I haven’t been on any meds for my anxiety etc. for a few months because reasons. But with summer being my slow season for work, I decided I’d better try to get my head in order again or else I’ll be so paralyzed by fear of poverty that I won’t be able to do anything about it. Or do anything at all, really. With all this free time coming up I’d like to do a hardcore reorganization of my apartment and/or make some large-scale art for the first time in years and/or film a bunch of clips for my store and/or maybe even actively try to court new pro domme clients so’s I don’t have to go on welfare for the latter half of the summer, but I can’t do any of those things if I’m just constantly too freaked out to even move.
My doctor sent me to a shrink a while back so he could recommend me some drugs that doctors aren’t well-versed in (psychiatrists know a lot more about psych meds than doctors). He said I oughta try either Abilify or Seroquel.
So I decided it was time. I went to my doctor and announced that I wanted to get on Abilify. She looked up the possible side effects and said that one of them is jerky, uncontrolled body movements, and she pointed out that if it happens to me, that might not be great for my modelling work. I agree, and also I already went through Prozac giving me uncontrolled eyeball twitchies that continued for over a decade after I stopped taking it. I really, really didn’t like that and I don’t want to risk it happening again. So I decided Abilify was out. And by then I was kind of soured on the whole antidepressant idea again (doesn’t take much, I know) and was too afraid to ask about Seroquel.
However, I did broach the subject of getting on straight-up tranquilizers. The last drug I was on, Lyrica, was apparently kind of a tranquilizer, and I loved how focused it made me. My anxiety was totally gone. Like if I had two different things I wanted to accomplish in a day, instead of angsting for six hours about which thing to do first, I was able to just…pick a thing and fucking do it. SO GODDAMNED LIBERATING. I feel like at this point in my life I have way more anxiety than depression – or maybe I’m only even depressed because I’m too anxious to get anything accomplished ever and I feel like a loser – so it works best to treat the anxiety first and foremost.
So I went home with 20 Lorazepam tablets that my doctor cautioned me only to use now and then because they can be addictive. She said only to use them when I feel anxious, which makes me think she is fundamentally misunderstanding the nature of my issue because it’s not that I get panic attacks sometimes but otherwise I’m fine – it’s that I’m anxious EVERY GODDAMNED MINUTE OF EVERY DAY and the tiniest decision can just about shut down my brain because I’m afraid that whatever I decide will turn out to be the wrong thing.
Still, though. I now have something I can take when I really need to get things done and can’t afford to be sitting at home waffling all day.
Oh, also, my disability appeal got rejected again so while I was at the doctor’s office I popped in on a social worker who’s in the same building. The next step is to go in front of a tribunal with a government-appointed lawyer and try to convince them some more that I am not fit to work a normal, steady job. I’ve spent my whole life trying to hide how fucked up I am so people wouldn’t judge me, and now I have to do the exact opposite of that. I kind of wasn’t even sure I wanted to pursue it but the social worker kind of assumed it was a foregone conclusion and sorta didn’t give me a chance to catch my breath and assess if I was really willing and able to deal with it. So I guess the wheels are in motion now. I will have to go in front of three(?) people from the disability office and try to override my immediate “look normal and presentable for the bureaucrats” instinct while a lawyer tells them all about how I fail at life. This oughta be a treat and a half.
The doctor’s appointment and disability appeal talk had left me feeling kind of…teary and doomed once I got home. After a few hours of being near tears and convincing myself that I’ll never be able to live like a normal person, I finally broke down and took a Lorazepam. They work fast, so I started feeling a bit better pretty quickly.
But then The Veteran started texting me.
She’s been hoarding a bunch of furniture and other stuff that fellow tenants have thrown out, and plans to try to sell it all via Kijiji – a huge blitz over a few days to hopefully make enough to pay her rent. I had told her I would help if I could, and now she was texting me basically needing me to confirm that I was definitely in. She said if I wasn’t, she had someone else who could step up, but she just wanted to know.
The thing is, though, she was wanting me to handle not just the posting of ads but the actual customer contact and scheduling and whatnot. And a) dealing with people over the phone triggers my anxiety in a huge, huge way and b) I didn’t even understand the logistics of what she was asking me. How am I supposed to talk to customers who are asking questions about items I haven’t seen and can’t easily look at/measure/etc.? How am I supposed to book people to come see stuff when I have no idea of The Veteran’s schedule? She seemed to think that delegating this to me would save her a bunch of time and energy but really I think it would amount to both of us being inconvenienced: first a customer would call me asking stuff, then I’d have to call The Veteran and get the requested info and then call the customer again to relay it…it sounded pointless for The Veteran and hellish for me.
So I was texting her trying to explain all of this and asking if there was some method here that I was missing, but The Veteran hates texting and asked me to call her instead.
The phone call…did not go well.
I flat-out told The Veteran early on that she should delegate the Kijiji stuff to her other friend because I am the worst person on Earth to do anything over the phone. I said if she wants a wingman to be with her at her apartment on a day when she’s seeing a lot of buyers, I’d be happy to do that. Or I could take the product pics and post the ads. But someone else should definitely do the phone part.
The Veteran initially said okay, but then kind of backslid to where she was talking as though I’d agreed to do it. And I kept on being like “Well, I really can’t deal with that at all” and she just kept on talking about how she really needs someone good at screening potential customers because probably a lot of people would just feign interest in the goods so they could case her place and rob her later, or come over under the guise of wanting to buy something but then rape her instead, and she felt that I was a good judge of character and she would totally trust me to weed out all the thieves and rapists (OH GOOD THAT REALLY HELPS WITH MY ANXIETY). And she’s been so fucking hugely hyper (probably actually manic) over the phone lately that I can barely ever get a word in edgewise, anyway, so I tried several times to ask how someone else taking the phone calls is even supposed to save her any time, and she just steamrolled right over me.
And somehow things devolved into her screaming and crying for literally 40 minutes. I couldn’t understand too much of what she was saying. At one point she said that people offer to help her with stuff but then the bail when it’s not fun. I said I don’t expect to have fun, I just don’t want to do things that will make me literally feel barfy with terror. I reiterated that if she needed help organizing her place or stuff hauled around or anything, I was more than happy to do so. She got off on a tangent about all the shit she needs to get done and how everything is fucking up – she needs to see her worker about getting back on her lapsed disability but she lost his number and she needs bank records to show him and her internet is too spotty/laptop is broken so she can’t get the records online and blah blah blah. I said if she gave me her worker’s name I could try to Google his work number, because sometimes government stuff like that is on the internet. She snapped “what the fuck is that gonna do for me? I could do that myself in two minutes.” I was like okay, yeah, but at least I’d be taking that two minutes off her, and anyway she said her laptop/internet were all wonky and stuff. She continued raging about a bunch of other things, including screaming that she’s in crisis and nobody will help her. I honestly don’t know if her mental illness was making her completely forget the various offers of help I’d been making throughout our conversation, or if she was doing that hyperbole thing that can be satisfying when you’re upset. Either way, I opted to just remain quiet and make occasional soothing noises rather than try to defend myself.
She had mentioned earlier on that she hadn’t eaten anything all day (and this conversation was taking place in the evening!) so when she finally seemed a bit calmer and said she had to get going, I told her yes, that was a good idea, she should eat something because her blood sugar was probably crashing, and try not to think about things for a while – just give herself permission to rest.
“Rest?!?!?” she shrieked, suddenly furious and bawling again. “I can’t rest! There’s too much to do!” and she ranted about that for a while. And also told me that she didn’t have an appetite anymore and it was my fault because I’d been texting her earlier and texting kills her appetite and sucks out her soul and why does everyone always want to text her it’s like they hate her and want her to suffer and she gives and gives and gives and uses the communication style that other people prefer but they won’t do the same for her.
Here’s the thing about me telling her “give yourself permission to rest,” though: it was a Friday night. The disability office was closed. The banks were closed. The computer repair shop was closed. Her landlord who’d been pestering her for back-rent probably wouldn’t call her on a Friday night, or at least wouldn’t be able to evict her that night. Literally nothing would happen if she just tried to stop angsting about everything and got a good night’s sleep. But again I bit my tongue and just made soothing noises until she’d quieted down again and finally (finally!) got off the phone with me.
But between the doctor/social worker appointment and the phone call with The Veteran I was feeling really rattled. And I just really, really needed to vent to The Pedant, the one person who could handle it without it bringing him down. I texted him “Hey can you call me? Awful day. Need pep talk and advice.”
I had no idea whether he’d even be awake at that time – his work schedule varies so much – but literally one minute later he texted back “stand by” and a minute after that, he called me.
Turns out he was on his way to some concert, and the bus he was on was super loud. And two seconds into the conversation, I started crying so hard The Pedant could barely understand me. He kept having to ask me to slow down and enunciate. But he listened and offered advice without seeming affected by my anguish per se. He clearly cared enough about my well-being to stay on the phone and talk me down but he was indifferent to my actual emotions, if you see what I mean. I love this about him. Like, so much.
The Pedant knows a lot about bureaucratic/governmental/legal shit, so I asked him whether it would be helpful or feasible to get The Veteran committed to a mental hospital. Like just get them to funnel mood stabilizers down her throat until she’s competent to start clearing up the mess her life has become, because right now I think she’s getting in her own way. So we talked about the logistics of that and basically he concluded that I should call her and tell her in no uncertain terms that I think she’s going off the rails and needs meds, and if she won’t listen, either have her committed or cut her out of my life.
This seems like pretty sensible advice, except for the part where I make my case via telephone, since she never shuts up long enough to actually let me speak. I’m trying to psych myself up to have the talk with her whenever I see her in person next, but…we’ll see.
My call with The Pedant got disconnected a few times – dead spots in the area of town he was travelling through, I guess. The third or so time it happened, I felt like I’d gotten most of my angst off my chest so I texted him “Seems like our phones are snubbing each other but probably most things that needed saying have been said. I feel a bit better now. Enjoy your evening. <3”
He texted back that his battery had died (he keeps a spare on his person and swaps them out when one dies). And then he actually called me back and asked me if there was anything else I needed to talk about. There was: my anxiety over the disability appeal. Assholebrain likes to tell me two conflicting awful things at once and make me believe them simultaneously: in this case, that I’m a shitty fakey fakerson who doesn’t need disability and is just wasting everyone’s time, and that I’m completely broken and if the disability people reject me I’m doomed.
The Pedant talked me down from this, too, and then he arrived at his destination and had to go. I studiously avoided gushing because he seems not to like it when I do that, but goddammit I love him so much. I’d totally given him an “out” to end our conversation but he called me back, anyway, to make absolutely sure I would be okay. And the next night he called me again, although I was indisposed and didn’t answer. More on that later.