Dog Day Afternoon

Today has been a rough one.

I’ve been getting ready for a long camping trip, which has been less stressful than I imagined it would be, however it has been enough to elevate me to the point of being stressed enough for things to set me off.

The neighbor’s dog, for example, was barking today. All day. 

I’m not good, usually, with the introduction of noise that repeats itself for any length of time. My college roommate played the same song on repeat for two days straight so I moved out, and our xbox 360 gets a limited amount of play due the the high pitched whining noise it makes… so you get the picture. I am not someone who can handle noisy situations, or any noise that might cause my brain to warp and want to eat itself.

So the dog. It barked. All day. And by noon I was hysterical. I yelled at the dog, I opened and closed various windows, I stood outside and made eye contact with the dog (during which time he would stop barking until I moved). I even marched over to the apartment with the dog in an attempt to make peace, but his owners wouldn’t answer the door.

I get really panicky in these sorts of situations, and I called Corey in hopes that he would have some brilliant idea I hadn’t thought of to shut the dog up (or noise proof the apartment so I couldn’t hear it bark).

He suggested I leave the apartment. I had so much to do today trying to pack for the trip I didn’t want to leave, but after enough crying and gnashing of teeth, I fled and took Luna for a walk.

I found myself thinking, this is what work feels like. The feeling of being trapped in a situation where I am slowly being driven up the wall, and the only options I have are to do something that makes me incredibly anxious (like confront the noise) or run away.

I know it could probably be said that I am a controlling person (wanting a dog to stop barking and all) but controlling my environment often gives me the best chances of escaping dramatic mood fluctuations triggered by, well, things like barking dogs.

I realize there are other ways to deal with this, but at this point neither a lot of therapy nor a lot of drugs have been able to curb my overwhelming emotional responses so I can’t say I feel like I have many options, short of buying a house with no neighbors with dogs.

But it doesn’t end there, does it? This happens to me when I get things in the mail too, and in so many other innumerable situations (we’ll call it Bipolar Disorder) I can’t seem to catch a break.

I guess today is just a pessimistic sort of day, brought on by one very annoying dog. I’m already armed with the notion of talking to the building manager tomorrow if this somehow repeats itself, so it isn’t like I’m sitting here wallowing in my own misery.

Or maybe I am, but just a little bit.


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