Sensory Processing Nightmare: The Stench of Mold and Mildew

It’s been a rough 24 hours. Therapy yesterday was depressing. I nearly cried while talking about some things, which isn’t inappropriate for psychotherapy by any means, but I’m not that comfortable with my therapist yet and tend to report things in an emotionally-detached, scientific kind if way in our sessions instead of allowing the emotional impact of what I’m talking about sneak out. I’m not sure why I do that outside of the basic tenet that I still don’t feel that emotionally safe there.

After therapy, I returned home to my empty house and felt deeply lonely, even more so than I had anticipated in the morning. The cloud cover was thick and my world felt drab and harsh. The house had a repugnant funk but I couldn’t locate nor identify the source. I wanted to take a nice break, but I had time-sensitive job-related assignments to address. Within an hour, I had a horrible throbbing headache, which continued to escalate over the afternoon and into the night. I muddled through the rest of the day in a mental fog.

I actually fell asleep easily but woke when I heard Ben come home. Unlike me, he was able to quickly identify the malodorous culprit: a sopping wet carpet under our chest freezer that was already ripe with mold and mildew. He informed me that the chest freezer defrosted this weekend after it was accidentally unplugged. All the ice along the walls melted and leaked out, pooling under the freezer. The heat and humidity in the past few days provided the ideal environment for rapid mold growth. And thus, we had the huge stink on our hands.

The thick 1970s wall-to-wall carpeting was impossible to dry. The only option to quickly remedy the problem was to move the freezer and excise the saturated mildewed carpet. Unfortunately, even after doing so, my migraine remained and I was dizzy and so hot that I was radiating heat. I had to remove my weighted blanket, which typically affords a comforting, calming tranquility. I don’t sleep well without it. Despite extra Tylenol and Benadryl, I was unable to ever fall back asleep. Instead, I’m pretty sure I’ve memorized every single line of every single episode of all seven seasons of Gilmore Girls–and that’s not hyperbole.

By the time I got out of bed at 3:30 this morning, my head was thundering and I was so hungry I was near tears. The good news is that the house already smells much better now that the offending source has been heaved into the outdoor trash. Unfortunately, now there’s a huge section of plywood showing through the otherwise carpeted space.

I’m finding the need to repeatedly fight back my irritability, depression, and bad mood today. I am trying my best to push through and find some happiness and positivity to showcase. It won’t be an easy feat, but I’ll try.

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