BHS Blogress Report: 2018, Week 23 – Hello Anxiety, My Old Friend

Week 23 – Hello Anxiety, My Old Friend
Well, I tried.
I was on a roll on Sunday, well into Chapter 36 of Shattered Skies and on track to finish only a couple days later than I said I would. I stopped when I noticed the time, around an hour before I was supposed to start my Sunday night stream of Tales of Symphonia. Over the next half hour, I put out my promos and set up all my streaming software. I was about to head upstairs to eat a quick dinner before the stream… and then I noticed the little red dots on the floor beneath my chair, right where our dog had just been lying. There was fresh blood all down her back legs, and it wasn’t stopping.
What followed was a series of frantic calls to the regular vet, the emergency vet, and the second emergency vet before I reached someone who could see her immediately. My family and I drove her out to the city limits to the only place that was still open, and then spent an excruciating forty-five minutes in the waiting room. All the while, I was in crisis mode and barely holding it together, convinced she was going to bleed out while we were sitting there. When the doctors finally took her in, I was already bracing myself for the worst. Annie’s going on ten years old, and we lost our last dog at about that age… and suddenly passing blood was what led me to have to put my last cat down.
Long story short, Annie’s okay, thank god. There was an abscess in her glands, but the vet took care of it and gave her some meds to clear up her inflammation. I’m relieved, of course, but I’ve been an emotional wreck since last night.
Chronic anxiety is something I would barely wish on anyone… certain conservative/fascists (same difference) being the exception. One minute you think everything is fine, the next you’re convinced your world is about to end. It’s not a question of “just calm down and think rationally”; your mind starts conjuring the worst possible outcome of every situation before you, and it’s like a TV on full volume that you can’t shut off. In my experience, cognitive behavioral therapy and other similar techniques only work when you’re confident in yourself and you have faith that they’ll be effective, and during my anxiety attacks, I can’t manage either. It’s always a little slice of my personal Hell when it happens, and I hate it… which is why I don’t talk about it most of the time.
As if that ordeal weren’t enough, there was what happened to another family while we were in the waiting from. A lady and her young daughter or granddaughter brought their dog in, wrapped in a towel, and the older lady said “She [the daughter] was taking her for a walk, we think she had heat stroke…” They took her into the back, the family followed a few minutes later… and then, perfectly audible even through several solid walls, we all heard the daughter make the most disturbing sound I’ve ever personally heard in my life. I can only describe it as a primal howl of grief. She was hysterical, sobbing “It’s my fault, I took her for a walk, it’s my fault!” over and over and over. When I saw her again as she and her family left, she was all cried out, and she looked… empty. I thought about saying something to her, but I didn’t. I was too afraid that I was going to be the next one grieving.
I mention this not to bring you all down, but to try to exorcise it… to get my feelings out in words so I can move past it. The sound that girl made is going to haunt my nightmares, because as much as I know all to well how hard it is to lose a pet… I’ve been fortunate enough that I’ve never felt at fault for it when it happens. This girl was young, maybe thirteen or fourteen by the look of it. I could tell by the look in her eyes that she’s going to blame herself for a long time, maybe the rest of her life. Things like that can put years on you. Whoever she is, wherever she is, I can only hope that she finds peace and comfort.
Anyway. For obvious reasons, I couldn’t get much done between then and now… I’ve been emotionally and physically exhausted all day. We’ll see what I can do over the rest of the week.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: BHS Blogress Report: 2018, Week 22 – Pet Parade | Tasakeru
  2. Trackback: BHS Blogress Report: 2018, Week 24 – Writing in Recursive | Tasakeru

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