Painting, kayaking, CoDA, nightmares, cats, dogs and emergency vets…

It’s been an eventful weekend. I’m pleased I could do it, after being walloped by a throat infection during the week. I’d been really looking forward to a hen party on Saturday and I knew I’d need energy for it.

My friend who’s getting married is a triathlete. Most of her friends are too and so she’d planned a day of outdoor activities as an alternative to the traditional booze-fuelled hen celebrations. It was brilliant. The sun shone. We made rafts and raced them. We swam and kayaked. I mastered paddle boarding – even showing off some yoga moves on the board. The day ended with a much needed barbecue as the sun set.

I got to my CoDA meeting too, which I was glad about. I was out on a training day last week and had to miss it, so it was great to get there yesterday. I’m not sure what it is about that meeting, but it seems to give me some breathing space that breaks up the weekend. Maybe I’m a bit of a therapy addict. I’m doing four sessions per week at the moment with the EMDR added in. I reckon some people would say that’s enough, but I still need my Saturday meeting. When there’s so much stuff spinning around in my head that I can’t talk about in ‘normal’ life, it’s important to me I can offload something in between therapy sessions.

After such a busy and wholesome day yesterday, I expected to sleep like a baby last night. But in the early hours I had an awful night terror. They’ve given me a bit of a break recently, but this one really made up for that. I was paralysed, but vaguely awake. This sense of total panic engulfed me and I felt as though I was convulsing with fear. My breathing was really fast but I felt like no oxygen was getting in. It took me ages to make a noise loud enough to wake up my wife. Then it took her a pretty long time to wake me up and shake me out of it.

I slept late this morning as a consequence. The horror still hung over me, but I eventually dragged myself out of bed as I was looking forward to seeing some friends for lunch. One of them has been through a tough time lately and we were getting together to celebrate his birthday. I was excited about seeing them and giving him the badger I’d painted for him. That probably seems like a random choice of animal, but they’re his favourite.

We had a delicious meal and he loved the painting. He’s from a family with a lot of money, and nobody had ever made him a gift before, so he was made up. We settled down to watch a movie and that’s when it all went wrong. We’d taken our dog with us to see them, and hadn’t noticed their cat jump in through a window. My dog is not a cat lover.

There was a crash and a load of yelping and I ran to intervene. I’d expected the cat to be hurt, but it was my poor dog who’d lost the fight. She was cowering and shaking and I knew she was hurt. I totally panicked when I saw her eye bleeding. Eyes shouldn’t bleed should they? She couldn’t open it and was clearly in a lot of pain. I forced myself to breathe and stay calm, but my mind was racing ahead and jumping to the conclusion she was going to lose the eye.

My wife and I rushed her to the emergency vet (animals always have to do these things on a Sunday it seems). I was hugely relived when the vet reassured us she wouldn’t be blinded by the injury. It’s a nasty puncture wound in her eyeball though. They gave her a shot of pain relief and some antibiotics. Then hit me with a £300 bill for the out of hours service.

We can’t afford it, but I actually don’t care about the money. We’ll work it out somehow and we’ll get some back through insurance. It’s going to cost more yet, as she’ll have to go back to the vets probably daily in the coming week to check it’s healing OK. If it doesn’t, they’ll have to do a little surgery to fix it if it.

It sounds silly I know, but we don’t have kids, and so this ridiculous mongrel is our baby. Every day she makes me laugh, calms my anxiety, gets me out in the fresh air. The thought of her being in pain is really awful for me. I am so glad she’s home and snuggled up with me on the sofa now.

So all in all it’s been a weekend of ups and downs. I haven’t had time to get myself worked up about EMDR tomorrow, or about an ambiguous email I got from the police on Friday. They informed me my case has been expedited and by the end of next week I may have a preliminary decision on whether they are prosecuting my brother. Just that in an email, no explanation, and no time to call and find out more before the weekend. Tomorrow I should have more information, but in the meantime I have to force myself not to catastrophise around all the possible scenarios. I was not expecting to hear anything about it for another four months, so god knows what’s happened to make it move so fast.

I’m reminding myself now of my little ‘In this moment’ meditations book. There’s no use in me replaying today’s events or freaking out about what’s going to happen tomorrow. I just need to be here, right now, breathing and living this moment. And of course, hanging on to all the laughter and sunshine I had this weekend too.

The miserable patient in her ‘cone of shame’

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Wow, that’s a lot. I wish you well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laura Black says:

      thank you 🙂


  2. Pets are such parts of our lives. Wishing him a speedy recovery

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a weekend! Our pooches are our family too. And it’s been proven that dogs have a huge range of feelings (I heard that on radio 4 so it must be true!).Also having compassion for animals means we can have compassion for humans.. The way we treat animals is important marker for civilization. Now it’s only 7.52 and I’m coming out with philosophy… It’s clearly going to be a good day at work lol!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laura Black says:

      Haha yeah Radio 4 never lies! She seems to mostly be feeling miserable right now, but yeah we’re used to her range of exuberant feelings when she’s 100% 🙂 Impressed you can manage to be philosophical this early on a Monday morning. Have a good day.


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