Tuesday, September 04, 2012

A Cat's Tail

I've been writing much about depression these past few days, but the subject is still too painful, too personal, to share my deepest feelings & thoughts. I've never aspired to a really intimate public prose or poetry.  Making such a choice for one's writing or art is not evasive, especially if one is giving it away.  The world or some small part of it might well benefit from my being more candid & confessional.  I've always been open to expressing myself privately on request.

We had a number of cats when I was growing up. I don't recall any of their names. They were outdoor/indoor cats, the hazards were many, the odds against a long life even in our suburban neighborhood.  But it was an interesting place for  cats.   All were  friendly, part of the family without making the sort of demands or needing the attention our nervous little dog Susie  required.  When I was a young teen one of them disappeared for a day or so. I was concerned, not yet alarmed. I noticed the door to the attic was open slightly. We had a very cluttered attic, a classic, decades of stuff up there along with the Christmas decorations. I tisked, sss'd up the stairs & heard a distant meow. I went up there & tracked the cat to a pile of old draperies hidden behind a trunk. It was fixed, so it wasn't having babies. I reached over & stroked the cat, & it screeched when I touched its tail. I got a flashlight & had a closer look at the cat. There was a distinct crookedness in the tail. The cat had gotten its tail caught in a door or something, badly  sprained or broke it & the injured cat had retreated to a secure "den" to mend. It wasn't visibly suffering. Except there was no food or water up there. I told my mom. She said put   some food & water nearby & leave it alone. I did, checked on it every so often, scritched its head.

A few days later the cat  came downstairs, looking fine, cat dignity intact, new bump in the tail, a bit sore to the touch.

Depression is not like a  hurt tail on a cat. It can make you hide in the attic for a very long time. When you do come down, if you decide to come down,  your dignity is fragile, you are changed more than a bump in the tail.


I like this post. It sort of hits the nail on the head, as it were. Unless you have experienced depression, you really, REALLY cannot know what it is like to feel that way.

I am lucky. Yesterday was a good day for me, despite having to spend nine hours at the clinic for it to come to pass. Got a psychiatrist, a mental health therapist (both will follow up treatment appointments) and three necessary medications. None should be used if I drink, and so therein lies the promise of no more alcohol, and I intend to do the AA thing and get a sponsor just in case I have any "urges." The sleeping pill knocked me out for 12 hours straight, the first good night's sleep I have had in god knows how many years.

I'll write more of this on my own blog. The therapist told me to start a new diary, a "New Day" sort of diary, instead of continuing writing in my "suicide" diary, which, upon reflection, is a good thing. I like her style and feel good about my treatment. My next visit to my therapist will be on my grandson's birthday, a day I know I will be prone to be sad since I will not be able to talk to him or see him. She told me to bring the diary, and we can discuss issues at that time.
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