Category Archives: Anxiety

Mask

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I live my life behind a mask. My mask is happy.  My mask is confident.  I’m good at wearing this.  Despite how I feel inside, I don’t reveal my honest feelings and fears.

I don’t really let people see the “true me”.  Hell, sometimes I don’t even know what the “true me” is.  I’ve hidden behind a mask for so long that maybe that is the “true me”.

There’s an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation where a character has a bunch of laws to live by.  Her law number one was “You always have to rely on yourself”.  I totally agree with that.  But my law zero is “Trust no one”.  If you can’t trust, it’s hard to show your “true self”.  It’s hard to take off that mask.

I’m slowly learning to trust Dr. D and Dr. W.  It’s been a rough couple of weeks for me.  Last week, I tried to cancel my appointment with Dr. D and quit therapy all together.  I made a deal to come that one time.  Ordinarily, I would have hidden how bad things were and just tiptoed around the issues.  But I didn’t.  I sat there and talked through the flashbacks.  Making myself that vulnerable was extremely scary.  And although nothing bad happened, I still want to put that mask on.

Maybe this is a turning point for me.  Maybe it’s okay to drop the mask and let safe people see what’s underneath.

Two Views

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I have two views about children.  What I think about me as a child, and what I think about all the other children in the world.

When I think of me as a child (looking back on the past), the only thing I see is what a horrible person I was.  I was was clearly at fault for what happened.  I can only blame myself.  It’s full of shouldas.  I should have told someone.  I should have fought back.  I shouldn’t have hid.

When I think about other children, particularly ones in situations like my own, I see nothing but innocence.  How could you blame them?  It’s like their lives are out of control and they’re doing the best they can.

I have a hard time reconciling these views.  On the surface, it seems so easy.  But when I try to tackle it, all those negative thoughts come racing back.

Showers and Stuff

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One of my biggest challenges has been taking showers.  There were countless times where my father fondled me while washing my hair.  I came to hate showers and associated them with pain and anxiety.  And the fear and anxiety led to what I call the 3 minute shower.  In and out just as fast as you can.

I’ve been struggling with shower issues for years.  I finally buckled down and got my fears under control.  It took a lot of time.  I started by just standing in the shower, fully clothed, for increasing amounts of time.  Once I felt comfortable there, I moved to standing in the showers with no clothes on.  That was really hard.  But with time, I was able to be in the shower for increasing amounts of time.

Then it came time for actual showers.  This brought back the panic full force.  I just had to power through it.  Now, I was doing all this in the daylight.  Nighttime was nearly impossible.  So once I finally got comfortable with showers longer than three minutes I started back at the beginning, but after dark.

It feels like the entire process took f0rever.  Now it’s to the point where there isn’t any anxiety surrounding the shower.

Coping Skills

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I’m learning to live with the side effects of the Cymbalta.  Yogurt is my new best friend.  It’s easy on my tummy and I found a flavor I like (Yoplait’s Whips in Chocolate).  They’re 100 calories a pop and I can usually get two down.  I’ve been eating those for breakfast and lunch and trying to choke down whatever we’re having for dinner.

I actually started adding Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner in my to-do app.  It’s definitely got a game type vibe to it, and that helps motivate me to actually open it up.

I’ve given myself permission to take a Klonopin during the day if things get really rough.  Yes, I get the doctor’s point that she doesn’t want to change too many variables at once.  But there’s no use in torturing myself.  All that accomplishes is making me want to eat even less, which feeds back into the anxiety.

Thankfully, I seem to be sleeping better.  The increase in the Trazodone has helped on that front.  I was hoping the sleep would help with my pain, but alas, that doesn’t seem to be the case.  In fact, it seems to be worse than before, with a lot more muscle tension and spasms.  I’m going to start back up on the magnesium supplement I was taking since the Cymbalta (or lack of food) is screwing with my lower GI tract.

Finally, I’m taking it one day at a time.  That’s the only way I’m going to get through my life.  I’ve quit looking toward the future because I don’t see it dramatically changing any time soon.

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

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I swear I can’t win.  I started on the Cymbalta almost a week ago.  The good news, it is starting to help with the pain.  The bad news, it killed my appetite.  I’m lucky if I get 1000 calories a day.  I’ve lost 5 pounds since I started.  While that’s a welcome loss, it isn’t healthy nor sustainable.  My anxiety has also gone into overdrive.  My blood sugar is running low because of the not eating thing and that tends to trigger anxiety.  Despite telling the doctor this, she doesn’t want me to go down on the dosage (I told her 30 mg had worked fine for me in the past but she insisted on putting me on 60 mg even though I’m incredibly sensitive to medication).  She also doesn’t want me to take a daytime dosage of Klonopin.  She essentially wants me to ride it out.  I’ve got enough Klonopin to take it twice a day before I see her again, so I might use it as a crisis kind of thing.  Oh and she isn’t worried about the not eating thing either.

I’m debating whether to try a different psychiatrist (see previous entry about the psychosis thing) or see if she works out.  I don’t like doctor hopping and it’s my general rule not to do it unless the person is truly an ass or incompetent.  But she doesn’t seem to really give a damn.

*sigh*

One step forward, two steps back.  That’s the story of my life, or so it seems.

A Very Long Day

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I’m so mentally, emotionally and physically exhausted.  I started the day with the psychiatrist.  Initial sessions are always long.  Having to go through my history is beyond demanding.  Fighting back tears (and failing miserably) left me drained after the first 30 minutes.  Then she drops the little bomb shell that she thinks I’m psychotics.  I basically told her I respectfully disagree.  Hearing the voice of one of my abusers is more likely a PTSD symptom (PDF) rather than a psychosis symptom.  She wanted to put me on one of the newer antipsychotics.  I told her no.  I absolutely and positively wouldn’t go down that route again.  I gained so much weight on them and they sent my cholesterol sky high.  I don’t need that crap again.  She didn’t seem pleased with my refusal, but it’s my body.  Honestly, it’s not causing me that much distress that I think it needs to be medicated.  I’m quite aware the voice isn’t real and what the origin of it is.  I’m not putting those drugs in my body unless I’m going crazy.  I think they’re overused for things like bipolar, PTSD, ADHD (!) and Autism (!!!).  So, in the end, she upped one of my meds and put me back on Cymbalta for the depression and chronic pain.  Once I’m doing somewhat better, she wants me to get back into therapy.  I’m not against that.  I just need to find someone the energy to find someone.

Then it was to the hospital side to register for blood work and an EKG.  I’m still not 100% certain why she feels she needs the EKG, but whatever.  The nice man filling in from another department was trying to register me into the ER, which is why he couldn’t find the doctors name.  Once that was fixed, I got to the lab where the paperwork was screwed up because my age ended up getting entered as 103.  I don’t even know how that happened.  I got stabbed in the hand, leaving me with a nice little lump and a big old bruise.

Then the fun really began.  Gynecologist time.  I kid you not…  when the nurse took my BP, I almost had a stroke right there given how high it was (190/130) after it being normal (120/80) earlier in the day.  She was pretty alarmed until I told her I was basically sitting there having a panic attack.  The doctor was really nice.  She tried to be as gentle as she could.  It isn’t that easy since my body is a bit weird and I was, well, freaking out.  At least I don’t have to go back for a year, and then only for a quick check, not the full thing.

I’m about to take my meds and go to bed.  I’ve finally gotten myself mostly calmed down.  But I’m exhausted.

So Much For That Idea

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I don’t know what to do anymore.  I tried to get into the agency that I saw before.  They take Medicaid.  Just not my version of Medicaid.  Then don ‘t advertise that you take Medicaid.  That pisses me off more than anything.  If I had known that I could have put the energy into finding someone who does.

It seriously took all my mental energy to call this place.  I’m sitting here shaking like a leaf, about ready to throw up.  I want to cry, but I’m determined not to.

Maybe I’m taking this all too seriously and personally.  But I can’t help it.  I know I need this.  It’s just disheartening.

I should just go jump off a bridge.

I’m a Coward

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I have a appointment with a GYN on Friday because my shitty ass PCP won’t prescribe birth control.  Really?  Why the hell did you go into primary care.  Prescribing BC sort of falls into primary care these days since you don’t need to see a GYN if you’re not sexually active (or at least not more than once every three years).  I tried to explain my history to him, but he didn’t give a rats ass.  He doesn’t do birth control.  He conveniently doesn’t do psych meds or pain meds either, though these are a bit more understandable.  I have a psychiatrist appointment for Friday and I hate those.  I hate going into my past.  But that’ll be a walk in the park compared to seeing the GYN.  Luckily this person came highly recommended by the referral line.

I also know I need to get back into therapy.  But I’m too scared to even call and make an appointment.  There’s a place in town that used to serve abuse survivors.  It’s been folded into another agency but from their website it seems like maybe they still specialize in survivors.  Nothings going to change, but I’m such a chicken that even thinking about calling them is freaking me out.  I had a good experience with them before.  I don’t know what’s up with me.

Right now, I’m so anxious, I’m nauseated.  I don’t want to eat.  I haven’t eaten all day, which is probably why my stomach is hating me.  I tend to get really nauseous when my blood sugar falls.  I’m pretty sure that’s what’s going on now.  It’s a crappy spiral.  My stomach isn’t happy so I don’t eat which screws with my blood sugar which makes me more nauseous.   We’ve got some nice French bread, maybe I’ll try to eat a piece of that and see if it doesn’t settle my stomach.

Long story short, I’m a coward.

All That Jazz

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Or maybe just some of it.  OK, probably none of it.

My brain is utterly fried.  I don’t know what to blame it on…  constant stress, depression, anxiety, fibro.  All of the above, maybe?

I guess if you want to look on the plus side, my PTSD symptoms are pretty much nonexistent aside from anxiety and a wicked startle response.  But I’m bone tired.  Like stay in bed all day bone tired.  And my bones hurt from the cold.  Spring can’t come soon enough for me.

My doc started me on a muscle relaxant at night.  While that’s a good thing (I think since I’m not waking up with spasms in my back and legs) my muscles seem to clamp down even harder during the day.  I could barely straiten my back yesterday.

I’ve applied for my state’s medicaid program.  I’m trying to figure out what the next step with them is.  The website isn’t exactly clear.  I guess I need to go in person.  Luckily for me, there’s an office in the city I live in.  It’s just a depressing place to go.  I’ve already found out that my current PCP doesn’t take medicaid.  Bad because I hate getting established with a new doctor.  Good because, well, to be honest, I didn’t really like my PCP to begin with.  On the other hand, who knows.  The new one could be worse.  And all this is stressing me out too.

I think the only thing keeping me sane is my kitties.  I’m house/cat sitting for someone this week.  Their kitty loves me.  He always wants to be on top of me, kneading me.  And damn it.  It hurts.  I can only put him down so many times before he gets more insistent.  Oh well.  It’s only for a few more days and then I’ll be back with my mostly non cuddly kitties.

*Shakes Head*

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I gotta get out of this school before I lose the last of my sanity.  I kicked yet another kid out telling another to f-off.  That makes 4, I think.  In 4 weeks of school.

Oh and two Korean teachers decided they didn’t need to show up today.  Bitches.  I puked at work and all I got was a 10 minute reprieve from teaching a kindergarten class. 

I’m regretting eating the curry for dinner, but I couldn’t face a bowl of plain rice again.  But now I’m too damn tired to nuke the corn dogs I bought.

Tomorrow I see Dr. P.

I have to have weekly ultrasounds on my shoulder because I have a partially torn rotator cuff.  The ortho finally caught a glimpse of it on the ultrasound.  I guess this explains why I can’t lift my shoulder above my chin.

I’m falling apart piece by piece.  I swear, even if I don’t have RA, I’ve got something that’s attacking my tendons and joints.

 

Oh yeah, the theme change.  Only because it’s cute and a certain fish obsessed friend will like it.