Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Some days, I have depression and anxiety - some days, they have me.

One Sunday in April of 2008, our beautiful, gentle seventeen year-old cat, Pepper didn't wake up. I think I stopped going to work the following week. The Tall Lady and I swore that we wouldn't get another pet, and we managed to keep that promise for about a month.

She soon discovered the website of an organization called the Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association, or VOKRA, and we visited it a lot. We kept returning to the page that showed a pair of pretty, eight month-old sisters named Xena and Gabrielle. We took the Flying Fellini Sisters home for the weekend in the middle of May. It's been a very long weekend.

When kittens come into a new home with strange people, the first thing that they do is to find a safe, secure refuge; traditionally, it is under the bed. Brie and Xena couldn't use that one, because that's where I was hiding.

Of course, it was a temporary solution. I was fully recovered from my head injury, and I had been for several months. WorkSafe BC (formerly known as the Workers' Compensation Board) had signed off on my claim late in the previous year, and I was all better. This was only a rough patch, and I'd just have to wait it out...under the bed, with those two suspicious kittens glaring at me from behind the bedskirt.

I've said that I didn't call work, or WorkSafe, and I didn't call Warren or Theresa at Lifemark. I didn't tell you that I couldn't leave the apartment, and that I was afraid to use my telephone.

I had decided that the people at the CarePoint clinic up on the Drive were quacks, frauds and charlatans (an opinion that hasn't softened much), so I stopped talking to them too. Dave had couriered my locker contents to me, along with a very concerned letter and my Record of Employment several weeks before, but I still hadn't called him or even visited my friends at Service Canada to put my EI claim into motion.

One night a few months later, while the Tall Lady was in the office paying bills online, the kittens and I ventured into the living room to watch the Fifth Estate. They were interviewing a young soldier who had just returned "uninjured" from a tour of duty in Afghanistan. He was dealing with the trauma of having lost a number of friends, and he was feeling guilty about not being in their vehicle when it hit the landmine. He was back at the base nursing a cold.

I'm not especially weepy, but this report really had an impact on me. The next day, I picked up my RoE, and I headed off to Service Canada's office to initiate my claim. When I got home, I picked up my telephone and made a call to Coast Mental Health.

I'd lost pretty nearly a year waiting for my depression to pass - maybe it was time to try something else.

1 comment:

  1. This depression, anxiety thing is a hard road. I am not recovered but it took so many years and a 4 month stint in the psychiatric hospital to get it sorted.

    I really do understand, Lee....your writing and recall of what you experienced are written so well. Good job.