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stress hives

May 7th, 2018 at 06:31 pm

After a weekend of crying and feeling guilty, I woke up this morning with what I believe are stress-induced hives on my neck. Part of me thinks I deserve them. I should have done more for my cat. I should have taken her straight to the university vet once her jaw locked in January. If I had been more assertive rather than listening to my vet, perhaps something could have been done to help her. Intellectually I recognize that none of that thinking is helpful now that she is gone but it's impossible to stop those thoughts from crowding my brain, especially when I'm at home and every inch of the place reminds me of her. She trusted me to take care of her and I failed.

I've begun looking for a weekend job just to stay away from home as much as possible. Watering flowers at a greenhouse, maybe.

I went out with coworkers on Friday night and threw away $30 on pull tabs. I've been regretting it ever since. I'm glad I skipped the second bar stop and went home instead, though.

The 6% interest rate on my student loan is prompting me to get rid of it as soon as possible. It's amazing, watching the balance tick up every day, even with a relatively low starting balance. With that in mind, I'm not sure I'll return to grad school unless I can pay for it outright.

6 Responses to “stress hives”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    I want you to know that your feelings are completely normal. I know I relived the diagnosis of our cat with cancer and her death particularly in the days and weeks after. It is so very hard to lose such a beautiful fur baby. You are making assumptions that the outcome would have been entirely different if you acted sooner or been more assertive. You did the very best you could in the moment, please do not think you failed her. You gave her many, many pleasant days and years with you. She appreciates that and wouldn't want you to suffer. Please look into grief counseling if your sadness is too overwhelming for you. It really should ease in time. You will always miss her, but the grief will not be as constant. Please take care of you!

  2. FrugalTexan75 Says:


  3. Dido Says:

    Kashi--I am sure your cat felt your love and knew you did the best that you could--not the best that your fictional ideal self could, but the best that your actual human self could. The "if onlys" don't help you, your cat who passed, or the kitty you still have at home. How is that kitty doing? Sometimes the relationship with our remaining cats changes when another cat in the household has passed.

    If you are beating yourself up, there are techniques known as "defusion" techniques that can help. They're from Acceptance and Committment Therapy (ACT), which suggests that when we are beating ourselves up, we are "fusing" with the belief, seeing it as true, when really we can't believe everything we think. Sometimes minds just spew out this nonsense. The book "The Happiness Trap" by Russ Harris provides more detail and example techniques if you are interested.

    Grieve and feel the pain of her loss, but don't wallow in the erroneous belief that things would likely have turned out differently "if only." The truth is that you can never know. Would your cat want you to be happy? I am sure that is so. Feel the pain of her loss, but don't get sucked into a negative vortex of depression because of her death.


  4. Patient saver Says:

    I had the same feelings of guilt after my mother's death for things I couldn't predict, for events I couldn't control. The fact is, you didn't have a crystal ball and you did the best you could, which by all accounts, was actually very good. Your beloved cat lived a good long life with you. Sometimes, things like life and death just happen on their own, regardless of how much we try to change the course of events.

    Have you donated all of your cat's belongings to a nearby shelter or your town's pound? I would do that, and maybe do something in your living space to provide a new focus so you don't dwell on what's missing. Like, I always wanted to start buying fresh cut flowers once Luther is gone. He would eat them now, but I will have them one day. Why? Just to treat myself to seeing fresh blooms in the house on a regular basis. Maybe there's something like that you can do. Even rearranging the furniture a bit can make a dramatically new look. Altering your surroundings may help you move on in that you won't be seeing constant reminders.

  5. rob62521 Says:

    I'm sure your kitty knew how much you loved her.

    Take care of yourself and stop thinking about what could have been. You did the best you could under the circumstances.

  6. crazyliblady Says:

    I am no priest, but I think you don't need to feel guilty. Your cat knows you loved her and cared for her and did the best you could do. There was nothing more you could have done.

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