Thursday, March 03, 2011

A case of 'want to stay in bed'-ness

This morning I woke up in a mood of supreme badness. How bad? you ask. So bad that even a decent serving of rhubarb crumble, eaten out of my 'Worlds best Aunty' cup did not stop the pouting. That's pretty bad. My motivation extended only to the possible achievement of going back to bed and staying there forever. I also looked like hell, dark under-eye circles, unwashed. Dear Reader, count yourselves lucky that blog reading does not involve face-to-face interaction.

It's hard to say exactly why I felt so hellish today, but it's a fair observation that last night was not exactly restful (aftershocks - about one an hour from midnight to 5.30am) and this may have played a part. My cheeks hurt (yes, on my face) too, which suggests that I am grinding my teeth in my sleep, a problem which emerged for a few weeks after Quake#1.

It could also be three days of breathing earthquake dust or the fact that I can't exercise to lift my mood as I usually do - heavy breathing and sweating isn't a great idea when the air is foul and we still don't have hot water (cylinder fix failed, it looks like the element has died). Furthermore, I must confess that I've been doing what I said I wouldn't - not eating well, drinking too much coffee and having several wines 'to relax', every night. Lastly, if I step back and view myself as a psychological being, even though I am one of the lucky ones, it's still a lot to deal with and I'm sure that feeling gross is part of the process. What I'm not going to do is wallow.

The New Zealand College of Clinical Psychologists (NZCCP) has issued a one-pager to various locations - I got mine at the gas station - which is basically bullet points of things we can do to 'take care of ourselves'. I like their style. It is written in easily assimilated short phrases for the stressed mind and very practical. One thing they recommend is doing as many normal things as possible, rather than sitting around all day watching the depressing news on TV. I remember after Quake#1, feeling sheer pleasure at being able to load the dishwasher and turn it on. I also remember bursting into tears in the supermarket, and part of that was that it just felt so wonderfully familiar and normal to shop. The other part of that crying jag was just feeling unusually emotional. I was like that today as well, tears welling up when a sad song came on the radio. I'm sure this is all normal and so I'm just doing as the NZCCP suggests - not expecting too much of myself and trying to retain some semblance of normal life.

Having given myself a firm 'get out of bed' talk, I headed out to feed and check on my 'foster cats' - I'm feeding and/or providing welfare updates by text for four cats at the moment, in addition to my five. I then decided to do something non-taxing - labeling a bit of product and packing some orders. The problem was, I kept losing stuff. The labels, the address labels, my pen, the invoices and every time I did, I felt very agitated and like throwing everything into the air and screaming, then running home and going back to bed. Recognising that my brain appeared to be firing less-then-perfectly today, I just slowed everything down, focused on one thing at a time (rather than my usual method of mad multi-tasking) and accepted that I am just having a very off day. That helped.

I drove to Halswell to send orders and then attempted to shop at the New World out there. Bleh. They don't have free-range pork, the organic section is one small, sad shelf of expensive veges and they have not a single bottle of organic wine. This last fact nearly made me snarl something very nasty at the wine guy, abandon my trolley and storm back to my car. I had to talk to myself (I hope this was in my head, not out loud), telling the other me that I was not really myself today and to just cut everybody some slack, including the supermarket buyers, even though they are clearly inferior to those at my old supermarket, now in supermarket heaven.

Speaking of which, for god-knows-what reason, I was compelled to do a drive-by on the way home. Pure masochism. There are several giant rubbish skips - about the size of a train carriage - parked outside and it looks like they are just turfing everything into them. I sincerely hope that they are not just biffing all the food. After Quake#1, piles of 'quake damaged' (i.e. ripped label, dented can) food was dumped at Halswell Quarry - word got around and people went scavenging. Considering that the Eastern Suburbs remain in a dire way with no power and water and that there are still people in welfare centres, surely that's where any still-edible food should go? I will do some investigating and see if I can find out what the situation is. Perhaps I'm just being pessimistic.

The day was almost not a complete grump-fest. Although I remained emotional and my fuse didn't get any longer, there were a couple of moderate bumps in the baseline of my mood. I made a visit to my Grandparents, where I got to shower (ahhhh, so good) and to set up Skype on Grandma's computer, complete with the usual novelty of both Grandma and Grandad pulling up chairs to watch me do something undoubtedly genius with this newfangled technology thingo. I joined them for a cup of tea, which was lovely, but then we watched (at deafening volume - someone needs a new hearing aid battery) the mayor and other officials state over and over to journalists that they can't give a final death toll - currently 161 confirmed dead - until all bodies are recovered. Today the focus changed from 'rescue' to 'recovery', which speeds things up because they can operate in a less delicate manner, but is obviously terribly sad news for relatives and not very uplifting viewing.

The other brighter spots in my sleep-deprived day were a) the return of a foster cat parent, who brought us some really lush apples and pears from her parents orchard, and b) the delivery of a large box by courier. Getting stuff in the mail makes me feel warm and fuzzy at the best of times, but even moreso when mail deliveries are random. And what a delivery!

Yesterday, having heard that the councils answer to the current water pollution was going to be heavy chlorination, I made a rash decision to buy a reverse osmosis water purification system. Considering that it was past noon when I was on the phone with the seller, it is some sort of postal miracle that it turned up today - perhaps 'water purifier' registers in the courier system as an emergency delivery? I note that my clueless questions must have scared him because he has hand-labelled everything quite clearly so that I can't mess it up. The water passes through four filters, and by the time it drips out, should be about as pure as you can get it, given the starting quality. I have been forewarned that it will be a slow, slow process as the water pressure is currently quite crap, but I intend to run it day and night and hopefully have some to give away to people I know with health problems. In spite of my firm stance on pure water, I don't actually think that chlorination is a really big deal in the short term. My worry is that once the council makes our currently substandard water drinkable through chlorination, they will put cleaning up the water supply on to the backburner.

However, as you might have perceived, today is not the day for me to be making such statements definitively. Ask me again tomorrow and I 'may' have a more positive view of the council, the water, humanity and the world in general. I have a plan to get me started in the right direction. I'm going to grab my big fat Razzy cat, go find The Programmer and insist on a group hug - something that Razzy loves, judging by the squeaky purring noise he makes. And then if I can get some sleep tonight, there's a very good chance that tomorrow will see a whole new Sara. :D Stay tuned.


I love to hear from you! Tell me what's in your brain, your heart or your dinner plate :D.