When Grief Isn’t Grief…

Regular followers will be aware that my Queen of Spazmania, Colorado was diagnosed with cancer a few months back.

She went through a rough patch, that prompted me to ask people to stop reminding me that she was dying.

Today she is doing pretty well.  She’s lost a lot of weight (she was too heavy in the first place),  but she’s eating, drinking and is her normal self so I’m not worried about it.

But Monday morning, something weird happened.

If I linger in bed too long Colorado will eventually come up and remind me that she has to go out.   She starts by sitting next to the bed and panting until I pet her.

Monday morning was no different, except as soon as I reached out to scratch her head I started to cry.

She was her normal self.

When I reached out I don’t think I was thinking of her eventual passing.

I thought that maybe I had felt it in her energy.  I knew Shelby’s time was coming.

Through out the day I found myself getting tearful thinking of losing her.

I didn’t understand that.  I had plenty of time to prepare.  I am ready.

Yes, it will be hard,

When we take an animal into our lives we have a sacred duty to look after them.

The hard part of that is letting your faithful companion go when its time.

I did that for Shelby, even though I was not ready and it almost destroyed me.

When Colorado’s time comes,  I will let her go.   To keep her around when she’s sick and life has no joy for her would be cruel,  and very unfair.

She is my friend,  she even saved my life once when I my mood hit bottom and suicide seemed like a pretty good idea.

It will be hard…as I’ve said.

There’s a reason I mention the “it will be hard” thing twice.

All day Monday,  I couldn’t understand why it was so difficult to not cry when thinking about Colorado’s final day.

When discussing it in the past I might get a bit tearful in the moment, but nothing like the crying jags I just couldn’t control.

It was on the drive home that the real reason hit me….

Arranging her final visit with the vet will be hard…very fucking hard.

And that’s what was getting to me…

It is another hard thing that I have to do, in what seems like a life of constant hard things.

Admittedly, when one suffers from mental health issues, especially depression,  getting out of bed in the morning can be a hard thing.

That’s not really what I’m talking about.

I’ve never shied away from these hard things.  In fact,  I tend to be very good at doing hard things.   So much so that I was often handed tasks that were hard.

I’m talking about the sorts of things that can have a negative impact on one’s spirit.

It was Dr. Nielsen who pointed out a few years ago that I have the ability to turn all that off.   I didn’t realize that I was doing that until he pointed it out.   To me it was just “buckling down” and “getting on with it”.

Thanks to therapy I’m losing that ability.

Of course, as one gets older the closets that one shoves the trauma of experiencing these hard things into has problems keeping shut.   And I can tell you that some of the nightmares that come leaping out at you are worse than any movie,  and its often accompanied by wondering just how in the hell you managed to completely forget about THAT!

A little bit ago, during a particularly rough patch,  it seemed like nothing was going right for me.   I remember spending a great deal of time lamenting that nothing would ever be easy for me.

That wasn’t my head space on Monday btw.

So in short, it was just another rock in the proverbial invisible basket.

I do have one very real fear when the time comes.

Colorado can read me.

No matter how well I’m hiding it, she knows my moods.

When one is saying good bye to their friend,  being calm and relaxed is essential lest you friend fights to stay by your side.

I can hide my emotions well.     I can be a full blown panic and no one will know it.  But Colorado would….

That’s the big fear for me when her time comes.   I don’t want her to go through that alone.

When Shelby passed I felt honoured to have attended his passing.

I hope I can do the same for my girl Colorado.

And now I’m crying again…fuck.

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Depression, hopelessness, despair, salvation

This post will likely be the hardest I’ve ever written.

Im sitting here in my assigned hospital bed at the Stratford General Hospital the day after my second heart attack. In a couple of hours I will be transported to St Marys in Kitchener for an angiogram to assess the damage.

I will be fine on that account. Lying here with little to distract me has given me a great deal of time to think.

My struggles with mental hezlth are no secret. I think few are aware of how bad it really is.

I rarely discuss the dark stuff because I dont want to alarm anyone, and dont want to be a bother.

I sometimes ponder what I can do to get myself out of the quagmire I find myself in but always come up short.

In the days before my heart attack it was starting to occur to me that I needed to be more open and tell ppl what was really going on in my head.

Thats a scary proposition. I was afraid of how ppl would react. I didnt want to cause anyone distress, but at the same time I had decided on a course of action and didnt want anyone trying to stop me.

I need help. I dont know how to ask for it. I dont know what to ask for.

The outpouring of well wishes when news of my heart attack spread has shown me that telling the world what really is going on is the best course of action.

This will be hard to type, it may appear disjointed at times. I will do my best to avoid minimizing the situation.

Before I begin let me point out that the fact that I am telling hou all this is a good sign…I am asking for your help…more then thatI am actually asking everyone to help me figure out what it is that I need.

The fact that I am sitting here in a hospital bed typing this to you is a clear indication that indica there is no immediate danger.

The thing that got me thinking along these lines was a conversation with my new housemate Louise. A couple of nights ago I told Louise about my struggles with controlling my diabetes. I had forgotten that Louise used to be a nurse. Shes taking over that aspect. It lead to a discussion around mental health. I wont go into details because all of that will be covered below….unless I forget.

When I was first brought into the ER we went over my listof meds. I explained that I havent been taking them because I kept forgetting to get them refilled.

That was a lie.

Here we go….the truth is that I had stopped taking them because if I died of a heart attack it would be nature taking its course and not me letting anyone down by committing suicide.

And there it is.

My ADHD and depression made dealing with the day to day too hard. Doing what needed to be done seemed insurmountable. Dying seemed easier. The problem was that I have ppl depending on me, and there are a couple of things I still need to do.

That last paragraph sums up about a page and a half…you’re welcome.

This black depression started to lift about a week ago. Thanks at least in part to Louise who was quite adamant about her wanting to help.

In that time I considered what I had to do to improve my lot.

I need to be more social. I seem to have lost the ability to invite ppl for coffee. Ive been wanting to throw a dinner oarty or game night but Im terrified that no will come.

Part of that is finding activities out of the house. Social anxiety makes that hard for me. When I do go out the activities are usually solo.

Im keen to develop my comedy career…I just have to stay on track with that.

When I started this I thought it would be pages and pages, but Ive run out of things to say.

Im going to be heading kff to my angiogram in a bit, so I’m going to leave off here.

I hop what Ive said doesnt cause anyone distress. That wasnt my intent.

Quasi-Inspirational Ravings #3

One day I saw a man standing on a corner holding a sign saying he was hungry and that he would work for food.

Taking pity on him,  I took him to the local sporting goods store and bought him a full set of fishing tackle.

I then took him to the local river and, with the help of Google,  I taught him how to fish!

We were both delighted at how quickly he picked it up!

I had taught a man to fish, so he could now feed himself for a lifetime!

Turns out that the parable did not take seafood allergies into account.

Morals of this story:

  • “Lifetime” as a unit of measure is relative
  • “Due Diligence” is more than a buzzword

Quasi-Inspirational Ravings #2

One day while on a stroll through the park I met an elderly gentleman sitting alone on an out of the way bench,  far from the children, dogs and humans who were enjoying a bright spring afternoon.

I asked his permission to share the bench.

He nodded and I might be wrong but I think he was happy for a bit of company.

We both sat in silence for a spell.  Each of us lost in our own thoughts.

Then, without warning he hit me on my head with his cane.

While I was still dazed he took my wallet, phone and watch before dashing off through the trees.

The moral of this story is that even old people sitting alone in a park can be assholes,  so always keep your guard up!

 

Quasi-Inspirational Ravings #1

Have you ever taken a moment and watched a butterfly as its about to take flight?

Did you marvel at the complexity required for such activity?

When you pondered the evolutionary path required to reach this point did it fill you with awe?

Has it occurred to you that “butterfly taking flight” could be replaced with any of the following:

  • A dog taking a dump
  • An old man farting
  • Donald Trump

The moral of this is don’t be like a butterfly,  butterflies are stupid.

Be like a human being who is slightly better than you.

Once you’ve done that, repeat.

Facebook Feature Request

Dear Facebook:

I, like millions of people, am under the complete control of really enjoy using your site  app  hive-mind product  platform!

I’ve noticed an issue where perfectly sane people get caught up in angry arguments over seemingly trivial things like what colour some dress was,   or who should sit on the Iron Throne…oh wait…that last one is not trivial…sorry.

These are not reasoned debates, these are the virtual equivalent of beer tavern brawls!

Well the tv and movie versions of those things,  because in reality a brawl in a bar is usually two guys who are so drunk that they just take clumsy swings at each other until they both fall down.

There has been an alarming increase in people resorting to the use of angry looking but contextually confusing emojii!

The number of people claiming to have a vague recollection of what they were angry about a whole 30 seconds after they post is reaching pandemic levels!

The danger is real!  

I heard that my brother’s cat-sitter’s girlfriend’s hairdresser’s farrier got so mad that he actually had a stroke after someone posted that they thought Burger King was better than McDonalds!

I have a potential solution…

The impending implosion of society can be averted if you gave users the ability to just skip past things in their newsfeed without commenting….

I know…revolutionary right?!

I guess the best way to describe it would be to ask you to imagine that you’re reading a scroll.

If you see something that might upset you on the scroll you’re not going to grab a quill and write an angry comment are you?   That would be silly….you’d be writing by hand…who still does that?

Instead of getting into an argument over something that you didn’t even have an opinion on,  you’re going to keep winding the parchment until you get to something you like,  perhaps a humorous charcoal sketch of a kitten wearing a funny hat.

I hope to see this new Parchment Winding functionality implemented in the near future.
I’d go as far as suggesting it should be an emergency patch.

Your Thrall  Respectfully
David