Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Ah ... anxiety

Stressful day yesterday.  The "Bag It" showing that we hosted last night took it out of me.  I didn't expect that.  Yesterday started off okay, but by noon I had to take a pill.  I couldn't eat supper before we went and I had horrible stage fright before speaking for 2 minutes in front of a group of 60 people.  That's not really like me.  I used to talk to large groups without much fear at all.  But I'm out of practice.  And it snuck up on me.  I didn't expect to feel that nervous about it.

The viewing was a success, as I noted in yesterday's blog, but after I got home I was wound up and didn't get to sleep until well after midnight.  And then woke up a little after 4 and didn't get back to sleep.

So I'm tired.  And after all of that I have some anxiety issues cropping up.  Wanna know how I know?  Because I let the cat out at 6 and haven't seen her since.  That's three whole hours ... not a lot where cats are concerned.  She normally comes when I call, but won't come if she's with another cat or hunting something.  Most times like this she'll show up later with a bird or a mouse.  This is a pattern of hers.  And worrying about her is a pattern of mine - especially if I'm "off."

So, rationally I know she is fine and will come back.  We've had her for 5 years now and she's always come back.  But one day her sister didn't.  She got hit by a car.  And a while back our neighbour's cat went missing for 5 days and came home without the use of one leg (at least she came home even if she is a tripod now).  And then last week a good friend's cat got hit by a car.  And last night when I came home from "Bag It", our cat was across the street - something she doesn't normally do. 

Lack of sleep + stress + missing cat = anxiety. 

Let me tell you something that does not help with anxiety.  Very well-meaning people will say "don't worry about it".  It's silly to worry about whether the cat will come home.  She'll either come home or she won't.  Worrying won't make any difference.  I know that.  My rational mind is aware of the facts.  But my rational mind isn't in charge here - and it won't win until the chemical imbalance in my brain straightens out.  Telling me not to worry about it (which my rational brain is already doing) just points out that I'm not acting normally.  And it just serves to make me feel worse. 

There is no point in worrying about it.  But I will continue to worry about the damned cat until she comes to the back door and either brings a bird or insists on being fed. 

Post Script - so before even publishing this post, I did a little tour of the neighbourhood - I just couldn't sit at home waiting.  And at the end of it, I heard a little meow coming from one of the yeards across the alley and down from ours.  There she was, sitting inside their fence, looking a little shell-shocked.  I'm thinking the big pit-bull looking dog beside that house had probably scared her and she was hiding.  Now I'll find something else to worry about - because I will ... until I feel better.

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