It's a GAD GAD World
Thursday, February 24, 2005

It's a good thing I'm not suicidal, because lemme tell ya, it would have been a hell of a lot easier for me to slit my wrists than to go through what I've been through just trying to get help for my relapse.

So I relapsed. Now what would a logical person do when they have a medical problem that's recurred? Go to their doctor, right? So stupid me, I reach out to my doctor for help & he gives me a phone number to call and says he can't treat me anymore. What an asshole. A gaping and cavernous asshole. The number he gave me was supposedly for a low cost clinic available to employees at Prestigious Institution. I called the number. This so-called "low-cost" clinic charges $225 for an office visit and it's not covered by insurance.

Plan B--get another psychiatrist now that I have insurance. But for that I have to GET my insurance. That took 2 days of unreturned phone calls to the HR office, and 2 days of sitting in the office waiting for someone to deal with me. But I got it done.

Now to make an appointment with my PCP, whom I had to pick out of a book when I turned my benefits paperwork in. She doesn't accept my insurance anymore. I called the person I listed as a backup. She's no longer working in primary care. Then I start calling names out of the book. And FINALLY I find one who's willing to see me.

That appointment was Monday. I was only with her for 15 minutes, but she seemed very nice and gave me the referral slip I needed.

Now to find a psychiatrist. I must have called close to 10 doctors this week. They're either not taking new patients or they don't take my insurance. I finally found one to take me, but I won't be able to see her till March 18. So thanks to my prick of an ex-psychiatrist, I now have to wait more than 30 days to be seen. Someone should have seen me THREE FUCKING WEEKS AGO!!!

But at least the asshole gave me some more Xanax. And if I limit myself to 1 pill/workday, I'll have enough to last till my appointment.

Monday, February 21, 2005

I am not well. After 11 months of being relatively normal, I have completely relapsed.

The only things that bring me any peace are alcohol and Xanax. And no, I am not taking those substances together. I'm not stupid.

And I'm not suicidal either. But I am utterly miserable. I can't relax no matter what I do.

On Saturday I got up, walked downtown and got a haircut, came back home and took a Xanax XR, & went to sleep. Usually the XR knocks me out for roughly 12 hours. The bad news is that this time it only knocked me out for 6. The good news is I actually felt good when I woke up. No stress. No anxiety. For the first time in nearly 3 weeks.

2 days before, on Thursday morning, I emailed my doctor and asked him for a refill on both of the Xanax prescriptions. (He'd given me a scrip for 0.5 mgs of regular X, it helped get me through the day without knocking me out.) He asked for my address so he could mail me the scrip and said he couldn't continue to be my doctor.

I don't understand it. I just don't understand it. I feel like he's punishing me for being sick. Damnit, I was fine for ELEVEN FUCKING MONTHS!! I didn't want to relapse. I didn't choose to relapse. And I didn't choose to be mentally ill, either.

I'd give anything to be asleep right now. I drank at 10 pm, went to bed at 11, and fell asleep @ 11:20pm. Woke up @ midnight, watched a CSI rerun, and now I'm blogging.

In case anyone's reading--my drinking is not excessive. I can't stand wine or beer, and if I can't even handle that, then hard liquor is completely out of the question. I drink those fruity sodapop-type beverages. And my limit is 1/night. So a 6-pack lasts me about a week.

Alcohol also puts me out like a light, which is another reason why I can't do it heavily. IT's also why I do it at night. It helps me sleep and calms me down a little.

The anxious feeling is coming back, but today I can control it if I stay busy doing something. Which is why I'm blogging. But I can't do this all night.

I took a sleeping pill /12 hour ago. I hope it kicks in.

I finally got my insurance straightened out. I have an appointment with a doctor tomorrow (well, technically today, since it's after 1am). Hopefully she's helpful and not a quack. And hopefully my soon-to-be-ex doctor won't screw me on the prescription.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

I just read this interesting article on Yahoo (originally from the Washington Post) about how bloggers around the country are getting fired for complaining about their jobs in their posts:

What the article didn't exactly make clear (and maybe it's because the situation itself isn't clear) is under what circumstances this can happen. I mean, you shouldn't be blogging on company time on a company computer. If you do that, then you're just stupid and you deserve to be fired. You might also be asking for trouble if you name your company in your blog and then bitch about it. But if you do things on your own time, on your own computer, and you don't ID your company or compromise confidentiality, then what you say should be your business. Shouldn't it?

In case anyone's wondering (of course, that's assuming anyone's actually READING), I only blog from home. And I've never named any specific names of coworkers (or I've used pseudonyms). I did ask to have a link to this blog posted with because I wanted to reach other people with GAD, but that's about the only public notice my blog has ever gotten.

Speaking of my job, I managed to get through this week virtually unscathed, thanks in some small part to the baby Xanax. My boss is now out of town and will not be returning for the remainder of the month.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Things were better for a couple of days, but now they're worse.

I am so pissed off at my doctor right now. I broke down and called him Friday morning & we set up an appointment for Sunday afternoon. (I can't remember what I blog from one day to the next, so pardon me if I repeat myself.) I tried to talk to him about what was going on at work, and he literally cut me off in mid-sentence. It's like when I'm sick, he can't be bothered to deal with me. I thought that's what doctors were FOR, for cryin' out loud! The last time he took this attitude with me was the last time I was sick. Then he told me he wasn't equipped to deal with me and I needed to go on Medicaid.

The only good thing to come out of the appointment was that he gave me some baby Xanax. Not enough to put me out like a light, just enough to calm me down a little.

So on Monday I met with 2 financial gurus. (Let me backtrack a little--part of the reason I'm so stressed out at work is because the financial records are a mess.) They were very friendly and very helpful. I felt so much better after talking to them. They made a suggestion (which I'm not going to detail here because it's too complicated and boring) that would make record-keeping easier. Within the past 2 days I've had conversations with 2 people about this suggestion. I've been told by both of them that it couldn't be done. And one of them told me that every person who's been in my job for the past 3 years (there have been 5 before me) has tried to implement the same suggestion and the Big Boss nixed it.

So now I'm back to being stressed to the gills--because I don't know how to fix this problem. The only plausible solution I can think of is to lay low until the Big Boss retires and THEN implement it. The question is, can I survive that long?

I actually counted out 100 days from the day she retires and marked them on my calendar at home. The countdown doesn't begin until March.

I have 2 big meetings with her tomorrow. Then after Friday she's gone for the rest of the month.

I really wish I could talk to my doctor. But he won't listen to me...

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Friday morning I woke up at 4am anxious. I don't mean that I woke up at 4am, started thinking about work, and became anxious. I mean I woke up anxious. I tossed & turned & finally calmed down by around 6am, but then 6am is the time I wake up, so I just got up & went to work.

I also finally broke down & called my doctor. I didn't really think it would do much good, but I wanted him to know what was going on. So we made an appt.

That appointment was today. To make a long story short, I was telling him something and I yelld--a little louder than I should have. He became angry with me. I fell all over myself apologizing. Then I tried to talk with him about what was going on with work. In mid-sentence he cut me off & told me he had another appointment. I said, "I knew trying to talk to you was a waste of time." He asked, "Why would you say it's a waste of time?" I didn't answer, I just walked out. And cried all the way home, partially because I felt bad for yelling and partially because I just really wanted to talk to someone objective & he was shutting me out.

About 10 minutes after I got home my cell phone rang. It was my doctor. "You seemed upset when you left." I should have just apologized again for wasting his time & hung up on him, but instead I started bawling and apologizing all over again. I tried to stress that I just wanted an objective ear. He said, "I'm not the best person for that." I said, "I didn't want to talk to you on a regular basis, I wanted to talk to you once." He gave me some phone numbers I could call. I then pointed out to him how very hard I try not to bother him. I pointed out that until today, in the 11 months that I've been on the memantine the only times I've come to see him are when I'm out of meds & need more. So even if the appointment was a complete waste of time, at least he knows that I don't want to take advantage of him.

I'm still crying. I haven't been able to stop. And I don't want to go to work tomorrow.

I've decided that I want to get out of this job & work somewhere else at Prestigious Institution as soon as is humanly possible. The question is, when is a good time to get out?

Thursday, February 03, 2005

I've had an epiphany of sorts. And I've learned some amazing things in this past week.

There is a gentleman at Prestigious Institution who acts as sort of an ombudsman for the place. I will call him "Jack". He's a Catholic priest, so anything told to him is kept confidential thru "the sanctity of the confessional". I've spent a good deal of time talking to him in the past 2 days, and he's given me exceptional advice. Basically what he's told me is that the situation I'm in is not going to change no matter how much I talk about it, so it's best to shut up. Not only that, but if I keep saying how hard it is, it may create the impression that I'm not qualified for the job and give them reason to fire me. He also suggested that I compliment the powers-that-be whenever possible. People love to hear good things about themselves, so if I make them feel good, they'll be less inclined to view me negatively.

I also discussed my GAD with him, and I told him about my yearly talk with the students and how much I enjoyed it. Turns out he battles with chronic depression. So he understands the stigma.

I came to another realization. I've been contemplating the thought of leaving this position. (Not actively plotting to leave, just contemplating it.) And the thought of leaving brings me a wonderful sense of peace. I'm thinking that perhaps this is a sign. I'm not 100% sure it's the answer, but the thought of it makes me feel good enough that I'm making tentative plans. Right before I got this job I was contacted by one of my temp agencies and told about a fabulous receptionist job at a non-profit. At the time I told them to go ahead & submit my resume, then they told me not to hold my breath waiting. I called them back this week just to get an update on the situation. Turns out that they may not be hiring right away, but that I was still in the running. Also, I may have mentioned that I had an interview at a CPA firm the day I got dumped by the piano store. I just sent the head honcho an email asking him to keep me in mind if/when they do decide to hire someone new. Thirdly, Prestigious Institution has an affiliate that is not connected to their job website. In fact, the only way to submit resumes is to snail mail them. The affiliate is also where I met my doctor (he's no longer there). I would love to work there. And depending on the job, it might be saner.

I've toyed with the idea of doing psychotherapy for a while now. I've never done it because 1) my previous experiences with therapy have been miserable, 2) I couldn't afford it. But now I think I might want to meet with Jack on a regular basis, even though he's not a "therapist". First, he gives good advice. Secondly, he's free! Thirdly, he's convenient--our offices are in the same building. Fourthly, if I do decide to start looking for another job, I could use him as a reference.

Here's another thing I've learned: I just read this article about setting goals. It said that people who have no goals in life spend a lot of time being dissatisfied--life just happens to them, and they're forced to react instead of act. THAT'S ME!! I've never really had any goals in life. The article also said that people who follow material goals (to get a high-status job, buy a fancy car, etc.) instead of intrinsic goals (i.e., self-improvement) are unhappier and more likely to waste time comparing themselves to others. (I sure as hell did a lot of that when I was un[der]employed.)

So I guess if I want to be happy, I have to start setting some goals for myself. Now if I could just figure out what they are...

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

I wish I could just crawl into a hole and never come out.

My new job is kicking my @$$. It's taking every ounce of strength and brain power I have just to keep my head above water, and now this.

I had a meeting with the Big Boss yesterday. I was told that the meeting was to discuss the hiring of a new bookkeeper. I should have suspected that something was up when she asked to meet me in my office instead of hers. Turns out she just wanted to check up on me and order me around.

Then late last night I made the mistake of checking my work email (I can do that from home) and there was an email from her. It was a follow-up to our meeting and it was very harsh and dictatorial. "You will do this" and "You will do that" (my emphasis). It literally rendered me unable to sleep. I'd love to know what the hell I did to get this punch in the stomach.

I've spent most of the day today crying at my desk. The student counselor came by to talk to me and I told him what happened. He seems to think that she's just covering her own @$$. To make a long and complicated story short, someone who worked in the position before me was fired for gross mismanagement. One of the reasons she was able to get away with the mismanagement for so long was because the people above my position don't keep real close tabs on it. So now the Big Boss is trying to show that she is keeping tabs by ordering me around and putting it in writing.

I wish I had the luxury of quitting this job. This is not healthy for me. I have an ANXIETY DISORDER, for Pete's sake!!

I haven't even told very many people about my job, even though it's what I've been struggling for ever since I was dumped from Crummy Catholic College. Reason--I'm so afraid of getting fired or quitting that I'd rather people not know I got the job.

I'd give anything to take a Xanax right now. Unfortunately, the only kind of Xanax I have is the XR stuff--knocks me out like a light for 12 hours. How many more days till Friday....?

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