This might not be the most exciting post you’ve ever read, but I am using the blog for journaling so here we go: I was off on a road trip with my friend Pat. It’s not the easiest thing to do when you’re relatively fresh out of the hospital.
Pat and I go back about five years. We became friends at a pretty sad point in my life. Pat didn’t care that I was down. She had one of those positive personalities that keep you going.
I’ve never traveled before with Pat. As all of you know, traveling with someone is different than going out for dinner. Pat and I have done a lot of eating out, shopping, concerts, hiking…but never away overnight. I wasn’t particularly nervous but knew things had changed a bit. I was now on a ton of meds to keep me even. I wasn’t sure how all the drugs would mix with travel.
Pat agreed to drive as I don’t do a lot of driving lately. I was the gas money. We had about a three hour drive to our destination…a cabin in the woods. As we are large city dwellers, we were excited.
I had to laugh. Pat would give out a “fuck” every time someone pulled in front of her too close. I’d never heard her cuss before.
There were some quiet spots as we drove. Normally we are both very chatty. Maybe there was something weird about being in an enclosed space. I felt awkward. I don’t always have to have noise, but it just felt funny. And I realized that my meds were letting me down.
I normally have a bubbly chatty affect when I am not depressed. But no more. It was hard to get up the energy to chat. But we toodled along and soon got into some great scenery. We stopped on the way into the cabin area to do a bit of looking around and shopping.
We had decided to take a jeep tour of the area. I had done this before, but Pat had not. The good news was she knew one of the drivers. “Duff” was a really nice guy Pat knew from high school.
Moving backwards though, we had to eat first. Parking was tough to find and we had to hike quite a way to the restaurant. This involved stairs and a hill. I got really winded. I was embarrassed about how out of shape I was.
Now Pat is single and has been divorced for about ten years. She works two jobs to make ends meet. (Fortunately, her kids are grown.) She is crazy to find a boyfriend and is on several dating sites. So she’d stop every so often to check her messages. This cracked me up, but I would cheerfully pull out my own phone so I looked busy too.
At lunch, I did well. I had food that was on my plan and resisted the cookies. Very proud of myself.
Duff took us on our two hour jeep ride. We got on and off of the jeep. Duff wanted us to climb small hills here and there to see things better. I had a hard time. First, getting in and out of the jeep. I got dizzy. And crawling up hills was hard. Sometimes I just waited behind. I was tired. I got incredible hot and a bit overwhelmed. However, Pat had a great time reminiscing with Duff and seeing all of the sights. I was so glad for that.
We drove on to find our cabin. The people running the cabins were very nice and welcoming. But I forgot that cabins were not hotel rooms with log siding. It was okay though and very clean. The people working there even offered to cook and bring us dinner from the kitchen. They had burgers and flat bread pizza and all kinds of stuff. I was so tired I took them up on that. It wasn’t too exciting for Pat, but she went along.
I had some wine, took my meds, and was ready for bed at nine. Pretty early, but that’s how I roll. Pat watched some TV and that was the last I knew.
I felt like things were going a bit awkwardly. Like a bad first date. I thought maybe she was not having a good time. But I didn’t really know what to do. I was just embarrassed I pooped out so early.
We got up at seven and something had changed. Suddenly I did not need to be sparkling and chatty anymore, because she started talking and would. not. shut. up.
She covered everything in her life. All of her friends and all about them, her marriage, her divorce, her husband’s previous drug habit, a business she had owned, every guy she had recently dated, her kids, her orthotics, and all of the social groups she hung out with. I could not get a word in sideways, except to tell her she should write her life story.
She talked until it was time to leave the cabin. We took a few minutes and sat in the chairs out in the woods. We talked about how we’d like some more elation in our lives. She took a breath and let me talk a bit. I talked about my depression and how I was starting to search to rebuild my life.
It went wonderfully after that. We gabbed all the way back. I learned so much about her and vice-versa. It was a little bit of a let down when we got home.
So there you have it. I had a great time but my meds kept me down. A mixed bag I guess. But at least I got off the couch. And a good friend became a better and stronger friend.