It's Murdoch's birthday today! Happy birthday little guy. He's 8 today and we've lived together since he was so small that I could hold him in both hands. The little tinker.
|The cutest thing I'd ever seen|
Because it's Murdoch's birthday, I'm going to try and explain why he's so important to me, something that I find difficult to put into words, but here goes nothing. Murdoch, although you'll never read it, or need to understand, this is for you.
I don't presume to know what living with depression is like for everyone, but here's what it's like for me. Mainly there are three kinds of days:
1. Days where things are pretty good.
2. Days where I can pretend that things are pretty good.
3. Days where I can't pretend that things are even close to good.
Most of my days fall into category one, although there are parts of those days where things go south and I need to take some time out to regroup. It's not that bad things happen to make me react by needing to hide. It's just that sometimes simply being in the world is overwhelming and I reach a point where it's too much to deal with, which brings me neatly to category two.
Some days fall into category two, and while there are moments in those days where things are actually pretty good, those days are mostly just about fronting it out and making it through without bursting into tears for what most people would see as no discernible reason, or showing how much I feel mildly panicked and out of place.
Category three doesn't happen too often (thankfully!), but those are the days when I can't face being in the world. Not in a scary suicidal sort of way, never anything close to that. But in a way that means I can't cope with even the most basic of interactions. This is not limited to strangers, even those that I love beyond words are too much to deal with on those days and I tend to spend most of them hiding in my flat by myself. There is no rhyme nor reason to when these days happen, sometimes I just wake up and cannot imagine how I'm going to go and face the world.
Regardless of which sort of day it is, every day starts the exact same way, with the noise of Murdoch's paws pattering across the floor as he comes into my room to see what's going on. His face is the first thing that I see every morning. It reminds me that even though sometimes it all seems too difficult to face, there are good things in my life.
He needs me. He needs me to get out of bed, because he needs to go for a walk and to be in the world, running around and being vibrantly, almost obnoxiously alive. And because he needs me, I go. When I can't think of a single reason why it could be good to go outside my front door and face the world, I don't need to. Because he is my reason.
It's a powerful thing and he doesn't even know it. He's spent nearly eight years being the glue that has held me together through good days and bad. For eight years he has given me simple, unconditional love that never asks anything in return. His generosity of spirit, which all dogs are blessed with, has allowed me to be selfish and to cry stupid, pointless tears into his fur. Even when neither of us know what I am crying about, just having him there calms my soul.