Hi Ho

It’s here.

Today is the day I reenter the same business world that just about drove me over the edge with stress, game playing and maliciousness.

I wish I didn’t have to go.

My fear is that I’m not ready and I’m making a huge mistake.

My worry is that they have gotten worse and I will, once again, pay the price.

My terror is that I will be standing in the middle of it all and fall totally and completely apart, like a worthless used up human version of Humpty Dumpty.

“Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.”

Should I be excited? I think apprehensive is understandable and advised.

Truth be told; I feel like a battered and wounded vet being sent back to the POW camp as a “guest”.

Upsetting, unnerving and disappointing.

I have to have a job. It’s what I do but I’m still not me. I have productive moments followed by bouts of swirling rooms and other scary symptoms.

Sure panic isn’t prevalent but anxiety has made itself at home.

I wait for the familiar ring of the alarm telling me its time to go to…….

To be determined


God Grants

Things are chaotic today and my adrenaline is freely flowing.

I asked therapist once what the difference between anxiety and panic was. I didn’t get a response because we got off topic so I think I will ask again.

My anxiety is creeping up. It is time to be released and I know I am not ready but I have to try. I have difficulty in my own home let alone a place I have to be for 8 hours at a stretch.

My fear is that I will fail in an epic manner. My fear is that I wont ever be that highly productive person I used to be without terrible consequences like anxiety attacks and unexplained physical difficulties.

I spent some time again today wondering where that confidence went. Man, I knew what I was doing and motivation was not an issue. Fear happened but I walked through it and spit on the way by. I never let it see me sweat.

Now, if I even THINK there is a chance of fear, I develop anxiety and refuse to engage. If I think there is negative responses or consequences, I avoid it. I refuse to look fear in the eye because its stronger than me and might kick sand in my face.

Ridiculous I know but very cemented in who I am.

What I have noticed without a doubt at this point is that my body/mind cannot handle too much of anything. I have mentioned it before. I cant take anything more than a flat-line of ANY type of activity or emotion.

I was excited about something yesterday. Not over the top, jump up and down and clap my hands excited but just super hopeful and I paid the price.

So, I wonder if there is more lessons I am supposed to be absorbing.

My life prior to all of this was not one of extreme emotion unless I was angry about something. I still have moments of anger but I don’t allow them to creep too high because that adrenaline dump is very excessive and overwhelming.

However, I also have to keep myself in line when sad or happy. The consequences are not as severe but the same symptoms appear in a lesser volume or intensity.

Before all of this, I would have joy. I do not have joy any longer. I have moments where I am less anxious. THAT has replaced my joy.

I would have moments of peace. I do not have peace any longer. I have moments where I am less anxious. THAT has replaced my peace.

So I wonder.

God helped me resolve panic. I WAS inundated all day every day previously and then was shown my way out. I have a respect for those that suffer from panic and feel for them. It wasn’t that long ago that I was chained down.

Now, I have an equal match with anxiety. I cant figure it out and I don’t understand it. It has no rhyme or reason, just like my panic didn’t. But, it hangs on for dear life. Just like my panic did.

I wonder if God isn’t trying to teach me control. I do believe my lesson last year was in humility and this year it is humanity. Perhaps control because I was impulsive. I like thinks to be resolved NOW. Good or bad, I like them to be settled as soon as possible so I can move on.

Life isn’t about me and my comfort OR wants. I do know that…now..

Perhaps learning how to control the impulse to make decisions (it was a 50/50 split as to how good or bad they turned out) that are based on time and space rather than speed or resolution.

I have said this entire time that my hope is that I am on a path that serves God. I refuse to believe that a soul goes through this much torment with no benefit to mankind. Those that want to serve probably need to learn what the trenches look like in order to keep them empty.

It is miserable but, I have to keep trying to push forward. My worry is that I am headed back and there are days I cant push. I am weak and don’t have it in me. Days that I feel like my body has a mind of its own and I am just along for the ride. There are days I feel as though I could faint or collapse any given second so I retire for a while where I feel a little better but still inundated with negative emotions and symptoms.

I worry that those days will come because I just had one and I am not at work yet.

This stuff is so hard to navigate. It is like I am just well enough to be considered right on that boarder of well, but not nearly well enough to be considered a resident.I guess that would make me a tourist!

Therapist suggests that this awkward balance is why I fall through so many cracks. Not sick enough to end up in treatment and not well enough not to.

Where does that leave me and others like me?

Sitting in the same boat circling the harbor between crazy and sane with no real help out there I guess.

If only FMLA were 24 weeks….12 weeks has been beneficial but I truly think I am a year or so away from being able to walk forward on a regular basis. Why?

Because I poured everything into my work for years and left nothing for myself. Stupid thing to do and I am getting ready to enter the life that expects it, once again.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change! Courage to change the things I can and man, I sure need some focus on the wisdom to know the difference.

Spouse says “Dont sweat the small stuff” which is great advice unless you are a Type A+++ personality learning to be just an A at the moment.

Through these 12 weeks I have learned a few things about me.

I am a control freak. If people that knew me read that they would outwardly laugh in my face. I never believed it to be true but when I am able to do my laundry, I am super particular as to how it is folded, hung or stored.

I am the center of the universe. It is possible that many of us that have blogs suffer from this same issue.

If you don’t call me back its some issue with me. It would never enter my mind that it is because you are out of town. Oh, it may fly through but it wont land. If you scowl as you walk by, its because you have an attitude about me. It couldn’t be because you forgot something on your desk. that isn’t possible because I am not on your desk!

I always think it has some negative thing to do with me.

The thing is, I cant figure out why I allowed that to take root. I believe it is partially the environment I work in because you never know when that shoe is going to drop. They love a good ambush and they will lay low for weeks before you are blindsided over the smallest or largest issue. 

They do this because they want to get their ducks in a row but they also do it so you have no warning. They want you defenseless so it is an easy attack and then it is over. I know because I have seen it done on employees. I hate it. 

This environment isn’t a great one and I do believe it directly contributed to my fall. I worry it will happen again and this time there wont be any question as to which island I am circling.

So, I am bracing myself for a siege of emotion deep from within.

In the meantime, this was a lot of excitement so I am going to retire.

I pray for resolution and I pray for each and every person that has to walk this path, or one just like it. It sucks.


Ray of hope with a chaser of fear

In life, nothing is a guarantee. Nothing.

Today I had the more rewarding version of that phrase.

My morning was filled with stress and worry. My mid-afternoon was….helpful.

Two people whom I have known for years spent some of their valued time listening today. It was helpful to me and I hope reassuring for them.

Time after a conversation tends to tick the value away from these types of moments but my hope is that for once, it doesn’t.

You just never know. That’s when worry sets in.

Is it as helpful this moment as it was earlier? Sometimes these moments have happened only to have after thoughts and space change the context of meetings, meanings and words. By the time you meet again; it’s like a different conversation happened. Your words were dissected and rearranged. Your meaning was altered and crammed into a different context.

Worry tells you to stay vigilant. Remember that this or that has happened many times before….

But you really want to believe, each time, that THIS time is different!

I was handed a ray of hope today. I’d really like to keep it safe and sound. Intact and untarnished. Just this once.

Just, this, once.

Dont poke a stick at it

So I begin today. I wake slowly a few times through the morning. Today is a day I am able to sleep in and I absolutely do not want to wake up at my regular time. I drift in and out enjoying the quiet and sighing to the fact that I am actually able to stay in bed.

Reality starts to fade in and I wish it would stay asleep too. Flashes of the day before start to intrude on my bliss and before you know it, the last 45 minutes of what could be quiet, calming sleep, are assaulted by blips of discussions, incidents, fears and fretting. Now, I, am, awake.

My spouse was upset yesterday because the new job is difficult. The supervisors pulled my spouse in to the office and had a 30 day review. As a manager myself I think, ut oh, as soon as I hear the news. My spouse starts to, with great stress, relay the meeting.

Not so good news. They like you…but. There it is. The lurching but.

Now, the fact that I am in the midst of a back slide in my own deal-eo, does not make listening to this any easier. I am trying to focus on what is being said as numbness drifts to my left arm and face. I start to panic a little but try very hard to hide it and remain neutral. My spouse is now crying stating that they feel like a failure as I fight to remain in the here and now, and not concentrate on my impending sudden death.

I try to comfort my spouse because after all, there are real issues there too. My spouse has suffered from anxiety and depression for years. Disability was the only source of support until my spouse didn’t send the paperwork for the review back and was dropped off. I was furious when I found out.

My spouse doesn’t do well at work. Never has and we have been together 14 years. I hear about all of this success pre-melt down and am amazed its possible. People skills, great unless you are someone my spouse does not care for and then its all over. Forever.

So as my spouse is talking about having trouble seeing the forms and completing the work, I flash to a month from now and realize, my spouse is going to be fired.

I am angry yet understanding. It is a weird mix. You want to be compassionate but by the same token, you want to freak out. Computers have never been a strong skill for my spouse and this job requires some basic computer skills. Eyesight is an issue and macular degeneration runs on the paternal side of the family so, I worry this is something coming along as well.

Now, before I continue, let me just make this statement. I am truly a kind hearted person who loves my family. I am giving and believe in a world with Good and God. There are things in this world and life that sometimes people just cannot help.

Having said that….

I am frustrated. I see a near future where I am the only income. Again. Now we are worrying about the limited vision so that means no driving for my spouse. So, I am now the only income and the only form of transportation that my spouse will have. What about doctor appointments, the grocery store, outings and other things? It is a lot to fret about.

For better or for worse. I embrace that. I do. But it doesn’t keep me from being fearful that I am not in a position at this time in my life to handle the for worse part, because right now, I am in the midst of my for worse and I want to get away from ME!

Lets also ponder for a moment, other posts where I have relayed conversations where my spouse has been just short of a jackass with my for worse part. I am sure it is unintentional but jackass is jackass, even if it is by mistake.

Dont get me wrong, I am not divorcing my spouse because of a job loss or loss of vision. That is crazy talk. I am ranting that in the midst of the worst now 7 months of my life, I don’t know if I can cope with big drama on the other side right now. I am fearful that a job loss or devastating news about my spouse will seal my fate and I will be forever loony.

The same can be said for my prison of a job.

I had a phone interview yesterday with another company. I will have a face to face interview at the end of the month for a job that pays almost 16k less a year but has a rep for a great place to work, great benefits and would actually have me OFF on the weekends. I would also not work later than 6p. However, 16k less a year when the spouse is likely going to be unemployed before the first snowfall…..I may be chained to my current hell for a longer period. Of course, that’s unless they get rid of me first. I am sure with every review and every increase they think they could get someone cheaper and that hasn’t lost heart. Because frankly, they have stabbed me in mine so often, I really have nothing left.

I wonder, if I left, will they care? Will they know I am leaving because of how I have been treated all of these years? Will it matter? Likely not.

The Director has been normal lately. Pleasant really. My boss has been absent for several weeks. Not from work, just from my work. It has been nice as I was ready to pop with a weekly or bi-weekly visit to drop in and say the same things. Now if visits happen, I am sure it is when I am gone.

I think about losing that job and wonder if I will care. I wonder if it will actually send me over the edge. It may or it may actually bring me back from the brink. It is such a hostile environment that it amazes me that the people in the ivory offices are really SO out of touch that they don’t see it.

Then I wonder, should I just leave a sue them? Should I sue them for $1 just because I need to make a statement about how terrible they treat people? How they have turned me in to this absolute shell of who I used to be or could have been?

I am irritated that they treat people the way they do and think it is okay.

They fire some people for ethical lapses that yes, should have been fired, no mistake about it. Then I wonder if they are evaluating WHY these people, after SO many years are making these terrible decisions?

Do they understand that beating people down day after day, having as many changes as our company has had over the last few years, demanding more more more with no understanding of the burn out it causes, do they think just MAYBE some of this may be why people with 8 or 10 years of tenor are taking a path they have never taken before?

I have been there 8 and I have been beaten to DEATH by them but no, I would never steal. I wouldn’t do the things that others have done but I also couldn’t care less about them. I care about my employees and their well-being but as far as the oppressors go, it wouldn’t phase me if they left and never came back. It wouldn’t upset me if I made a job transition to another company for the same income. I would fill by box and book it out the door yelling “SEE YA!” on the way out.

So with all of this going on, it is no wonder my anxiety and panic are back to manifesting themselves in worry over my health. That is how I express my fret. Health anxiety. I highly recommend staying away from it because it will drain you fast!

So today, I get up, go about my duties that I have to meet and then return home. I gave myself a haircut. (Do not assume that I went Brittany Spears, I have cut my hair for years and never chose to go bald but thank you for your concern)

I showered and came in my room. My goal for the day has been to NOT lay down but stay seated or moving. I decided I was having anxiety so I am writing instead of obsessively checking my blood pressure and pulse ox. It is like an addiction. If I want to get out of the habit, I have to stop doing it.

Besides, I am functioning. I am tired and want to nap but should go in to work. I don’t want to and am considering just starting my new-found resolve to stay busy, tomorrow.

When you are functioning okay, limited dizziness, some “unreal” feelings but over all, functioning, it is silly to take a blood pressure and risk undoing what is functioning. I WANT to take my bp, but then I think about last week when I did and how I took an okay week and turned my life back into constant panic and worry.

If you are functioning, don’t poke a stick at it. Continue to function until you can’t. Then, poke the stick because you’re already down, whats more going to do?!

So, as I finish my ramble, I have glimpses of hope that I can be productive and get my homework done today. Of course it would involve actually DOING the homework for which at this second, I am too tired to do. I think I will see if I can take a nap. If not, homework and maybe work it is.

For the rest of you who have the affliction that I do, I pray that you find peace and calm. Even if it’s just for a few hours. I am praying that your hours lead to days, to weeks, to months and to years.

This world is in shambles and life is not easy. With prayer and luck, maybe, just maybe we can get back to normal. We can feel good. We can experience true joy and happiness.

Those are my prayers for you. And me.

Well here we go again

So yesterday I obtained my cardiology medical records for the second opinion I am getting on Monday. Of course I had to dive into them the second I got in the elevator and then pour over them once I got home.

I was just about to the end of the stack when I thought “Well, its exactly what she said. No surprises here.” until I got to the last report where I saw that during my 48 hour monitor reading I had one instance of A-fib. Fib’s scare the hell out of me. I also saw a word Tachycardia. I freaked before I could see that it wasn’t the dreaded and deadly V-tac rather Sinoid Tachycardia, which is a fancy word for electric issues in my heart. I knew.

So since the A-fib and near death Tachycardia scare I have been clinging to the ceiling. I “monitored” my heartbeats through out the night while I was sleeping. I was always aware as to what it was doing. I am hyper aware today. I have had a chest pain or two…which I was getting all of the time at the height of my panic (which incidentally is when I was wearing the 48 hour monitor) and I read that A-fib is not uncommon during panic attacks. Stress can induce them, illness can induce them…..I can induce them. Yet, I am terrified….and likely….going to induce them…which is terrifying.

So, I am back in my OCD circle. I broke down and did blood pressure this morning. Repeatedly. Pulse Ox. Repeatedly. I left the bp cuff at home, damn it. In a moment of being rational I thought it best for my mental health to leave it at home or I would be attached to it all day. Well, now I want to go home and get it.

I stood up this morning and felt dizzy so I took my bp. It was in the high 90’s so of course, a little head rush. I hadn’t eaten anything and spent the night toiling over my heart….so….what do we think is going to happen?

It just aggrivated my fear.

I have a touch of something in my lungs this morning. Its been dusty at work and humid. I have allergies….but of course in my mind, I am wondering if I have a blood clot.

If you are exhausted reading this, imagine how I feel! I am SOOoooooooo draining on me. My spouse is a saint because for the last 3 days I have been having issues and the last 24 hours have been at a heightened state. I know its trying and I know its tiring but my spouse seems more patient right now…..then I worry about what that means. Do I really HAVE something wrong? Is my spouse afraid something IS really wrong? We could go on that for days. I have to stop it there and just say its because we talked and I think my spouse understands just how fearful this heart thing is making me and if I could wash it away and not be fearful, I sure would.

So, I am trapped at work today. Hoping I can break away to get my blood pressure cuff and hoping I can snap out of this. I took 1/4 of an Ativan about 1/2 hour ago. Ativan can take anywhere from 30 min to an hour to work, so I am hoping I tick down here soon. I need to be calm.

That’s the thing, we drive ourselves over the edge and then we medicate to bring us back down until we drive ourselves over the edge again. It is why I am really trying to do this without medication but I have had to medicate 2 or three times this week. I am getting the impression that it isn’t working.

Perhaps the Therapist is correct and I need to break down and do a maintenance medication so I can stay at a level 1 or 2 instead of this super highway of ups and downs. Its SO exhausting and I haven’t had a stretch of good days in so long that I cant recall what it was like. I have good hours. Good moments and nothing more. I miss waking up and not having a dark cloud over my entire life.

I do find it interesting that when I HAVE had to take medication, it is while I am at work. I seem to have the absolute worst times at work. I guess that isn’t a surprise though, considering that the Director and her minion are typically at the root of what ails me.

My spouse had a second interview yesterday. It is in real estate, the same field that started all of this. I have anxiety about that job being offered, accepted and then utlimately lost because it is a terrible field to be in. But, at least it was a second interview!

So as I thump and bump with my heart, feel dizzy, fear, numbness and a little sick to my stomach, I am going to try to push and claw my way through another day…I really have no idea how many more of these I can do before I absolutely refuse to leave my house. I hope I can stay on top of it before that happens. I feel myself slipping though. Its like trying to run up a muddy hill. You just cant quite get the momentum you need to keep going. You push and run with everything you have and with all of the effort, you slide slowly back to the bottom.

Its defeating and overwhelming, and I am tired.

Sometime I think if I just give in to it, I would be better. If I just lay down and stay there, maybe it will leave me alone. The more I fight, the harder it fights.

If you would have told me a year ago that I would be crippled by panic, anxiety and turmoil I would have said “I sure hope not!” and gone about my way, silently worrying that you were right.

I look back and there were signs. I noticed them but never thought they would all dogpile into a big blow up.

I had trouble coping with changes. When I spoke to people, I wrung my hands. (Think old woman sitting in a rocker wringing her hands with worry…thats how I was, but no rocking). I was in a constant state of panic and resolution over different things that happened last year. I would be wired up about something, get it resolved and just as I was starting to relax, another thing would happen. This went on for maybe 3 months solid. Once I decided to let the outside factors of fear not rule me, my mind turned against me and started attacking my body.

I had never had health anxiety before. Sure there were times I think I overreacted to injuries or illness. Sometimes we are babies. This is OVER THE TOP worry.

I hate it. I also have zero control over it and I think that is the common misconception about people with anxiety or panic. Mind over matter. Well, that is exactly right.

You mind controls everything that matters. If somewhere in the back of your head you doubt something, your mind can spin that something over and over and over until it becomes a monster hiding under your bed.

My monster is too big to hide under the bed. It doesnt bother hiding at all. People at work are starting to see it. “You look pale today”, well thank you very much because your fantastic observation has just sent me running to the mirror, checking my blood pressure and pulse ox.

“You look really tired today” well thank you for that. Now I am worried about those other things along with sleep apnea, iron and a host of other ailments.

The basic issue is that the dark places in our minds are controlling everything.

I hate it!

Blurry vision doesnt mean your crazy…exactly

So as I mentioned this morning, I have blurry vision on and off and have likely convinced myself that I may be in line for a stroke.

I have no other symptoms except dizziness (which I get with anxiety/panic anyway). I have no markers that would make me suseptable for stroke other than extra pounds. I have no markers for someone predisposed to blood clots…..but…..that doesnt stop the anxiety over developing a case of babble or confusion.

We have all had those moments when we are talking and we utter words that dont make sense because we are putting two together or we are in a hurry or hopped up on caffeine. To a “normal” person, it is an amusing moment to giggle about. To someone with panic/anxiety, it clearly means a sign of doom.

No, I havent had a moment of confusion or babble. I have in my life…which I choose the moment I am in a panic to think about because having a chronic disorder of the magnitude that we often do, just isnt enough. We have to add a side of death or disability and wash it down with a long list of worries that we can never quite seem to get past for long.

The mind is an amazing and strange organ. If I spent as much time feeling great about things as I do tormenting about things, I would be one giddy fool.

So I go through my day diagnosing each blip in my life like I have a medical specialty in every field on the planet. What I SHOULD be doing is diagnosing my need to diagnose myself. If I could master THAT, then the skies might open up and the sun might, just maybe shine through…..