Seasick on Land

It’s a sunny, cold Saturday morning. My morning has been characterized by the simultaneous antagonistic sensations of queasiness and hunger. Like the superimposed graphs of sine and cosine, the shift in dominance of one of these stomach discomforts oscillates back and forth and I can’t find a neutral medium. I’m so glad that I’m only working part of the day today; being nauseous impedes my ability to sit upright and be productive. I barely meditated this morning and feel unusually uninterested in writing, but I’m hoping it will pass.

My self-directed therapy sessions went well this week. I did thirty-minute blocks three days this week, focusing on my CBT anxiety reduction workbook and thinking about trauma, though that wasn’t supposed to be one of my main areas to address right now.  I’m finding the CBT book to serve as a nice guide by presenting thought-provoking questions and prompts to which I need to think and write a response. It will take time to really notice behavioral changes and a reduction in anxious thoughts, but I am confident that I’ll experience some benefits.

We are going to Washington D.C. in three weeks, so I’m starting to really look forward to that trip. It’s fun and stress-free to travel with Ben because he’s really flexible and open-minded, making him game for just about anything I’d suggest. He’s also a selfless partner; if, for instance, we go to an interesting museum, he adapts to match my (fast) pace of perusing the exhibits. He understands my inattentiveness and eagerness to dabble with lots of things instead of spend extensive time at one site. We always laugh so much when we travel, enjoying being goofy and relaxed; we don’t get caught up in much of the travel stress that most people face, even though my food allergies, sensory processing issues, and overall differentness makes the sudden break in routine of travel difficult for me on paper. There are usually some initial growing pains and struggles, but we work together well as a team to quickly establish a vacation “routine,” which puts me at ease. I’ve been really interested in animals lately, so I know the National Zoo will definitely be on our to-do list; plus, it’s free!

Years and years ago, when Ben and I were just friends and I was still in high school, we took a day trip with his girlfriend at the time to the Bronx Zoo. I’ve always been obsessed with animal facts and animals in general, so they were kind enough to invite me along. As a joke, I decided I’d pretend I had every intention of climbing the fence to swim with the sea lions. I brought my bathing suit and goggles in my backpack and had asserted many times leading up to the trip that I was going to enter the exhibit and swim with them. To be completely honest, what started as an idea for a silly prank became something I actually thought I could do as I built up the fantasy in my mind and in our silly banter. Ben, older and wiser than me, of course knew this was an impossibility but played along with my bit. When zoo day finally came, we had just as much fun as I imagined seeing all of the animals. When we approached the sea lion enclosure, I ran up to the iron fence as if I planned to scale it. I even half-heartedly feigned an attempt to get a good grip on the fence and climb up. As a rule follower, I definitely didn’t climb up or in but I think I spooked both of them and fooled them with my chicanery. It’s a hilarious memory we still laugh about.

I certainly won’t be goofing off as much this time around in Washington D.C. now that I conduct myself like an adult, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be plenty of silliness and fun. We also plan to go to the arboretum, many of the Smithsonian museums, and walk around a lot. The last time we spent time in that city was 2009, so it’ll feel exciting all over again. Ben works so hard at his job and to take care of me; it’s a pleasure to be able to whisk him away from the daily grind for a few days every once in a while, and this trip is long overdue; we haven’t traveled anywhere in three years!

Poor Comet continues to limp. She clearly suffered a full thickness tear of her CCL, which means it won’t heal naturally. We’ve decided that even so, surgery isn’t the right choice for her and our family, so she will learn to adapt. If she was in pain or some sort of health danger, our consideration of surgical intervention would be quite different. That said, she seems perfectly spunky and healthy; she just walks with three legs now. Over time, I’m sure her three-legged run and limpy walk aren’t great for her back, but there are also plenty of risks involved with the surgery and rehab at her age. We will do our best to keep her moderately active and completely happy, and that will have to do!

I’m going to heed to my body’s request that I rest and not push myself this morning. Because I’m feeling so queasy, I’m going to try deep, slow breathing and a calming relaxation exercise. I’m seasick without having gone to sea and carsick without having been in a car. Hopefully, this awful feeling will blow over so I can more easily enjoy this day.

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