Week One Part One of Homework

XT and I went outside and played for a while this morning.  We had a lot of fun.  I would have liked to stay out longer, but it’s gotten very cold and rainy here in the last week.  I think we’re going to try again later this afternoon, hoping the sun will make an appearance.

The remeron put me pretty out of it last night.  I need to remember to take it right about thirty minutes before I’m ready to fall asleep.  That’s hard for me, because I’m so rigid about my routines and schedules.  But like every other issue this blog talks about, it’s not the end of the world to change things.

I will be personally responding to all of you who sent me messages about my posts yesterday.  I am completely floored, honored, and full of gratitude that so many of you came to show so much support.  I feel like I have my own cheerleading squad rooting me on.  And well, I guess I kind of do.

I have to get back to doing some of my regular stuff for a bit now – you know the good stuff like laundry and emptying the dishwasher.  I’m also going to be getting a massage later today.  I figure I’ve earned it.  Thank you all again so very much.  I will be getting back to everyone today when I get my routines back on track.  (Hey, I said it wasn’t the end of the world to change, not that I was ready to become some new spontaneous person!)

Much love to you all.  Cheers!

I Came. I Saw. I Medicated.

Today went really well at the doctor’s office.  She and I got along very well and have a lot of the same ideas and ideals.  I’d have preferred she give me more benzos, but it’s her call and I’ll go with it.

She put me on Mirtazapine – Remeron is the name here in the US.  I also got a very slight amount of xanax, but have pretty much been instructed it’s for absolute emergency use only.  I can deal with that.

For the CBT, my homework assignment this week is to spend time out in the yard every day playing with my son.  I am supposed to raise my anxiety to a level I can deal with, but not anything near panic.  There’s no time limit on playing outside, just that I have to do it until I start having fun.  Seems reasonable to me.

I’m a bit drained from the day’s outing and the pill I took recently.  I’m sure I’ll remember more and write about my progress tomorrow, too.  Thanks again for all of your well wishings.  I have the best people in the world reading my blog.  Hands down.

T Minus 5 Hours

The one morning I can’t sleep in later happens to be today.  My anatomy seems to be messed up, as my throat is now where my heart resides.  While I know the appointment itself won’t be bad, or at least I don’t think so anyway.  It’s just that pre-anxiety that’s making me so jumpy.

I have been overcome with the outpouring of support and well-wishing from the readers of this blog.  People I don’t know, who don’t know me, and who are genuinely rooting for me.  I thank you all so very much.  I never expected this blog to get read, let alone the flood of amazing people I have come to cherish and “anxiously” await emails from and comments, too.

What am I going to do for the next 5 hours before I have to leave?  What any self-respecting agoraphobic woman with pre-anxiety would do.  Clean everything in my house.  Twice.

Updates on the appointment coming soon.  Stay tuned.

Outings and Preparations

Today I conquered two huge fears.  Leaving home with my father and going to the DMV.  I cannot begin to tell you the horror I have about the DMV.  But it wasn’t so bad.  And it’s step one towards sorting out my health insurance.  I did it.  I survived.  And then I came home and slept for several hours.

Tomorrow is the big day.  My appointment is at 2:00.  It’s an hour away.  We haven’t worked out the logistics of who will be watching the X man and who will be driving me.  We’d take him with us, but it’s during prime nap time, so who knows.

I don’t have much to update.  The nonsmoking thing is going OK.  I’ve slipped a few times, so I won’t add the counter to the end of this as not to be a hypocrite, but I am still making the effort.  I’ll bring it up with the doctor, too.

I’ll let you all know how it goes tomorrow, of course.  Wish me luck.  I really need it this time.

Bouncing Agoraphobe

As you can tell from my last post, I’ve had a bit of depression in addition to the anxiety and agoraphobia.  Oh, and I’ve quit smoking, too.  I’m just loads of fun this week!  I seem to be going from moment to moment in any given attitude.

First I’ll be super excited.  I can’t wait for my appointment on Thursday.  What does the appointment hold for me?  What will the doctor’s office look like?  What kinds of medication will be suggested?  What if this helps me, like it all just works – wouldn’t that just be a kick in the pants?  Oh, there’s so much to be excited about, so much to look forward to.

Then I’ll be extremely apprehensive.  What if this doctor is a total douchebag?  What if his office smells?  What if he argues with me and insists on putting me on medication I’ve already tried years ago (this has happened before, an M.D. isn’t a diploma for common sense)?  What if he thinks I’m a fraud, or worse yet not an anxiety/agoraphobia case at all, but just an attention seeker?  A drug addict looking for my benzo fix?

Then there’s the whole part about being away from home and my fiance, who should be nominated for sainthood, by the way.  I miss him terribly.  I feel so guilty and embarrassed for dumping all of this on him and just expecting him to wait around for me to start getting better and come home.  I often wallow in my own shame for putting so much on him, and then picking fights and making outrageous demands – all because I was too afraid to tell him what was really going on.  Not that I really knew what was going on, but that’s neither here nor there.

At any point during the day, you’ll find me in one of these states of mind.  It tends to follow the clock schedule pretty well.  Mornings are good – I’m optimistic and  ready to kick some ass.  Afternoons I start to get the apprehensive fidgety thing going on.  And evenings seem to be a complete wreck of crying, guilt, shame, etc.

But I really only have to make it a little more than one more day to put at least this phase of it behind me.  Thursday can’t come soon enough.  Or can it?  I don’t know, what time is it?

And if you’re curious about the non smoking, as of right this second I have been a non-smoker for 16 hours, 52 minutes, 26 seconds.  In that time I have not smoked 14 cigarettes I would have otherwise, and saved $4.20.

Wish me luck.  On all of it.

The Hypochondriac Agoraphobic

I’ve spent the majority of my day in bed, having strange dreams about diamonds and email and other random things. I woke up feeling hazy and weepy. I thought I was just having some kind of estrogen surge of some sort until I wound up later on the floor of the restroom. I’ll leave the graphic details out, but I was indeed hating life right then. After my stomach was done kicking me while down, it let me have a rest. A three hour rest, at that. Thankfully, I’d gotten most my chore duties done early in the morning when I was just hazy.

X’s Nana (my mother) was ready to swoop in and care for him while his Mommy rested. I won’t think too hard about it, because if I did I might wonder if she took some joy out of her gain from my misery.

I think the point here is that there is nothing wrong with me. Yes, I felt ill. Yes, my head pounded (probably from the bit of self-medicating I did last night – save your lectures, I’ll just ignore them). But I think the truth is that today is Monday, and that means it’s now the same week as Thursday, which is when I go bare my soul to some jackass with a medical degree. And this scares me to death.

No, not because I have to tell my story and admit my faults to the possible jackass. Not even because there’s a real possibility that this doctor is indeed a jackass. But because I feel like this is it. This is my last chance to get it right. If I fall down again now, I’ll never get up. What if the jackass in question can’t help me? What if this is as good as I get?

That’s enough to make anyone ill with a pounding head.

A Super Cute Video of X

My son being cute.

An Adjustment Period

I’m starting to think that things here in Tennessee might work out.  Of course I don’t want it as a permanent solution.  I want to go back to my fiance and my home desperately.  I’m starting to think I just might be able to get some of these issues under control before I do, though.

I have been out of the house here every day since I got here.  Of course, I had at least one parent with me, so that’s not a huge deal.  But every day is!  I have been taking klonopin to help me get out.  It’s working.  I still have to leave the stores sometimes and catch my breath.  But I go back in and at least give it one more shot before I call it a good effort.

Attempting to make this place feel like a temporary home is a big emotional.  I keep thinking, “But if I put this here, where will B’s stuff go?”.  Things like that.  It also just plain isn’t our home, so there’s that ever looming feeling of being a fraud.

I’m actually looking forward to my psychiatrist appointment next Thursday.  I wish it were sooner, obviously.  I’m really ready to lift up my sleeves and do the work.  Agoraphobics don’t care for waiting, if you don’t know that.  It causes us tenfold the anxiety.

I’m curious what this doctor will say.  What medications will she put me on, if any?  Will they work?  Does she want me to do combined medication and CBT?  Some other treatment I’m not familiar with.  I need answers!

My son is having the time of his life out here in the country.  Especially with all of the boxes to unpack and moving paper still a bit strewn about.  He is running around outside like a crazy man.  Pushing his plastic lawnmore.  Riding his bigwheel.  Digging up rocks.  And generally just being a little boy.  I am thrilled he is able to do all of this stuff, but still feel quite guilty that I’ve been depriving him of some of these things at home because of my own phobias.

I’m scared.  But I’m armed and ready for battle.  I’m not sure there will be much more to update between now and the doctor’s appointment, but if something comes up I’ll be sure to let you all know.

Cheers,

annie

Very quick update

So it seems that making an appointment with a mental health care facility is not as easy as making one with your hair stylist. I have spent the last 4 hours of my morning researching, calling, and being told they can see me in several weeks.

No, not good enough. I’m here to get better. This is my agoraphobia bootcamp. I’m here to get a job done and get the heck home where I belong.

I’ve made 2 appointments. One is about an hour away and set for next Thursday, February 21st. The other is a bit closer, but can’t see me until March 11th. The woman who I spoke with on the second call heard my story and said she will be keeping my file next to her telephone and calling me the minute someone cancels. She told me to be ready for short notice.

Either way, progress is progress. And I’ve taken yet another step in the right direction. So here’s your update! Love you all.

An AgoraTwist

In yet another turn of  events, it seems that my son and I will be staying here in Tennessee a bit longer.  No, you drama queens, it has nothing to do with my fiance and I.  It’s regrettably in spite of that, even.  Of course it’s not to get away from each other.  No matter how much he picks at his damned feet, I still want him around for the rest of my time.

It is here that I can get the most help in the fastest, most efficient way possible.  I’m ready to go back to that fun chick I was.  She still comes out in me from time to time, but it’s usually not long enough.  I have found a place here just outside the country area my parents’ new home is that offers some pretty serious kick-your-ass therapy.  All at once.  In your face.  It’s like rehab and bootcamp for agoraphobics all mixed in to one.  I’m terrified.  I have my first conversation with them tomorrow.

I’m sad and excited all at once.  If this works, I think it will have been every sacrifice our family had to make.