Something to hold on to

Today the foul and fickle winter weather foiled our freedom to frolic……too much alliteration, yesss.

But I shan’t share the walk I sadly did not take with little Zil today in the gray cold, but rather recall my feelings at the time, almost to the day, that she was a month old.

Little Zil

Little Zil

Here in this picture, she is closer to the 4-month range; unfortunately we weren’t all that great about taking pictures of things, including loved ones, in those days. Thank God for friends with cameras! Myself, I had regressed emotionally to the condition of a child, a teenager in my thoughts. I feel that during bipolar and depressive episodes regression is part of my pattern.

Foals are so much more mindful than humans. Zil spent much of her time unruffled by the turmoil surrounding her; she was concentrating wholly on her experiences: drinking in mother’s warm milk; nibbling delightful grass, flowers, and manure; lifting her spirit at interesting sights, sounds, and smells; and chiefly remaining a very calm little horse, for her mother Tempo was very laid-back at the time herself.

Zil grazing, mindfully

Zil grazing, mindfully

5/15/07:

“Today I had an appointment with the doctor about the headaches (3-5 migraines in a 7-day week). She gave me Lyrica to try, 3 months worth of samples. I had a miniature panic attack in the waiting room. I’ve been a wreck. Trigger: The death of Sam, a fictional TV character–I’m too old to care so much. To be so destroyed. There must be more to it, but all I know is, it’s catalyzed this huge depression, and a song on the radio put my finger on it. I wish I was dead. Not because I hate the world or anyone else, just because of me. I don’t like what/who I am. I hate a lot of aspects of being me. If I were dead, then I would be over. I’d be over myself. There would be no more of this hate, no more apathy. [God, I sound like a teenager (no offense to teens), don’t I? I felt exactly the same way when I was a teen, too.] I know that when I am writing, which I need, I  become even harder for others to live with. So in a way it’s good for everyone else that I’m not writing. But it’s not good for me. If I were to compile a list of all the things I hate about myself then there would be only one logical option: work to change the things. Putting a gun in my mouth & pulling the trigger would make no sense at all.

Little Zil's face

Little Zil’s face

“But changing “things” about myself is not so easy. And I can’t get rid of bad memories, past failures, and so forth. Stress, all this stress. How will I get Ziggy back up from the forty? How bad are Sunflower’s cuts, really? How will I get weight on Emily? We can’t pay our bills. “Changing things” won’t fix any of this, which all would manageable on some level if I didn’t hate myself.

“One good thing in my life: Zil.

“Zil is beautiful, magnificent. I hope nobody has already registered an Arab to the name Zil. Zil is a *Bask great-granddaughter. Did I already mention she’s magnificent? So is her mom, Tempo.”

So it should have been easy at the time that was written to fall back on horses in my time of need, as I had done with plastic ones as a child. Even if when only a thought expressed in childlike language. But it wasn’t. Except for Zil. By then, horses in general had the tendency to generate as much stress as delight in my view of the world and existence in general. To find that it was ZIL who made me happy when nothing else could, is a marvel indeed. This was long before in my rational mind I was even considering Zil as anything more solid than a love of my heart. Unlike all the other foals, she withheld affection, and treated me as a tree or a rock or some other inanimate thing that was in her way at times, and at times not in her way. I had to be okay with that, and I was.

(FYI: Did the Lyrica work for my particular migraines under my particular conditions? No, it did not).

-photos taken by M. Wyller.

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