Do you ever get a gut feeling of anxiety? It’s different from “typical” anxiety for me. I’m very skilled at riding out “typical” anxiety and doing exposures without a second thought. This is heavier, more physical, and almost makes me nauseous. It seems like it is coming from some all-knowing place, rather than my brain and body misfiring trying to keep me safe. My brain interprets this kind of anxiety as different and real, even though I know feelings are still not facts.
I haven’t felt this way in a long time, but lately I’ve been feeling this kind of gut feeling of anxiety because I adopted a cat. She’s from the local Humane Society, just had her 8th birthday (on the day I brought her home!), and her name is Jade (formerly known as Belle) because she’s all grey with vibrant, green eyes.
I was visiting the Humane Society to see the kitties for fun since I pass it several times a week on the way to dance. One day, little miss Belle was out of her cage in the cat room on “recess.” She climbed in my lap and would not let me leave without meowing her head off. I mean, how do you walk away from that? I pretty much had to adopt her and take her home.
I love her. I love how persistent she is at giving cheek rubs and wanting pets. I love how she purrs when she sees me. I love how she sleeps on my desk while I’m on my computer. I love how she snuggled in bed along my side our first night together.
I love her, but I am so, so scared. It’s probably partly because I care so much that I feel so anxious. The other parts are probably because I have OCD. I know: shocking! Call the news outlets! Morgan has OCD!
I have very little confidence in my capabilities as a functioning human, adult, cat-owner. I’m also worried I made the wrong decision getting her because it is a lot of responsibility. I might mess up; in fact, I probably will because I am an imperfect functioning human, adult, cat-owner. I feel terribly guilty whenever I leave for long periods of time like for work. I don’t want her to think I am abandoning her.
Basically, I’m a hairball of stress and fear and worry, but also love and newfound joy.
Here’s to feeling the fear (because this is probably stressful for her too) and adjusting to our new lives together.