Monday, February 6, 2012

In an emergency, live in the moment: outback Qld

The art of relaxation in times of crisis is an almost impossible thing to achieve. We all need to be aware, however, of our own individual levels of stress and how to manage them.

For me, I find myself unable to sit still; find myself overreacting to the smallest stresses of life here on Phillip Island. For instance -- and as a direct result of my stress -- Katie Siamese vomited up her breakfast in four places throughout the house, and then half an hour later Del 'threw up' in two places in the lounge room.

We are told that in order to deal with worry and negative anticipation about the future, we should live in the moment and remind ourselves of all the good things in life. Easier said than done, as I clean up vomit and think of Doug opening up our home in Mitchell to be greeted by the debris left behind after water has been over the top of tables! It's not going to be a pleasant sight and I feel for him and all our neighbours and friends.

My problem is that I empathise too readily (for my own well-being) with other people. I have to remind myself that the best way I can help Doug is to look after my own health and everything else here on the island.

A phone call at midday told me the good and the bad. Everyone in Mitchell is pulling together, helping and offering support. We have friends and neighbours who care and who are helping Doug deal with the mess.

Taking photos of absolutely everything was Doug's first task, along with making a written record of the damage. But things are much, much worse than we expected. I'll give you details tomorrow, but in short, chest height water has gone through our home, leaving a tangle of debris, mud and smell. Doug says it looks like someone has trashed the place!

Maintaining a sense of humour is possible in a disaster situation, and laughter definitely reduces stress. But many people are in shock and feel numb inside. Financial hardship, along with the loss of their home may feel too hard to bear. Around 300 homes have been flooded in Mitchell. My heart goes out to everyone affected by the floods.

Today's photo shows the boardwalk to 'our' beach. I'm not going to walk to the beach with Doug away because two large German shepherds and a flight of steps would be asking for trouble with my hernia situation. We don't need another emergency unfolding here.

So I will enjoy the view from the house, and the dogs have ample exercise chasing rabbits around our garden.

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