Kicking & Screaming part 2
I know, this is way late in coming. But I’m glad that I waited, because this week has been full of wonderful, unexpected, good news. So I’m on the other side, for the most part, of the anxiety & denial that was my kicking & screaming phase. It got really, really bad before it started getting better. I was feeling trapped, hopeless, & slipping back into the abyss. I really didn’t want to go there again. Seriously, not a place I thought I would ever revisit.
All that adrenal exhausting fear & anxiety was for naught. As usual, nothing bad I was projecting happened. In fact, quite the opposite. I just had to get my head out of my ass long enough to start doing something. Yes, just getting off my cruise on the river denial & beginning to do something was the key. It always is.
I faced my biggest fear, telling my Sis that I was probably going to lose my income. Not only did the world not end, she was gracious, loving, & all around accepting of my fear of being dependent & feeling trapped. She said, “we will figure it out.” I know she was panicking inside about the financial hardship it would cause. But she she didn’t get upset. She immediately went into figuring out what to do to prepare for the loss of my (paltry as it is) room & board, combined with having to also spend more to pay for the expenses I pay myself. We “triaged” our expenditures, & made a plan. The relief I felt was enough to propel me into doing the other things I needed to do. Yes, I had to pause for major surgery, but that was a good thing too, in so many ways.
Then, after having been rejected for AZ version of Medicaid, I suddenly got a letter saying I qualified after all, and I got a refund of some medical expenses I had paid as a bonus.
Before my surgery I had opened the mail that I was avoiding, thinking it was going to say “you are fucked.” Instead It was “you could be fucked, but you aren’t yet. Call this number.” I did that last week, left a voicemail, & waited. Yesterday the call was returned. I was shocked that a federal employee was not only NICE, but helpful, reassuring, and supportive! Imagine that. I got an extension on getting my disability review paperwork in. I got a person that really wants to help me get independent again, & understanding that I’m halfway there, I just need a bit more time. So I won’t be getting cut off anytime soon, if I get my paperwork in & do what I need to (but hate to) do. I’m nearly phobic about filling out forms, but it has to be done, anxiety be damned.
I started back into therapy. I found out that I could include some joint counseling with Sis. This was huge, we need it. A lot of communication issues here, & when I had asked her to do it a few months ago, she said she couldn’t afford it. She doesn’t think we need it either, but I told her it was a deal-breaker. As in I’ll go pick out a shopping cart & figure out what sidewalk I want to live on if we don’t do this kind of deal-breaker.
I still have work to do, piles of old mail to open. I still have to find a way to get training for work that might actually support me, which might be covered by disability (they really do want to help you get back to work).
I’m ready to work. It’s just been so long since I’ve worked at any skilled job, that in order to get work that might fully support me, some kind of training is critical. I have felt that I’ve been in a catch-22 situation. I have an old defaulted student loan, so I can’t get a grant to go back to school, but if I don’t go back to school, I’ll never earn enough to get off of disability and pay off the old loan. There is a program that will pay for school/training. Not like bachelors degree level training, but enough to get into medical billing & coding or similar training, I hope.
So, instead of being frozen with anxiety, self-medicating, & hiding under the covers contemplating the best way to kill myself (never thought I would go there again), I’m feeling grateful, hopeful, even a bit ecstatic some moments. I’ve started functioning around here again. Sis told someone, “she’s been cleaning the house with a toothbrush.” It’s nice feeling motivated again. It feels good to be back to living in the present, even if it means doing chores I’ve avoided for months.
So, the next time you are facing something scary, some change that you fear will be unbearable; when your anxiety makes you so irrational that you can’t even face opening the mail for fear of what you will find; when you would prefer to be as numb as possible rather than just deal with it like “normal” people do:
1. Remove your head from your ass, then
2. Try, as hard as it might be, to get out of your head. Find a distraction, whatever it takes.
3. Get off the river denial
4. Do something, anything, even if you are terrified to do it
5. Understand that you can’t predict the future, so you can’t possibly be sure that the worst will happen. Imagining every possible scenario is a pointless waste of energy.