Today, I Think I’ll Be Okay

I was eleven the first time I thought about killing myself. I perched on the side of the tub in the bathroom with no locks, clutching a razor that had been left there. I felt the weight of years of shame and mockery. Of never fitting in. Of having it constantly pointed out.

The leggings & sweater combo were probably a cry for help.

The leggings & sweater combo were probably a cry for help.

I had come home that day, as I’d done so many days before, to a house that had the name the kids at school called me burned into the side by shaving cream. I thought about how my little sister had needed to defend me at the local pool. About how every day was full of shame and fear. And I thought about how little chance I had to change it all — I was only a kid and we were living in a small town. I couldn’t transfer schools, I couldn’t move, and I couldn’t figure out how to make my peers treat me like a person.

I held the razor against my wrists and traced the lines of my veins through my pale skin. I thought about how much it would hurt, and how my mom would have to clean it up. I thought about the fact that the razor had been there for months and would be there tomorrow. So I put it down and I went to bed.

Eventually, we moved (back) to The City. I went to a school full of weird kids. I learned that it was okay. I learned that I could make friends. I learned a little of what it meant to stand up for myself. Things got better.

I was thirty-three years old the last time I thought about killing myself. I sat in the middle of my studio apartment in Brooklyn, tears streaking down my face, and I thought about the sharpest knife in my kitchen and the pain killers in my medicine cabinet.

Even with hair that good, I couldn't shake it.

Even with hair that good, I couldn’t shake it.

I thought about the months leading up to that day and how I’d become completely isolated. I thought about how I’d become a source of ire for so many people. I thought about the ways in which I’d become a financial and emotional burden to family and friends. And I thought about how I couldn’t see an exit. I had tried so hard to fix things, to resolve the problem, and nothing had worked. I thought about how much better off everyone would be in world without me and my problems.

I thought about that kitchen knife and I put my hands on the floor. And then one of my cats brushed my leg, and I wondered what would happen to them. I thought about how unfair it would be to make anyone in my family deal with them. I thought about how they could end up in a shelter. I lifted my hands to my face and I cried. Then I got up, washed my face, and went to bed.

Eventually, I was able to get the problem solved. I settled in a new place. I bought furniture. I rebuilt my life. Things got better.

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold…

There have been a handful of incidents between those two. There will probably be more, someday. Today, I feel good. I feel strong, capable, and ready to face the world. Tomorrow, I might feel otherwise. I am not the only person going through this. And when things do fall apart for us, we aren’t thinking selfishly. We generally don’t fail to understand that we’re loved. That the people who love us will have to grieve and be caused pain; we believe that they are better off mourning us than having to deal with us.

Sometimes, things get better. Sometimes they don’t. Sometimes one tiny thought is all it takes to pull us back from the brink. Sometimes it’s not.

I will never be cured. But today, I think I’ll be okay.


Movies Are My Meditation

“Mommy, you think my brain is rough, but you only have to listen to it when I’m awake. I have to listen to it 24 hours a day.”

I have always lived in my head. My brain whirs at a rate of knots all day, every day. Getting to sleep is hard, because I chase thoughts down the rabbit hole without hesitation. I have spent hours contemplating a mistake from twenty years ago that nobody else cares about or even remembers. I have a chronic stomach condition that was brought on by anxiety: a reaction to absurd, neurotic over-thinking. I’ve tried meditation and medication and you know what the only thing I’ve ever found that works to get me out of my head is? Movies.


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So You Want a Kitten

copyright Kate Tull

Tiny, expensive bundles of joy.

You’ve been thinking about it, and you’ve decided that you are ready to add a kitten to your family. They’re sweet, they’re fluffy, and there are tons of them around, so why not? You decided not to go through a breeder, and have booted up and have found a couple of candidates. And then you get to the adoption fees section, and you screech to a halt.

A hundred and fifty dollars to adopt a kitten?! That’s highway robbery! Where do they get off?!

It sounds like a lot of money, but you should slow your roll on it. Recently, my cat (who I’d adopted from a friend) unexpectedly gave birth to a litter of kittens. Had I gone through a shelter, that would never have happened. I love both her and the little furballs, and I wouldn’t trade them for anything, but that might well have been better. See, kittens are not without costs. But don’t take my word for it, let me break it down for you*:

  • Vet visit $35.00
  • Rabies Vaccine $21.00
  • Strongid (de-worm) $15.00
  • Revolution (heartworm control) $18.00
  • Medical Waste Fee (test for worms) $4.00
  • FVRCP Vaccine $20.00
  • Feline Triple Test (HW/FIV/FELV) $60.00

You’ll have to visit the vet three times ($105) – to get the FVRCP Vaccine and its two boosters ($60) – and you’ll have to pay two medical waste fees ($8) to confirm the kitten is worm-free. Now you’re up to $287, per kitten. That’s not including the cost of spaying ($200) or neutering ($150) your furry friend, which is something all cat owners should do. Add all that up, and you’re looking at $437 – $487. Sure, there are discount spay/neuter programs. If you are on public assistance, the ASPCA will spay your cat for free. Otherwise, it’s a $125 charge for either procedure.

When you really sit down and look at what you get when you go through a shelter, that $150 – $200 doesn’t look so bad: you’ll be going home with a pet that has had all of their tests and vaccines, has been certified healthy by a vet, and has been fixed. For at least a third of the cost that you’d face from acquiring one elsewhere.

Shelters aren’t looking to make a profit off your adoption. They’re not even looking to break even. They are trying to get a small percentage of their costs back so they can continue housing, helping, and placing animals that are in need.

So, you’re looking for a kitten? Go to your local shelter. And if you don’t have room in your life for one now, consider making a donation, anyway.

*These are all based on my vet bills, at a reasonably priced vet in Brooklyn, New York.

I Am Not a Unicorn

Hi, my name is Kate, and I am Girl Who Loves Sports. I love hockey and baseball, and will happily watch football, basketball, and soccer. I am also a Geek Grrl: bring on the comic books, cartoons, fantasy and sci-fi novels, even the occasional video game.


holy crap, TWO girls who like dude stuff in one place!

I don’t want a cookie for this. And I don’t want your gleeful surprise at finding a “chick who digs dude stuff,” like you just found a unicorn in Manhattan. I’m going to let you in on a secret: you haven’t.

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