Both times I have gone walking in abject frustration and with simmering fury at my body and the way its limbic system has revolted against everything ever since I was a teenager, as if a whole swarm of bees or a sabre is constantly threatening to end my life there and then. No wonder I developed chronic fatigue syndrome.
I went walking both times furying and frustrated at this reaction that occurs without my permission to things that aren't even there and didn't happen last decade or even the decade before last, let alone now. Having said that, I'm pretty sure that I'm traumatised from having this stupid disease, and at finding myself back in this relapsed state after being quite convinced I was healed forever of CFS. Won't make that mistake again.
I went walking without the heart rate monitor, which is the CFS version of riding the top of a train or snorting cocaine with a bunch of hookers, or going out drinking all night. Walking without the heart rate monitor is walking on the CFS wild side. On the other side of the wild side is perhaps some kind of post-exertional malaise but I don't even fucking care because I've been able to go walking twice in one week!
When I walked on Tuesday (or was it Wednesday? All the days blur one into another in my stupid life). No, it was Wednesday, which means I have gone for two walks in two days. I reckon the last time that happened Hawthorn wasn't the premier. At least. Maybe it was even a Geelong premiership year. We play Geelong tomorrow night. I'm not scared of playing Geelong any more, not like when they beat us 90 squillion times in a row. Which doesn't mean they won't beat us, just that it doesn't feel like we're their bitch anymore. I would say if anything that it's probably more like Geelong is our bitch, but I don't like saying that kind of fate-tempting stuff the day before we play them because really, either team could win tomorrow night and really, I don't like saying another team is our bitch because I'm not 15 and I'm actually quite zen about being beaten.
When I walked on Tuesday I saw these puppies for the first time and they were just so beautiful. One of them looked quite like this:
|Jonathan Willier (creative commons 2.0)|
|Bryan Peters (creative commons 2.0)|
Or a little like this, only smaller and with different spots:
|Jay Iwasaki (creative commons 2.0)|
The woman who is the dogs' pet told me that her previous Great Dane had died a year ago at the hefty age of 13. That's ancient for a Great Dane, who tend to live only till they're about nine or so.
Whenever I think of Great Danes I think of the Little Golden Book I had as a child. One of the pictures, by that illustrator that I loved most called Louise someone or other, was of a Great Dane sitting next to a baby. Gentle giants they are considered, and the dogs' pet said so too, and I could see it in them both even at this young age. They are obviously well looked-after and of the pedigree variety of Great Dane, and are going very well at their doggie obedience classes. The spotty one especially was quite smoochy, and sat very nicely. Today they only jumped up a little bit and stopped when their pet said to stop jumping. If there is any dog you must teach to not jump it's a Great Dane. Well, any dog really 'cause jumping is very uncool, but if you lapse on training a Great Dane not to jump you'll accidentally kill your Aunt Martha when they jump on her in greeting when they're three.
When I saw the two dogs coming towards me today I felt a fluttering in my stomach because dogs are pretty much maybe my favourite thing ever. They calm the limbic frazzle. I may possibly have squealed a little, I'm not sure, as I approached them but I likely used my puppy voice. I apologised to the woman. I said, "Agh, you're going to start cringing every time you see me coming. Here's that bloody woman again, stopping me from walking my dogs."
"No, no, it's fine," said the woman, and I didn't believe her because my confidence is a tattered blood-stained period rag. "It's good for the dogs to meet people," she said.
I patted the dogs for a bit and then shared what I had just been pondering before I came upon the dogs and their pet. I was walking down the recently newly-opened track, the bit I'd never walked down before a few months ago because by the time I came upon the scene it was closed because of damage from the 2009 fires. Six years later there is hardly any evidence of the fire anymore, just little bits here and there if you care to look. Like on the rather beautiful, straight ghost gum tree. Large, so that I just had to touch him as I walked past, almost white. One of his branches had a branch running off it that was black. But the rest of him was burnless, his skin intact.
"I was just thinking," I said to the woman, "how nice it is walking down here. It's such a lovely track and seeing it now it's regenerated is cool." Or something like that. I can't remember what I said because it was more than two minutes ago.
But as soon as I said it, this pondering, ruminative kind of statement, it fell to the ground straight after coming out of my mouth. The woman agreed in a dull kind of way, and I just knew that she was gunning to get going again, to walk her dogs so she could get home and do the seven tasks, and make dinner, and get online and blah, blah, blah, blah.
And I felt, as I feel so often, that I really need to just restrict that kind of pondering, ruminating to writing, and to talking to Andrea and my mum, and to not hardly ever speak a ruminative word at any other time because I'm so tired of this feeling that I'm like the old lady in the street that you try and avoid because you know she's going to ramble and you don't have time for rambling.
As I left the woman in my wake I continued feeling bad things about inconsequential things. I felt that familiar feeling that accompanies me almost constantly these days, of being half invisible, a pointless blot on the landscape, a useless thing. And I felt it rise up in me, this extreme dislike for people I don't know who I'm interacting with in a public place, who seem more and more like fucking zombies when I do talk to them. And then it reinforced the same feeling that is probably reinforcing everyone else and making a giant snowball that will roll down the hill and smash us all to pieces, that people are crappy and closed off and disinterested and not worth talking to anyway. I don't truly believe in my heart that people are crap, but it feels like they think I am.
Actually, as I walked away, I felt like the next time I come to walk here I will make sure it is earlier or later so that I don't run into this woman again, even though I really, roolly, truly want to run into her dogs again. But I feel like I will feel uncomfortable next time, as if I can sense off that she feels uncomfortable, that it will be a burden stopping and letting this inconsequential woman pat her dogs.
And the inner witness part of me talked back to me and it said, "No, no. This feeling is just your paranoia talking. That's not necessarily how it actually is."
But the feeling that she might think that way about me is enough to make me react, so that next time I will happily cut myself off and go walking at a different time just to avoid it. Because I don't want to be any trouble.
I've referenced Glaxo Smith Kline on here more than once in derisive tones. They are a placeholder for the revolting capitalist corporate greed that we are all tired of because now we've realised that it doesn't have to be like this, it just is like this in the story that we're also sick of and are wanting to change without knowing quite how. However, despite Glaxo being as tossbaggy as any other corporation, I find myself taking one of their products, lamotrigine, which I have grudgingly begun taking because it's good for people with CFS (I took it years ago for years until I stopped and forgot all about it. Why I stopped is a reason consigned to the great Londonish fog of memory).
Lamotrogine is also good for anxiety, depression, mood stabilisation and PTSD. Wish me luck.
Because I don't want to keep feeling like I'm being any trouble.