At least it felt like a long time. At this point she wasn't sure how long. She vaguely remembered happy times. But it was as if those happy times were through ten feet of cotton candy and her life now. She could see herself laughing in some photos, but couldn't figure out what that felt like. Yes, she had been happy, but not in a long, long time.
Her living room and kitchen were immaculate. But that was because she didn't have the energy to leave them messy. When she ate – everything was cleaned and put away before she fell asleep. And she didn't buy any food that might go bad. The dried milk she kept on hand didn't taste all that good when she made it up for the meal – it was supposed to sit – but when she had the energy to eat and clean up she wanted to do it then. If she waited any time her burst of energy would be long gone and then there's be the dishes to clean and they'd sit. She'd done that before when she'd tried to wait. And the dishes would sit with the big round eye of a plate accusing her of not doing anything and her mind quivering with the blows of unmet expectations. And she just couldn't face the unwashed dishes one more time. So she made the dried milk up and drank it before it had cooled and as the horrid taste went down – thought – at least I got something in my body one more time.
And at times it was a moment-by-moment decision to keep on existing in such pain. She'd started treatments but so far none of them had worked. And she lived in pain. And she could no longer remember what it had been like before she lived in pain. And the treatments – try this drug and it will take two to six weeks before it works – you've been taking it for eight weeks and there's no change, then stop taking the drug and in two weeks will try another drug – seemed futile. And every day longer until each day seemed like years.
They called it depression – she called it pain.