Originally Posted by Katlyn Josephine
Losing my betta really struck my loneliness chord. I can't help but feel empty every time I think of my fish. Sometimes, I even read articles explaining why I feel empty such as this one https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/ge...-more-serious/
. My mom is already worried about me and I don't want her to be. So I guess I'll find someone to talk about this or even consider going to a professional.
I know exactly how you feel. Two years ago someone very close to me died. A couple of months after her death, I was in the worst shape I'd ever been. Constant nightmares, impenetrable insomnia that had me exhausted seemingly endlessly, PTSD-like systems, you name it. There were days when I would wander the streets aimlessly at 5 and 6 AM just trying to shake it off enough to go to sleep because I had no one to turn to. I was lonely. No one except two people on the internet cared what I was going through. No one.
I'm a big lover of animals, but my living situation doesn't really permit large pets of any kind, and I have allergies and asthma so violent that inviting a dog or cat into my life would send me to the ER in short order. On one of my low days I happened to be at Walmart and decided to check out the fish. I saw this little cellophane veiltail on the shelf looking miserable. I was so fascinated. I hadn't owned betta in around 15 or 16 years, the last one being a white and red Cambodian female I'd bought at that same Walmart. I'd never seen a cellophane before, had no idea they even existed. I bought him and took him home, started studying up on what he'd need and about bettas in general. Bettas started quickly becoming something I was interested in.
I continued to deteriorate mentally for a long time until I eventually hit a slow incline and started to recover. That betta, whose name was Eclipse, kept me company through some of the worst months of my life. There were days when I wanted to end everything but the thought that no one would take care of Eclipse pulled me through. I didn't want to do that to an animal that had given me so much.
Eclipse died in late July of this year after 2 years. After he died, I set up more tanks and got 7 more bettas. All of them are of immense importance to me, and even now they're part of the reason I choose to keep going. I will never not have bettas, unless at some point my living situation precludes having tanks set up.
Eclipse taught me that even the smallest lives have a lot value to bring to the world. He also showed me that there are definitely things I enjoy, and that I want to live for. He started me down this path of learning and involvement in the aquarium hobby that may even bring new like-minded people into my life, giving me a new avenue to enjoy life.
To people like you and I, a simple fish can be of immense importance. It honestly disgusts me when people berate others for caring so much about a betta, or a goldfish, or whatever. To some of us, those fish have been the best thing we've ever had, sometimes even having been better to us than the people in our lives. It's okay to mourn, to feel empty at the loss of something valuable to you. I think you should honor your fish's life by adopting a new fish. And talking to a therapist is also a great idea. Everybody needs support, even better if it comes from a professional. I wish you the best, and know there's always hope for the future.