It’s been days since I last posted. I have been trying to recover from the ordeal that was the ESA medical assessment. The bad thing is … I never even got seen! After all the stress leading up to the day and the anxiety and panic on the day, I was told they couldn’t guarantee that I’d be seen if I waited even though I was on time.
I’m so grateful a good friend went with me as I don’t know how I would have coped without him. As it was, I was in a right state! My hands were shaking like a leaf in a hurricane. My heart was racing, my head thumping and all I could think was “the darkness has come to swallow me whole and there’s no escape!”. The receptionist kept asking “Do you want to wait or reschedule?” but I couldn’t respond. Words failed me as my mind swarmed with thoughts and questions and feelings. If I wait, how can I possibly stay sane long enough? If I reschedule will it be held against me? Why can’t I stop shaking? I feel like my hand is going to fly off across the room and through the window any second? No, I’m not brave for having my hair coloured Cerise … it is a hiding mechanism so people don’t look beyond the colour and see ME! How long will I have to wait for another appointment if I reschedule? Can I put myself through this all over again? How will I cope with coming back another day? I don’t believe your computers went down earlier, I think you are lying to me. I think this is a tactic you use to judge people. I feel dizzy. I feel trapped. I cannot decide.
Eventually I agreed to reschedule mainly because I couldn’t decide and just let that happen. The lady had to call to get a code in order to reschedule. What code? What does it mean? Is it going on my record? Is it a signal to say “this lady freaks out easily”? Or maybe it means “her hair is Cerise so she is brave” i.e. doesn’t qualify for help. She shows me a form and says if I receive another one I need to fill it out and send it in asap. I’ve done that form months ago. I sent it back. Did I not fill it in well enough? Did I fail that test? Did they not receive it? I remember the form, I remember the anxiety it caused. Why is she suggesting I need to do it again?
I need air. I need to breathe. I need to get out; to run. I can’t run. My legs are too weak. I need a cigarette. I need 5. I want to be cuddled up in bed. I want to feel safe. I just want this horrible experience to be over.
The following day I found the form in amongst a pile of other papers I hadn’t been able to cope with. I began to fill it in and by page 3, my nerves were shot. I have been working on it slowly over the past week. I’m almost done but feel I have made many mistakes. I have rambled. I kept forgetting things and then adding them in so none of my answers follow a logical sequence. But it will have to do.
It’s taken me a week to partially recover. I’m still highly anxious in spite of taking double my normal dose of anti-anxiety pills. I’m struggling to sleep even with sleeping pills – also double my normal dose. I feel like I might snap at any given moment. I plummet into dark places daily and struggle to climb back out. No I am definitely not what I would consider recovered. I’m not back to “normal” whatever that may be. But I am surviving and right now that is enough.