Normally when I post things to this blog I’m as guilty as the majority about trying to keep it upbeat. I put a positive spin on things because that’s what you’re supposed to do, right? But being a pessimist by nature and a realist on my best days, it’s difficult to post anything in the more lifestyle/personal category during the bad periods. So I’ve been focusing more on sharing photos and travel tips, which has given me time to pull together my thoughts and my courage to be real.
Life lately has not been great. In fact, it’s been less than good even. The first quarter of 2015 saw the passing of my favorite grandfather, health struggles, major work drama, and (perhaps most devastatingly) some bad news for the true love of my life – Oxford. Laugh, roll your eyes, call me a cat lady, whatever. But that cat has become such an integral part of me that it’s inexplicably painful to think of life without him.
I took Oxford in for his annual dental cleaning on Friday and through some routine blood work it was discovered that he’s in the early stages of chronic kidney disease (some use kidney failure, but I’m still in denial). It’s not uncommon in house cats and he is 10 years old – this month in fact. It can be “controlled” (i.e., slowed down) through diet and meds, but it is irreversible. From what I understand he could live several more years even, but it will progress. At 10 years, I knew he was bound to have some health issues come up; I just didn’t expect this. I’ve been happily living in denial that he would be with me as long as I was around. Reality bites hard when it catches up.
After that news everything else going on seems to pale in comparison, but I know that life has to keep on moving forward. I’ll just ramp up the kitty snuggles and do whatever I can to keep him comfortable and happy. I also have to find a way to remember to do the same for myself.
I’ve mentioned before that I have fibromyalgia. I’ve been working on a post about it, but I’m so incredibly guarded when it comes to any personal issues that it’s been hard to find the right words. One day it will come. Accompanying the FM, I also suffer from bouts of depression and full-time anxiety. Anything stressful magnifies all three of these things into occasionally overwhelming proportions. Most frustratingly, they also hold me frozen in place. I refuse to let any of it stop me from moving forward but I have to acknowledge that they do slow me down – and that beating myself up for that only feeds into the negative cycle. I’ve been reading a lot of inspirational books and watching plenty of TED talks to keep the forward momentum going; but honestly, depending on the day, those too can work in my favor or feed the flames. I can’t tell you how grateful I am for good friends that put up with me for better or for worse!
My normal method of dealing with difficult life situations is to internalize, do what I’m told I need to do to keep it all in hand, and fiercely refuse to show any weakness to the world. I am told, however, that my normal method is probably what led to some of these issues in the first place. Figures. So I’m working on finding a different strategy. To date I’ve been shyer than a mouse trying to filch a piece of cheese from under a cat. Tiny mouse steps forward, a mad dash back at the slightest hint of potential danger. What can I say – it’s hard to change 30+ years of habit overnight.
One positive thing that I can throw in here is an observation on just how much blogging has helped. Even when I only post photos, being able to share something so dear to me and receive such positive feedback has been amazing! A huge thanks to everyone who stops by, hits the “like” button, or leaves a comment. It’s all so greatly appreciated. (smile) Even though the internet is possibly the worst place to share personal demons, it can also (paradoxically) feel like the safest at times. If I can hit publish on this post, I’ll count it as a great step forward in sharing with the real life people.
And so this ends on an encouraging thought after all. How about that?? (smile)