How Have I Cheated Death

Emika Oka (Mika)
3 min readAug 23, 2021

My self-isolation started before the days of the pandemic. It was way before the world had come to the term of social distancing. I had welcomed this self-imposed isolation along with its chillness and darkness with open arms. It has become my protective bubble, shielding me from the crazy elements. I do enjoy living in silence and solitude. There were simply too much noise and interference in my life. I need the space for my healing.

Occasionally, arrows of trigger aimed for me, puncturing the bubble that would leave me in flight and freeze mode. There is nothing that I could do at those moments of terror, being incapable of fighting back. Wait for it to pass was all I could muster. They came bearing personal attacks, intrusion of boundaries, and judgments worsening the depression.

Zoning out, oblivious to the world as I tried to recompose myself and then trying in vain to fix the damages. The cycles repeating no matter how I tried to avoid them including severing all kinds of social communication. Some people just couldn’t help themselves but violate life of others and they are just too good at making others feel bad. I’m not sure what do I call these people except that they are one of the triggers as my psychiatrist has recognized and noted. They are the demon in flesh and blood.

I had to give away my beloved dogs as my illness regressed but managed to adopt two more cats making it three of them now. Taking care of cats is different from dogs especially for an indisposed person like me. It doesn’t feel like a chore but rather as a soothing routine to help me throughout the days, like an anchor to me. Their well-being is my priority now, making me feel less unworthy. Just watching them makes me happy. They have become part of the therapy ordered by the doctor, other than the regular doctor’s appointments and the heaps of medication. Being close to them, petting them, holding them close to me helped a lot during frenzy time. The vibration of their purring seems to soothe the negative moments and intrusive thoughts away. They made me feel safe and they saved me.

Ironically, humanity has been acting like feral animals and destroying each other while animals are being more compassionate and loving. I feel like I have been rescued by my cats, not vice versa. Where the world trampled on me, eating me alive or…

--

--

Emika Oka (Mika)

Sharing her unique perspective on the world as a hearing-impaired autistic person with bipolar disorder despite the challenges.