Woke up knowing I’d have to shovel the driveway, and possibly need to deal with hazardous road conditions on the drive to work. There’s nothing worse that opening your eyes knowing that you will dread the world outside your window.
My Post Traumatic Snow Disorder is back. When will the terror end??? 115 more days…
Yes, Modern Philosophers, it’s time for another entry in my 182 Days of Terror series. For those of you who missed the first post, I’ve concluded that winter in Maine lasts from October 1 until March 31, a span of 182 days.
Definitely the roughest time of my year, and worthy of frequent updates whenever the stress of dealing with winter gets to be too much.
Yesterday was destined to be trouble, seeing as how it was Monday. A crappy day downgraded to outright $%^&* when the snow started falling around noon.
Truth be told, I didn’t even notice it at first. I was too busy hating work and wondering when it was going to be 5:00. I finally glanced in the direction of a window during my lunch break and my heart started to beat a little faster.
It was snowing. Ugh!
I’m doing my best to keep my Post Traumatic Snow Disorder under control. The meds seem to work. The group therapy is helpful, except when I have to drive to the meetings on a snowy night. The two month retreat to Antarctica for immersion therapy only made me perpetually cold and develop an odd fear of snowmen.
The snow wasn’t coming down too hard, and my constant refreshing of the weather app on my phone told me that not much accumulation was expected.
I did my breathing exercises. I imagined myself as a shovel that cleared away the snow from my life.
The worst part about being stuck at work when it’s snowing is that the anxiety builds. I don’t want to be in the office as it is, and now it felt like I was just sitting around allowing the road conditions to deteriorate and the snow to pile up in my driveway.
I honestly just want to make a run for it because once I’m safely locked in the basement bunker of The House on the Hill, I really don’t care how much it snows.
I simply panic at the thought of having to drive in it, and that ends up consuming my thoughts until it’s actually time to get behind the wheel. At that point, the tension has built to such a point that my head is either going to explode, or I’m going to snap the steering wheel in half because I’m clutching it so tightly.
Yesterday, I realized that my coworkers are a big part of the problem. I called my sponsor to get some advice on how to feel with my snow sweats, and I actually thought I had my stress levels in the safe range. I’d made up my mind that if the roads were treacherous, I’d skip the highway and take side streets home.
I was all set. Then I heard the whispers…
“I hear the roads are a mess.”
“My daughter called and said there’s cars off the road on the 95 and it’s wicked slippery.”
“There’s a bunch of posts on Facebook saying the Abominable Snowman is loose in Downtown Bangor and he’s already killed three people. The more it snows, the more powerful he gets!”
The whispers continued all afternoon (I work with a very chatty group) and there was nothing I could do to block out the words, so I started to get nervous about the drive home.
Damn the whispers!
I went out to the parking lot fifteen minutes early to start my car and clear off the snow. The ground didn’t seem that bad. The snow wasn’t sticking where they had salted earlier. It was still snowing, but I convinced myself I could make it home via the highway.
Even though I wasn’t 100% sure this was the safest route, I really didn’t want to wimp out this early in the winter and set a precedent that would make me too chicken $%^& to go home my usual way anytime it snowed.
I cleared the snow off all the cars parked near me, hoping that this offering would please the Snow Gods and keep Snow Miser off my back.
I had to shovel when I got home and then again this morning, but it was a small price to pay to make it home without incident. In the end, I think I came out on top in this battle versus Snow Miser and the 182 Days of Terror.
I might never feel completely comfortable dealing with the winters in Maine, but I think each year, my confidence grows just a little bit.
I’m taking small, shaky, I don’t want to fall on the snowy ground kind of steps, but it’s progress nevertheless.
The 182 Days of Terror are a third complete. I’m sure the worst is yet to come…
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