Updated: Jul 15
Content warning: pet loss
When I lost my cat Kingston of 16 years, I had just realized I'm autistic about a month before and was still a ways away from realizing I'm PDA autistic. That came with it the realization of the amount of co-regulation I've required my entire life.
Losing Kingston was hard for... countless reasons, and I continue to find new ones. And...this week has been particularly difficult. I decided to finally start cleaning out my closet and getting it reorganized - something I've wanted to do for awhile because it overstimulates TF out of me - and while I was doing it, I realized I had been putting it off because that was his space for so long.
I put away most of his things right when it happened because I couldn't look at any of it, but his closet bed remained, intentionally... being out of sight made that easier. And so I had stashed a few things that I knew I didn't want to entirely get rid of in the closet, too and... well... it became a place that was very difficult to be in. I thought it was the mess in there that was difficult, but nope. It was the fact that I still expect him to be in that bed when I walk in and immediately know he won't be.
I won't get rid of his bed or the other things I stashed with it, but I did put them a little further out of sight - more packed away - and got majority of the reorganization done. I still need to address the top shelves of the closet, but now that it doesn't feel so heavy in there, I know I'll get to it sooner rather than later.
All of that being said, I rationally understand why these feelings were evoked from cleaning and reorganizing the closet. It makes sense - the grief, the sadness. But physically, I hadn't processed it yet... My body hadn't processed it yet. I'd been going and going, doing and doing, thinking and thinking.
By this past Tuesday I was wrecked - physically. And it took me a minute to register why... it was the physicality of the emotion. When I realized what was going on, I grabbed my phone and recorded a voice note real quick, which is what's below if you'd like to listen.
I put this to video because of course - that's going up on TikTok sometime today in case you're interested in the visual, too. Basically a lot of Kingston, which was honestly cathartic, too.
With that said, it's 2:00pm and I've not had food yet and I'm in my robe and desperately need a shower. I'm going to go take care of all of those needs and take it easy the rest of the day - hopefully lol. Yesterday was a bit of a marathon to get all the little things finalized for the site and I'm going to try to force myself to relax even though passion-drive would happily work on things for another few hours.
Oh, I guess an example of an accommodation that I would not have made for myself before knowing I'm autistic. I would have listened to the passion and kept going until I had nothing left. I'm trying to learn how to harness it and that means forcing rest. Hyper-focus is a sneaky little bastard and it's so easy to just... not rest lol.
Okay, with that, time to go feed and bathe myself.
Let me know if these real examples of stuff like this are helpful. 💜