That good old Ronan Keating song accurately describes my life at the moment. Up and down like a whore’s drawers, as my stepdad, God rest his soul, used to quip. It’s the reason why I haven’t been able to post for a while. I have so many stories jostling around for space in my head, I just need the time to be able to get them written down! So much of the time my life just bumps along the dirt track, occasionally dipping into a pot hole but mostly staying upright. At the moment though it is careening downhill with dodgy brakes and I am struggling to control it.
Depression. The big black dog some people call it. I am a dog person so I don’t liken it to a dog. Dogs are happy creatures, always obliging, always loyal. Mine are the reason I get out of bed some mornings. Although they are all happy to lay beside me for hours on end, they do have basic needs which require my attention. It’s not always obvious when I’m depressed. Some days I can function perfectly normally even though I feel like I’m wading, knee-deep, through treacle. It’s exhausting. I get up, see to the dogs, spend an hour or so in the gym, have a shower, make lunch, take the dogs out for a walk, make dinner. All on auto-pilot. If someone speaks to me I can hold a conversation, smile, joke, but all the time I feel hollow. If I was to be tapped with a hammer, my outer shell would shatter into a million pieces and there would be nothing inside.
It’s not as dark as it sounds. I’m not about to throw myself off the nearest bridge, I have a phobia of heights for a start. I don’t want to exit this beautiful life. I have an awful lot to be thankful for and, hopefully, many more years of riding this glorious roller coaster with all its thrills and spills. I just sometimes get tired of the sameness of it all. Perhaps, inside my head, as my hormones and brain cells rapidly deplete, I am becoming aware that time is running out. I’ve lived longer than I have left, if you know what I mean. My bucket list has hardly been ticked at all and I want to do it all but I’m just so tired.
I will snap out of this pity party, I always do. On Friday my sister is taking me to Devon for four whole days. It’s her birthday present to me. She has booked us into a luxury holiday chalet, with a private hot tub no less, in Ilfracombe, our favourite place in the whole world. We try to get there once a year. When we were kids there was a clutch of battered old caravans on the cliff edge, overlooking the little beach. Our grandparents lived in a house further up the hill and when we visited in the summer we would make friends with some of the kids who stayed in the caravans. Often the same families would come for a holiday every year so we got to know them well. One year there was a terrible storm during the night. By morning several of the caravans were in bits on the beach, having blown off the edge in the high winds. Miraculously no one was hurt, but the site was condemned. About five years ago building work began on the old land and the following year a luxury park appeared with little pastel coloured wooden buildings, pretty gardens and a rooftop bar with seating overlooking the bay. We were staying in a B&B nearby for a few days so we walked up to take a look. The chalets were so sweet, some of them had hot tubs outside and all were kitted out with the latest gadgets. We popped into the onsite office to enquire about them and were absolutely gobsmacked at the prices. It was easily more than triple what we would normally pay for a few days in the guest house but we still gazed wistfully at them on our annual visits. And finally, in a few days time we will actually get to stay in one! I’m beyond excited. My birthday was about a month ago and the wait has been agonising but it’s nearly over. We will be doing lots of walking, visiting our favourite haunts, lots of eating (cream teas are a must in Devon) and we will be sitting in the hot tub, putting the world to rights come rain or shine and I will return to my home rested and restored. There is nothing more miraculously healing for the soul than some time away with good company in a place you love. Let’s just hope we don’t get any storms!
Thanks for reading. xx