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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

One-off: Anxiety and Depression

As many of you readers know, I have social anxiety and depression. I'm sure some of you already know the details and all, but I decided that I should talk about it so that you can become more aware of my stand point and also where Cupcake is going and such. As for my depression, I was diagnosed with depression some time ago and may have had it since the sixth grade. However, I have been perfectly fine up until I started college. What happened was, in my opinion, I just wasn't ready for college. I didn't have the energy to keep up with the work that was dumped on me and later didn't even have the energy to stay awake during the classes. The lectures soon became just garbled noise as I tried to stay awake because being in these classrooms felt like they were just draining me of my energy and I feel like a large part of it was the fact that it was an entirely new place and I was surrounded by entirely new people and that the classes were all much larger than I was used to. I feel like my social anxiety started when I was told that I had to be by myself through most of the issues with college and that the work and people just started to get to me. I didn't know anyone, I didn't know what to do or how to get better at college because I know I was doing terribly with my grades and there wasn't much I could do about it. It took a great amount of energy just to keep focused in class as I was slowly starting to lose my grip on my emotions. I feel like it came to a boiling point when during one math class, I just felt myself tearing up and just decided to jot down a list of reasons why I felt like I couldn't do any of this whole college thing anymore and as I wrote them down, the tears just came out like a fire hydrant was torn open in my tear ducts and I had to keep myself quiet or risk interrupting the class and with my building social anxiety that I'm sure really was building, I didn't want to bring any unwanted attention so as I tried not to sob, I packed up my things and excused myself out of the room and went to the rest room to sob, but people came in so I left that room and then decided to just leave the entire building where I dumped my emotions entirely while cars circled around me to go and park in the parking lot, but I didn't care because I wanted to let out my sadness.

It was then that I decided after calming myself down a little bit that I needed my mother. There was nothing else left for me to do that day, I just desperately needed my mother. I needed to tell her about it and I needed help, and badly.  Thus, I skipped the rest of the class and patiently waited for my mother to arrive to drop my brother off while fighting a losing battle with my tears and sadness. Once my mother had arrived, I got into the car and sobbed quietly the entire way back home because she was on the phone at the time and I didn't want to risk her possibly yelling at me or interrupting her call. Once we had arrived, I told her I couldn't go to college anymore, she told me I had just two weeks left of the semester but I just couldn't deal with it anymore so I officially dropped out of college at that point and from then on, I feel like my depression had returned in full force and I officially had social anxiety somewhere down the road while my mom searched around for therapy for me.

Now that I belted all of that out, I have a lump in my throat and tears running down my face, but at the same time, I may have something off of my chest forever. As for the continuation of the main story, I feel like I may have ideas now, but I do not know at the moment because I am currently busy trying to swallow the lump in my throat as this has become quite painful reliving my college time and the intense emotions that spilled over from it.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Story day 7

Foreword: FINALLY!!!! I reread the Cupcake story up to now and I can finally give you all, all of you darling readers a full week of Cupcake sweetness! Oh goodness, it's been so long!

"Story proper":

"I want you to breathe deeply. Take big, deep breaths. Calm yourself down now, Cupcake." Dr. Turnip said in a calm, reassuring voice, taking deep breaths himself to demonstrate to Cupcake who, in turn, tarts to take deep breaths oover his sobbing which eventually recedes as he sits against Tracy, still shaking and practicing deep breathing.

"You're doing great, Cupcake. I'm proud of you. Are you calm now?" Tracy asked Cupcake while still petting him, scratching behind his ears and under his chin as his breathing starts to calm down.

"I think I'm fine."

"Good, you were able to calm yourself down now. We can continue the session properly now."

The session from there on went smoothly, with Dr. Turnip making puns and jokes every now and again and putting Cupcake at ease and even making him smile at times. After the session was over, Tracy booked another appointment, left the office and took Cupcake home.

Upon arriving at the house, Chunky came to the door to greet Tracy, with Cupcake's stuff cat in his mouth, which he puts in front of Cupcake. Cupcake then looking at the toy quizzically and up to Chunky. "Um... It smelled like you, so I figured you'd want it when you came home. I wasn't trying to be mean at all, I swear. I just want to be your friend, Cup." Chunky said with a rather shy voice as he then looks up to Tracy.

"Thank you, that's very nice of you, Chunky" Tracy replied as she bent down to pet Chunky and Cupcake picked his toy up and carried it over to the living room's window sill where sat down with toy in his arms to watch the birds fluttering about in the afternoon sunshine.

"Was I right to do that, Trace?"

"I think so. I'm sure Cupcake was looking forward to seeing Carl again after what he's been through today."

"Where did you guys go anyway? Somewhere tough for him?"

"In a way, it was tough for him, but I'm sure he'll become used to it. He's going to see a therapist now. Wouldn't you believe his therapist is a cat just like you guys? Sure surprised me. Now, want a snack?"

"Oh cool, a cat therapist. Yeah! I want a snack, Tracy! A celebration for Cup!"

Tracy laughed as she went to the kitchen with Chunky excitedly padding behind her, and on the window sill, Cupcake let out a deep sigh before turning to his inanimate companion.

"You know, Carl? I think I can get through this whatever it is I have going on. I believe that with Dr. Turnip's help and Tracy's help and even Chunky's help, I can get through this uneasiness and feel better, like my old self again. And then maybe, just maybe, we can become friends with our new housemates. Look forward to, buddy. It'll be a long, arduous journey, but with you at my side and everyone I know helping me however they can, I'll become my old self again, heck, maybe even a new cat entirely. Just wait and see, Carl." Cupcake smiled as he watched the birds fly around the bird bath in the front yard and hugged his toy cat to himself, with new found resolve, he vows to get better. Let's all cheer for Cupcake.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Story day 6

Foreword: First post with beyond a hundred views! Man, I wonder if people are talking about this thing already? Hopefully they're giving glowing reviews. I'd be a sad kitty cat if they didn't. Every bad comment on this blog makes little Cupcake cry after all.

Actual story once more:

The next day, Tracy arrives at the office of Mr. Turnip, a man she had heard a lot about from her co-workers that helped dozens of people as well as cats and dogs as an award-winning therapist. She was sitting in the office waiting room with Cupcake in her lap held in her arms. She felt him shivering and soon start stroking his back gently and after a minute, it seemed to stop his shivering. The waiting room was quite empty, it wasn't a very busy day as the receptionist over the phone had recommended for Cupcakes case. The room was a light coffee brown and the carpet was darker shade of brown. She was seated in the middle of a small row of black leather chairs with sleek chrome-like metal frames. In front of her was a small black coffee table with a stack of Cat Fancier magazines. It seemed the office had a subscription to the magazine. In a far corner to her left was a rather tall cat tower that doubled as a scratching post. She quite liked the idea of having one but knew herself that she could never afford one. She was also unsure if the cats at home would like such a thing as they quite liked the emery board she got Cupcake one Christmas. The room was quite except for the occasional telephone ringing and promptly being answered by the office's sole receptionist and the soft tick tock of a large clock on one of the walls whose numbers were replaced with cats of varying breeds. Eventually, after a brief phone call, the receptionist spoke.

"Tracy? Mr. Turnip will see you right now." The receptionist called from her desk. With that, Tracy stood up and carried Cupcake to the receptionist who then got up from her desk and led her down a small hallway and stopping in front of a dark wooden door with a small gold plaque reading " D. Turnip". The receptionist then gave a small nod and left the two at the door. Tracy looked down at Cupcake who began shaking again as Tracy reached out, grabbed the rounded golden handle of the door and pushed against it, opening the door to reveal a small room with walls painted a deep crimson red and lined white along the top and bottom and a plush red carpet.
     In front of Tracy was a large mahogany desk in front of a large window with a rounded top and a tall black office chair turned toward them, but no one seemed to be in the room, so Tracy walked up to one of the two smaller black chairs in front of the desk and before she went to sit down, she saw a cat seated in the chair behind the desk. It was a cream brown color with black ear tips and a long fluffy black tail, the cat looked up at Tracy and revealed a black mustache pattern on its muzzle and large round yellow eyes, as well as a dress shirt collar and tiny satin red tie attached to the collar. The cat, noticing Tracy's surprised voice let out a small chuckle as he began to speak in a deep, soft and soothing voice. "Surprised? All of my patients are when they first meet me. I'm Dr. Donald P. Turnip. I am a certified psychiatrist, and a licensed therapist. I am here to help your cat, ma'am."

"Well I wasn't expecting a cat to be such a qualified therapist. I'm Tracy and this here is Cupcake. He'll be your patient starting today." Tracy said to the therapist after clearing her throat from her initial surprise. She then sat down and Dr. Turnip hopped from his chair onto his desk and then sat on his haunches, staring at Cupcake with a smile.

"Now Cupcake. Why don't you tell me a little about yourself? How about we start with....Hm...Tell me what you are interested in."

"Well....Um....I don't know"

"Now now I know you're nervous and all but I can assure you I do not bite. I do only when petted the wrong way, I can tell you that much."

"Um... I...I don't...."

"Well he is into bird watching. He's always loved watching the birds flutter about outside our living room window."

"Bird watching? I used to do that exact same thing as a kitten with my father. Granted, my father called it 'which bird should be my snack' time" Dr. Turnip said with a chuckle, joined by Tracy shortly after.

"He probably won't talk much in the beginning, Doc. I do apologize."

"Oh I don't expect him to. Most people, even cats with similar cases tend to keep to themselves the first month or two. I'm not at all mad. So you like bird watching. What's your favorite bird to watch, Cupcake?"

"Um....Blue jays."

"Ah blue jays. Nice birds. Lovely call. Now let's move on to when this all started. Can you tell me when you first started experiencing your symptoms? If not, Tracy?"

"It was when I adopted my three other cats, Timmy, Chunky and Susie."

"Ah, so he has three other housemates? How long has he been living with them?"

"Not even a week, I'd say. I just brought the three home a few days ago. He's been by himself ever since he was a kitten, but he seemed fine up until then. My friends have cats of their own and they used to bring them along whenever they'd visit me and he seemed to do okay with their cats."

"Hm, I see. So he was raised as a single cat, but had visits from other cats? Interesting. Cupcake, how did you feel about these other cats?"

"I was okay with them...They didn't really bother me. We played a little, but that was it"

"I see.  So how do you feel about the three new cats living with you right now?"

"Scared. Very scared."

"Good, good."

"How is that good?"

"Well Tracy, it helps me to diagnose his mental condition by knowing that his new housemates frighten him. These things can come about with sudden changes."

"So do you have a diagnosis by now?"

"I'd say hi condition...Based on past cases I've worked on could be a sort of social phobia. Perhaps something more if we keep following up and Cupcake can warm up to me. I don't expect him to warm up within the next day or two, though it would be nice to hear him talk more, but for now I could be okay with you being his voice. Eventually I would like him to start talking more on his own so I can learn from him directly through his own experiences if that makes sense to you. Now, you told my receptionist over the phone that your cat experienced tightening in his chest and difficulty breathing. Anything else?"

"Yesterday, he was sobbing uncontrollably when I came home. When he calmed down, he told me it was triggered by Susie talking to him and he was sobbing because he felt very sad by her encounter."

"I see. Seems to be a panic attack of sorts. I'd recommend coming up with a coping plan in case he ever has these episodes again in the future. I'd recommend keeping a close eye on him. Does he have any favorite toys or something?"

"Yes, he has a stuffed cat toy of his own that he's owned since he was a kitten. His mother passed it on to him when I got him."

"Cupcake, does your cat have a name too?"


"Carl. How cute. Do you still play with Carl?"

"He doesn't very much, but he still sleeps with him."

"I see. Now do you have any goals you'd like from these sessions?"

"Um....Be myself."

"I see, what else? Tell me more."

" with everyone" Cupcake then started to shake again and back himself into Tracy's chest, causing her to hold him tighter out of worry.

"I see you're starting to shake, but just remember that I'm not here to hurt you. I am a psychiatrist and I'm here to be your friend and to help you. I will never hurt a patient."

"I know." Cupcake started to water in his eyes as his shaking became more violent and he tensed up.

"Just take a deep breath. Breathe with your belly and try to calm yourself down."

"I can't! I can't do it!" Cupcake started to cry and Tracy started to pet him in an effort to calm him down.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Story day 5

Foreword: Wow, almost a hundred views on this story already. People must really like this thing! Thank you, readers! This means something to me as a writer here that people are interested in a work of mine and that it helps to know that maybe there are people out there going through what I'm going through. It's a possibility. Stay purr-fect everyone! -Arcus

Actual story:

Later in the day as the sun was about to set and the orange rays of the final hours of the sun shone through all of the windows in the house and as Susie was curled up on a bed by a larger window sill suitable for even humans to sit on, as noted by the pile of magazines and romance novels that were placed in a shelf under the window sill, she got up and stretched her legs as far as they could go and she let out a great big yawn and the first thing she noticed with her little peepers was Cupcake sitting not too far away from her grooming himself as normal cats would. She then noticed something sparkle and glint around his neck. It appeared to be a yellow collar (Of course it's yellow, you know who's writing this thing?) with a small golden spherical bell that chimed softly as Cupcake moved. Hearing the soft tingling of the bell reminded Susie then of here days growing up with her litter. She didn't remember much, but what she did remember was that her mother also wore a collar with the same kind of bell on it around her own neck and she was quite fond of hearing it every now and then as her mother moved ever so slightly while her and the rest of her litter suckled milk from her or whenever her mother would groom her. She could still remember the feel of her mother's warm tongue stroking her back as she was gently groomed and could remember the faint smell of her mother's breath as well. It always smelled of fine caviar and fresh tuna. At that second she recalled smelling her mother's breath, she then remembered the first time she was introduced to real food. It was caviar, of course, of the finest variety no less. She remembered the exquisite fishy taste of the high quality fish egg caviar. It instantly became her favorite and was a daily delight to her whilst growing up. At the moment she returned to reality, she then frowned at the stark reality of never having such fine dining pleasure. Or ever having her loving mother either. The rest, she did not remember, but she only remembered that one by one, her entire family disappeared as strange humans came and grabbed them up. She was the last to go, but unfortunately never found a loving home immediately. Instead, she was sent off to a local animal shelter and there she waited until the present time of this lovely day. "Hey you." Susie then said to the grooming Cupcake.

"Hm? What?" Cupcake stopped grooming himself and looked to Susie.

"Um.... Does...Tracy ever bring home caviar?" Susie asked almost shyly.

"Um... I... I have no idea what.... that is." Cupcake answered, a quiver in his voice as he started shaking. His shaking then followed by tightening himself up and breathing more shallowly, quickening his breaths.

"What the? I only asked a question, what's wrong with you? Honestly, you common cats disturb me." Susie quickly jumped off her window sill and walked by Cupcake who now got into a fit of loud sobbing that soon alerted Tracy as she had just walked in the door from her job.

"Oh my god, Cupcake! What's wrong? I'm here, calm down now." Tracy asked with worry in her voice.

"I....I can't.... I can't breathe, Tracy!" Cupcake moaned over his loud sobbing.

''Deep breaths. Do it with me. In....Out....In....Out." Tracy breathing in and breathing out with her belly and poking Cupcakes belly to try and coerce him into doing the same. Cupcake slowly but surely stopped crying as he started to imitate Tracy's deep breathing exercise. It took a few minutes and some shooing away of Chunky who heard them and was curious. Eventually the little golden blonde kitty calmed down as he was nestled tightly in Tracy's arms against her chest as she slowly rocked back and forth on her knees as she was kneeling down to calm Cupcake down.

"Are you all better now. Cupcake?"

"Y...Yes.... I think."

"Can you tell me what happened? Did Susie insult you at all?"

"No...I just heard her and I started to feel my chest tighten again and my breathing got difficult. I was overcame with a wave of sadness. I just had to cry. I don't know why. That also rhymed."

"Cupcake, listen, I'm looking into therapists, right? I've been talking to my coworkers and they all say that we should give a therapist by the name of Doctor Turnip a try. Should we give him a call at all?"

"I don't know. I don't think I can do it, Tracy. But I think I need someone to talk to."

"Okay, I'll give him a call tomorrow then. I'm off work tomorrow so I'll be here for you, okay?"

"Okay, Tracy.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Story day 4

The next day as Cupcake was walking around the house having a leisurely stroll, from out of a corner, Timmy jumped out suddenly at Cupcake and Cupcake hissed and spat at Timmy, clawing his face before running the other way. Timmy was simply dumbstruck! Why, he just wanted to play with Tracy's first cat, but he did not expect such sudden animosity from a cat spoken so highly of by his new owner. At this realization, Timmy's eyes started to water and he left the room starting to sob. Chunky having just ate his breakfast Tracy left out for them all before she left for work saw Timmy sobbing and went over to him. "What's wrong, Tim? Something happen?" Chunky asked with a hint of worry in his voice.

"I found Cupcake, Chunky. But he didn't want to play at all. He hissed and hit me and then ran off. Did I do something wrong?" Timmy asked over his sobbing. With this, Chunky patted the small cat on the head.

"Don't worry too much, Tim. The guy probably spooks easy. Tracy did say he was a solo cat all his life. He's still gotta get used to us. As for Susie, I don't know. Pedigreed cats are a different species altogether in my books."

"Okay. Do you want to play with me, Chunky?"

"Sure thing, Tim, but you know I'll win anyway."

"We'll see about that, big guy."

Monday, September 22, 2014

Story day 3

Tracy came home from her job that evening and found Timmy and Chunky playing around while Susie licks herself and immediately went to her room to find Cupcake safe and sound. She then got her home phone and a phone book and looked through it while petting Cupcake. "What are you doing, Tracy?" Cupcake asked.

"Looking for a therapist for you. I feel like you should talk to someone about your problems." Tracy replied.

"Why not you though?"

"I can help, sure, and I definitely will because you're my best friend, Cupcake, but you professional help. I have my job so I won't always be here for you and you know that."

"All right. I'll take your word for it."

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Story day 2

The next morning Tracy got up from her bed and exited her bedroom to find Cupcake curled up outside her door sleeping. Tracy then knelt down and gently nudged the little guy to wake him and he sure enough stirred. Getting up and arched his back while stretching his legs as far as he could before looking up at Tracy. "Good morning, Tracy" he said softly before looking around for any of the other cats.

"Is there something wrong, Cupcake? You were missing the entire day and you didn't greet any of your new friends." Tracy said, her voice still filled with worry for the little guy.

"They can't be my friends. They scare me." Cupcake replied, starting to visibly shake.

"Why not? They're other cats. Haven't you always wanted a playmate?"

"I've always had you, Tracy. Never any other cats. I just don't know how to react. I feel hurt just thinking about just meeting them. I've heard their voices and that's far enough for me. I just can not handle them, Tracy. I need help."

"Okay, tell me what happened yesterday."

"I smelled three new smells that I've never smelled before and then my chest just started tightening up and I felt short of breath. I just panicked over these new smells and this tightness and loss of breath and I just had to hide."

"Is there any way we can try to get you used to them?"

"Never. Not like this, Tracy. Just leave me alone now."

"Alright, you can have my room for the rest of the day then. I'll bring you some things later on. I'll have to go to work now. I'll tell the others to stay away and not to worry. I think I should get in contact with someone about this."