This was a Pizza Hut
Now it’s all covered with daisies
We used to microwave
Now we just eat nuts and berries
This was a discount store,
Now it’s turned into a cornfield
Heh. “Hot-water-cylinder showroom” doesn’t scan nearly as well. ;-)
Mine have differed quite markedly over time. During the September quake I thought incredibly clearly and practically. I remember the thought 'this is an earthquake' alerting my sleepy mind like lightning before I dived under the bed.
I didn't feel the February quake (horse riding) but once I found out I didn't think very clearly at all for um....a long time. Irrationality was the order of the day/week/month/s.
June: was paralyzing, seemed to go on forever and, again, I couldn't think clearly afterwards (kept forgetting who I'd checked in with etc etc).
Big quake out our way sometime before June - I couldn't stop shaking, couldn't form sentences. That was a nasty one.
Dec 23rd quake - I didn't even get off the couch for the first one, head stayed marvellously clear. I believe this is what is known as complacency.... I was biking during the second and was more concerned with the steering than anything else!
I think I react better to them when we haven't had one in a good while. Otherwise I am just constantly waiting for the damned things. It's nice to forget for a time, to feel safe.
Generally I am good in a crisis. But since the February quake I need to put a lot of effort into constantly overriding the part of myself that is descending into panic, and success has been very mixed. It's hard work, arguing with your brain! I'm now a lot better if there is someone else telling me what I should do. The little inner voice that usually tells me what to do seems to have gone on hiatus (and I can't say that I blame it!).
I'd re-write this but I'm just too tired, sorry!
The photos are lovely Lilith, thank you.
But since the February quake I need to put a lot of effort into constantly overriding the part of myself that is descending into panic,
On-going erratic/unforseeable stress is another matter altogether ( and it’s why those of us who know ChChCh well – but dont live there now, &/but have family there-cant possibly understand/appreciate what the ’quake endurees suffer.)
It was the classic method used by torturers from ancient times-unfortunately, it is still a classic and hideously effective method up until today-
the only suggestion I can offer is being aware of your breathing - slow it, be aware of it, keep it quiet (this is taught to armed forces, police, firefighters, as well as any numbers of religious practitioners. It works. Also works for people having difficulty sleeping in strange/alarming circumstances-
Big quake out our way sometime before June – I couldn’t stop shaking, couldn’t form sentences. That was a nasty one.
The one big(ish) aftershock that happened when I was down, I literally sat at my desk thinking..."OK, that's quite big...hmmm, there's probably something I should be doing right now. What is...huh, those ceiling beams are quite big, aren't they? Wait, what's [my colleague] doing?"
Eventually, I had the wherewithal to take a step sideways into a doorway. And then snapped into work mode - where had been badly hit, who could we talk to, etc.
Actually, the most heartening thing about it was all the Chch people who texted me to make sure I was OK. Which...yeah, I was. How's your house?
since the February quake I need to put a lot of effort into constantly overriding the part of myself that is descending into panic, and success has been very mixed.
Typically I get an attack of anxiety and cry a lot and can't concentrate, about a week after we've had a big shake; so I've found that's a good time to get out of town for a bit, and I come back feeling OK. After Dec 23rd I couldn't go away for various reasons and I had a really hard time. I was also needing to find a new place and then move, which added more stress. So I went to my doc and asked what we could do. I had a generalised anxiety that I just couldn't get rid of, not particularly about earthquakes, but anything and everything. I wasn't sleeping properly because of it and was struggling to concentrate. She suggested we try a low dose of citalopram, which is an SSRI antidepressant but in low doses can also be effective for anxiety. And it's made a huge difference: I feel normal again! I wish I'd been taking it earlier.
Just putting that out there in case it's helpful for others. I think a lot of us have been very stoic for a long time, and it's been such a strain.