Earache, Kangaroo and Fear

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.

Cheers,

DB

8 Comments

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8 responses to “Earache, Kangaroo and Fear

  1. “Liked” for a mixture of sympathy and empathy with the situation.
    When I’m overloaded that’s exactly what happens to me too, I hope you can pull out of it.
    Perhaps when you aren’t also in pain. Ear aches do seem to make everything less manageable. XP

    Well I’ll think of you. I was actually wondering how you were while on my way back home today.

    Ah, sometimes I miss having telly. But books work pretty well as a substitute, only a tiny bit of thinking to make sure I’m not misreading.
    Gaming can also be good as a distraction. I’ve been crashing my way through ‘Path of Exile’, which is quite fun. If you like to game I’d recommend it. πŸ™‚
    LOL at the thought of a worrier princess – you’re very good at plays on words. πŸ˜€

    Like

    • Thanks, friend. I ended up in a place of self-pity yesterday evening, which I’m not proud of, but there you have it – none of us are perfect.
      I’m not big into gaming. The only games I play are the stupid repetitive matching ones floating around on Facebook at the moment, and Word With Friends – I love my Words With Friends! I’m reading a Facebook acquaintance’s first attempt at non-fan-fic right now, and it’s passable. Went to the library and stocked up yesterday with 9 books so am set for the next little while!
      Hugs to you. I really appreciate our friendship.

      Like

      • Yay hugs! πŸ˜€ Likewise my friend, it’s nice to know that someone out there understands and gives a damn.
        Ah being freshly stocked on readable books is always a good feeling I think. It’s like going some place new, only you don’t have to leave your house because the world is at your fingertips.

        I want to go off on a tangent about self pity…
        And I’d like to start with a bold statement: Some times self pity is an extension of self care, and you shouldn’t have to feel bad about that.

        Many people are very ashamed of it, because our society looks down on the idea. But the only real explanation for why it’s a “bad thing” is that can become a cycle.
        Well so can shallowly interacting so that you have no deep resonating experiences with others and feel walled off from the world, and yet, somehow or other there’s little to no shame associated with that.

        It’s no wonder to me that many people who become depressed have difficulties with feeling okay with any kind of self care, and that the idea of being even a little bit “selfish” can cause spirals of self hate.
        It’s no wonder because one of the most basic elements of self pity is self empathy, and it’s a feeling that it’s okay to have for other people.
        Well why not for ourselves? Provided we don’t spend months wallowing in it there’s nothing wrong with crying because you feel bad, and feeling sorry for yourself because something that makes you feel unhappy has happened.

        Sometimes we really need someone to care and the only person we *know for sure* will or can, is ourselves. That’s not a bad thing.
        We know that it’s good to love ourselves and take care of ourselves, sometimes that means we need to be our own shoulder to cry on.
        I think, a little self pity is just fine… and sometimes it can be just what we need. πŸ™‚

        Like

      • Thank you!!! That makes me feel so much better. I think I can honestly say that I don’t often wallow in self-pity, so I really appreciate you re-framing last night’s experience for me.
        πŸ™‚

        Like

  2. WIth your dearly beloved away for the weekend and time on your hands I feel that room getting cleared 😊 Go on….you know you want to 🌻 Thinking of you..keep us posted. Hugs x

    Like

    • Ellie, you beautiful wonderful gorgeous generous strong empathetic compassionate and wise woman, you are indeed a very good taskmaster, and I hope you won’t get too stroppy if I ignore your perfectly good advice this time round! πŸ™‚
      Still have an earache, still feeling low. None of these things in themselves preclude me from tidying the room, but I must admit that in this minute I feel disinclined to attempt it. However, that may change. I hadn’t had any chocolate for a while, and now have some – the ultimate carrot! I trust myself to make the right decision for my self-care today πŸ™‚
      Actually the DB isn’t away – he’s helping someone move all day today, back this arvo/evening, then his football club has their pre-season ‘family day’ tomorrow which he goes to with a friend + kids.
      Hugs right back at you, Ellie the Extraordinary. You are indeed a paragon of companionship XXX

      Like

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