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Pain and Grief: Reaching In

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Miss Metta, Jun 30, 2016.

  1. Miss Metta

    Miss Metta Peer Supporter

    Two days ago I quit alcohol. On day two I woke up and the niggling but mildish upper back and neck pain was much greater, and it really pinched when I turned my head. Despite this, I did not drink last night.
    This morning my beloved pet rat died in arms. I cried and cried until I got a throbbing headache- which I still have several hours later. Having learned recently about TMS and all its manifestations, I did not take a panadol to rid myself of said 'nuisance' headache. It is there for a reason. My sadness is deep and interminable, and I realised while I was craddling his still-warm body as he slipped away that I was not just crying over the loss of my beloved friend, that I was also crying that I feel this way about him - about all animals.
    And that life and death are such painful, hurtful, lonely events.

    And I was wishing that I didn't feel this way, wishing that those poor bunnies locked up and never let out of their cage at the nursing home are soon to become my charges, and that I feel some responsibility to them and for them. How can I go against ignorant humans who put animals in cages and keep them there just for their entertainment? How can I go there every day, as a volunteer, to take care of them, when I have to see them in such conditions, yet knowing I may have little power to change that for them? Why do I feel so weak and inept and unable to handle my weakness and ineptness?

    And so a part of me wants to not go, to not volunteer, to not have to see or think about those poor birds, constantly locked up, and those poor bunnies, constantly locked up, and to turn away, because the pain is so great that their needs, beyond food and clean cages, are almost extinct.

    They are pets for a nursing home, to keep the residents happy, to keep humans happy, and I darn well stuck my hand up and offered to take care of the animals twice a week. But what about what is best for the animals? Humans, it is always about the humans. It makes me angry and distraught.

    I volunteered, not knowing until I visited what I was getting myself into. The headache, clearly because I think too much. The neck and shoulder pain, because I feel I am bearing so much.
    I am inept and inadequate in so many ways, except as the voice for dumb beasts. I have lost my precious boy, whom I hope I gave a good and happy life, but the burden of pain in the world and the suffering of animals is eating at me, and I feel I too aware and not resilient enough, and utterly the wrong person to be in the field of their care. 'Too sensitive', I can hear them-someone-a voice from long ago, saying. This sense of wrongness, in everything, "who are you to think you can make a difference?" pervades and pervades.

    And I think I cried a lot about that, too. Perhaps crying and realising what is really going on, what you are reallyng crying about, all the things you are crying about, is enough to end the bodily hurt.

    I shall not drink it away today. Drinking will not bring back my beautiful small rattie friend, drinking will not let those bunnies have a run around, drinking will not make people who run nursing homes realise, and it will not get me away from me. Even if my body comes up with more ways to instill pain than the pinching neck and back and the crushing headache, I refuse to demur.
    David88 likes this.
  2. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Sweetheart I am so very sorry to hear you lost your beloved pet. I used to have rats myself and I know what beautiful little creatures they are. Such characters with remarkable intelligence. Mine used to love sitting on my shoulder and getting lost in my long hair. I find it beautiful that you held them as they passed. It takes courage and so much love to hold any life safe through the ultimate transition. Little wonder your emotions are so raw.

    Take heart in the truth that countless people feel as you do. To see the devastation and abuse wrought in Nature and on her beasts is not over-sensitivity. It is fact and once you see it, you cannot close your eyes or your heart. Nor should you try. The greed of people with hearts of stone can only win if we let them. We need not fight. Compassion and love, vulnerability and kindness are our tools. Go gently.

    I know it seems insurmountable but each voice, each action does contribute. Please don't overwhelm yourself. No one person can possibly right all these wrongs. All one can do is act with kindness and compassion. Right now you need to be kind with yourself. Grieve the loss of your small friend and know there are people here who are listening and caring for you.

    With love,

    Plum xxc
    birdsetfree, Ellen and mike2014 like this.
  3. Miss Metta

    Miss Metta Peer Supporter


    Your words and gentleness brought tears to my eyes and nulled the sting out of my self-criticism. Thank you, thank you for connecting in and reminding me that there are people who do see and feel the way that I do. I voted Animal Justice Party in our Federal election (Australia), I continued to feed the wild parrots that visit me, even though I felt their screeches and squawks grated on my raw nerves. The only reason I had to get up every morning was the remaining ratties - I had to feed them. I showed them his body, and his best friend licked the deceased's nose. I cracked open at that, tears spilling over, with the simple innocence that animals so often show their understanding; tears for his loss as much as my own.

    It's been 4 days since the death and 6 days off alcohol; not that I was drinking much - one or two wines - but enough to make a light haze over me every night; enough to know that it had become habitual and that it wasn't serving me. The day after my rattie boy's death, my back went out, suddenly. I felt it go. Same old trigger spot, only this time , both sides. My mouth blew up with blisters from the rare autoimmune condition that I was diagnosed with 8 years ago but has given me no trouble recently. Believe me, the feeling of being unique when having a rare disease diagnosed wears thin after a time. I know. This is about the 3rd time it's happened. What has caused my back, neck and mouth to suddenly increase their symptoms? The grief, or is this self-punishment?

    The death - and quitting alcohol - has opened up raw, raw truths for me, very painful ones. The death of my boy has also shattered the story - the fairytale one - and unearthed those unpalatable truths about my life that I knew, oh, I knew, but could not really admit. The curtains have been swept aside and I can see the entire stage, now.

    Thank you for your support, it meant a lot.

  4. David88

    David88 Well known member

    It's not self-punishment, though it may feel that way. It's your unconscious, afraid to let all your carefully controlled feelings see daylight.

    You're doing a great job at facing these feelings. You're going to get some pushback from your unconscious, which is slow to learn. Stay with it. It gets easier.

    intense50 and plum like this.
  5. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Children and animals redeem the mess we have made. Their innocence and unconditional love remind us of deeper truths and feelings that we cast aside in the grown-up urban jungle.

    The problem is many of us never stop feeling like that. We are sensitive and imaginative and these are exquisite gifts. The world needs them more than ever.

    Dying teaches us what life is all about. Your rattie boy was blessed to have you love him so much. You are in the harshest moments of raw grief. Every physical and emotional pain is alive with the hurting. It will pass. Do your best to treat these unearthed truths gently. Remember they are livid with passing through the filter of bereavement. Their accuracy is suspect given the circumstance.

    You are also coping with sobriety. I commend you for this. Please look after yourself and the other little ratties.

    Sending you yet more love,

    Plum x
    Miss Metta likes this.
  6. nowtimecoach

    nowtimecoach Well known member

    Thanks for your sharing Miss Metta... I'm sorry you lost your pet - its always so hard to lose them!! I commend your efforts to not drink through the pain - both emotional and physical. My uncle just died and I ended up having a bit of a relapse with the tms which is why I came back to the site - to be reminded like everyone else has said - to be gentle and loving through this time.
  7. intense50

    intense50 Well known member

    You are doing great. A listening ear,a forum to voice your cares and journaling to be with yourself and BE with yourself. Its a roller coaster ride. You will heal.
    nowtimecoach likes this.
  8. Miss Metta

    Miss Metta Peer Supporter

    Thank you, David. At times I really think that my body is punishing me (In actuality, protecting me...from myself!)
  9. Miss Metta

    Miss Metta Peer Supporter

    Plum, thank you again. You are so right, children and animal remind us of the deeper truths that we cast aside. This I have firmly believed and will prounounce, always.
    You hit me with 'the problem is many of us never stop feeling like that'. I was told 'not' to feel like that; to be as sensitive or caring toward other creatures as much as I do. So I spent many years trying to be what the world wanted. Only in the last few years have I started to allow and accept that this is how I truly feel; I bawl my eyes out at animal suffering, I want to help every creature I can that comes across my path. It hurts to carry the burden of the world's suffering.

    My insights did come through the filter of bereavement, but this became the catalyst for remembering some griefs that were stalled and never expressed. I am i a safe place to do this now, so I am letting it come out.

    Sobriety has been relatively easy, yet necessary. I was drinking probably what many people drink every night - one or two wines - but it had become too much of a habit and I knew it was hazing over something, because it was every day, and I was wanting it too much. What has surprised me is how much clearer I am in just stopping those two 'standard' drinks. Anyone dealing with TMS, I would advise that if they do drink regularly, to try and stop. It is amazing how much quicker the process goes.
    thanks again
  10. Miss Metta

    Miss Metta Peer Supporter

    Hi Coach
    I am sorry for the loss of your uncle and your relapse. Thank you for your support, I hope you find yours here, too.
  11. Miss Metta

    Miss Metta Peer Supporter

    Thank you, Intense, it is nice to be here, it is helpful.

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