A Pack To Howl With

I’ve been feeling abysmal since early afternoon. It felt like death was waiting with his door open. That might sound like I’m overly dramatic, but for about two hours, I felt sick, so sick. I left a friend a voice message, and I broke down. I couldn’t not cry. And my stomach, my god-forsaken stomach, was again piled with heavy rocks.

The sickness mellowed and kept on keeping on because I don’t know how not to. But tonight, now, my stomach still feels rock heavy. I’ve had enough, and I’m tired. Getting help from the doctors has been impossible so far this week, and my next appointment with a dietitian (who was supposed to be helping me establish a meal plan for weight gain) will be in October. Which is fine, because I don’t need to gain weight until then. Except, I fucking do.

My weight has been yo-yo-ing the past few months, and I’m scared, and I’m pissed off, and I’m bitter. As soon as I gain a little bit, it’s gone again within days. What really upset me was that when I had my video chat with the dietitian, I felt she listened to me, I thought she understood, and I felt optimistic about our next appointment. So to turn around and say, ‘I’ll see you in October,’ made me feel like she didn’t get me and the urgency of my situation at all.

This human experience is strange, isn’t it? I am in love with it, but I abhor it too. I’ve been reflecting on what’s missing from my human experience, and the void is unfathomably deep. I get much from many of the interactions I have online, but there’s a lot that leaves me drained, bemused and exasperated.

I was on a walk an hour ago, trying to encourage the rocks in my stomach to shift. After passing roadkill I’d encountered a few days previously (a stoat, I believe), I spotted a stoat very much, very beautifully alive, sprinting across the asphalt. In my head, I screamed, run, little one, as fast as you can. I could hear cars roaring in the distance more than likely carrying drivers who wouldn’t think twice about destroying one of Britain’s natives.

At one point, a car blasted by me so fast, I cowered, curling into myself, and let out a sob. If anyone had seen me, they’d probably have thought my heart was giving up. A few days previously, there had been a hare splayed on the road. But where it had been lying, just a stain remained. I’d like to think it had been plucked up by a fox when the night was thick and the road quiet.

As I carried on my way, I felt flooded with fury (I had a frown and hard eyes for the remainder of my walk.) I contemplated the stark and horrible reality of mankind’s greed. Our incessant need for more, for more, for more. And even when we have everything, it’s still not enough.

I grieve for the land our animals have lost to roads, human habitation and industry. I grieve for the native creatures of this overcrowded island that don’t know, from one day to the next, if their home is still going to be there when they return from foraging. Or if it’s going to be eradicated because we need more quick build homes, we need more places to park our cars, we need more shops to kill time in before time kills us. I can’t live among it much longer. My heart can only break so many times. My soul is crying for freedom. When I needed to cross the road, I crossed slower than was wise for me to do.

Sometimes, I’ll look up from my phone or my laptop ‘Why are you doing this? This isn’t good for you? This isn’t who you are or what you’re here to do. Why are you even contemplating why an Instagram account that’s all flesh and no substance is so popular, whereas the words and the art that shifts souls is bypassed. And why does it even matter? Go back to your books, go back.’

There is too much emptiness. The eerie, sad silence after phone sex. The regular worry of saying something wrong to somebody you respect but not knowing if it was terrible because you can’t see their fucking expression. The lack of authenticity in so much of what makes up daily life.

I’m grateful for my online pack, for you reading this. I’m thankful there are people such as yourself that I can howl with and that we don’t need to be able to hear each other to know we’re doing it. But I need a flesh and bone pack. We all do. I have fragments of a pack. Some of the members are close. Others are scattered across the globe. But that home pack, I still need to find. I hold onto a fragment of hope that they are out there, and it’ll probably be when I least expect it that we’ll meet each other and howl in unison.

2 thoughts on “A Pack To Howl With”

  1. Have you ever had a bone density check? Having issues with that can cause huge problems when you get old and it sounds like you aren’t absorbing enough nutrients now to keep up with your body’s needs.
    I agree about the need for a pack that’s flesh and bone. It seems like when people were forming communes in remote areas, back in the 1970’s, there was more of a chance to have something real. Now so much has been shifted to online connections. The balance needs to move back towards being in the presence of other people with minimal technology. Not sure how that will happen. But it can be done.

    1. I’m so sorry for the late reply, my friend. I was diagnosed with osteoporosis when I was younger, but my bones improved as I recovered from Anorexia. It might be worth me getting it checked out. Thank you for bringing that up!

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