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Shadow

drac emu
So Shadow is getting used to have a human at his disposal. He's not quite getting the hang of it right, though.

First, when I go upstairs, he yells at me excitedly, if hoarsely. I wonder where he gets the booze and blow, because he's got a scratchy voice.

Fucking LJ just ate about four paragraphs.

Dear Gawd, I need to kill my fucking neighbors RIGHT NOW. Jeezus, these assholes are more than a block away, why can I FEEL their fucking stereo? Did the lead asshole suffer a tragic industrial accident of the penis?

Anyhoo......

Shadow castigates me all the time for my horrendous neglect of him, but then he plops on the bed and purrs loudly. I swear, even his purr is hoarse. He'll sit on my lap if I put a pillow there, but he keeps giving me worried looks, like, "Is this okay? Really?" Periodically, he jumps up and runs around, as if he's running off energy. Then he sits there and looks at me as if he's not quite sure the affection spigot is still turned on. One thing's for sure: he believes in making up for lost time. He's not as fast to get overstimulated as he was, which is yet another reason why you should neuter your pets.

And your neighbors.

He seems to feel safe when he has his back against my front. He loves that. He's got a purr that can rattle crockery, and now has a noticeably less-svelte silhouette from when he was feral. His ears still bear the marks of countless fights, though, and he has a wee bit of a lop sided expression, thanks to the injuries left by those fights----and teeth taken out by my lovely veterinarian, who is even more of a sucker than I am.

I sleep badly in the heat, but oddly enough, Shadow is a help there, making up for Snowball's loss. He's very different, which is good. It still makes me gulp when I see Snowball's stuff around. Screw everybody who says pets don't have emotions or individuality. I still miss Snowball's devastating head-tilt/chin boop/ rollover into upside-down-head happy kitty. He always loved to tuck his head under my chin, and tuck his ridiculous white paws under his chin. Shadow is just getting to the point where I get the exposed belly now and then. As opposed to Fred, who acts like he just discovered his stomach and wants to share with everybody. Make eye contact with Fred? Here's his tummy. Wanna make out?

Shadow is also showing signs of making up for years without playing. When I threw a bouncy ball for him, he kept the thing going for hours, what with the batting and the tossing and the chasing and the searching. Like so much with ex-feral cats, it's kind of sad, kind of touching. Here's an adult kitty---well past adulthood, really-----who's had a terrible lack of playing in his life.

I hauled a huge pile of stuff laboriously into the dining room over the weeks, and bit by bit hauled it by myself to the storage locker. In doing so I sprained my shoulder, got a wee bit of a lecture from my doctor about my aversion to taking drugs with what I view as intemperance, ("But it's not bleeding," did not impress her)and emptied out my dining room so that I can now take advantage of things like yoga dvds and ballet classes on Youtube. I've also started counting all the steps I take very day and indulged in my addiction to fruit and the basic food groups. In just carrying stuff to the locker and back a few times a day, plus eating more grapes (do they have a twelve-step program for grapes?), I seem to have lost six pounds. My idea of a diet involves eating pretty much everything I ate before, perhaps a bit earlier in the day, but with with much more movement. I had potato chips for breakfast on Saturday. I drink lots one more water, use garlic instead of salt, and drink more tea. A couple of weeks ago, during the heat wave, I got it in my head to plunge off on a walk. Five thousand steps later, I'd walked a mile and a half and gotten a bottle of champagne. This all happened outdoors. Like, outside and away from my house.

It's not like that every day, of course. I find sleeping on a six-inch thick fiberbed on one of the daybeds is better than sleeping on a bed, at least till I lose a bit more weight. My back just kills me many days. But there's a bike in my basement that calls my name.

Another thing that I noticed a few weeks back. When you're depressed you just try and survive. Everything is so immense that you lose all function. You're trying to keep your sense of hope alive, and just functioning normally is often too much. You look at a chore and see futility. You hope for a time when you'll feel better. In a sense, that's as optimistic as you can get while suffering from depression. If you can foresee hope "one day" that means you still think there will be one day. At the same time, depression makes you feel like a horrible, stupid, awful person, so that you don't trust yourself. What if I might need that five-year-old issue of Time Magazine? What about that ancient Vanity Fair? You have no faith in yourself, because depression takes away your identity.

But sometimes a switch gets flipped in your brain. Before, nothing is possible. Afterward......For weeks now I've been filling recycling bins with reams of old catalogs and glossy mags that I held onto for some desperate reason, maybe convinced they held some snippet of knowledge that I needed. When you are deep in depression, you look for solutions outside. You often feel the need to stock up, to make sure you're prepared for worse times. Depression is the worst thing you can go through, but having experienced it, you fear still worse things. I remember lying in the middle of my carpet one day during that suicidal period and just breathing, just waiting for time to pass. At some point you lose the ability to believe it will get better. Then one day, tomorrow is here somehow, and the abysss is behind you. You hope.

So for weeks I've been setting out eight or ten bins of recycling. More than that, I've found when I get some sleep, I can do the sort of stuff my mother used to advise to make housework disappear. "Are you going upstairs? Bring something with you. Are you coming downstairs? Take something with." Laundry, trash, plates, dishes.....when you can keep strings of actions before you in your brain, when you can plan to take this there or bring that with you, tasks shrivel almost magically. Seeing stuff melt away productively is like nothing on earth.

I had a bad day at the VA yesterday, though, when the shrink had us trying to meditate. In a hot room with big windows. Nope. Couldn't close my eyes, couldn't relax, even with my back against the wall. Not sure what it was, but when I tried there was that terrible sweep of dizzying unreality that signals the onset of a flashback. Snap. Thanks, I'll be scanning my sector if you don't mind.

Still.........Still. Little steps.....if your idea of little steps is at least a thousand a day, often more like two or three thousand.

And at least three hundred of those are expended in tossing Shadow's ball or Da Byrd for him, my geriatric kitty who's experiencing kittenhood.

So. There you go. And now I have to go vaccum all this space.

Comments

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
jaegamer
Jul. 16th, 2014 08:54 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad you're starting to see the light at the top of the oubliette. You've exactly described how I feel most of the time. Maybe I need a stronger antidepressant.
ginmar
Jul. 16th, 2014 09:42 pm (UTC)
It can't hurt to try a new one, can it? You can always go back.
hillbillie
Jul. 16th, 2014 09:41 pm (UTC)
This is great, Gin. All of it.
I can't believe you walked a mile and a half (that deserves champagne!).
And your portrayal of depression, and the things that pile up around you, and why..well it's just dead-on.

Oh and hey, after you neuter your neighbors (DO ETT!!), you can get to work on mine. Except I'd rather just trap them in giant cat-carriers and take them to the people-pound. They need to be re-homed. Somewhere far away. :D
ginmar
Jul. 16th, 2014 09:43 pm (UTC)
Wouldn't it be nice to find an island for them? Did you hear about these assholes who modify their trucks to spew thick black smoke just to piss off liberals? Because pollution is a liberal plot or something?
amethyst_hunter
Jul. 18th, 2014 05:57 am (UTC)
Because nothing says "I'm sticking it to the black guy!" like ruining the same planet that they have to live on.

Idiots. My only consolation is that if they ever do ruin the world, they too will go down with the ship. And then, at least, we'll all have peace from their insane bullshit.
hillbillie
Jul. 18th, 2014 05:51 pm (UTC)
"Rolling coal", yeah I did. My son in Dallas says it may be a hoax.
I don't care; if anyone did that to me--I'm already fighting pneumonia (or severe asthma or bronchitis, or something they haven't figured out yet); for some of us, just one instance could be fatal, or nearly.
Once I recovered, I'd flat-out hunt them down.

Idiots who think preserving a clean(-ish) environment is a liberal issue..let's see them try to get along without one!
hillbillie
Jul. 18th, 2014 05:56 pm (UTC)
Wouldn't it be nice to find an island for them?

Hmm, I don't know..why waste a perfectly good island on them?
Say, let's us keep the island for ourselves, and let all those in favor of extreme noise- and air-pollution have..
Detroit.

Or something.
al_zorra
Jul. 16th, 2014 11:12 pm (UTC)
"Shadow is a help there, making up for Snowball's loss."

Gladness, for you, and for Shadow.

RIP Snowball.

Love,C.
tammypierce
Jul. 17th, 2014 01:48 pm (UTC)
We can't get back our former friends, but we can make lost friends happy and healthy and safe.

I don't think the neutering of the loud neighbors will do it. You've got to take off and nuke their place from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.
ginmar
Jul. 17th, 2014 01:59 pm (UTC)
Oh, if only I had first strike capability!
amethyst_hunter
Jul. 18th, 2014 06:02 am (UTC)
When you're depressed you just try and survive. Everything is so immense that you lose all function. You're trying to keep your sense of hope alive, and just functioning normally is often too much. You look at a chore and see futility. You hope for a time when you'll feel better. In a sense, that's as optimistic as you can get while suffering from depression. If you can foresee hope "one day" that means you still think there will be one day. At the same time, depression makes you feel like a horrible, stupid, awful person, so that you don't trust yourself...You have no faith in yourself, because depression takes away your identity.

You just summed up perfectly what I have spent 20 years trying to articulate in my own experience with depression.

I'm glad that you've been able to make some progress for the better, and that Shadow is enjoying his new life. :)
honoria
Jul. 23rd, 2014 04:56 pm (UTC)
YOu've just described aspects of my depression perfectly.
Thank you.
ginmar
Jul. 23rd, 2014 06:28 pm (UTC)
Yeah, once you've been through it, you never forget it. There are some things that are pretty consistent. I find it helps immeasurably not to have someone stabbing you in the back around. It used to be even worse before and the thought of that level of symptom returning terrifies me.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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