And the poo flinging monkeys? You can thank Nigel Latta for that one.
How am I coping with all the aftershocks? If you read my posts in the immediate aftermath of each shake, you'd probably conclude I'm not. What I've observed is that there seems to be a pattern to my responses
|Cashel Mall in April 2011.|
Once the world stops shaking my body doesn't for a few hours. I often find myself turning to social media to offload the shock. (There really aren't enough symbols above the number keys on my keyboard). Most of my facebook friends are locals, who are doing exactly the same thing, even in the middle of the night. There's usually a game of "guess the magnitude" going on while some poor geologist at Geonet is frantically trying to do their calculations an post the quake details online. It helps us to be able to share the experience, but it probably gives a distorted impression to the Out-of-Towners, since it's still the "alarm monkey" talking at that time.
|The aftershocks of 13 July 2011|
Once the adrenalin wears off, I experience a post-adrenalin low. This lasts about a day or two. This is the best time frame for media sound-bites of locals losing the plot. Polls run in this time frame about how many people want to leave town are I think a bit distorted. I'm not consciously anxious, but I'm aware of being more on edge and irritable. Children tend to get more scratchy at each other. Those of us in the same boat know to be a little more supportive of each other. The meal menu during this phase is takeaways or easy to cook frozen meals. It doesn't help that after a big shake there are about 2 days of smaller aftershocks, which keep deprive us of sleep, and shoot extra shots of adrenalin into the system. This is not a good time to make a long term decision about staying or leaving, but a few days break away might be helpful for some people.
After about 2 or 3 days things settle down. The ground settles back down into its "new normal" pattern of medium to small rattles only every other day. The post-adrenalin biochemical balance also restores itself back to equilibrium. Children return to their normal sleep patterns, routines resume, and life carries on. My sense of humour returns. The wise monkey is back in the tree.
After the 22 February earthquake the process took a lot longer - more like 2 weeks. I think this is because of the close call I experienced on that day. Having a week's sanity break out of town helped. In the middle of the low times, I remind myself that I've come through this before, and I will do again. I just need to ride this out and it will get better soon. I'll admit that "normal" is tiring. I was finding myself getting bone tired just from getting through each day. I started taking iron and vitamin supplements which seem to have helped with the energy levels.
Stay tuned for the next instalment - why I'm staying.