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Overwhelmed, Exhausted, and Anxious

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  • #386245
    anonymous03
    Participant

    Hi,

    This is more of a rant and a vent, with of course a few questions. It may be a long post, so please bear with me.

    I’ve had a really tough week. My mother took ill suddenly, with a mild fever and a running nose the Sunday before last. Of course we feared COVID-19, so she isolated herself in the living room, and I was in the bedroom. We got ourselves tested for COVID, and we’re both negative. With her ill, all the household work fell on my shoulders, cooking, cleaning, daily chores, which I had to manage along with full-time work.

    My cat had 3 kittens 7 weeks ago. The kittens are at a tender age where they are being weaned and litter box trained. While they are almost fully trained, there still are “accidents”, which of course stink a lot and have to be cleaned immediately.

    Also, my cat herself fell ill, caught a stomach bug and had to be treated for it, in the same week. So add vet visits to my list. Also, since the treatment, my cat has been acting weird. Although she was always talkative, she has become much more vocal. She keeps trilling at her kittens for no reason at all, as they are almost weaned off. They are independent now. This trilling and making noise is louder at night. In fact, in the day time she is calm. She also has developed this weird habit of screaming to go out of one window and then coming in through the other window. She does this 3-4 times a night, disturbing our sleep. She was initially a stray who moved into my house, so she usually does her business outside the house. But since 2 days, she has been doing it in the kittens’ litter box, which is difficult for us. Also, she brings in hunted animals, and we have to let her out again. This last part is natural I know, but it bothers us. I dont think I have slept more than 3-4 hours each night since the past 2 weeks. It is affecting my health. Any cat owners know what’s happening?

    With the last week being so heavily packed, and with the sleep deprivation, my anxiety started acting up: heavy knot in my chest, feeling severely overwhelmed, crying, derealization, extremely low mood. And now I feel I dont want the cats, which I cannot understand because I love my cats. The thought makes me anxious.

    Giving you a little history…

    I had adopted two kittens from an NGO some 8 or 9 years ago. I kept them for a couple of days. One of them was really ill. I did not know much about looking after cats back then, but I took her to the vet and he said she was very seriously ill. The kittens wouldn’t eat at all, and I got extremely anxious. Of course, at that time I didn’t know that’s was anxiety. But I got anxious, with the knot in the chest, the extremely low mood, etc. And I suddenly thought, “I don’t even want cats!” I gave the cats back to the NGO, despite everyone telling me to give it a little more time. You’d think I was relieved after giving the cats up. No. I was miserable. I cried and cried, and it took me a long time to get over it. My maa cried a lot too.

    Fast forward to a couple years later, a pregnant cat moved into my house and gave birth to 4 kittens. I took care of them till they were 3 months old. Then, 2 of them wandered away and the other 2 my maa didn’t want in the house. So we left them at the fish market close by. I know it sounds horrible of me, but such fish markets, in my country, are a haven for cats. The people feed fish to the cats, and the whole market is a huge cat community. So I am sure the cats were taken care of. But I still felt I abandoned them and feel guilty to this day. I was facing similar anxiety back then too.

    Now, I love my kittens. Very much. One of them is down with fever. I took all to the vet, and he is being treated for it. He’s going to be okay. What is troubling me the most is the mother cat’s behaviour. She just does not let us sleep at night. She seems distressed and keeps calling her kittens and going in and out of the house. I spoke to the vet about this, and she suggested the best option is to have my cat spayed. Her hormones will be in control after that. I am looking for trustworthy places that would carry out this operation at a reasonable price. Till then, the vet has given me a tablet which I am to give my cat at night. It is supposed to calm her, and she hopefully will quiet down and let us all sleep. The lack of sleep plus all the work has gotten to me. And now I have the same thought I had years ago: I dont want them. I could give two of the kittens up for adoption, but the thought gives me a lot of pain. They are my babies.

    My question: This thought that I dont like my cats, resent them, etc… Is it just my exhaustion and sleep deprivation and anxiety talking? Is it just because the past week was so very hectic? If I wasn’t this overwhelmed, I would not think so? Because if not, I may never be ready for any responsibility ever. What if one day I have kids? What will I do then?

    Sorry for the long post and thank you for reading.

    Anita: I know you will read this. So… Hi…

    #386260
    Peter
    Participant

    Hi 03

    I think its good to remember the difference between like and love.  I’ve always thought that it was a good thing that the ask was to ‘Love one neighbor as oneself’  and not ‘Like one neighbor as oneself’  as it it always possible to Love someone (or ones pets) in those moments when you don’t like them. (even when Love requires a relationship to end)

    I might argue that it is precisely in those moments of dislike when we lean on Love.

    Liking and disliking will always  ebb and flow while Love is the one thing that can be practiced as a constant.

    #386267
    anita
    Participant

    Dear anonymous03:

    “my cat herself fell ill, caught a stomach bug and had to be treated for it.. since the treatment, my cat has been acting weird…  much more vocal… This trilling and making noise is louder at night. In fact, in the day time she is calm. She also has developed this weird habit of screaming to go out of one window and then coming in through the other window. She does this 3-4 times a night, disturbing our sleep.. I spoke to the vet about this, and she suggested the best option is to have my cat spayed. Her hormones will be in control after that. I am looking for trustworthy places that would carry out this operation at a reasonable price”-

    fits-cats. com/ hyperactive cat behavior reads: “Cats also become extremely active when in heat.. If, your cat is hyperactive during these times only then spaying, or neutering may be effective”, otherwise, it reads: “getting a hyperactive cat spayed, or neutered.. doesn’t always stop hyperactivity”

    It also reads: “There are some medical conditions that can cause hyperactivity in your cat… Hyperthyroidism is a fairly common condition that appears in older cats, and one of the side effects of this condition can by hyperactivity, but this is usually accompanied by other signs..  weight loss, increased appetite, irritability, or restlessness, of course not all at once, but with two, or more of these signs you may want to consult your vet”.

    With the last week being so heavily packed, and with the sleep deprivation, my anxiety started acting up: heavy knot in my chest, feeling severely overwhelmed, crying, derealization, extremely low mood. And now I feel I don’t want the cats, which I cannot understand because I love my cats“-

    -I understand why you don’t want the cats. As I was reading your story, before I read the paragraph I just quoted, I thought to myself: better anonymous03 get rid of the cats! It’s normal to think this way because your nightly hyperactive cat is really damaging your mental health by depriving you from sleep!

    You wrote regarding previous cats: “You’d think I was relieved after giving the cats up. No. I was miserable. I cried and cried, and it took me a long time to get over it.. I still felt I abandoned them and feel guilty to this day“- when I read this part, I thought to myself that maybe it’s not a good solution for you to do the same  this time.

    My question: This thought that I don’t like my cats, resent them, etc… Is it just my exhaustion and sleep deprivation and anxiety talking?“-yes. “Is it just because the past week was so very hectic?”- yes, I  believe so, I would feel the same if I was in your shoes, tired and exhausted and anxious. “If I wasn’t this overwhelmed, I would not think so?“- no.

    I may never be ready for any responsibility ever. What if one day I have kids? What will I do then?“- you would probably feel and think similarly as a mother, but at that future point you’d already have the experience of having done the right thing for your cats and for yourself, regardless of how you feel and regardless if some of what you think. Your current experience can give you confidence: the knowing that you are able to handle difficult situations well!

    anita

    #386399
    anita
    Participant

    Dear annonymous03:

    An afterthought- the title of your current thread, Sept 2021, is: “Overwhelmed, Exhausted, and Anxious“. You didn’t mention in this thread a very significant cause for your anxiety and exhaustion, if it’s still ongoing, being that you are currently still living with your mother. Here are my quotes of your words in your April 2020 thread, in regard to your mother:

    “I always got yelled at. As a child.. As I grew older, the yelling continued ..she’d come home and scream at me for something as silly as my bag being on the couch. After she’d scream, her mood would drastically flip onto a positive one”, “I always got the full force of her anger… she screams a lot…She scolds for the same thing again and again… She comments on my body, how I am too skinny, how my hair is too thin… She’d also give me the cold treatment: not looking at me, not answering me, behaving like I don’t even exist, if she would look at me, it would only be to look at me with absolute hatred”.

    If this is still ongoing, how can you possibly not be Overwhelmed, Exhausted, and Anxious?

    anita

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