I suppose I should really subtitle these anniversary post as "How Royal Makes Renee's Tenuous Grasp On Sanity Possible" since that's really what it is. Royal keeps me sane and grounded, mostly. Especially when my Jerkbrain goes on overdrive. I wrote briefly about Jerkbrain back in August when Royal and I won our first real blue ribbon. It basically makes me think I deserve nothing good and everything bad. But Royal counters Jerkbrain like nothing else. I can't brush off his genuine good nature as an act, and it helps me realize good things can happen to me. Royal happened.
Allie Brosh at Hyperbole And A Half has a two part post about depression that summarized it pretty well for me. Especially where she talks about simply wanting to stop existing. Not so much suicide, but just turning life off like a switch. That's what the bad place is like for me, just wanting to flip a light switch on life. I recently heard an interview with Brosh on NPR where she said something that helps her is the fact that she's gone from the whole wanting-to-turn-life-off place to normal is what gives her strength. And the same is true for me. Royal helps me cover up the switch.
This year held a lot of firsts for us. Our first real blue ribbon, the first time I camped in the trailer at an event (and still did it like a diva), sort-of conquering our fear of ditches, and our first ribbon at Carriage House. And Royal is usually pretty happy to see me, which is the most important part. And I'm always happy to see him.