Tuesday, 27 February 2007

Entry for 27th February 2007

Well today is going to be a bit more information on my household. The dog I cuddle up to when having a hot chocolate and some comfort time is a very old black Labrador cross. She has a small white blob on her chest and is called 'velvet' - well - she is for the purposes of this blog. I have this paranoid vision of calling her name during a walk and having 100 blog readers leaping out of bushes in East Devon yelling excitedly "so you're Penny S.." I couldn't cope with the fame and the autographs. I just don't have the time. Besides which how could I carry on moaning about my man who I'm going to call Marc from now on. Now Marc does know that I tell everyone about him when I write this and on his better days he does recognise that I have to let off steam - in fact he worries about me - which doesn't help him as he worries about everything.
Me? I just worry about the small things in life. Like, - when will Tony Blair stand down; who will take over from him; will it get better or worse; will we have chicken flu pandemic; could we have a plague epidemic; are the government imaginative enough to cope with terrorists' atrocities; if we stop global warming will we be on our way to another Ice Age [as was threatened in the 1960s]; will we be at war with Iran/N Korea next; and finally that I forgotten I'd given up sweets for Lent and ate a chocolate this afternoon.
Now Marc is feeling very low today. He has so little energy that he can barely speak/eat/drink. He wants everything to hand as he has no energy to rise from a chair to pick up the mug of tea I'd thoughtlessly left just out of reach. I know why he is so lacking in energy - he's been chasing squirrels again. Now Tiger - a neighbour's cat can't catch squirrels. Neither can Velvet who doesn't even try anymore [not sure if that's due to age and arthritic limbs or the knowldedge that there's no hope of catching one] but there is Marc galloping along the garden path, shouting and waving a broom above his head and spoiling little Sammy squirrel's late breakfast of sunflower seeds. Sammy saw him coming as soon as the back door opened, just kept an eye on him till within a few feet - then leapt from the feeder and into the hedge. As soon as M was back indoors Sammy returned to the feeder. M then very irritated with me when I mentioned "pacing himself" again. Why does he not save his energy for a useful task or something more pleasurable. My theory is M doesn't like to see any other being having a good time.
Velvet is old and I'm wondering whether to get a second dog - I'm facing the possible demise of my old love and hope that to have a second companion in place may lessen the heartbreak. But then again it may help me over the grief to think of another dog when that awful sad day is here but my mind goes round in circles - in grief would I have the energy to train a new canine companion properly? All my life I've been surrounded by animals and can't imagine life without. However, M feels that 'pets are a tie' - and when Velvet dies we're "not having anymore". No pets means I wouldn't "have to hoover every day" and Mark wants the peace and quiet. No pets means not worrying about something else being unwell or dying soon - "I've got enugh to worry about". It means less worry, grief and an easier quieter life. It means less work "I want to be free of ties" says Mark "I want to be able to just get up and go on holiday without arranging dog care" and I wonder at It all. This from a man who hasn't been anywhere for 3 years. When we did last go away without the dog - I'm the one who always sorts out the dog boarding. To have no companion animal sounds very sterile to me.
Besides who could I love and who would love and comfort me when Marcus is shut up in his quiet world where I am unable to go along with him but just sit and wait quietly on my own - waiting for him to connect with me again. I tell Marc I don't want a quiet life - we can have all the quiet we need in the graveyard. Meanwhile, I want music, I want to sing, dance and play with my dog - but Velvet just wants to curl up on her banket and sleep - she also just wants a quiet life nowadays.. It must be me - I'm the odd one out.

Monday, 26 February 2007

Where I'm At ..

I see from my cartoon style image of myself that I designed on Yahoo 360 that I look a bit of a tired slob - true - but this image is not as fat as I am. I am at my most relaxed when in my dressing gown [I have 3] cuddling up on the sofa with the dog and a mug of hot chocolate. All round comfort. But as I need to lose 3 stone [depressed carer syndrome and neglect of self] then I'm also hoping that typing this blog will stop me eating as much. I've given up sweets/cakes for Lent - so far so good but Easter feels a long way off. I expect you are beginning to get the impression that I have high hopes of blogging. You may well be right on that.
I have just acquired a digital camera [I'm on the spend, spend, spend route now] and once have mastered it and have a decent photo I will place a proper one - but only if I lose some of this excess fat. Generally I do eat a healthy diet of more than 5 portions of fruit and veg etc but when it is so relentlessly depressing at home and when walking on eggshells, unable to talk properly to my man then I get lonely and sad, and cheer myself up with unnecessary treats.
I sat and thought yesterday about how long this has been going on: over 5 years.
I suddenly remembered that the day of Queens' Jubilee celebrations were there first time my husband and I talked about his mood swings and how it was affecting me. He had become very noticeably withdrawn, uncommunicative and irritable, full of anxieties. It was a bit up and down from then on but at some point after that June day in 2005 it has been one long, gradual decline. I think my natural optimism started to run out of fuel towards the end of spring 2006. Now my 'optimism tank' has been running on empty for the last 10 months. I worry that this may be as good as it gets and I don't know how much longer I can keep living this way.
I find it difficult to confide in local friends as I've not known them very long; it feels disloyal to 'harp on' about my man. Long term friends live miles away and I only phone to chat when I feel able to be 'upbeat' also I have no privacy as he is always around when I start to talk to friends. Well, he's always around - I have to go out to get any privacy - that's not quite the same is it? I sometimes fantasise about living separately.
I'm now reading a book called "How You Can Survive When they're Depressed" by Anne Sheffield. I've only started it so will report back later. I also read the Caroline Carr book "Living with the Black Dog ......." [this title particularly amuses me] it was very simply written - I read it in a few hours - but has one or two good points which I'll try to put into practise.