I have been blessed with time away from work, away from... everything.
I have been spending it doing... nothing.
And that's not "nothing" as in "sit around and enjoy myself," that's "nothing" as in "really nothing."
Except, unfortunately, wandering in and out of depression. Sleeping. Not wanting to do anything, including the amount of "work" that blogging this for you is requiring. And occasional acute nearly-break-down-in-tears sadness, triggered by... I have no idea what.
Yes, apparently a former student of mine, much beloved by the entire high-school community, just kind of upped and died, last week. She had been fighting some especially nasty disease for years, and finally... it won the fight. A great shock to everyone. And also, a college classmate of mine apparently has just killed himself. An even bigger shock to everyone. I will really miss him; if anyone typified "a friend in need is a friend indeed," it was Tim.
Am I "over" the loss of my friends, yet? Especially Tim's choice to end it all, after joining us for our reunion last May... perhaps not to reconnect with us, but to say goodbye, to his friends and classmates? Oh no. But those horrible shocks aren't what's "depressing" me. I'm just... depressed. And I've been "depressed," for a while, even before my friends left us. It's been a while, I haven't been willing to cop to "being depressed," but there's no escaping it. I've got to tell the truth: I'm depressed.
I don't have the strength to do anything. I did one HUGE thing today, I drove fifteen minutes under zero-traffic conditions to the Taiwanese tea shop, got lunch and tea, came home. Ate the lunch, lay down, went to sleep. Sort of. For a while. Then, spent the rest of the day, sort-of kinda staring at the TV. Now, having been a "stare at the TV and thus avoid real life" expert for most of my life, I know exactly what that's all about. But that wasn't it.
Somewhere, I've misplaced some software. Imagine a seven-CD-high stack of CDs, this software is in a case that's only about that big. I remember holding it as I withdrew it from the closet where it has been stored, untouched, for years... but I don't remember putting it down. Anywhere. I did try to look for it, around the house today, but even that was too much effort. It's really upsetting me, it's hurting me, not being able to find that. Is that why I'm crying? I don't think so, but is it part of what's up? Or "down," as the case may be? I don't know.
I really hope I have enough strength to make it to church tomorrow (it is, after all, my job, they're counting on me), and it's very possible that I'll go to lunch afterwards with a friend in the choir. We didn't really nail down the day, but we talked about it. I may need to ask him to push me in my walker/wheelchair, because I don't know if I'll have enough strength to do it myself. We'll see. Hanging with a friend does me good... with luck, that good will last longer than lunch. Because last time I had a wonderful wonderful time with a friend, it lasted maybe a couple of hours, and then... it was as though it never happened. Depressed again.. all too quickly.
Then again, there's this... today, as I was about to pull into the tea-shop's parking lot, I looked at my gas gauge. Oh my God, I thought, I'm all but out of gas. I could very well have run out of gas and never known how or why... and in just a couple of minutes, all I'll have left are fumes and hopes.
And then, I happened—happened—to look out the right-hand window, and I was right in front of a gas station, right in front of the entrance ramp to the gas station, and there wasn't a soul at any of the pumps... and the price was really, really, low. Delightfully low. Pulled in and seconds later, problem was solved.
The Universe gives you what you need: That's the lesson for today, courtesy my truck, the tea shop, and the gas station.
There is something hidden in that, begging me to embrace it. I know there is.
And that... is a challenge.