How you process relief says a lot about you

Last night, I was watching Queer Eye on my laptop and eating pasta. A quiet night in.
My rats were running around on the same table, giddy from their portion of sweet corn that I’d just fed them.
From the corner of my eye, I saw Brain, my oldest and fattest boy, drag himself out of his bed.
Immediately, I knew something was wrong.
His eyes were droopy, his walk swaying, his breathing heavy.
He looked like his brother just before he passed.

Stay with me, I promise this has a happy end.

I spent the night crying and going to bed thinking he was going to be dead by morning.
Trying to make my peace with the situation, trying to feed him painkillers, trying to keep him hydrated. I barely got any sleep that night, and my eyes are still puffy.
So when I woke up to him being his happy usual self, I couldn’t believe it.
Literally.

Of course I was happy and relieved, but I couldn’t express it.
I was so eager to accept sadness, but am struggling to show happiness.

So after lots of cuddling and snacks, I ask myself:
How come I didn’t cry out of relief this morning? Am I just out of tears?
I was immediately taken back to Brain’s brother Pinkie dying and just how much that had broken me. An entire evening, well into the night and morning, I had spent lamenting something that hadn’t even happened yet. And I was shown that it wasn’t for now, I registered it and went back to bed, playing games on my phone, barely even feeling relief.
I have a much harder time showing reassurance and comfort, and that worries me.

I let in grief and cling to it so easily, but happy feelings are mistrusted (and not just in this scenario!).

I ‘m not sure this is as helpful as my other posts, it feels more like I’m processing the events and using this post as an outlet.
Grateful to have my favourite buddy (psh, don’t tell his brothers Dumbo and Dune!) for a while longer, I’m aware that he’s already pushing the average life expectancy.
Maybe I’m in mini-shock and will be able to cry later on, maybe I just like overanalysing my reactions to everything.
Have you ever felt similarly? What are your experiences?




2 thoughts on “How you process relief says a lot about you

  1. “We suffer more often in imagination than in reality”
    This stoic phrase by Seneca has helped me address that nobody is actually doing anything, its mostly my perception and thoughts therein.

    Warm greetings to Brain and company!

    Like

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