This morning I chose happiness. And for someone who has never struggled with any kind of depression or anxiety that seems like such an easy thing. But for me, it’s not. I feel like most of my days are spent teetering on this imaginary emotional cliff that I might fall off of at any moment. Sharp, jagged rocks awaiting my descent to the bottom. Most days happiness is the obvious, easy, choice. It’s a no brainer. I’ve got a great life. A super supportive and loving husband. I could tell him I want to go to the moon and he’d find a way to help me get there. Two healthy, amazing, kids. Who drive me up the wall but are my biggest reason to stay grounded. A roof over my head. A “village” to help with the kids. More than most people have. This morning, though, happiness wasn’t the obvious choice. Honestly my first thought was to fight like hell to get the kids to stay in bed with me most of the day. After yesterday morning basically shoved me head first off that cliff my emotional state was teetering on, I really didn’t want to face today. If you’re not an animal lover, then it seems pretty stupid to get so worked up over losing a pet but it wrecked me. Tore me to pieces. I was not prepared at all for what happened. I don’t think you ever really are. Waking up and walking into our bathroom to let the dogs out, the smell hit me first. Honestly I can’t even describe it to you. It was wretched, enough to make you gag. Boo, our goldendoodle, had thrown up next to where he usually slept. And then I saw him. Laying on his side. Not moving. Not breathing. I dropped to my knees and put my hands on him. The tears already coming. I could hear the kids yelling at me from the bedroom. “Mom, sissy sad. Sissy crying.” But it felt so far away. I couldn’t stop apologizing to him, already blaming myself for what happened. He was just a puppy. Almost 6 months old. It didn’t feel real. I didn’t know where we went wrong. Why didn’t we know anything was wrong with him? He was acting normal the night before. And now he was just gone. I pulled myself from him and up off the floor and called my husband . I didn’t know what to do. And I somehow expected my husband to be all knowing and know how to handle the situation. Of course, he did. He came home, and explained to our two year old that Boo was sick and he went to heaven. I’m not sure Ry really understood, but I knew we needed to tell him something, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Thankfully, my husband did. Then, he wrapped him in a blanket, took him to his parents house, and buried him while the kids and I stayed home. I give him major props because I don’t know that I could’ve done it. Husbands are tough. I spent the day crying off and on. The house feeling a bit more empty. Missing him already. Feeling his absence in every normal, mundane, thing we did in our daily routine. And then night came and I felt broken. And I knew I didn’t even want to today to come because I’d have to face those emotions again after I woke up. Losing a pet for us is like losing a piece of our family. I woke up this morning at the bottom, looking up at the top of the cliff my emotions once balanced so precariously on. I felt this pit in my stomach and a lump in my throat. Lilah cooed next to me and Ry started asking for something to eat. In that moment I knew I had a choice. I could choose to get up and go about my day, crying off and on, stressed to the max. Consistently hurting and feeling frustrated at everything. Or I could choose to look forward. To acknowledge what had happened, but take a deep breath and look ahead. To choose to be happy today. One choice was easy. Staying bottomed out, and unhappy was the choice that required the least effort. Going through today overwhelmed by emotion to the point that I was numb. It was the obvious choice. A no brainer. Being happy, making today a good day, required work. Too much work. It was the choice I really had no desire to make. But I did. I chose to make today a decent, productive day. To be actively there for my babies. Sure, my heart aches when I notice a part of my day is different because of Boo not being here and I feel that lump build in my throat and that pit in my stomach form, but I refuse to let it ruin my day. To let it consume me. To let it ruin the babies’ day.
Here I sit at naptime, having already bathed both kids, folded all the clothes that needed to be done, wiped our counters down, vacuumed up copious amounts of cat hair (fluffy cat problems), fed both kids, played “racetrack” on the floor with Ryland, and successfully put them both down for naps without me. And an added bonus, I’m not an emotional wreck sitting here by myself. I actually feel proud of myself. Accomplished. Choosing happiness today took a ton of effort. It took strength that I wasn’t sure I had in me. But I’m so proud that I chose to be happy today.
Until next time, Alyssia.