Oh, she's important. No doubt. I'm not being facetious.
Meaningful, special, important. To me.
She reached out when I needed someone to do so; when I was misunderstood, primarily by myself. When I was struggling to understand what was happening to me. When I knew my mind was broken somehow, and didn't know how to fix it. I mean, how can you think, imagine, or do anything mentally to alleviate a mental illness? If you have a loose screw, would you try to tighten it with a broken screwdriver?
Unfortunately, many do. We don't know any better. Probably the worst thing to do if you're suffering from depression is to retreat into your mind, or try to focus, or try to fix it on your own. Accepting help can make the biggest difference.
So she asked if I was okay. Approached me when I was least interested, least interesting. And that was the action which led to an important friendship.
As I fought to acquaint myself with my diagnosis, numerous medications, various doctors and specialists, and a sickening assortment of insurance carriers, not to mention the abyss that is American Health Care today... she and I would get together and talk. And although it was me who needed it more, initially, I think over time we've helped each other.
When I went into work this morning, I knew she wouldn't be there; still, I wasn't prepared for the emotions. I mean, she just retired, right? It's not like I'll never see her again. But when the commotion of my co-employees arriving created a din that was impossible to ignore, and I traded "mourning's" with most of them (although I think they spell it differently than I do), I began to experience the sense of loss. Exacerbated immediately by insensitive maneuvering of furniture (loudly), the daily stupidity, and all of the things that aren't surprising that I should eventually get used to, but for some reason I just can't develop that protective coating... And then the comment about me losing my best friend.
Protective thought rockets were immediately launched. I must have stared a hole right through the guy. What an idiot! None of the words coming to mind are worth repeating, nor were they appropriate for saying, at least if I wanted to stay true to a constructive mindset. For some reason, I did at the time, so I just nodded.
But I had swerved off course and didn't even know it. Too much change all at once... none of the change that I keep trying to affect... When did this all go so awry?
I shouldn't have asked my supervisor about anything. I should have just given him the attention he deserves-- that he desires. But my curious mind (multiple meanings to that phrase) just wouldn't leave well enough alone. So he got under my skin with his inability to do his job, and the even more annoying ability of his to get away with it.
I drove angrily out to my route, felt my blood pressure rise as I witnessed several aggressive drivers jockeying for life-endangering but minute-shaving spaces in the traffic flow... felt my stomach churning with sickness as the negative thoughts gained momentum and made me dizzy and nauseous...
Ah, life is good.
A simple, sarcastic statement. Made me smile. So I tensed it into place, and made the decision to be happy. And be happy in the face of it all. Get In Yer Face Happy.
I issued a smiling "Morning!" to each person as I walked by them at the Light Rail Station, receiving mixed responses, if any. I was feeling hysterical. Manic. Out of balance. Two-faced.
But I just kept on. Smiling. Walking. Working.
Gave it a shot. And when the intestinal fortitude is set, the only thing that can override it is, well, the intestine.
I had a couple "sessions" purging nastiness from my body and decided to go home and go to bed. I slept about four hours, and logged eons of subconscious spelunking. And I felt a bit better.
So this exercise in remembrance and recounting has many purposes (most of them self-serving), but the one of the highest priority and import is the homage to the happy.
Thanks, merriment. May we meet again soon. And stick around awhile, next time, will ya? I got lots to talk about.