To-day was intense. My neuro-assessment report was ready and I sat with a printed copy as the Dr. who did the assessment, and a third party, went over each detail. I had asked for the assessment to be done, as I wanted printed proof of validation.

I had a “nervous break” a number of months ago, according to my then family doctor. At the time, he insisted I take time off work for medical reasons, afraid I would “go postal” if I did not. I maintained and still do that the intense rage I kept feeling was a direct side effect of a medication he increased the dose of. The stress increased after leaving my job and I have made mention of such in previous blogs as I have also covered my decision to end my use of Manerix. I did not take such an action without thorough research and said research was not just doing a goggle of Manerix. I am pointing this out only because not everyone should stop taking a drug just because they think they would be better without it. A disclaimer.

My main concern regarding my headspace has been my inability to concentrate or focus on a task, my inability to recall times and dates, and my inability to plan. I have always been a little OCD so not being able to focus has been a major issue for me and I knew there was something not quite right. I had fear that it was a permanent issue like onset Dementia. What a relief to discover my fears were not realized.

All my markers came back as above average or superior in every area except those mentioned above. My cognitive abilities have diminished but it is not a permanent problem, just one that needs to be re-exercised and learned. It is reversible!!

The Doctor doing the testing stated that in his opinion I need a PhD. or better counselor to assist me in dealing with the stressors of my life that have been major and above what the average person experiences in their life time. He noted I am managing my Chronic depression very well without medications but it may be a good idea to have me taking something to assist me in coping so anxiety levels can be eased and I do not have to think so hard to overcome and work through daily problems.

The Doctor also stated low self-esteem and self-confidence are problems that need addressing to assist me in regaining my footing. I mask my low self worth very well. I will not let my feelings of a lower self to be seen which causes a conflict and increases my internalizing stress. A very vicious cycle. He also made the suggestion I ease back into the business I know and have previously excelled at, while working with a therapist to regain my confidence so I can once again maintain the level I had previously achieved.

Armed with the report I went to my local mental health authority and booked an appointment with an uptake worker I drop in on from time to time. She has been so very helpful in the past listening to my ideas, my rationale for the way I think and what I see as being wrong with self. I reached out to her when I made the choice to leave my family physician and wean off of Manerix. Now I need her input on where to turn next to get the support I require to keep moving forward. If she cannot help, I know she will at the very least point me in the correct direction. I had the opportunity to talk with her briefly when I set up the appointment, she told me I looked good, seemed clear in thought although a little manic, but given the day ahead it was understandable.

I also had a job interview, and no time to come home to check my clothing or make up. I was simply dressed in black slacks and a matching blazer, my usual attire. Fifteen years of office Admin has limited my wardrobe to basic black everything, including black sports shoes. I did not think to grab a pair of low heels when I left the house in the morning as I had thought I would have time to come home and “freshen up” prior to the interview. The interview its self went well from my point of view. It was concise and direct, I did not feel stressed or any level of anxiety, as I know the job and my ability to do it. It is a job far lower than an Administration level that I used to do and I am hopeful I did well enough to have a job offer by the end of the week. Training and orientation is to begin in January.

From there it was off to the line-up at the Salvation Army to get my Christmas Hamper. Not a place I wanted to go, but a must given my financial status at the moment. I was astounded at the audacity of a woman who was there to pick up a hamper for her daughter. For whatever reason she did not feel she should have to wait in line for her turn. I ignored her for the most part, in the beginning, I choose my battles carefully, it is the low self-esteem thing. But then she turn on two men who tried to placate her saying that none of us really want to be there. Her attack was vicious and uncalled for. I think I was more surprised at hearing my own voice, calm and without anger, suggesting she learn some humility, manners and charity. In addition, that if she had nothing intelligent to add to a conversation then perhaps closing her mouth to match her mind might better serve her. I did not hear another peep out of her until I was exiting the hall, when I heard her shrewish voice shrieking when she discovered she could not pick up a hamper for another person.

From there it was off to the Clinic Doctor I have been seeing to ensure my thyroid medication was correct and check up on blood work he had asked for. Unfortunately, the Clinic Doctor cannot refer me to a therapist as that is usually done by a family physician, however at least my little health problems are dealt with. Thyroid meds needed increasing and he suggested that my thyroid issues have a direct bearing on my lethargy, focus and recalling abilities. I know this, and I also know my depression just intensifies the issues. The document I was carrying also backed me up and he did not disagree. Then he did something, or rather said something that took me aback. He complimented me on my grace and elegance. Understand please, I am a short, overweight individual.

He said, “You are a very elegant woman; in a place where I see scruffy unkempt people you always present yourself well. Such grace and dignity.”

Well knock me over with a feather!!

By the time I left the clinic I was feeling the day, I was starting to falter, I could feel the day closing in on me. That greyness that seems to just creep in, the want to get home, lock the door, escape the world and breathe. I wanted to get away from all the people, the noise that smothering feeling. I wanted, needed to escape. However, I recognize all those feelings and sensation, I have learned to press a little further and keep moving out of my comfort zone when I want to “shut down”.

So, off to the pharmacy to drop off new prescriptions. I find it interesting that absolute strangers seem to feel the need to engage me in conversation. Do I have a sign over my head that flashes, “Talk to me”? I really try look disengaged because I am. I just want to do my business, get in and get out. But no, invariably someone just starts talking to me. Let us just beat on that stress a little more. Let’s just push that limit and let’s discuss the brand of bathroom tissue I have selected, the odds of us getting snow tonight, have I finished my Christmas shopping, do I think this ribbon looks good with this paper, does this card sound to mushy?

Home, I wanted home. Safe inside the main door and another tenant wanted to discuss the mail. Then the manager invited me to an early Christmas dinner tomorrow night. Thankfully, she knew I would decline, and took my negative response without pushing the issue. And then she violated my personal space and hugged the stuffing out of me. I am not a hugger, but I relaxed, allowed the hug and let her walk away with a smile on her face. Sometimes I just have to let people have what they want and may need.

I locked my apartment door, put my packages down, dropped my street clothes into a pile at the door and grabbed my comfy T-shirt and shorts. I made a latte and sat down, answered my waiting email and started typing to get the day out of my system so I can make dinner, curl up with a movie and work quietly on my latest project.

The day feels like it has been non-stop and thankfully tomorrow I just have one appointment to keep, and that is with the mental health worker.

Breathing freely, the day released…..

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