Monthly Archives: January 2016

Recovering … albeit slowly

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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.

Psaryce x

Adapting To Change

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I struggle with this. Big time. I just don’t cope with changes – even minor ones. I used to be able to go with the flow but then a bunch of stuff happened (and it still happening) in my life and now I have a huge need for a feeling of control. Now changes need to be considered, thought through and planned. Unexpected things completely freak me out. I just panic and it is so exhausting to go through a series of panic attacks before I can finally give in – usually into a crying fit – and begin to get a handle on myself.

The attacks aren’t always the same – it seems to depend on the situation. But there are elements that appear in every one. The obvious heart-racing, chest pounding, head thumping, blurry vision and the dreadful feeling of hopelessness caused by lack of control. Sometimes I just freeze physically. I cannot move at all until it passes. With others I dash about shaking and unable to stand or it still for more than a few seconds. Lately a lot of mine have sparked off flashbacks of a trauma I survived many years ago. And sometimes these, in turn, cause a flood of unpleasant memories to pour through my mind.

Regardless, my mind is constantly thinking and questioning every little thing at a very rapid rate. I curse myself. Negative self thoughts wizz past before I can stop them. You are a fool. You should know better by now. You are a stupid idiot. You’re not worthy of anyone for anything. Your pain is not justified because you don’t matter. Nothing you say or do matters. You are useless. A waste of space. And the questions! So many questions! About myself, my decisions, my thoughts, my actions, my existence. I also question others … what are their real motives, are they using me, are they intentionally trying to hurt me? Why did I let myself trust them, believe them, feel for them, let them in, confide in them, give them the benefit of the doubt, make excuses for them, etc, etc. This list of thoughts and questions could really go on and on and on!

Unless depression takes over, once the mental images and thoughts and questions begin to settle down, I am totally exhausted – both physically and mentally. My head stills pounds but from a dull ache that will take ages to subside. I feel cold and weakened. I want to curl up and hide away from everyone and everything. At these times, I think I’d happily be a turtle.

But I cannot withdraw to that extent. I have responsibilities. I have a daughter. I have to get to a place where I can function before she sees me. It upsets her too much to see me this way and I want to protect her from this nightmare as much as I can. I must do the best I can.

If you have read this far and feel like maybe you just had a ride on a roller-coaster, well you sort of have. Today I have gone through this cycle more times than I care to count. Tomorrow I may not experience it at all … here’s hoping!

Psaryce x

Fitness For Work Assessment

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Thursday. I have to try and cope with life and the additional stress and anxiety that precedes a fitness to work assessment. The last one I went to I was treated appallingly. So I am already experiencing anxiety about this one. Here are some of the thoughts rattling about in my mind continuously. I can’t seem to shut them up!

How will I managed to get any sleep the night before when I’m already stressing about it? What if I oversleep? How would I force myself to go if I have a bout of massive depression? Or if my anxiety continues to rise? Is there anything I can do to calm myself down while I wait for it to be time to leave on the day? Will I have to go alone or will my friend be well enough to come with me? How on Earth will I cope if I have to go alone? Will I get there on time or will I end up being late? What will traffic be like? Will I be able to walk from the car park to the office? What will I be feeling when I finally get there? How will I be received at reception? Will they keep me waiting for ages before calling me back? How will I cope with waiting even just a little while? Who will I see? What will their attitude be? How will I control my nerves? Will I cry? How many panic attacks will I have before, during and after the appointment? Will the person accept what I say or discount everything I feel and have been going through (like last time)? How will I feel once it is over? How long will it take me to recover from the ordeal this time (it took a week last time)?

Today is Monday. I am already exhausted from the anxiety I am experiencing over this appointment even though it isn’t until Thursday afternoon. I feel jittery and nervous. I can’t sit still. I can’t focus or relax. I am already struggling to find something to distract me. It looks like this is going to be a very long 4 days.

Psaryce x

PS: Curious to know if you have experienced something similar. Does this sound familiar to you?

Feeling Stagnant

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I’ve recovered from all the merriment I consumed on New Year’s Eve but still have a sore throat and a cough. Those combined with my leg muscle troubles have caused me to feel a bit stuck. I don’t have the energy to get up and do things that I really want to do. It sucks. If I get up and move around, the legs make every move so slow and the cough rears it’ head with a vengeance. Of course that then irritates the sore throat even more.

But I am so bored trying rest and take it easy! I’m one of those type of people that if I sit still, I fall asleep no matter what. That includes: watching telly, reading any book, crochet, knitting and colouring. I don’t even have to feel tired! I just sit on my couch and next thing I know I’ve fallen asleep, stretched out and at least an hour has gone by.

I sometimes wonder if it is the couch’s fault. Is it an secret doorway into Dreamland? Maybe it is possessed by a sleep demon that infects you with a sleep venom. Perhaps I am personally haunting by a Napolapagus ghost that waits until I sit down to strike. I have pondered these explanations and many more because, sadly, I seem to be the only victim. My munchkin can lie about on the thing for hours without so much as a yawn!

Am I alone in this? Or are there others out there that are afflicted by this as well? Please say it’s not just me!

Psaryce x