Today, I got off the bus smiling. I did not have a dark grey cloud hanging over me and bringing me down. I did not feel embarrassed by my crutches as I usually did. I had had a good day of spending time with friends, but I was more than happy to be heading home.
The girls still didn’t understand what I was going through, although they tried to understand how quickly I tire and how quickly the pain can envelop me, they never would quite understand because they didn’t live it.
I knew the welcome at home would outdo anything I had received from the girls I hadn’t seen in quite a while. I knew that two little somebodies were going to be jumping all over me the moment I stepped in the door.
My little girl Sheila and my little boy Hamish would have me sitting on the stairs as they jumped up and licked my face. Their tails would be going at super speed and the little sounds they would make would have me laughing and feeling better.
Did I ever tell you about how they came into my life, these two little sausage dogs who made me feel worthwhile and wanted?
Well, have a seat then, grab a cup of tea/coffee and listen to how they were the best gift I had ever received.
I was diagnosed with a chronic illness about 10 years ago, as each year passed I would feel the pain more and more. I had to stop working three years ago as I wasn’t able to keep my attention on anything but the pain any longer. If you don’t know what chronic illness is, be very thankful, it is a disorder or disease that disables you in one or more ways. There is no cure, and even though you wind up on many medications, nothing helps enough.
I finally had to see a psychiatrist because my depression had reached the point where I didn’t want to live anymore. Yes, I know that sounds dramatic, but really what was the point, I couldn’t work, some days I couldn’t even get out of bed, I couldn’t socialize like I had previously, most of my friends had given up trying to invite me anywhere because I would have to cancel at the last minute. There were days when I couldn’t even remember my own name let alone anyone else’s. Cognitive issues are usually part of the chronic illness package.
I spoke to the psychiatrist for just over an hour, she asked me to give her a week and then come back and see her and bring my husband as well. I did exactly that knowing that no matter what she said I was done. I would explain it to my husband and then I would simply let go and hopefully wind up in a better place.
The psychiatrist looked at me very sternly as I came in, it was like she knew. She proceeded to tell my husband and myself that she thought that I would need some help from her or someone like her. She told my husband that I was probably ready right after this appointment to just check out of his life. My husband turned to me with a shocked look on his face, “is this why you have been so happy today” he demanded.
I glared at the psychiatrist and told my husband that I had been thinking about it, but that I hadn’t decided yet, he saw right through that. Before he could get up a head of steam and start berating me for my dishonesty, I turned to the psychiatrist and asked her if she thought that there was some way she could help me. Could she prescribe something that took away the pain but left my mind rational, could she promise me that after a few sessions with her my black, night-dark life would be better?
Of course, she told me that she couldn’t guarantee anything, but that she has a few strategies that usually worked in these cases. She could help me push the depression back and bring forward some light for me, but all of this was going to take hard work, was I willing to do the work?
I looked at my husband and nodded, I would do whatever it took to help myself. I knew that I wasn’t going to be forgiven for even contemplating taking my own life, but I also knew that he was all in, the past nine years had proven that.
The psychiatrist turned to us both and said: “Get a dog.”
My husband and I looked at each other, we had talked about it over the years, but had never done anything about it. My husband asked the psychiatrist what a dog would do, and she told him that it would ensure that I got out of the house.
“Get out and look at what a wonderful world we live in.” she said.
I looked at my husband and he nodded. We would get a dog.
For the next two weeks, we checked all over, we hadn’t decided on a breed, but we couldn’t have a big dog in our apartment, so we knew that it would have to be one of the smaller breeds, not to mention, a big dog would have easily pulled me off my feet, after all that’s why I used a pair of crutches, to keep on my feet.
The third week, we had just about given up being able to afford what was offered on the Internet or in the papers, when a friend of my husband’s called and said that his little Dachshund had just had puppies and that if we wanted one we would be welcome to come and see what we liked. He would offer it to us at a great discount.
The next day we drove out to his farm to see the new arrivals. The pups were two weeks old and were jumping and running all over the place, jumping on their Mum, running into walls and of course, play fighting with each other. I laughed so hard there were tears coming out of my eyes.
That was all it took for my husband to nod and ask which one I would like. I went in and sat down with the pups and played with them, two stood out almost immediately, they weren’t afraid, they were excited to have someone there. I looked at my husband and told him that I couldn’t decide so that he would have to. He just laughed and turned to his friend from work and said: “We’ll take them both.”
The friend gave us a very good deal and six weeks later we were allowed to come and pick them up. One was a girl and one was a boy, almost as if they knew that we were there to take them home, they came charging across the yard and jumped on us. I was laughing at just watching them run.
The days went by and life around our home was very lively. Potty training was not going as well as we had hoped but we were so in love with the little monsters that it didn’t seem at all like a chore cleaning up after them.
My days got brighter and brighter. I saw the psychiatrist for almost a year and by then I knew I would never be back in the dark place again.
I turned to my husband just a couple of days ago, we were celebrating our 11th anniversary. We went out for dinner and when we got home, he apologized saying that he hadn’t picked out a gift for me yet.
I put my arms around his neck and told him that he had already given me the most wonderful gift in the world. “ I have the two dogs, and the best gift of all is your love. There isn’t anything that could top those.”
He just pulled me into his arms and kissed me.
Best anniversary ever.