Sunday, 5 December 2010

"UK Big Freeze set to return after brief thaw"

The most recent tweet from the Guardian newspaper was "UK big freeze set to return after brief thaw". The temperature outside is at the moment something that is of little concern to me as I no longer leave the warm comfort of my home. However, this line resinated with me. Last night, a beautiful friend of mine visited, and between her and my sister, I was transported. I semipermanently forgot that I was unwell and entered a parallel universe. After this blissful evening of distraction, the drop in temperature back to reality feels even more brutal and biting than before, the big freeze is back.

The power of distraction is something that fascinates me. When friends and family visit, at first, I am playing a part, I am an actor in my own life. I smile and talk about "trivial" matters until at some point there is a switch and I am no longer acting. I am genuinely enjoying myself and the pain minimises to a forgettable level. I have a scientific mind and one of my first thoughts on this distraction was neurologically is distraction somewhat similar to the placebo effect? Is there a way in which I am depressing the firing of my neurones devoted to pain when I am distracted? There was a huge temptation on my part to research this and understand the science behind distraction. Yet, distraction is one of my best coping mechanisms and at present I would not want to risk ruining its glorious mysticism and its profound power over me.

Although the big freeze has returned, and it may feel more difficult to bear than before, the brief thaw was blissful and it is much better to lead a roller coaster life of emotional highs and lows than continuously be on a plateau.

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