It’s an unholy hour of the night and still I’m not asleep. That can mean only one thing: it’s time to write a blog post. It’s not like I have RSI and need to rest up my now deformed-looking wrist for the load of copy I’ll need to produce for work tomorrow… But without further ado, let’s get to the subject of adieux, from the perspective of my psyche of yesteryear.
(If you haven’t read the first two parts of this series yet, you should. To read part one, click here and to read part two, click here)
Shaun and I being whack jobs together.
Saying a long-term goodbye to a family member who’s off to seek their fortune on another continent seems innocuous enough. A pumping farewell party at a local bar and a tearful airport farewell, but with the assurance that we’ll be in touch regularly via Facebook and other postmodern mediums.
Follow that up, though, with having to support your significant other and his family as they make the heart-rending decision to end the life of a pet whose aged organs just can’t do their job anymore.
So, just an emigration and a dog, right?
Actually, it was a little more painful from my perspective. The tear-streaked faces of my boyfriend’s family and his own grief over the next few days, as they mourned the passing of a 14 year-old (canine) family member, who had brought only sweetness and joy to their lives, was not fun to witness.
And really, I should’ve coped – after all, it wasn’t even my dog, I’d only known her for two years. But I didn’t. Metaphorically, I fell flat on my face as that final straw sent my legs sprawling beneath me. Too many other incidents and eventualities faced during 2013 stacked on top of the immigration and the dog, leading my brain and body to stage a coup against my will, which was determined to carry on with an unrelenting pace of living.
That’s what happens when you push yourself relentlessly beyond your physical and emotional limits. I’m guessing that the primal section of your brain senses that you’re sort of killing yourself and steps in before you succeed in that. Miss Primal Brain then co-opts your body into malfunctioning so severely that you’re forced to take it down a notch stress-wise.
A full day of nausea, trembling, incoherence and an inability to focus for more than a minute stopped me in my tracks. Unfortunately there was still work to be done that day, so I made my best effort, fumbling though it was. Still, I don’t think it was wise or safe for me to drive (i.e. operate heavy machinery) at night in that condition. But I did what I had to do and I survived.
It was a pretty bad day. I felt bewildered, frustrated, tearful and highly anxious. My memories of the day are hazy, but I think I collapsed into bed feeling dazed and dismayed.
Resilience is a wonderful thing. A few days later I could feel that I had turned a corner from the moment I woke up. For weeks I’d experienced deep disappointment every morning – simply based on the fact that I’d actually woken up at all and had no choice but to face another day. My inability to shake this dark outlook had been discouraging. The mind is a beautiful servant, but a dangerous master. When you wear yourself so thin that your mind begins to control you instead of you it, you’re on dangerous ground.
But all that was over. I’d shaken the months of depression and even feeling just a little better was exhilarating. Getting recharged to 100 percent took a bit longer. Fortunately the December holiday came around (not a moment too soon), giving me a chance to forget about some of life’s pressures and just relax. Resting, taking proper care of myself and re-mastering my mind over the next few weeks brought back my trusty old strength. And I was going to need it…