Time, they say (whoever they may be), heals.
Not being the sort of person who accepts what other people say, I tend to disagree. All time does, is blunt the immediate sensation and push things in the past a bit. Until they come back.
However, to start at a sort of beginning. On a study tour to New Zealand with the NHS I came away with what felt like half the publications of the NZ health service. So much so, that they got packed separately and mailed home.
One of the books I was given when I was visiting a general practice, was on guidelines for depression for GPs. Mental health wasn’t one of my responsibility areas – I only ever touched it when we ended up with inquiries into the suicide of a patient. Or worse, when previous patients committed murder.
So I started to read this book, which as usual, seemed to include all possible symptoms under the sun to diagnose depression. A bit like when I was looking up tick disease regarding the dog. Is he off colour, not eating all his food, apathetic? Yup, he could have tick disease. Similarly, are you not motivated to do really exciting things like cleaning, paperwork, or going to work? Yes you too could have depression.
I’m not trying to trivialise depression by any stretch of the imagination but it did strike me that half the world has depression (quite possibly), or the medical profession didn’t understand that sometimes people actually didn’t want to do boring shite. Does that really mean I have depression because I put off the dusting? Or the ironing? And choose the garden in preference? Or go to the beach or the national park with the dogs?
But the one thing that really griped me was the section on coping with grief. Anyone who was still grieving three months after a bereavement was depressed. I can’t remember how long it took me to get over my father’s death. It was more than three months. As for my mother’s? We’re talking years not months.
And quite honestly, I do not think I am on my own because when I discuss the deaths of parents with friends, they too still carry grief. Then there are my dogs. And the family dogs that I grew up with. Three months to get over their deaths too? Gotta be joking. Note to self: next time someone or some dog dies, make a note in the calendar for three months time to suddenly bound around with happiness.
Seems the only thing time brings to me is nostalgia, and old age. I can quite easily sit fretting about every single dog we have homed, and wish they were still with us. Doesn’t matter that isn’t reality or how things work, it’s how I think. And I wish my parents hadn’t been so frail when they died. I am so sad that my father was poorly and my mother was frightened. Time doesn’t help with any of that. At all.
The things I hoped were in the past – childhood, school, first job, third and fourth jobs (second one doesn’t usually come into it oddly) – all come back with a vengeance at night to haunt me. I can really do without confused nightmares from my past. Time, it seems has neither erased nor helped. The fears, the bad experiences, the failed expectations and the disappointments in life just return time and time again. Most nights.
If only I could dream about the nice things that have happened. Or even the nice things that haven’t happened.
Time isn’t helping me very much. It moves too fast, and doesn’t heal.
Time quickly passes by
If only we could talk again