Nothing quite like the countryside…

I live in the middle of nowhere. There is a lot of wildlife of various types, most of which are lovely and fluffy and keep themselves to themselves, but then there are the ones that brutally murder things in the middle of the night right outside the window and inflict sleep deprivation on people who can barely function on a good day.

I have an enormous dislike for foxes – more specifically the noise they make – so when they decide to teach their young how to scream and torture things in close proximity to my bed, I don’t tend to get much sleep. It has been a few days screeching lessons now and my brain is exhausted. Night time is supposed to be my recovery time when I am not busy being a bundle of adrenaline, but the foxes have taken away my place of refuge and as a result I have spent a significant amount of the past few days shaking, crying and asking people to repeat what they just said several times with a glazed look in my eye.

I need some sleep now, please. I was in a dangerous mood riding home from work today and I do not wish to make a habit of that. I quite fancy surviving the week.

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A life lived in fear is a life half lived.

I am constantly prepared for any outcome of any situation. My unreasonably high resting adrenaline level takes care of that for me – I can feel it flowing through every blood vessel, I can feel every cell in my body ready to jump into action. But my goodness would I like a rest some time.. It’s reached the point that I can’t even imagine what it is like to not have fear pulsating through my body anymore.

As I write this (again from the comfiest bed in the world) I am gripped firmly at the throat by a sense of impending doom; a feeling that something terrible is about to happen, without any trigger or any inkling as to what that event might be. There have been a lot of other contributors though – so far today I have thought that my grandparents were going to kill me, thought that my dog was about to step on a land mine and survive in horrific pain (that one keeps replaying just when I think I’ve forgotten it), thought that my mum had contracted a stomach virus, and most recently I have thought that someone is watching through the slightly open window behind me with some sort of weapon in their hand. 

All of the fears listed above are pretty standard thoughts to go through my head, and I experience them and many others like them almost constantly as I go about my daily life. There is not a single night that I don’t lie in bed and wait for the murderer to burst in cackling and illuminated by a convenient lightning flash, there is not a day I don’t believe that someone is about to be violently ill in front of me, and I am enormously suspicious of the actions and motives of every single person I encounter, without exception.

At night my brain comes alive more than ever, it assesses the world around me scrupulously and will not rest until all perceived danger is noted and processed. The little man in my head paces around muttering to himself and scribbling on a clipboard, occasionally notifying me of a new hypothetical scenario I should consider for a while. The hard day’s surviving comes to its conclusion and my mind and body dress their wounds, lecture each other on avoidance of injury, and prepare for tomorrow’s battle against themselves.

I disagree that a life lived in fear is a life half-lived. I live more than most, I live several days at once, several lives at once. It’s just most of them don’t exist.