Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Relapses

One week away from my thirty-eighth birthday I've relapsed in all sense of the word, starting with my physical illness. My flu bug from a few weeks ago never really went away, but now the cough is getting worse. I spent Saturday night in a cough-medicine induced fog after rinsing out my sinuses because I was so exhausted from coughing, all I wanted to do was sleep.  

Of course the wedding I attended wiped me out as well. Weddings will do that.

Even twelve hours of sleep did little to cure this hacking from hell. Sunday morning I really thought I would hack myself unconscious. My chest sounded like a death rattle.  Things did not get better by Monday.  I am now convinced I either have bronchitis, pneumonia, or meningitis, depending on how bad the fever gets.  I should never Internet diagnose when I feel sad and hopeless. Soon I start dreaming up Dengue Fever or some shit like that. I had to leave work because my hair hurt and I sort of felt like I was moving through a mixture of water and jello.  It's sort of like being drunk except my skin hurts and I just want to peel it off and crawl out of it.

My negative thoughts are coming back as well, much as I try to suppress them. It hasn't been a great week. Some bad news at work, an interview in Colorado that really didn't go so well (to say nothing of the trip down there and back), and my friend with the sick rottweiler having to put her beloved friend to sleep all served to make up a truly sucky week. I try not to, but I'm always worried about work. I'm so tired of interviews, particularly interviews in Colorado, and getting rejected that if I have to make that drive down through Denver one more time I may just implode. I never like hearing about a friend losing her beloved pet. I know how my friend feels. On the heels of my Colorado friend losing her cat, this is just another in a long line of unfair life experiences that I don't understand. My friend here is a mess. Her rottweiler, Zulu, wasn't just a dog. He was her soulmate dog. Her best friend. And now she's berating herself for being so tore up about the loss of a dog and I'm trying to help her see that there is no shame in loving and grieving a special pet.

That doesn't make things easier.

Meanwhile I can't even scrape up the energy to pay enough attention to my pets, and that's where the negative thoughts creep in. I won't have them forever and I should be cherishing every moment, but instead I'm passed out on the couch, blankly staring at reruns of Law and Order: SVU.  Why obsess over something that hasn't happened yet and concentrate on happier times? But sometimes I just can't help it. I can't stop it. Tess is nine years old and she is slowing down. Not much, but definitely noticeable. Puckett kept me company the other morning, sneezing and coughing so that we sounded like a chorus  of influenza patients. Even Percy has started coughing and he has tested positive for a strain of coronovirus that could potentially kill him when he gets older. The vet just isn't sure. So far the only one who doesn't seem to be knocking at death's door is Willow.

I've been feeling so lousy that even my walks with Tess do little to cheer me up and usually running down the street singing with my dog will chase away even the darkest blues. Unfortunately I'm one of those people that once the dark thoughts catch up I get pulled under easily. My professional life seems to be falling apart around me. My personal life is doing no better. I've had several conversations and experiences lately that make me question if a good, decent, faithful man who is emotionally available and ready for a relationship even exists. I've had booty calls at three in the morning (of course I shot them down), listened to a friend complain about being propositioned by a married man (with two kids) and a man in a serious relationship (also with a kid), and listened to another friend tell me about at least three other acquaintances of his who have behaved unfaithfully towards their significant others. Then there were the two guys – acquaintances of mine – that I met at an open mic night. We were sitting around shooting the shit and both of them started hitting on me. One was married with three children and the other had a steady girlfriend that he had just finished telling me about and how awesome she is. I don't understand this. If she's so awesome why are you getting all up in my grill?

Clearly I am still attracting emotionally unavailable – and just unavailable – men.

Along with the booty calls, this is not flattering. I am not flattered or getting the shivering fits or becoming all twitterpated when attached men in serious relationships hit on me. This does not make me feel good about myself or hot and sexy. This makes me feel like some asshole just sees me as a potential piece on the side, and I have more respect for myself than to allow that to happen.

I feel the hopelessness and frustration start to set in and that only serves to piss me off. Then I get negative. So what do I do? I go to Petfinder.com because clearly I need another pet to make me feel better. I have found three potential new members of my family. One is a beautiful two year old male German shepherd at a shepherd rescue in Arizona. His profile said that he must go to a home with another dog because he loves other dogs; he gets along great with cats; but he should not go to a home with children. He sounds like he'd fit right in to my life. I have a coworker who is on the board of the Dog and Cat Shelter and also loves German shepherds. She feeds my addiction, always showing me new shepherd sites and letting me know about available dogs out there. She is a total enabler. Incidentally she also found me a puppy. The shepherd breeder here in town raises top-notch show quality shepherds, but she recently had a litter that sported a little blue female. The breeder requests a spay/neuter contract with anyone who agrees to buy this little guy because blue is not a registered color and is considered a fault. My coworker thought this puppy would be perfect for me. Female, purebred German shepherd who is guaranteed pet quality.

I'm not delusional enough to think I'm good enough for one of these breeder's puppies. As I said she raises top-notch dogs that go for search and rescue, police work, show, and other high quality activities. Cost for a puppy is more than three times my monthly mortgage. Even Tess is wasted on me. Her bloodline, personality, and intelligence would have made her an ideal drug dog. And there goes my negative self-talk. Rationally I know I'm a good candidate to own a German shepherd. I know the breed fairly well, I know how much work and exercise they need, and I know how to work with them. But my negative self-talk tells me if I were this breeder I wouldn't sell me a puppy because the dogs are so high maintenance and all I want is a pet.

That brings us to the last dog I found on Petfinder.com.  She was a beautiful two year old grey and white pit bull mix. She has the perfect face and her profile said she is housebroken, she loves other dogs and cats, and she should go to a home with no children. I thought it was fate. Then I noticed she was in Fort Collins.  I suppose I could have just swung through Fort Collins on my way home from last interview and picked her up.  Then I flu-relapsed and realized that wasn't such a good idea.

A sure sign this is not the dog for me because as I said before if I have to make the trip down to Colorado again I might just lost my marbles.

But I WANT her...

I sort of feel like a failure – with my job interviews, with finding a relationship, with even attracting decent men (or any men in general not attached to a woman lately), and with my pets. I've been feeling so lousy and coughing so much I can't even handle walking my dog for very long. Which means in my present state I am not a good candidate for a German shepherd puppy because they need three hours of walking time to drain their energy.

Also Tess has developed this ridiculous fear of the backyard at night.  I let her out at nine to go potty and she crouches on the porch next to the backdoor until I either go out to the backyard with her so she can pee, or I let her back in.  During the day this is not a problem.  I don't know what her deal is. She's probably just creating drama to get my attention since I've been living in a flu haze.  I don't blame her, poor dog.  She just wants everything to go back to normal.

Things will improve again just as they always do.  There is always a light at the end of the tunnel.  I made it through last year so this shouldn't be any harder.

Unless I have a debilitating disease I haven't yet learned about.  That would suck.

I am probably canceling my birthday party this weekend, though.  

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