My little cat was hit by a car this morning and killed. She’s always been a free spirit – we lost her numerous times, but she always found her way home one way or another. If her heart belonged to anyone it was to my eldest daughter E. In recent years the cat lived between us and a neighbour (her and the dog from Greece didn’t hit it off) but whenever E was home she would appear and stay; less of the teenager only coming home for food and occasional rest. E has been here this weekend so we saw her last night and this morning a couple of hours before we got the call. I’m taking comfort from knowing what happened; when and where more or less. I know she would have died instantly. I know she had food in her belly. I know she slept in the warm last night. She was an old lady now – 14 1/2 years we’ve had her but you wouldn’t know it. She still looked like a kitten. I guess she used up her nine lives today.
I’ve spent the day since being sad and resting. I’m not gonna lie I’ve smoked spliff too. It’s helped me rest but not really taken away my grief. It occurred to me that alcohol might; then I realised it had stopped working for me quite a long time before I stopped drinking it. Stopped making the night out really good fun; stopped numbing me out when my feelings overwhelmed me. Instead of being the lubricant for my life it was becoming the life.
When this first starts to happen you just drink more – chasing the feeling and sometimes you find it. Those sweet nights when you and yours laugh so much and put the world to rights through long crazy conversations. Everything feels right. Mostly it eludes you though until the drinking isn’t about having fun anymore; its an end in itself, the main purpose of whatever it is you’re doing; if you’re doing anything at all other than stay home and drink. It’s like you’ve reached your maximum “lifetime consumption with fun” quota. Without noticing you’ve crossed into the “consumed by your addiction unless you stop” stage of your relationship. There’s no going back from here but there is a way forward if you choose to take it.
Knowing this – really knowing that it doesn’t work anymore; in spite of it looking like it’s fun for everybody else; and every form of media that subliminally enters your subconscious telling you it should be fun; when you really know that for you that ship has sailed there’s absolutely no point in having a drink. The first step forward.
So back to the smoking and the grieving. I know it doesn’t work, I don’t even want it to work. I want to mourn my little cat that we loved as much as she’d let us; her company hers to gift when she chose to. So why am I doing it? It’s my comfort blanket but I’m starting to see that it too takes as well as gives. I know I could get more done and have more motivation without it. If I’m about to pull away my safety net and give up my salaried job then I’m thinking it might weigh me down on the tightrope as I step out alone.
So I’m grieving today and being kind to myself, but I’m mindful of my choices. As I started to have these thoughts the song I’ve stolen the title of started playing in my head. They really don’t work for me anymore and I know which way I want to go on the road.