I have a sick dog right now. He seems to be doing better on medication but I am having a hard time letting myself be hopeful. This feels like one more body blow from life that I can’t take right now.
I have a friend, the author Jon Katz, who says he doesn’t want his life to be a struggle story. I agree. I don’t want to bemoan all the bad things that have happened, are happening to me. I want to live a life of joy and gratitude. And I have so much to be grateful for. But sometimes it’s just so damn hard.
I see people around me going through terrible things and doing it with such grace and humor. I wonder, are they really that enlightened, or are they just showing that face to the world. In the privacy of their room, do they beat their fists against the wall?
I try very hard to keep that attitude of hopefulness and optimism. But there is this woman in my head who keeps screaming. No words, just a long, howling primal scream. I try to “La la la la” her out of my head. I yell back “SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP!” I try mantras, prayers, counting my blessings, loving my dogs, quality time with my husband, humming the Pharell Williams’ “Happy” song, watching funny animal videos, walking in nature. It all works for awhile. She quiets down a bit. Sometimes she goes completely silent. But she’s always there, waiting. Waiting for that moment when I think I’ve got it all under control; right before the loose gravel under my feet shifts and I start sliding backwards down the mountain.
I’m so tired of her. She wears me out. I’ve decided my best defense, my magic potion, is to laugh at her. To stick my tongue out and say “Go away you silly hag. Go haunt someone else.”
I’ll let you know if it works.