There’s something particularly nasty about an earache. The pain seems to drill right into your skull, and causes a disproportionate amount of discomfort. I did as the doctor said, and put the eardrops in diligently twice a day for a week, and it cleared up – just to return, days later. Thankfully there is still some liquid in the eardrop bottle.
I’m not feeling the best.
Earlier today, I saw something which really upset me, in a week characterized by numbness. I was driving home from a trip to the library and pharmacy (two places I find myself in frequently!) and had just got onto the expressway when I encountered a traffic jam. Inching forward, I came into view of the problem: there had obviously been something of a pileup – it was a bit difficult to tell how many cars, because of the emergency service vehicles – and an injured kangaroo on the median strip.
The kangaroo kept trying to get up, but seemed paralyzed from the waist down. It just kept on trying to get up, struggling with its neck and forepaws, and falling back down.
This was a distressing sight, but even so my reaction seemed extreme. I was quite concerned about the problem of driving the rest of the way home. Pulling over did not seem the safest option on the freeway, so I practiced my “half smile while breathing” mindfulness, and calmed down sufficiently to arrive home safely.
As I mentioned, I’ve been feeling fairly numb this week. I spoke about this with my therapist today – post-kangaroo. We talked about how I seem either numb, or overwhelmed by anxiety. During the session I made this transition about half a dozen times. I think what is happening is that I am cripplingly anxious, experiencing overwhelming emotions, but my mind is protecting me from these distressing feelings by cutting me off from them; only when they break through, I go from 0 to 100% instantaneously. What frightens me about this is the possibility that I might transition from numb to extreme distress, and do something stupid, a bit like that kangaroo, who probably found himself in a confusing situation, panicked and made a silly decision (to jump in front of a vehicle going at 100 km/h). I don’t need any more scars. I don’t want to be that woman again.
The timing’s not great, because the dearly beloved is going to be out of the house most of the weekend; but I know I can keep myself safe, even if I just disappear into TV land for the duration. TV land is great. You get to look at moving pictures and lose yourself in the narrative: no thought required. I’m even watching the bloody advertisements, during which I’d usually get up and do some housework or stretching.
Anyway, think of me, if you feel like it. I think the next couple of days might be a bit difficult. I am a little worried, but I do have strategies in place (yes, beyond TV land!). And there’s always Xanax: Worrier Princess (my new nickname for alprazolam), which has been putting me to sleep lately, if things get really bad.