What I Can

Yesterday started out pretty rough. I felt very sad and hopeless, with minimal energy and attention span. I started doing things, but felt overwhelmed and had to stop.

And then I thought: Okay, I’m having a difficult time. I can’t do some of the things I wanted to do today. But what can I do?

I couldn’t phonebank for Bernie Sanders, but I could read about what it entails and make posts on Facebook. I couldn’t go shoe shopping in person, but I could look at and possibly order shoes online. I couldn’t win a game of Ticket to Ride: United Kingdom against Fox, but I could learn from my mistakes and accomplish most of the goals I set.

The more I did, the better I felt, and the more motivated I became. I feel so much better today!

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Fade

TW: Suicidal Thoughts

The other day I was playing with my pet rats, two happy healthy adults who recently reached physical maturity. They were running around, climbing on me, burrowing under blankets, wrestling, and generally being adorable. I was so happy; it was a moment I want to save forever…

But I couldn’t be fully in it, because I knew it couldn’t last. They would need to go back in their “house,” I would need to go on with my day. Rats’ lives go by so fast; they typically only live about 2-3 years. My pair are already a year old. I’ve experienced the agony of watching creatures so small and innocent suffer from illness and die. I don’t want to feel it again, and yet I do; even in my best moments with them there’s the reminder and preemptive sorrow.

I thought I would rather give them away. As painful as it would be to lose them, at least my last memory of them would be as happy, healthy, and active, fully loving life. I wouldn’t have to watch them fade.

Then last night I was sitting with my husband (Fox). We were laughing as the rats were climbing over us, sometimes tickling us, and generally being adorable. I gave him a hug and said, “Life is good. We have each other, these cute little ones, a warm safe house, and plenty of food.”

And the sorrow came back, because I fear this, too, can’t last. I could lose Fox any time, any day, in a freak accident. We could lose the house for one reason or another. I feel like so much – electricity, gas, water – gets wasted, and we might run out. We might not always be able to pay for food… and sometimes I do go hungry because I can’t decide what to make for myself and don’t want to put the time or effort in.

I don’t want to feel that pain, and yet I do. It invades and supersedes whatever happiness I may be feeling. It keeps me from being fully in the moment, fully alive.

Last night I thought it would be better to die now, while all these things are here and it’s possible to be happy, then to be around when it all fades away and I’m left with nothing but my own soul-tearing sorrow. Pain I’m already feeling and can’t seem to shake. Images came to my mind – plans I can’t execute because thank goodness I don’t have the means.

Right now, as far as I know, everything is still intact. He’s fine at work, I’m currently in the house, and the rats are sleeping. One seems to be having some respiratory symptoms, but they’re still relatively minor. He’s probably okay, but it will be better if I – well, preferably we – take him to the vet.

Yet I feel like someone died, it’s all falling apart, and all I can do is stand here alone, watching the world fade.