Thursday, 3 February 2011


When the floods hit, it was surreal, and it was a little bit scary - at least while we were evacuating the Possum and worried about my sister. And watching the water rise over the city and into the cultural precinct was a bit traumatic, but because I was here, and because I could see how much the city was just getting on with it, it was OK. I was never truly frightened. I knew we'd all be fine, and while a lot of people may have been inundated, they were safe.

I had been terrified watching the Toowoomba flash flooding because my parents and my family live that way, and as the devastation ripped down the range my heart was in my mouth at all the people I know who live in the Lockyer because that's where I did some of my biggest bits of growing up. And I love that community, and my little school and the pub where we had dinner and lemonade sometimes. And part of the terror was because I couldn't reassure myself that things were OK. I wasn't tehre. I wasn't watching it with my own eyes, so every bit of horrid footage of water gushing across James St made me want to vomit with fear and anxiety.

So you can imagine that this week, while Melissa was sighing with relief that Yasi spared Cairns and Townsville how I felt, with family and friends at Mission Beach and Tully. I watched those unreal pictures, of the giant angry eye descending on the beautiful country where I have seen wild Cassowaries, pulled more than a few coral trout off the reef and laid in a pool overlooking the Pacific Ocean, and cried a little.

That main street in Tully is where I walked for the first time about 10 years ago and was stopped countless times in the street because people already knew who I was. Such is the grapevine in a small community. People openly friendly and curious to know who Bingley had brought home. Mt Tyson stands guard over this wettest city in Australia and I've climbed it myself. Sat on top of the rock at the top less than a week after I had abdominal surgery (being both stubborn and stupid) and gazed out at the vista.

We've heard from all the family and friends, and they're all alive, but the towns and the houses are not unscathed. Even though I know logically that they're ok, I think of the girls' only great grandparent, alone in her house as the eye passed and I cry. I can't help it. She's a tough and stubborn woman, and she would have dealt with it fine, but the idea of it is scaring me. I can't see them. I can't touch them. I can't see the trees that I love and I'm anxious because all I can do is imagine and it doesn't help.

My anxiety has been causing issues of late. To the point where I actually went and saw my GP yesterday (first time in 2 years). And knowing I'm a doctor, he asked what I wanted him to do and I couldn't say. I couldn't say that I have vomited almost every morning for a few weeks - just as I did when I was pregnant. I am so tired that my limbs feel heavy. I have reflux a lot. I have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. I can't eat. I am losing weight. I am having difficulty maintaining concentration at work sometimes, especially after 10 or so hours in a shift. I have difficulty when friends ask me questions about their illnesses and I take it on and I'm not dealing with it ok.

I need a break, and there's none coming. I have lots of good coping strategies, and they all work - but when nature brings something like Yasi, it just brings it all undone. I'll be OK, because I always am, but right now, I selfishly feel a little bit fragile, and I just can't deal with some things. But I will. Because that's what I do.


Nicole S said...

Hey, it's been a very very tough month in so many ways. Please know that I am always here to listen.

Be kind to yourself

Melissa said...

I'm sorry - I had no idea you have people there, Jenn.

I went on like such an idiot, only worried about Avey, and there were so many others..

As for the anxiety - I truly am sorry to hear about this. I wish there was a break coming - something to just give you some breathing room.


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