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Wednesday, December 14, 2016


Last week, I had to run to the grocery when I realized I was out of cat food. Since I didn't need much, I decided to go to the small grocery store nearest to our house.  I used to frequent this store quite often when Bob was alive as their pharmacy was small and the pharmacists friendly and they knew me by name and would make sure they had Bob's pain medications ordered for him every month (I had problems with bigger pharmacies like Walgreens with this). Bob had three narcotic pain meds and so I was at this pharmacy at least three times a month.

Lately, however, I've been frequenting a different grocery store, a bit bigger with more selection.

However, on that day, I went to the old store....

And when I entered, something seemed distinctly wrong. Changed. Unfamiliar. That's when I noticed the pharmacy was gone --- and I mean gone -- boarded up, sheet rocked over, disappeared! I even walked over to the pharmacy, where a "closed" sign was posted informing clients that prescriptions had been sent to a different pharmacy.

And that's when it hit me.

I had entered a parallel universe. A different dimension in time and space. You know, one of those dimensions that co-exist next to ours, and much is the same, but little things are different. I had, in fact, entered The Twilight Zone.

And I couldn't help thinking (call me crazy) that I had to desperately get back to my universe, that dimension where surely things would be like the are supposed to be -- and Bob would be there, and Chris, and Zenith and Boomer. And I had to get back there.  I had to get back there NOW.

Because this was all a dream. A very bad dream.

Of course, I realized this feeling was crazy. I mean on some level, I realized this was crazy.  But when I looked around, nothing in this store was familiar.  Everything and everyone was unrecognizable. and unreal.  And I was literally freaking out.

So I figured I would grab the few things I needed (cat food, etc.) and get the hell out of this nightmare.

But I kept getting lost in the aisles.  And when I finally got the heck out of there, I couldn't find the car in the parking at first. When I did, on the drive home everything seemed too bright, too fake, too strange. It felt as if I was in a dream --- or more precisely a nightmare.

Even at home, everything seemed not real in some sort of strange way. I kept thinking of that Talking Heads song, the one that goes "this is not my beautiful house....  how did I get here?"

And for three days, I couldn't bear to leave the house.... and I was sick to my stomach.

When I finally did get up the courage to leave.  The feeling went away.   Sort of.  I'm still a bit shook up.

I talked with my shrink on Monday and she called this episode "derealization disorder" and said it's quite common in people who have suffered a major traumatic event (PTSD) such as Bob's sudden death and all the crap that preceded it. Also can be brought on by excessive stress: i.e. of grief, of the holidays and also the memory of Chris -- who last year at this time had a stroke and I spent Christmas Eve at the hospital with her...

She told me it was a "normal" reaction to all I've been through, triggered by the pharmacy closing --- and actually said she thought I was doing quite well, otherwise, after all I've been through. And then she prescribed Xanax.

Guess I'm just having another mental breakdown here...


Stephany Harvey said...

Xanax the wonder drug, for the win! And which pharmacy/universe will fill this prescription for you?

I just wanted you to know, Diane, I perk up significantly each time I see a post from your blog. Hang in there.

Sending hugs from Iowa


Jenn said...

Whoa. Freaky is right! Had that happen once a long time ago, though not as extreme as you experienced. How unsettling. Ugh.

Denise said...

I hope the Xanax helps you! I know you're having a very difficult time, but I hope the season brings you some small comfort, however you celebrate it.