Three Years Later …

Sometimes my life is like that. I wake up one day and suddenly a week is gone, or a month, or a year. What I’m left with is a vague memory of the time, like a skeleton made of smoke. Occasionally something got big enough or strong enough or loud enough to get through the fog and leave an impression, and when I wake up the smoke skeleton has developed a soggy bladder or a single clear trapezius or maybe just a radiating pain in the ankle. But all these things exist in a hazy vacuum.

It’s hard to tell what I missed. And the things that break through the fog enough to be memorable aren’t particularly good or bad or important. They’re just moments, incidents that registered for some reason when everything else vanishes silently into the fog.

I remember the day my dog died. The day my daughter graduated from college. Going to see “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at the W. Also the young woman who played the cancer victim in that amazing small play “Wit,” also at the W. Selling “Mad Hats” like crazy at the first Windows Arts Fair.

Snow. And then another snow. And, amazingly, another snow. All last winter.

The night the oak tree fell on the back of our house and sounded like the biggest thunder ever. Seeing patches of blue sky through the ceiling (and roof) of my office/craft room. The day the tornado hit Wren and Smithville, feeling the ground tremble under my feet and understanding awe in a way I never did in any California earthquake.

I remember our new puppy throwing up – twice – on the hoodie I was holding him in on my lap on the way home. Walking through the maze of corridors at the hospital in search of Outpatient Surgery the day my daughter had her tonsils out.

These are the bits of viscera, muscle, fat and organ meat that drift around the smoke skeleton of a lost time. Maybe it’s the same way for everybody. Maybe everybody loses big chunks of daily existence and just doesn’t worry about it.

I worry.

When I am clothed and in my more-or-less right mind, I try to grab things, people, events, places, moments, and shove them into words so that when the fog descends again, I can remember. Maybe.



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4 responses to “Three Years Later …

  1. Leslie

    I read your entry today a few times and I keep thinking about the way that my own experience has played out with my symptoms. In this article the Dr.s’ talk about the merry go round of emotions.
    I think resonate more with maze of corridors that you describe when I have lows. I can see the end of the hall but never around the corners. I am trying to accept that there are corners here to turn. Thank you for writing

    • Rain

      Sometimes it seems a never-ending labyrinth of fog. I understand. I have to keep telling myself that there IS an end, somewhere, as long as I keep breathing. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. I’m fortunate enough to have two good friends who remind me as well. Not fake cheeriness or any of that “just get over it” BS. They say to me, “It will end.” And “Just hang in there.” And “You’re not always like this. It will end.”

      I find those words far more encouraging than all the psychobabble and attempts at cheering me up.

      Hang in there. It will end. It always does.

      Thank you for reading.

  2. Laurie D

    There is most of a decade from the mid 90’s to the mid 2000’s that is… little more than a wall of smoke. I remember moments but that’s all. I remember my childhood and my recent history in more distinct detail than that decade.

    I hate it and there’s no going back. I hate that, too.

    • Rain

      Understood entirely. *hug*

      My “cycle” seems to have settled into a short, moderate depression every 4 to 6 weeks, lasting anywhere from two days to a week. I guess it’s better than screaming heebie-jeebies 24/7, but it just means I lose about one week per month, on average. Frustrating.

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