This winter was dark in every way. Putting Goldie down at the end of September was perhaps the worst time to do it, as the seasons swung down into darkness. There were a few bright days right after that, or at least briefly diverting, with a Toyota trip that included "camping" and kayaking, and then Creative Alliance 12, which would soothe anyone, no matter how much their heart hurt.
But after that the darkness pulled down, down, down. My best friend's mom died. Then Sandy Hook. Then my cousin killed himself the next day, on December 15. His funeral, a giant, sprawling, horribly sad affair (though a beautiful tribute) was December 22.
I'm never much on Christmas, because of the Seasonal Affective Disorder, but this year it just didn't exist, though I stood on stage at my church's Christmas Eve pageant with all of the other performers.
In the midst of it was me, a tiny person stuck in the little crack of time between when I awoke and when I could go to sleep again.
It's weird what keeps us going. Thank God for the things that act like lilypads of hope for us to jump to, one after the other, small, fragile, but just enough.
For me it was Zumba. One hour at a time of jumping around and looking like a lunatic and sweating with other ladies, laughing. One hour maybe three or four times a week, five if I was lucky. My heart was broken, but my thighs got strong.
That was about it. I would go over to my mom's house and have nothing to say. I'd sit in the corner of the couch and listen to her rattle on about what she had for lunch, wondering how soon I could politely leave.
I would see my friends for an hour or two and then fade back home, on the couch, hiding from the darkness with red wine and some popcorn, waiting until it was time to go to sleep.
It has started to change in the past few weeks. I got this dog, which is another post, because that wasn't easy, either. I love her, but damn, it's still hard.
But now I have a new boss, more fun work, and...sun. The sun is coming back. Next year I have to get the meds, because I can't spend five months a year like this. No one should have to. And there's some stuff I have to figure out. Onward.