Yochabel's Wisdom: Emotional Turmoil
Written by Casey Hersch, MSW, LCSW
September 18, 2019
Published on www.consciouscat.com
I am thrilled to have this opportunity to share my precious Yochabel's story as a guest author for consciouscat.com with Ingrid King. This is the sixth of a series of blog posts over the past few months. In this series I discuss what it is like to live with a chronically ill cat, the stress, the joys, and the heartache of loss. I also talk about how Yochabel has helped me live with my own chronic illness and ways she helped me cope and gain resiliency. My philosophies about integrative healing apply to Yochabel's treatment as does the use of my healing wheel.
Excerpts taken from consciouscat.com. For link to full article see below
Coping with the Unknown
"...I never imagined Yochabel’s life would end as a result of a bladder tumor that crowded her out of her own body. Life is full of unknowns—the parts I cannot control— despite my best efforts to make things go my way. Yochabel’s condition was one of these unknowns..."
"...Sure, we could repeat ultrasounds every few weeks – and believe me, I considered it. At times, I felt like I couldn’t breathe if I didn’t know for sure what was going on inside her body. I grasped at anything that would take away my responsibility to make the right end of life decisions for her..."
"...For someone like me who needs to know “why” and “how” for just about everything, in this situation I broke all my rules. I decided I would cope best by not knowing everything about the tumor. I had an exhaustive treatment protocol in place. There was not much more I could do..."
The Chaos Inside My Head
"...Already my mind felt like it was immersed in a bee hive as thoughts rapidly buzzed around, occasionally stinging me with their “what ifs” and worst case scenarios. Knowing definitively that the tumor was growing would only squash my hope and distract my focus away from my special time with Yochabel..."
"...It was a vicious cycle as I found ways to make sense of the reality of Yochabel’s impending death. I calmed the buzzing through mental health therapy, long conversations with friends, and hugs from my husband, but the calm was short-lived..."
"...My anxiety expressed itself through nightmares. In these dreams, the tumor was growing as fast as the weeds in our backyard, and I was unable to find Yochabel buried among the overgrowth. I would wake-up sweating and crying, running into her room to check and make sure she was still breathing..."
Getting back into the driver’s seat
"...During my clinical training as a social worker I learned about how the brain works, using the analogy of driving a car. Rational thinking takes place in the front part of the brain, or in the driver’s seat. Emotional thinking takes place in the back part of the brain, or the backseat of the car. I felt like I was locked in the trunk. If I was going to survive, I needed to find the key and drive my own car..."
"...Taking deep breaths put me back in the driver’s seat, but it wasn’t enough...It was my relationship with Yochabel that would bring me back to myself and give me access to everything that was in her best interest. This was my key that would drive me home..."
"...I knew it was likely I would have to make a decision to euthanize or else Yochabel could face immeasurable suffering. For the first time in my life, I wanted to stay locked in the trunk..."
"...I didn’t want to say goodbye to her, but each time I looked at her and felt the love we shared, I wanted to stay in the driver’s seat. If she had to die, I wasn’t going to let her do it alone. As long as I hid in the trunk, I was not there for Yochabel when she needed me the most..."
Bringing the best part of myself to our final days
Read the full article to see how I calmed the buzzing in my head, my anxiety, and found the confidence and peace to do what was best for Yochabel.
"...I spent most of my time with Yochabel these final days. I talked to her and told her my feelings. I asked her to guide me and to show me signs that I was making the right decision for her..."
"... I just had to get out of my own way and let go of the fear so I could see and hear when that time had arrived. When I accepted this, the path became clear..."
Yochabel's Wisdom: Securing the Bond
Yochabel's Wisdom: The Food Connection
Yochabel's Wisdom: Coping with Cancer
Yochabel's Wisdom: Hospice at Home
Yochabel's Wisdom: The Last Day
Yochabel's Wisdom: Living with Loss
Read full article here:
Ingrid King's award winning website, www.consciouscat.net, and her heartfelt books, including Buckley's Story and Purrs of Wisdom, expand our loving and soulful connections with our cat companions while offering practical information to enhance our lives. For more information and an abundance of resources, please visit her website.
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