The Straw That Broke The Camel’s Back
Have you noticed that sometimes in your chronic illness/pain life, that relatively little incidents can crush your spirit? I find that I keeping putting one foot in front of the other, no matter what life throws at me, for a time. Then one smallish thing gets added, and I’m overwhelmed with sorrow, grief, anger, and fear.
While in this funk, I read “Writing As an Antidote to Loneliness” by Dr. Jeremy Nobel. He had this to say about writing about our experiences:
Writing provides a rewarding means of exploring and expressing feelings. It allows you to make sense of yourself and the world you are experiencing. Having a deeper understanding of how you think and feel — that self-knowledge — provides you with a stronger connection to yourself. It’s that connection that often allows you to move past negative emotions (like guilt and shame) and instead access positive ones (like optimism or empathy), fostering a sense of connection to others in addition to oneself.
He also says this about sharing our writing with others:
And if you share your writing, you can enhance your connection to someone else even more. That benefit is energizing, life-enhancing, and even lifesaving in a world where loneliness — and the ill health it can lead to — has become an epidemic.
I’m going to share my little story in the hopes that I won’t feel quite so alone, and that you may glean some insight from it.
My Little Tale of Sorrow
So here is what happened that got me in this funk. I live in a public housing apartment building. There are many rules. After living 5+ decades in private homes, it’s been a challenge to adjust to this.
Yesterday, I got a form letter addressed to all the dog owners in the building. This letter detailed all the places that my dog is not allowed, and even specified which doors we could and could not use. I have to carry my little dog when she is out of my apartment. The letter basically told me to obey the rules, or get rid of my dog, or move out.
Now to understand my upset over this, you have to know that Dottie, and I have gotten to know many people in this building just by walking about outside. I’m no longer allowed to walk around the building with her. We both enjoyed these strolls immensely, but now only I am allowed to walk around the building.
I always clean up after my dog, and there have even been times when I’ve cleaned up after other dogs. She doesn’t bark or growl at anyone. I keep her on a short leash. Maybe there are people here who hate dogs or are allergic to them, but I keep her from bothering people who don’t respond with positive comments/actions.
These rules have plunged me into tears. I’m not allowed to let her bother anyone in the building. If I leave without her, she cries. Even just the short trip to the garbage chute, I hear her whining down the hall. I’m afraid someone will complain about her crying, and then I’ll have to find another home for her. I don’t want to even think about her not being here with me.
I also feel sad, because it’s not fair to Dottie. She is such a loving, curious dog. Not being able to visit with other people is just not right. She hasn’t done anything wrong. Also, she was finally okay getting into and out of the elevator without falling in the space on the floor. Now, she doesn’t understand why I have to carry her.
So after 5 months of learning our way around here, we have to start all over with different routines, and that is so very distressing and exhausting. Add on to that, my arthritis, fibromyalgia, and breathing problems make picking her up difficult. I also get unexpected vertigo episodes when bending over. However, no EXCUSES will be accepted according to the letter.
Listening Ear Needed
I know there are other pet owners out there who can relate to this situation. I hope this isn’t too sad for you, my readers, but I really needed someone to share this with. I’ll adjust, because I have no choice, and because I don’t want to stay sad. So today, I’ll cry, and tomorrow I’ll have to figure out how to navigate these new rules. I hope you all are having a better day than me.