds for socializing…not that I WOULD socialize anyway. I’m not good at it. AWKWARD! I feel like a freak. A third wheel. My few friends have mostly given up on asking me to go anywhere or do anything. I don’t go for the same reasons I don’t answer the phone. Just add a #4…can’t afford it. I’ve boxed myself in very nicely, thank you.
I used to go to church, go out for an occasional lunch, maybe even a movie now and then. I went to friend’s houses (mine tends to be ugly messy because I’m so depressed, I lack the energy to clean it up and that embarrasses me – yet another reason to isolate). I actually used to go shopping with friends occasionally. I called them. Went to a concerts, parties, events. Not all the time, but with some frequency. Looking back, I’m not quite sure what happened. But looking back, I can see a narrowing of my life over the past 10 years. A very drastic narrowing over the last 5. All the energy has been sucked out of me and out of my life. All the contact. All the connectedness. Gone. Everything. Dropped. Fallen away.
I’m left with a vast pit of nothingness. Something way beyond loneliness. Not just being alone. Isolation. Raw, desperate, endless isolation. My dogs are my world. Somehow, I think this isn’t the way it’s supposed to be. Somehow, I think I’m in a bad place, in spite of their wonderful unconditional love and acceptance.
I have a friend who had surgery a couple of weeks ago. I was going to take her a meal the first weekend after her surgery, but somehow, I spent the days that weekend sleeping, struggling with overwhelming depression, binging and purging (between letting the dogs in and out). I managed to grab a shower. I did run most of the normal and necessary errands. But that’s it. Basically, if I was awake, I was in the company of my ED or I was sleeping. In my defense, I don’t sleep well during the week, often only getting a few hours of rest per night. So by the time the weekend rolls around, I’m seriously sleep deprived and I need to catch up. I’m rather successful at catching up on the weekends. It’s the only thing I seem to be successful at lately.
I don’t do laundry until I’m in a bind. I don’t clean house: dust, wash windows, vacuum, change sheets, make beds. Sometimes I manage to hang up my clothes; sometimes not. I have 20 sizes of said clothes because of said ED and I’ve been trying for the, oh, last couple of years, to clean out my closet, get rid of some of the bigger items. The things I have managed to pull out of my closet are now laying in heaps and piles on the couch in my bedroom. They’ve been there like that for a couple of years. Is it any wonder I never have anyone over? I’m ashamed. So ashamed.
I’m also very depressed. I try to hide it at work. Try to fight it so I can make it to work; so I can do most of what is required of me to stay employed, of only just enough. But it destroys me when I’m home. It’s overwhelming depression. Can’t move, can’t make it happen, can’t reach out, can’t take a meal to a friend depressed. Fall asleep on the couch, don’t mop, don’t go anywhere, don’t call a friend or answer the phone depressed. Don’t get dressed, don’t read (can’t concentrate), don’t deal with anything except extreme necessity kind of depression. Black hole, sucked in, stuck, can’t escape thicker than molasses depression.
It hurts being this isolated. It hurts being this screwed up and being this much of a failure. I’ve been trying for so long to get better, even that has become a source of depression. And self-loathing; self-rejection. Which may be part of the reason I’m so depressed. It’s a never-ending cycle. Fail, hate myself, depressed. Fail again, hate myself more, depression intensifies. Isolate. Fail, despise myself, overwhelming depression, total isolation. Hmmmm…anger turned inward. Fail. Self-hate. Self-rejection. Depression. Isolation. The stuff the black hole is made of…the one that sucks the life out of me. The one that keeps me from living. That destroys all hope, all dreams, steals my energy and makes me feel worthless. The black hole I keep trying unsuccessfully to escape.
Thankfully, my dogs seem blissfully unaware of and unaffected by the black hole. Thankfully, they exist there with me without being touched by the darkness. Thankfully, they bring a sliver of light into my dark world. And a lot of love. A whole lot of love.