Choosing to Feel Sad Instead of Buffering

Hi Brooke,
I feel encouraged to share a win. It feels like a sad win, but a win.

A few weeks ago my vet found a rapidly-growing tumor inside my 14 year old dog. This week I went to a vet specialist expecting to drop her off for surgery. Instead the vet explained the options: really expensive surgery that may or may not give her a few more months to live vs. no surgery. None of the options would heal her, only give me more time with her.

The vet very wisely told me that he wouldn’t offer his opinion on what to do because the decision was mine to make. He said that the hard part is going to be how I feel about my decision.

So I ran several models using “surgery” in the Circumstance line

C – Surgery
T – If I choose not to have the surgery I’m a terrible dog mom and I’ll regret not doing it.
F – Guilty, sad, anxious, doubt
A – Question my decisions over and over and over again in my head
R – Feel terrible

After not getting to any thoughts that made me feel better, I realized that I have the C line wrong. The C line is actually “My dog is dying” and going over and over and over surgery options is really just buffering so I don’t have to feel sad.

My new model is this –

C – My dog is dying
T – I would only be doing the surgery to avoid thinking about how she may only have months to live
F – Sad
A – Say no to surgery. Give her the best damn months I can. Do everything I can to ease her pain
R – I put my energy into loving my dog rather than wavering back and back about my decision

Throughout all of this I haven’t had the urge to overeat or drink. This surprises the hell out of me because it hasn’t really occurred to me to binge. I definitely would have binged a month ago. I mostly just feel sad and am cuddling my dog. In time I’ll do some models where my feeling turns to grateful to have her in my life, but for now I’m choosing to be sad.

It means the world to me to feel like I can support myself through all of this and that I can be present for my dog when she most needs me. So, thank you for everything you teach, Brooke. I’ve made more progress in the past few weeks then I have in years. It’s truly blowing my mind!