I’m smoking again. No apologies, no excuses, simply a statement of fact. Sometimes when things seem to give themselves over to chaos, the familiar is more comforting than any words of “it’ll be OK” ever could be. I’m an overgrown child and this is my pacifier of choice.
In the last three weeks, everything I know has seemingly gone down-side-up, leaving me more than a bit dazed and confused. I keep catching myself curled protectively in a blanket in my spot on the couch, gazing out the window. I occasionally catch snippets of terror at the outside world momentarily nestling in my gut.
Anxiety is a vicious, sneaky little beastie that crawls up your spine and begins whispering in your ear before you’re even aware it has entered the house.
On my best of days, I’ve never been good at multi-tasking, physically or mentally. When you begin factoring in meds that by themselves cause mild confusion on top an already “brain fogged” existence, you mix up a recipe for mental disaster. A veritable welcome mat for anxiety.
I try to live every day with laughter. A positive mind-set. A belief that I am not defined by my physical glitches. Now and then I stumble on this path. Because I am human and that’s what we humans do sometimes, despite doing our best.
I’m posting later than usual today because this morning I did something I am TERRIBLE at, I asked for help, even if I did do it in a completely scared-human way.
I called the Doc and got an appointment to see the Nurse Practitioner for a nice little urinary tract infection I woke up to yesterday. I had convinced myself I could wait for Wednesday’s Rheumy appointment to address this little annoyance, but there was another reason I NEEDED to get in this morning, I was simply too afraid to tell the Nurse over the phone.
After I was in the office and the annoyance had been settled, the question, “Is there anything else I can help you with?” was thrown out there.
I began to shake from head to toe and then the stream of mix-and-match words flowed, the hands that fly and flutter aimlessly like hyperactive birds appeared and I finally managed two words that made sense. “AFRAID! anxiety.”
There were no judgmental looks. There was no derisive pointing and laughing. There wasn’t even any eye rolling or annoyed sighs. Only a light of understanding and a gentle smile.
Yes, there was a series of questions to determine what “state” I was in. There were more questions to help her make sense of the answers I’d given with the first series of questions. And yes, there was discussion about our local Mental Health Clinic and me paying a visit for an evaluation.
“I’m fine with the other stuff, it’s just everything at once…OVERWHELMED!” It made perfect sense to me.
“You said ‘this’,” as she motions at nothing in particular, “the physical combined with financial stress and your mental stress is causing the anxiety? Sweet heart, none of ‘this’ is ever going to go away. You will now be dealing with ‘this’ for the rest of your life.”
W-O-W! As silly as it sounds, it really was an amazing revelation! Flares may come and go, but auto immunes and bipolar are both for life.
So I’ll make the appointment to be re-evaluated and find out if I’ve reached a point in my journey where multi tasking my physical health and mental glitches have become too much to do without help.
Until then, I was given a script for an anxiety medication to help “calm” and “quiet” my mind allowing me to “relax” a little. And my teeny-tiny pills have officially been dubbed Mom’s Chill Pill.
I constantly say, “It’s OK to ask for help if you need it!” As difficult as it was for me, for once I followed my own advice. Because I’m human. And that’s what we humans do sometimes when doing our best isn’t quite enough. We reach out to other humans and ask.
And that, my friends, is a good thing!