maybe i sound good off the phone, too

Sometimes you don’t know what you’re doing even though you’re there in your day doing it. I’m not talking about stuff like driving, making coffee, typing, hugs, I usually know when I’m doing them. It’s the interior stuff; motivations you didn’t know had and reasons why that are under your consciousness. Plenty of times I’ve reached a conclusion moments after my counselor has lead me to it. Usually it’ll be a negative thing. I’m unknowingly judgmental of others because I’ve been judging me for so long. I’ve been living in a chip packet because shame around child abuse put me there. That was a hard one, it was thunder and a lightbulb. But knowledge is muscle if you let it be and I stopped eating crap because of  child abuse that same day. Now I eat too much junkfood like a normal person does.

A friend on Facebook recently told me she sensed that I was coming to terms with losing Libby and the sadness was becoming softer and gentler.

I didn’t realize it was true until Elsie articulated it for me.

The grief has softened.

It’s not as rough and dramatic. I’m not talking myself into believing she’s gone like I was. Especially in the shower, it was always hardest there. It started with the turn of the taps and first drops of water and by the time I was drying my legs I’d convinced myself that the whole horrible thing wasn’t a dream after all.

I’m not in shock anymore.

The ashes disappearing is too real to be disbelieved.

People fishing off Platypus Rock, PVP’s footprints in the mud, the group of people and the their dog swimming there on New Year’s day, I’m glad for it. Plus, Libby loved dogs, she’d love the idea that he jumped in off her rock.

And this medication.

When you have depression, when your temperament is so unreliable that the morning is great but the afternoon is spent in bed, it’s hard to trust a clean emotion. I’m scared to type the next part of this sentence in case typing makes the mood evaporate, but, you know, I feel good. Don’t tell anyone, but I think I feel better. Sure, my sleep is awful and at four p.m. I’m wrecked but if that’s the worst of this medication, I’ll accept it. My sister, Erin, tells me I sound good on the phone.  Maybe I sound good off the phone, too.

So how do you tell if your depression is lifting?

Softer grief could be an indicator. It is softer. I knew her, I love her, and what could be bad about that? I’m lucky. She was ratbag of a wonderful woman and sometimes I got to hold her hand.

A little boy asking what I’m smiling about could be another indicator.

And plans. I’m not putting pressure on, I’m keeping my ideas small and my worries trim. Goals I have are manageable and daily, let’s not make the picture too big or we may feel like we’re in the front row of the cinema, neck sore and all you can see is really big boots and whole lot of sky. Not that I mind a whole lot of sky.

I have hope, that’s what it is.


what a face.

6 thoughts on “maybe i sound good off the phone, too

  1. Nicki your naturalness of expression is a gift you’ve shared with us all in this honest and lovely thing ‘wot you’ve writ’ and not only do I think this cruel thing grief is softening for you but I think you’ve taken a huge step forward in defeating that black dog! Just find some confidence and let yourself believe it. Lots of love, E.

    • Thank you, Elsie. Thanks for reading and commenting and the insightful heads-up in the first place. I believe that black dog is on its way out, and I hope to lock the door behind her.

  2. Sharing your emotions, a lightness in a step, easier to get out of bed, enjoying a cup of tea or coffee… Little things that have enjoyment. Acknowledging that the black dog is one step behind you and not two ahead!

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