Monday, July 9, 2018

Death & Kitties

Something minor happened two days ago that ordinarily would have pissed me off and put me in a depressive funk for days, even weeks.
But the truth was, I was already emotionally numb by that point. Because I lost my cat of 10 years just a few days ago. I haven't felt much of anything or cared about anything ever since. I suppose I was in denial the first few hours or so, trying to convince my brain it was just an animal and not my child. But eventually the grief set in and suddenly the world changed for the worst.
Not just the idea of losing him, but the reminder that he was part of my daily routine for ten years, a significant part of my life. Now that world, that existence I took for granted, was over. A part of my life was over.
We were a quartet (two parents and two cat babies) who were there for each other, very often at times when our fellow human beings abandoned us, didn't care, and made no effort to stay in touch. Our kitties were they for us in the best of times and the worst of times.
Our pet family members are not merely surrogate children, but furry adopted sons and daughters who help us survive life, especially when we're at our rock bottom. I said, "if heaven exists, then it must be full of cats". Cats, and really all animal life, are so much better than people at least when it comes to providing unconditional love, trust and motivation to keep on going.
Your animals love you even when society hates you, even when the world judges you. Even when your friends find better things to do than to bother paying any attention to you. Humans are self-involved, animals are fiercely loyal.
How anyone can equate acts of barbarism, violence and cruelty to ANIMAL behavior is beyond me. Animals are truly beautiful.
I suppose right now, I'm progressing past the pain and guilt, and depression stage, and am stuck in Anger Phase.
I am angry. Angry at the world, particularly those people out there who post hashtags about #suicideprevention thinking they're doing such a big favor for us, directing us to a Suicide Hotline.
All of their simulated caring and compassion feels dishonest to me. As someone who has struggled with depression their whole life, I know the difference between someone who feels what I feel and someone who is smiling for cameras, or posting on Facebook or Twitter to let the world know they are "against suicide" whatever that means.
The truth is hard to swallow. Ninety percent of everybody doesn't care about you while you're alive. They insult you, mock you and ignore you when you need help. Social media is a gladiator arena of instant judgment. The cruelty of humankind is there, online. It's not just the "deep web" where evil lurks. It's on the most "popular sites" where we swallow war propaganda daily, where we learn to despise others for their flaws, and where we learn that rehabilitation is impossible...HATE is clearly the answer. Our side destroying their side.
But when you DIE, or when you're thinking about suicide, they put on such a show, don't they? "Don't do it because we're all there for you. Don't give up."
The thought of death bothers them. The guilt of not giving a damn about fellow human being gets to them.
But when do they ever bother to help people who are struggling to live?
Of course, of course, they have their own lives to live. They have their own problems, their own to-do lists that don't involve us.
Which brings me to the point, outcasts, misfits of society and depressed people like us need each other. We need someone who understands the struggle, not fucking phonies. Not people who send "warm thoughts" (you know, "thoughts" and "condolences" and "positive energy" - which are the EXACT same thing as "thoughts and prayers")
We don't need happy people lecturing us about how terrible our despair is and what we need to do to change it.
If you're a happy person wondering what you can do to help, the only thing you can do is to offer to help with your actions...offer to listen, and to sit with a person going through grief, so you can talk about what hurts and what they miss. Spend time with them.
If you're happy in life and doing well, keep it to yourself. Be thankful your life is going well and be respectful of those whose lives are not going so well. Stay out of our way. What we need is someone who actually cares, someone who loves us despite our most serious flaws.
I wish I could say that I, you, or someone else I know could be there for you 24-7. We all say something like, "I'm here to listen..." and we mean it. And yes, I know, I know, I know, it's not always realistic to say. Days go by and rob us of free time. Work piles up, distractions, family time, sleep...sometimes all we have in us is to fall asleep and have some peace for a few hours.
But what I've gathered from all of this, is three things I know for sure
(A) Whenever you can afford the time, please reach out and ask a friend or family member how they're doing. Ignore their first answer and ask them again. Maybe they're just dying to talk to someone about their problems but don't know who to talk to. Don't just say you it by investing your time. I know you can't afford to do this to everyone you meet, but at least to your friends, to the ones whom you've shared life with. Don't take friendships for granted. If they're not nurtured they do wither away...I know from experience. RIP, all my friends living or dead, who wandered away without even a "goodbye."
(B) Stop waiting for people to save you, stop waiting for people to show they care. They seldom do. People are self-absorbed. They're so fixated on their own pleasure and survival, they don't have time for you They have time for "causes" that make them feel better about themselves. People won't be there for you, they will disappoint you.
(C) But Goddamn it, your pet will always be there for you. Your fur baby will love you 24-7. Your pet is one good reason to continue getting up in the morning. Your pet is one reason not to give up on life. Your furry, feathered or scaly friend will make life enjoyable. The little moments in life are what make it good. Pets make those moments possible. They don't speak the same language, but they communicate emotion just as well as we do. Let your pet entertain you. Let your little adopted child comfort you and be there, when human beings are too busy.
The only thing STRONGER and more POWERFUL than the despair you feel right now because no one else loves you, is the desire a pet has to love you, and worship you, and need you - if only you have love to give.
Hug your pet goodnight and treasure these moments. If you don't have an animal in your life, get one. Don't live alone. Fill the room with the sounds of tiny feet.
There is love in the world, this I know. Just keep looking...and look below you at the little creature pulling on your leg.

A short parable

Once upon a time, there lived a fun, loving, passionate and compassionate prince who was fair and very sure of “Happily Ever After.”   ...