Falling down doesn’t have to mean it’s over. She’d told herself this many times before and she even believed it sometimes. The problem was the cumulative effect- the more it happens the harder it gets to bounce back- and the fact that she was doing this alone.

Her relationship with Jerry lasted quite a while, by her standards. Eight months of occasional passion from her and half-hearted sympathy on his part. They tried to make more of it but there was only so much you could do when neither party could overcome their insecurities and genuine fear of settling down. It finally fell apart due to the downhill momentum from her last, deep bout of depression.

She was better up until she lost her job last week. Better in that she was functional at work and her apartment was at least livable. But now the tide had come in and she was drowning under the awful weight of reality and her desperate, anxious mind. Would she be able to find a therapist at the community clinic who would actually listen to her? How would she cope when her meds ran out because she couldn’t afford them? These were all sensible questions she had to address at a time when she couldn’t trust herself with a kitchen knife. This life was so dismal it seemed calculated as some kind of cosmic payback.

She really needed to hold onto something good and so she wracked her brain for the tiniest positive thing about herself. “I love dogs,” she thought. “I have the capacity for love and that is good. I can dream about having a nice Golden Retriever like Sammy again. That will do.”

© 2021 Jeff E. Brown. All rights reserved.

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