Yes, my pity party lasted a while. Not too many guests: mostly me, my dogs, Lucky & Chance, my husband–poor guy. He was in the military for 22 years. His mantra: Prepare for the worst. Hope for the best. And my friend: "I have to come by to get a dose of "Shirley." And then of course, the mask goes on and my inner actress comes out.
Her daughter-in-law killed herself a couple of months ago. The gravest sin I can commit is one of omission. If there was any speck of caring within me to respond and comfort her, but I chose not to? Well, that would be a sin of omission. So, for "entertainment," I gave my friend the MADRS. Out of 60, she scored a 28. Her quality of life is affected by her physical pain. I'm depressed, but I'm not a jerk. We agreed that when she sees her doc that I'll go with her.
She is 89. At the age of 8, while living in Japan, WWII broke out. She is stoic. She is a survivor. I am guiding her as she addresses the death of her son's wife by suicide and the unanswerable unanswered "whys" and the description of the distorted, warped, irrational thoughts, and the forgetting of relatives and friends and pets, and the death of her beloved garden, total submission to hopelessness, and the unanticipated consequences and collateral damage…much worse than the rumble of a bomber or the screeching of being strafed…
As I said, my friend is stoic and a survivor. She can't relate. She wants to understand. Besides, there's always dark humor when she vehemently says to me, " I'll kill you if you kill yourself!"
My friend is actually my own depression scale. She is welcome and comfortable enough to walk into my house like my mom would, with a simultaneous knock as the door opens, she walks in, and waits in the living room for me.
When I'm well, she scores a full 10/10. As my depression escalates, she may be a 5/10. By 2/10, I'm unnecessarily irritable and tolerate her presence as I wait for her to leave. 1/10…I don't greet her in the living room. She just thinks I'm sleeping. She goes home. Lately, she has been scoring 8/10. Today, when she came to visit, our visit was comfortable. As she was leaving, we stepped out onto the porch and realized it was raining. I invited her to sit in a rocker and smell the rain with me. 10/10.
Oh! I did have a couple of pity party crashers. That's ok. I like surprises and spontaneity.
Don't magicians use redirection?
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Your posts are always a delight. Your insight into yourself and others always amazes me. I so enjoy your sense of humor in spite of difficult circumstances.
I can see where the suicide of your friend's daughter-in-law would be difficult for her and as a caring individual, you seem to relate closely to her pain. This type of empathy is good but also exhausting. Am I right about this?
Keep posting and let us hear how you (and your friend) are doing.
The Lilies of the Field will be here when you want to share.