March 16, 2019 (this day)

the man on the bed

Since I last wrote about the big wind that took part of a tree down, and the second big wind that crashed the roofers’ ladder onto my new car, we have had a third big wind, and this one exposed and stoked and played and fed my #1 character defect, my fear.

We had a very big wind, and it knocked the power out a few Sunday nights ago.  I well remember long power outages of the past, and I’ve always hated it and always loved electricity!  My neighborhood is old, and the power lines are above ground, and my house is very windy, sitting above a street that runs below and acts as a wind tunnel.  My house also is surrounded by trees that I love very much for many reasons, but of course, those trees will fall, and they do.

Anyway the lights went out around 7 pm on Sunday, and at around 9, in the very black dark, the house shook, and we were able to see that a tree had fallen but we couldn’t really tell how bad it was, or if it had hit the house.  Right away my fear demands we don’t open the door to see, because it’s cold out and we have no heat now, and the power outages are widespread and we don’t know how long we’ll be without heat.  I have two indoor cats who haven’t been out of my house since we brought them home from the shelter.  They’ve never been out and they’ve never been cold.  We checked to see that the tree hadn’t made a hole in the house that the cats could use to get out.

We went to bed but I couldn’t sleep, and around three in the morning I freaked out a bit and told Carole I wanted to get a pet-friendly hotel nearby, just in case there was a rush on hotels.  My son still had power, and he lives just a few miles away, but he lives in the city and parking seemed like it would be a hassle.  Also, not knowing how long it would be, I thought we needed a potentially long term solution.  I did think of bringing the cats to him if need be.  (Turns out his girlfriend’s dogs were there, but that’s another fear post for another time).

We got a hotel, and we left and left the cats in the pitch black around 4 in the morning.  When I we got outside into the absolute dark we ran into a wire down in the our driveway.  The wind was still making it difficult to talk or move or open the door.  We went to the hotel, but again I couldn’t sleep worrying about the cats and the house and the electricity.  Just because one tree was down, that didn’t mean another wouldn’t fall, break a window, scare a cat.

We came back to the house and it was getting colder.  The power outages were spread out widely in my area, and my work was going on though it was cold there (another fear story for another time).  I told them I wasn’t coming.  We saw that the tree had missed the house but had fallen on our fence.  Carole went to work, and my plan was that when she got home, if we still didn’t have power, we would pack up the cats and take them to the hotel.  The wind was lessening but still very strong.

I crawled into bed in my clothes in the chilly house, and the cats joined me.  I couldn’t read or sleep or do anything but worry.  At one in the afternoon, the power came back.

My fear and worry were terrible.  I must point out that at no time during this did I consider drinking.  Didn’t even cross my mind.  Although at one time in my life I couldn’t face a perfect day without chemical influence, it is so not a factor in my life today that I didn’t even think about it in my distress.

I did think about all I’ve learned about life and coping and I’m not happy with how distressed I was.   I did know the whole time that everything really was fine.  I have the resources to deal with anything that happens to my house.  I think I focused on worrying about the cats because that’s what my protector mind does.  If I didn’t have cats, I would have been braver.  I was able to tell myself minute by minute, hour by hour that the cats were fine, and I could and would take care of them.  I worried profusely about being inconvenienced.

I’m sitting here writing this, and the wind is again howling outside.  I want to blame Voldemort (POTUS, he who will not be named).

3 thoughts on “March 16, 2019 (this day)

  1. Thank you for writing about fear. I can so relate to fear of extreme wind (and other extreme weather), power outages, and fear for the well-being in that situation for your cats. I can relate to not being able to do anything but worry. However, I’m not sure I believe fear itself is a character defect. I think the character defect around my fear is lack of self confidence, a lack of trust that I CAN take care of things (including the cats), that I’m a survivor, that I have the tools and knowledge to calm myself. Does that make any sense?

  2. Thanks so much for your thoughtful response and I do agree, to a point. What I struggle with is that everything doesn’t always turn out OK, and I may not be able to take care of things and survive. I know right now people are searching for cats they couldn’t protect.

    AA literature mentions some very extreme situations, like losing a child in war. That literature gives me the ideal of striving for serenity and faith that work under any conditions. I’m unhappy with myself and how distressed I was. I want to take the tools and tackle that fear and lessen it by a lot.

    • Thanks for your reply, Lydia. I think I have a better understanding now of what you want. It brought to mind something that may help me the next time I have this kind of fear… “choose serenity over worry.” Your posts are such a gift in my own struggles with recovery. Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s