Working Through Complicated Emotions

europe-after-storm

Over the horrible suicidal hump again.. It always ends, but in those moments, I’m worthless. I hate how it’s never the same. It’s never after a ‘high’ or a specific time of the month, it never comes at opportune moments when I don’t have 1000 things going on, and it never lasts the same amount of time. It’s unpredictable.

But now I’m over that hump, and I’m “fine”.. if I person like me can be fine. I’m training, I’m working, I’m cleaning, and I’m focusing on the things that make me happy and feel like I have a reason.

I wish there was a pill I could take that would get rid of the lows while I could still feel the highs. But it doesn’t work like that. I have to suck up, buck up and bear it. And in those moments, I am at my most raw, vulnerable state. I focus on every negative thing that is happening, and I can’t see how much people care about me. I only focus on hurting. It’s blinding, I feel like I can’t breathe. Like there’s a weight on my chest and it’s going to crush me at any moment.

My newest dog helped me quite a bit this time by giving me the support I needed to work through the panic, the pain, and the feeling of being totally lost. The last time I felt like this was almost 5 years ago. It hasn’t been this intense in so, so long. I forgot how powerful this feeling is and how much it hurts. Last time, I didn’t call anyone. I just did it. This time, I called my mom.

then-it-hits-youI got news my divorce was final. I was already overwhelmed, depressed, stressed, and anxious. And then I got that email. It floored me. So many complicated emotions. I couldn’t handle it. I called my mom, and had a panic attack on the phone. I grabbed my dog and she stayed on the phone with me the whole time while I thrashed around and screamed and cried and held Thorin. He just laid there and let me grab him, and thrash, and he handled it. My mom stayed on the phone with me the whole time. I was in the ‘red zone’. The most dangerous place to be mentally. This time, I asked for help. I couldn’t function, I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t work. My mom was there for me the whole time and didn’t leave my side once. I vented and cried and screamed and let her see me at my worst. It’s been a very long time since I’ve been in this place. And fuck, I was wishing so badly a jet engine would fall on my house and crush me. I wanted my house to spontaneously combust or fall into the Earth and take me with it. I just wanted to end the horrible feeling.

After the feeling of utter helplessless, I feel nothing. It may take a few days to get to that point, but then I can’t feel anything. Usually after that, I have deep gratitude for everything and everyone in my life who make me a better person. My mom is a big one. I hope she realizes how much she means to me, and if not, I hope I can show her. She drove all the way to my house that day. And then left at midnight, with an hour and a 1/2 drive home. Then, came out to me the next morning to be with me. To watch me, to protect me. To be there for me when I really needed someone. She was there. I hope I can be there for her as much as she’s been there for me.

I know quite a few people with mental illnesses, disorders, or depression. It seems these people have a trend. We feel everything. And we feel it so incredibly deeply. When we feel sad, we feel our world is being torn apart. When we are happy, we feel joyful and like we can take on anything. When we get hurt, we want to die. When our heart breaks, it’s exemplified to the point where we don’t ever want to feel again. It hurts too much. When we love, we love with all our heart. We would give everything to the people we love. We would do anything for them.

As for the feelings about my divorce… I’m still sorting through them. When I feel I can accurately describe this, I will share. I can’t today.

One Day at a Time

Emotions. Why do we even have them? What’s the point? They just create unstable, unbalanced feelings that we act on, and then make decisions based on what we are feeling in that moment. Had a good day? Great, reward yourself with a high calorie, sweet treat from the ice cream store. Because that just makes things even better. Feeling depressed? To the bottle, yay! Feeling frustrated? Start a fight in a bar! Overwhelmed? Just throw your arms up and give up on life. Feeling sad? Mope and watch sappy, stupid movies while eating chocolate and drinking wine.. Alone.

Alright, maybe not everyone does those exact things, but I’m just saying we act on them. So, because when I’m overwhelmed, and possibly turning my entire life around AGAIN (yeah, I know. Sounds like me, right?), I take on a foster dog. I really like this kid, and if he fits in well in a month or so, he may just join my pack. I don’t know yet though. So far, he’s shown quite a bit of improvement in just a couple days. I’m on a roller coaster, and I can’t get off. So many things, so many situations, so many decisions. I can handle it, I can’t handle it. I’ll be ok, I’m going to puke. I think I’m almost off, then we start to go up again. And I wait for the fall. When does this end?! Overwhelmed, frustrated.

End of My Leash great Danes Aggressive

Haven and Tank (Boarding School clients)

I also just had a de ja vu experience with a great dane (yeah, another one. This has nothing to do with the breed, I promise) who reminded me a lot of Ryder’s situation. Her name is Haven. She is a beautiful black dane who is unpredictable around dogs, people, and sometimes food. When the owners were talking to me about her, I had a sinking feeling that reminded me of Ryder. It’s been almost a year since I put him to sleep. This new dog had similar traits that sent up red flags and made me take a step back. I observed, I did an evaluation on her, and still had a feeling about her. During the eval, she gave me absolutely no reason to feel like I couldn’t handle her. She was responsive, sensitive, and showed zero aggression towards me or the other dogs. I asked for advice from more experienced trainers, and I was told to let the past go, learn from it, and give her a shot. Try her out for a week. I still had a feeling about this, but it was only because of what the family was telling me. Feelings of … caution.

Anyway, I took her as a Boarding School client, and we started training. Two weeks (out of the four weeks she is supposed to be here) go by without an incident, and she is responding to training beautifully. One day, as I was letting the dogs out, our streak was broken. Over the course of two days, she went after four different dogs. The only warning I had was a feeling I had before letting her out of the kennel. No real warning signs that I could see. It isn’t like I haven’t handled ‘aggression’ before, but this is different. I wasn’t comfortable. And I was emotionally attached, and saw Ryder, not Haven. I called my trainer friend and explained the situation and said I couldn’t work with her – she was too much dog for me. I cannot begin to explain how guilty I felt. Thoughts of failure, guilt, sadness, loss, and how I had let down Ryder flooded me. I was again overwhelmed with a sense of complete failure. I couldn’t help this dog. I have been told time and time again I cannot save them all. It sucks when this happens, but it does happen. I know that, but it doesn’t suck any less, and I’m too fucking sensitive for my own good. So, feeling of heartbreak.

Project K9 Pitbull Foster Dogs

This is Rocko

Last time, I chose to continue working with Ryder, even though he was quite a bit of dog for me then. This time, I asked the owners to pick her up, and referred to another trainer. I handled it the best I could for the situation. It’s messy, and I feel like again – I couldn’t help. What if I had been training for 40 years, or if I was the best? Feelings of doubt.

So, now I’m here. Thinking about all of it again. Overanalyzing. Learning. Advancing. Yes, I have high standards, and for some reason, I feel like emotions make us weak.

So, I’m choosing another emotion. Numb. Let’s try that one for a while.