Dark, cold and windy weather. The catalpa tree across the road has begun to throw out dazzling white panicles of flower, quite breathtaking.
We’re both still sick and not getting better. So far, tests are inconclusive for the housemate and she goes back and forth from the clinic. There may be a heart murmur, we wonder about the risk of cancer. We can’t bear to think about it. The house is clean and a little like a hospital ward. We have sterile dressings, separate hand towels and antibiotic eye creams for the conjunctivitis, packets of analgesics and pots of tea for flu, bowls filled with oranges, lemons and fresh apples to boost our immune systems. Yoghurt, honey, ginger. Affectionate dogs to boost our spirits.
All night I dream about catching baby dolphins in a dream net, silver and gold fingerlings of dolphin. There is a ruined castle with a walled garden filled with wisteria blossom and poisonous laburnum. There are felled ash trees and logs of firewood burning. Poor chaotic Lindsay Lohan is running around in the castle keep searching for her feckless parents and her long red hair falls out by the handful. Fever dreams, with an overlay of popular culture.
Courage, I tell myself, courage. To be brave for someone else, to take a deep breath and face what must be faced.
All I can face, truth be told, is dry toast and black tea. Reading Wray Herbert on shaming and alcoholics:
And how about addiction? Does the same psychological dynamic work with socially undesirable habits like drug use and alcoholism? Shame and addiction are deeply intertwined. Alcoholics may be prone to shame, by disposition, and on top of that, drinking helps numb these aversive feelings. Indeed, alcoholics may drink in part to cope with chronic shame and low self-worth, and the heavy drinking could in turn be causing shame, creating a vicious cycle of abuse.