Friday, November 8, 2013

The thing about Sad

I like to personify things. It is simply how my brain works and processes different information. I imagine what accent a certain snack food might have. I feel sorry for the pair of socks that are stuffed so far back in the sock drawer that they never get to live to their full potential; they are almost always frowning and jaded, sure, but they just need a little heel. 

I have my momentary (and admittedly asinine) conversations with the snacks and socks and then go about my business. 'Yes, southern sounding potato chip, you ARE perfectly salty. Now, I must eat you.'

 But I tend to personify emotions. Contentment is a cat sitting in a patch of sunlight. And to me, sad is a bit like an overweight stray cat. I am not sure why, but feelings are cats. If you think about the analogy, I'm sure you'll agree. 

I digress...

The thing about personifying emotions is that I want to ask them questions. 'My southern sounding snack was totally chatty. This Sad Stray Cat will likely be the same... I will just ask him a few questions. See what the deal is. Why is he here, yo?!' 

I feel the Sad approaching.

'Oh, hello, little fat cat. It's you again. Where have you been? I see by your flubby tummy you have been well taken care of.'

The cat does not answer. Real cats don't answer (I'm not THAT crazy) and personified Sad Stray Cats really don't answer. 

But still, the cat lays at your feet. Head cocked to the side, looking at you and needing something. If you try to give it attention, it gets agitated. If you ignore it, it follows you. 

That is the thing about Sad. Much like a stray cat, no matter what you do, ignoring it will not make it go away. Feeding a stray cat (or feeding INTO sad, as it were) will almost promise you it will stick around. 

So you try to strike a deal with the Sad Stray Cat. 'If I scratch your head, just this once, you will run off and go find someone else to bother.' But, let's be honest, you can not trust a real cat, let alone a Sad Stray Cat. 

In real life, this looks like sitting down at night and having a good cry. Thinking about all the things that have happened that just suck. All the things that have happened TO YOU and how everything and everyone just does not get it. You indulge the Sad, making it grow, by pointing out every single little thing that has ever made you sad. INCLUDING the time in 5th grade when you were talking to the cute boy at swim practice and thought he was smiling because of your witty repertoire, only to find out you had a booger hanging out of your nose the entire time. That might be a true story.

Don't get me wrong; scratching a Sad Stray Cat's head is not necessarily a bad thing or without its merits. But you don't want that damn cat to get too comfortable. Next thing you know, he's following you around even more. 

So you go cold turkey. 'No more, Sad Stray Cat! I am DONE. No more scraps of food, and certainly no more head scratches. I am closing the curtains to my house. I can not see you; YOU ARE NOT THERE.'

And so you go about your business in your house, fooling yourself that the Sad Stray Cat is not just outside those closed curtains.

In real life this looks like 'busy'. The Busy is something we all do to ignore the Sad. And it works really well and, for some, for a long long time. The effect seems lasting. 'If I do not acknowledge that I have a Sad Stray Cat, then I AM NOT A SAD CAT OWNER. Just look how busy I am! Far too busy for the likes of a stray, Sad Cat. I am on COMITIES and in GROUPS. I am not the owner of a Stray Sad Cat!' 

But then something happens. Something that makes you peek outside your drawn curtains. And there he sits, that stray, Sad Cat. He has been there the whole time. Feasting on your trash. 

In the real world 'trash' is the stuff from your past that you have not appropriately dealt with. We all have trash. And it all stinks. Don't even try to compare the smell; I promise you, you do not want my stinky trash and I sure as hell do not want yours. Trash is trash. And if you do not deal with it, the Stray Sad Cat will have something to live off of; even when your curtains are drawn. 


And this is where I am in life. I was in my pretty little house adorned with hand sewn curtains. And then my Nanny, my Dad's mom, passed away. And I peeked outside those pretty little curtains and saw the damn Sad Stray Cat. And got a good whiff of my stinky trash. 

I gave that Sad Stray Cat a good scratch a few times. And I am ready for him to leave. No more curtains for me this time. For real gone. 

It is amazing how a simple shift in thought can make your whole world seem to shift on its axis. And there is no going back. I am not sure if I am equipped well enough to appropriately deal with or even understand the way that I feel about certain things. Hell, some might say the fact that I have personified Sad into a fat stray cat shows that I really REALLY need me head shrunk. 

I am, of course, deeply saddened by the loss of my Nanny. She lived with Alzheimer's disease for the better part of seven years. I am comforted by the fact that her body and spirit now know peace. But I am shocked by the unresolved issues her passing shook up.

So, if you need me, I will be here... trying to figure out a way to rid myself of the Sad for good. 

Tips and advice are appreciated.