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Staying/Getting/Doing Well – Moving goalposts or fixed target?

Paw Prints
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi, this is my first post, though I have been reading the forums for some weeks. I’m probably expressing myself badly when I say that I have found reading about other people’s journeys reassuring. Finding a community of people who “get it” even when they have a wide variety of experiences and lives lived is not something I thought I would ever find.

Though people talk about getting well & there is a section Staying Well, I’m curious as to what this actually means to other people and how they manage their expectations. I noticed some people refer to being well as ‘being like themselves before they got ill’, whilst others don’t express an exact aim.

My idea of being well has changed over the years. I was first diagnosed as an 8 year old child back in the late sixties. The doctors told Mum that the voices in my head & the sudden crying bouts were because I suffered from ‘nerves’ & I was given meds to calm me. Of course such things were not discussed back then & I was told not to talk about it to anyone, not my school friends nor siblings, just Mum. For decades after my idea of being well simply meant being able to hide my illness from others.

A number of events in my life caused my illness to worsen, until some years ago I became so ill I needed to be hospitalised for my own safety. This lead to my current diagnosis of Major Depression, Anxiety & PTSD. I’m no longer in that dark place, but each day is still a battle (though I can now believe in a future). For now only my siblings & one friend know about my illness, though some things they still don’t know.
So, what does ‘being well’ mean to me, it is ever moving goalposts. If you had asked me 5 years ago would I be as well as I am now I would have thought it impossible as I couldn’t envision a future. If you had asked me last week (during one of my down periods) I would have said my progress was all an illusion & I was fooling myself that things can get better.
For now my idea of being well is being able to believe that things can change for the better, that I will one day be able to manage the everyday things like housework, caring for myself & caring for my dog & maybe, just maybe I will even be able to enjoy myself.

Paw Prints
**I took the tip to give myself time to write my post by writing on a word doc & then paste it.

884 Replies 884

Oh, Paws, I'm so sorry.

It seems like such a shock - just thinking he was seeming better, then... It's heartbreaking for you. As ER has sid, we are here for you, whenever you feel the need to talk.

Woofa & you were so good for each other.

I'm going to miss Woofa so much.

I'm glad I have gotten to know him through talking here with you. He really was a wonderful dog.

Hugzies

mmMekitty

Hi dear Pawsy 🤗 and to your many friends here 🙂

 

Dear Pawsy that’s SO terribly sad. I truly am very sorry to hear this.

You dear lady the incredible deep pain you’d be feeling.
Darl feel these hugs with the love and deep care that’s always there for you. 

Beautiful Woofa it’s impossible not to love him too the darling. 

My heart really goes out to you dear friend 💗

I wish there was something that could ease your pain. 

We’re here lovey 🌸

 

 

 



 

 

Thank you ER, mmMekitty, Deebi,

 

I'm feeling lost & the house is so very empty without Woofa. I spoke to both my sisters today & they were both very kind & supportive. The sister who is usually unthinking in her treatment of everyone surprised me by saying that she recognised how good Woofa was for my mental health & that I mustn't let my mental health slip without him so I could ring her anytime. She has such a contradictory character, very Jekyll & Hyde. 

 

I feel I made the best decision for Woofa by having the vet come & put him to sleep. He was unwell Friday evening, very shaky & agitated. He stopped eating & toileting then he basically just stayed on his bed the whole weekend, only getting up once each day to have a small drink, I couldn't even tempt him to eat with his favourite food. Both times that he did get up he struggled to take each step & on the Sunday he had completely lost the use of one of his back legs. He didn't even get up on Monday & only had a tiny drink on one of the times I took his water bowl to him. 

 

He had a giant 3 foot high Teddy that I gave him to cuddle with when he first came to me & though he shredded every other soft toy he got, "Big Ted" survived the 10 years unscathed, though very slobbered on despite repeated washing. I'm having Woofa cremated & the lovely people who are doing it will cremate his Big Ted with him. When I get his ashes back I will do what I have done previously & buy a large plant pot specially for him, then put his the canister with his ashes in it & back fill with soil & plant a shrub in his memory. 

 

I will have to start cleaning the house & washing his bedding/coats/toys etc, just not yet.

 

Hugs back

Paws

Hi Paws

It sounds to me like you did what was best under the circumstances. It really would not have been good for either of you to prolong his suffering. I'm glad the vet could come & Help Woofa, first by easing his suffering & helping him to an easier death than he would otherwise have had.

& you were with him. That time you had at the end is so precious but, may I say, not more precious than all the good times you had with him.

I'm going to think of what a comfort he was to you when you were feeling low & unable to get yourself up & out of bed, but he'd come & be with you, even nudge you because he needed you.

Without really understanding, I think Mekitty did that for me, too, because no matter how much I might have preferred to stay in bed, to not summon up enough energy to get up & get her food or clean her litter tray, I had to. After I was up I would begin to feel better. Having her seem to appreciate my care for her was a big part of that improvement in my mood. There were many days that without her needing me, I could have stayed in bed all day, doing nothing, until i would need & absolutely have to get up to do something for myself, like get my own food or go to the toilet. It was as basic as that.

Even when your sister seems not to understand much, it seems she does understand how much Woofa's presence helped your mental health. I get that. too.

We go out of our way to care for them.

I know, I learned I can look beyond my own feelings & desires to look after & care for another, when I had Mekitty. So, I also was learning I can care for myself, just as if I was someone else (like Mekitty) in my care.

When we don't have caring for them to motivate us to get up & get doing something, we have to go out of our way to care for ourselves.

 

For now, it's too much to think about all of Woofa's things. Let them be, if you want, if you feel seeing them around feels like Woofa is in a sense, there.

Some things you can wash, maybe keep in special places.

For me, I found it difficult seeing Mekitty's things everywhere I looked, so I have a special place for some of the small things I kept. Other larger things, I thought, I'd like to think some other cat will enjoy.

 

I like your idea to have Woofa's & Big Ted's ashes beneath a new shrub. It' a lovely thing to do.

 

Hugzies

mmMekitty

Ggrand
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hello Dear Paws,

 

I am so deeply sorry sweetheart to hear about your beautiful Woofa….

No words are strong enough to ease your heartbreak, please know that we are here for you, when you need to talk….

 

Loosing our beloved pet/companion is so painful….You’re beautiful Woofa became a loved pet to us all on the forums…we will all miss him terribly….may he RIP…🙏….

 

As hard as it is going to be sweetheart, please try hard to care for yourself…we all love you and wish we were there in person with you…

 

Hugs and love

dear Paws…..and everyone….🤗🤗

Ggrand
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hello Dear Paws,

 

Not sure what happened to my post earlier, I posted earlier today..

 

I wanted to say how sorry I am to hear of your beautiful Woofa passing…my hear is breaking for you sweetheart….No words that I could say I know will ease your shattered soul…Woofa became a beautiful member of our community through you…he will be very sadly missed by all…

 

RIP dear Woofa 🙏

 

Take your time Paws, in doing what you need to do….I am really very sorry sweetheart….

 

Hugs, love and care…

Grandy..

 

 

Ggrand
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hello Dear Paws,

 

Just popping in to give you a gentle caring hug and to ask you RUOK?…

 

No pressure sweetheart to reply…just know that we love and care for you a great deal…

 

Hugs everyone…🤗,

Grandy..

Paw Prints
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hello Grandy, mmMekitty, Deebi & ER,

 

I am ok, well as ok as I can be. I know it will take time for me to stop expecting his attention when I do certain things or hear a noise. It hurts so much when I turn expecting him there & it is just empty space.

I need to work through my grief & that will mean pushing myself to do things. I've lost so many people & pets over the years that I'm familiar with the grief process & how so much is similar & yet each has an individual aspect. I'm reminding myself that I will reach a point where I remember him more often with love & laughter instead of grief & tears. Woofa bought so much to my life & deserves to be remembered for his life, not just his loss. 

 

Hugs back

Paws

Hello dear Paws

I have not been here for a long time. There must have been some force out there that made me check in tonight - I don't come by BB any more.

But I just read that you lost Woofa and I had to get in touch because I know how awful it is to lose a beloved pet, especially when we are alone.

So I hope you don't mind me suddenly appearing and sending you warmest hugs. The house must seem strange without him there. He was a gorgeous dog and friend and companion to you, and you must comfort yourself knowing that you gave him love and a good home all his life. 

Little Sam and I are fine. Six months ago we moved back to coastal town - I had become quite happy where we were, but the offer of a ground floor unit here came up and I took it. We are well and Sam is back to walks on the beach! 

Sending warm wishes to Grandy, mmMekitty and everyone else. Big hugs Paws! 💖🌹🥀🌼

 

mmMekitty
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hello Paws & everyone.

Please, I'd like to say how lovely it is to see you again, Hanna, & to hear you & Sam are happy in a new home, & Sam gets walks at the beach. It's a pleasure to hear this update from you.

 

& to Paws, you are so wise, Paws, in what you say. indeed it does take time. The grief tears are completely appropriate, given your love for Woofa.

Years have passed since Mekitty died & I still have thoughts, like I expect to find her on my windowsill, or to walk through the flat. Sometimes I want to pick her up & hold her, even for the limited time (20 seconds) she would allow. I'd take even that short 'extra' time with her again. Natural, wishful thinking.

 

Hugzies to everyone.

I hope we'll see you around a bit more again, Hanna.

mmMekitty