My heart is breaking right now. My little Yoshi, the dumbest dog in America, is basically laying on my head vibrating with fear over the lightning flashing outside.
When I write my daily missives, I sit in the same place on the couch (the kids call it “mom’s spot”) with my computer balanced on the arm of the couch and my left leg, which means I’m basically curled up in a ball when I write. I don’t imagine it looks very comfortable from an outsiders point of view, and my chiropractor insists that my 45-year-old body is no longer a candidate for such shenanigans. But something about twisting my body in such a manner creates a path of creativity that cannot be duplicated by sitting in any other position.
Today, however, my jittery dog is jockeying for space where there is none because of a little storm. The jolts are close so they are fairly loud, but I don’t think it’s anything to worry about. Yoshi cannot be convinced of that. My lyrical voice coaxing him to understand that it’s okay falls on deaf ears. Maybe his brain is just shaking too hard for him to hear me? This poor dog is a big old mess.
Why are so many of us afraid of storms? Is it because we don’t know when lightning will strike or are we just afraid it’s going to ruin our picnic? Uncertainty is annoying, that’s for sure, but what can we do about it? I’ve faced many storms, especially over the past 10 years with Ben’s illness, and the jarring electric pulses of surprises nearly always startles me leaves a metallic taste in my mouth. But then there’s the time to recover from the shock and find normalcy even though the storm continues to rage. It might not match any definition you’ve ever had of normalcy before, but it becomes a part of you. You have to learn to live with it. You have to make peace with it. Or at least come up with a schedule of when it can interrupt you and when it can’t.
Sometimes life is a bad roommate and locks itself in the bathroom when it’s technically your turn – according to the schedule, anyway – but you find a way to deal with it even though it infringes on your rights as a human being. Besides. It’s just a storm. It will pass, right?
I guess I am afraid that this storm will never pass. Or, I guess I’m more afraid that if the storm does pass that it will take my Ben with it. Admittedly, I’m afraid of this storm. But there’s nothing I can do about it. However, I’ve let it take up enough of my time by cowering in fear of it. Yes. It’s raining. The lightning is loud and obnoxious. But, if I listen close enough, the pelting rain is soothing. I’m able to find a certain amount of peace.
No amount of lyrical coaxing will take away what we’re dealing with. Ben has chronic disease. It’s always going to be lightning that is threatening to strike us. But if I curl up and hide – if I remain shaking in fear of the damage it may or may not do – I’m missing the point.
Life goes on despite the storm. Find a good umbrella and get on with it.
Oh my gosh Sarah Brewer. You amaze me and I admire you for soooo many reasons!!!
Get Yoshi a Thundershirt at the pet store. It is really snug (like a bear hug) and helps keep the anxiety away. Then ask the pet store if they make them for humans – we could all use them at one time or another!
When it storms here I have the Sophia, Swiper our dog & one of the cats on top of me. It’s ridiculous!
I have heard about a thing called a “Thunder Coat” for dogs. They are quite expensive but they work. I will look into them to see if I can make a pseudo thunder coat for Yoshi. It should be quite easy. I will just need some measurements from you. It is so hard to see them shudder so during the storms. It is better than putting them on sedatives that keep them doped up for hours for no reason. (This is the vet tech coming out of me!)
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