Redhead, nurse, sister, daughter, aunt, newly-ex-wife, sucker for lost animals, currently owned by Percy the cat and Spencer the dog. In the middle of some major changes–trying to figure out what I want so I can figure out how to get there.

Archive for January, 2012

I said goodbye to a Very Good Dog today

Spencer “Hangcheck” Kraft unknown-2012
His somewhat dubious parentage and background meant nothing when he was so kind, gentle and calm with my (then) 4 yo niece. His personality earned him a ticket out of the Humane Society and a trip to “Dogs R Us” before heading to his new home. He quickly adapted to couches, beds, and doggie treats. He was named by a dear friend after a street name (so glad Elm wasn’t the next intersection). He remained true to his initial gentleness–letting 3yo Jameson ride him like a horse this past Thanksgiving despite his ever increasing arthritis. He would, however, steal your food as soon as look at you, helping James form his first sentence, “Doggie eat bagel.” He loved all the cats in his life who would let him: Percy, Sidney, Boris and Sammy. He tolerated a transfer to Houston and back with all the grace he could muster (much more on the return trip, I must say). I only heard him bark like he meant it a single time, and there was a dude with a chainsaw in the back yard at the time.
Though he often impersonated a baddog, he was always A Very Good Boy.
Goodbye, Spencer. There is an emptiness in my heart and in the house without you here.

The New Year

The start of this New Year has been an emotional one.  Not necessarily bad, but I have felt a bit more towards anxious and closer to tears than usual (and my usual amount is sufficient, thank you).  There was the post from The Bloggess that sent more traffic to my little corner of the internet than I have had throughout my years of blogging, even when I was predictable.  Thanks to each of you who showed up.  You never really know how what you say is going to affect people, and I continue to be awed and amazed at what has come from her post.

I also had to say goodbye to the Best Very Bad Dog by the name of Red Baron.   He was a tiny thing when I picked him up out of the crate at the Humane Society and held him towards my then boyfriend for perusal. “Well, I looked him in the eye, so we can’t put him back now.”  So we took him home.  He was advertised as a “beagle mix,” but unless the beagle was a very sturdy type and mixed with an Irish Wolfhound, that was a guess–and a poor one.  He grew to be about 65 pounds before he got fat.  He HATED his crate and cried all night.  He ate the alarm clock and t-shirt we put inside to soothe him.  He ate my glasses while I was taking a nap on the couch.  He ate a pillow Mother had needle-pointed (after Mother had died).  He was nearly impossible to house train, and dropped out of obedience school due to lack of interest.

He was also sweet, loyal, a stealer of a stuffed Pooh Bear larger than he, and a really good nap buddy (he put his head on the pillow next to mine.  We had not lived at the same address for 10 years or so, but we still belonged to each other.  Whoever said how great the world would be if we all could be the people our dogs thought we were had my Reddog in mind.

I have also been moved to tears by the heartbreak of and the beautiful response to the fire at house this week. This put it best: “There is nothing virtual about internet friendships. I am deleting the word “online” from my phrase “online friends.”

I hope to post a bit more often, as Monica and Jenny have reminded me how fantastic being connected is. I also think it is good for me.

How is 2012 treating you?

Depression is an Ugly Bitch

This started as a comment on

Jenny’s

beautiful post.  I thought I should post it here as well.

I have battled depression and anxiety for most of my adult life. It is amazing to me that I still come across people at work (I’m a nurse) who will see a patient’s medication list and say, “Well, no wonder, she’s on lex*pro, P*xil, lith!um, or whichever other drug said patient might be taking.” I want to shout from the rooftops, “I HAVE BEEN ON ANTIDEPRESSANTS FOR MORE THAN HALF MY LIFE! DOES THAT CHANGE HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT ME?” I do not yet feel comfortable shouting this at work, but it is something I am VERY open about with friends, family, and even people I don’t know terribly well. I do tell people at work as I get to know them, and I tell them in the same way I tell them I have high blood pressure…because that is how it should be spoken about. It is not a personal failing or weakness, it is a diagnosis.
Even with all my experience with depression and anxiety, I was fortunate enough to be without suicidal thoughts…until I wasn’t…almost 2 years ago. My marriage was ending. I felt like a total failure for the first time in my life. I spent 2 nights curled up on the floor of my bathroom weeping and thinking about how much better it might be just to take every. single. damned. pill I could find than to keep feeling the way that I felt. I didn’t line up the pills, I didn’t even open a single bottle, but holy shit was my black hole deeper and darker than I ever thought it could be.
My now ex-husband helped me get the help I needed. I will never forget how RIGHT he was regarding that…even in the midst of everything crashing in around us. He didn’t blame me; he didn’t tell me to get over it. He was on the way to work and turned his car around and came back to help me figure out how to claw my way out of that ugly, lying pit of depression. I am fortunate that I had him to help me.
I don’t think that I was ever one to blame people who committed suicide. I always knew that it had to be terrible to get to a place where that seemed like the best possible answer. As I said, I wasn’t even CLOSE to taking action, but I would not wish for anyone to feel the way I felt.
Thanks so much for what you shared. Thanks for keeping on sharing it even when you don’t want to. We are a tribe, and when you speak, you tell things that not all of us are ready to tell…and by doing that you make it easier for the next person to speak his or her truth.