Yesterday we had a psych eval with a new doctor. The outcome was predictable (C-PTSD, DID, GAD, and major depression), and yet surprising. Anxiety is destroying our ability to use our coping skills and is harming our physical health. The doctor said until our anxiety comes down significantly and until things are resolved at home we will not be okay. Our resting heart-rate has been almost 100bpm for the last several appointments. Sleep isn’t happening. Fear of something terrible happening is all consuming. Home life is not the best right now. Isolation seems to be the only answer to the problems we don’t understand how to fix. A close friend bought us a coffee pot for our bedroom. Our family is hurt and angry over choices we’ve made as long ago as 16 years and as recent as 3 months. Twice in the last two weeks we were told no one wants us here and actually asked to leave. Anxiety is fueling our choices and our thought processes and making it impossible to find a way out of this hole we are in.
We know the coping skills. Our previous therapist in Colorado taught us many that we have used successfully in the past. Only now, we try and nothing happens. There’s no energy to journal. We don’t want to see anything in writing. We can’t focus long enough to use the grounding techniques. Gratitude journals are impossible because we don’t deserve the things for which we can be grateful. Talking about it is hard because we have been told so often that we are drama and chaos (not untrue) and a drain on people. Being honest brings an old seated fear of telling people outside the home things that are happening inside the home. Growing up that was forbidden. We know well that everyone has their own perceptions of things and to express how we feel often feels like we are not validating the perceptions someone else has of the situation. Anxiety has us overthinking everything every which possible way. Add to that our clinic did something weird with our referral for mental health services and our doctor is trying to fix it and we have the perfect mix of confusion, somehow allowing all of this to have a large factor in our worth as a human being.
Sound familiar? I bet it does if you struggle with anxiety. The mental health services system is convoluted and hard to navigate under the best of circumstances, but when you aren’t okay, it’s impossible. We are lucky we have a doctor who is advocating for us because it all seems like we were given a roadmap that led to a dead end in a different city. The same doctor that did the eval and was supposed to start managing our meds was only given a referral to do the eval. She seemed just as frustrated by the process. It was only thanks to her that I even knew I had to ask my doctor for two different evals. One for a therapist and another for med management. Our doctor said she put in the referral for med management to start with and has no idea how it ended up as just an eval.
Telling your story and answering questions for over two hours only to have no kind of help at the end is re-traumatizing at best. Knowing you will have to do it again, maybe twice more, is daunting. Knowing that so much of what you need to be okay is outside of your control or your hands is frustrating and feeds the internal dialogue that you’re not valid, you don’t matter, and it’s okay for people to ignore you and not help you.
If I could just bring our anxiety down, maybe we could actually control some of this. Maybe we could sleep, breathe, eat, and function semi-typically again. The only thing that is even somewhat working is looking for a job and doing craft projects. Looking for a job sounds stupid on the surface with everything going on right now but knowing we have a job and income will reduce some of our anxiety big time. Crafting projects are hard to focus on so we have three going at the moment. Three different projects. When one becomes too mundane or confusing we move back to another. Slowly all three are getting done. We are aiming at getting something productive done daily, no matter how hard it is. All of our energy is going to putting one foot forward every day.
Keep moving. Keep going. Take baby steps, but don’t stop.