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Bad mood wake up call


I hit a tree tonight.

I find it interesting, and not at all surprising, that bad "accidents" happen when I'm angry or in a foul mood. The mood has to be particularly foul to fall into the categories of "interesting bad accident" correlation, but many negative emotions certainly fit.

For example, when I lost 85% of my hearing.

I had come downstairs one morning and wandered into the kitchen, when I noticed my roommate had left all the kitchen cabinet door open again. He was always leaving the cabinet doors open, and it drove me nuts.

Now, in retrospect, why kitchen cabinet doors being open would be annoying is beyond me. Maybe at the time it annoyed me like toliet seats being left up (though, for the record, I prefer toliet seats being left up to toliet seats being urinated on), I don't know. But it annoyed me.

And so, in a fit of anger, I slammed each and every cabinet door.



Wham! Wham!

A week later, I was in the doctor's office for a hearing test. I had lost 85% of my hearing in my left ear, and 20% in my right ear.

I used to have really good hearing, being able to hear -/+ seven kHz over normal hearing range. Now, when it's quiet, I hear ringing. In that fit of anger, I managed to induce tinitus in my left ear. The first year of the ringing was very difficult.

"You'll get used to it."

"It's not so bad, at least you can hear."

"Don't worry, it'll go away sometimes."

Didn't quite work out that way. Now, when it's very quiet, say on a mountain hike, and someone comments, "Wow, listen to how quiet it is," I can only wish I could hear the silence.

Because the hum is always with me.

But, back to the tree.

The hitting of the tree was one way to snap me out of the semi-bad mood. Especially with police officer looking over at me when the crunch happened.

That I hit the tree at all was a surprise to me (well, d'uh, I wouldn't have hit it in the first place if I had seen it), because I make it a point to never drive when I'm in a foul mood. I'm responsible for two thousand pounds of machinery that can cause serious injury to people around me, to property around me, and to me. One of the last things I want to do is cause damage because I wasn't in control of that vehicle. Just as using the phone while driving is bad, driving in a bad mood is bad. And I don't like to do it.

So, now, I've gone and hit a tree. The only thing I've damaged is my own property, and that's good. The tree was fine, if a bit scratched. It's a good wake up call. Expensive, but good.

A wake up call to lower the level as to what is an acceptable "bad mood," and don't drive if I'm in that mood.

Wake. Up. Call.

Update: Oh, yeah. The human body heals well when you let it. My hearing has recovered to the range of normal hearing. I wear earplugs when I head out to loud places now (say, like dancing on Saturday nights), and carry around a pair in my backpack pretty much everywhere I go. I still have the ringing when it's quiet, but I can hear fairly well now. Well, except if you speak in a fast English accent. Then I have trouble comprehending what the heck you just said.


From the highs of the SBW award to lows of driving into a stationary object. Life is crazy...