Monday, June 17, 2013

About Coping

Our family cat passed away relatively peacefully. I wasn't there the moment it happened, or for the burial, but I saw her the night before. If you'd rather not read about this part, skip the next paragraph. Everything following it is more central to the point anyway.

Cassie hadn't been eating all week. She was getting on in years, and has had kidney problems in the recent past, so we kind of had a guess what was going on, but her last night just hit me kind of hard. She went and hid behind the couch in the living room, but of course we found her there. Her fur was all matted, she was drooling (presumably from the nausea), and just seemed really out of it. I wanted to try and comfort her somehow, but I just felt my presence wasn't helping anything. Nevertheless, another family member eventually coaxed her out from behind the couch and stayed up with her late into the night until she passed. I said my goodbye (figuratively) earlier in the day and that was the end of it; I didn't want to see her like that any longer.

Here's the thing: she passed in the early morning on Memorial Day; 3 weeks ago. In the time since then, I haven't told a soul about it. Nobody online, none of my real-life friends, no extended family, and definitely nobody I work with. Not a word. I did care a lot about her; as much as any single man can care about his cat without it being kind of weird and unsettling. Maybe a little more, even.

I'm just saying, this feels like something I should have at least mentioned to the people I care about, but I avoided it. It's not just that it never came up, I made a conscious effort not to say anything about it to anybody. I was upset, grieving, and I didn't want anybody to know.

If I have a point in telling you this, it's that I have a habit of trying to internalize whatever is going on with me, and I don't think it's healthy. I like to think this makes me conscientious, trying to spare other people from getting unwillingly caught up in my inner drama, but the reality is I'm just a coward. I don't like people to see me at my weakest. I don't really like having feelings in the first place, let alone revealing the less pleasant ones for others to see.

There is some irony to it, since most of the people I surround myself with are such that they would be very unlikely to ever think less of me for being honest about how I feel. Still, that anxiety persists. I guess it will always be there to some degree. It's part of my disease and I have to live with it. I'm just hoping that I can get better at letting other people in. I've done it before; I can do it again.

Anyway, I'm sorry this one was so sappy and melancholy. One of the reasons I made a blog was so I'd have an outlet for things that I don't feel like I can say to people directly. I'll try to summon up a manly chest-thumping angry rant next time, just to balance things out a bit.

Peace and love, denizens of the readerverse.

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