~ Anxious anticipation ~

Anxiety Disorders Association of America

Anxiety Disorders Association of America (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So today was the day, the day I had my phone appointment to apply for ssi and Ssdi both. They are two differant types of disability benefits. So we will see what happens next. I applied on my own in September 2011 and I was denied, since then I have gotten worse. So this time I have an advocate from the dhs office assigned to me, she will be with me through every step until I receive benefits. So that’s pretty cool. In fact she was the one who set up the phone appointment for me, and said that she can come to me for future appointments. That is such a huge stress reliever, god how I dred appointments or meetings. It didn’t matter what I do or say I have a panic attack every time. It doesn’t happen the same way every time, but it never fails to happen. Sometimes it happens in the car on my way there, sometimes it happens in the waiting room once I arrive, sometimes it happens furring the appointment. I don’t understand why it happens to me. It’s so frustrating. It hasn’t always been this bad. I can remember having anxiety in high school when I was in a new group setting or alone someplace with people I didn’t know. For example: a new class or going to the cafeteria by myself. I remember having severe anxiety whenever I was expected to speak I front of the class. I know a lot of people get nervous before a presentation but what happened to me was so much more than the usual nervousness. Days before my turn to present I would start feeling nauseous and dizzy. When I imagined my self doing the presentation I would start shaking, get short of breath , my heart would beat erratically. I felt flushed and like I was going to pass out. I knew I would pass out, if not have a heart attack if I actually did the presentation so I wouldn’t go to class the days I had to present something.
I know every Job I have ever had the “meetings” whatever they were about or how ever big they were it didn’t make a difference. I panic in them. It’s pretty bad too I start shaking my voice gets quiet and sounds crackly. I have a difficult time getting the right words to come out if my mouth, I will say things all twisted up. Like if I tried saying ” there you go” it might come out as ” you there go” . Plus I start shaking, at times pretty hard too, I remember one time trying to write my name on the sign in sheet, when i finished i looked down at it and it was barely recognizable as a name if any kind. All my shaking caused it to look like a bunch of squiggly lines, not letters. I am convinced everyone thinks something is wrong with me, like I’m retarded, I actually hear people laugh and whisper. I know that it’s about me. I usually get paranoid that my breath stinks so I avoid talking and h
Chew a lot of gum.
Over the years it has gotten worse for me. Now I have been told I have agoraphobia. So my anxiety of social situations has progressed to the point where I am now having an extremely difficult time leaving the house at all. I avoid leaving in fear of having a panic attack.
Anxiously anticipating when I will have a counselor that will be coming to my home, so I can’t panic my way out of the appointments, and can finally start working through some of my issues.

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~Much more than Monday~

Come Monday

Come Monday (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On top of our regularly busy Monday, today has been extra  eventful. We slept through the alarm going off, so the day started out pretty yucky. Everyone was bickering with each other because we had to rush around getting the kids ready and to school. Then we had a surprise visit from our “counselor”. I’m not sure I know his official title, all I do know is, he’s here because someone called the state claiming we were not taking care of our kids and using drugs. The accusations were immediately proven to be wrong.
Since they had come to our house they were now able to assist our family if we needed any assistance. There is a lot of helpful services available that we knew nothing about. You would have to be an idiot to refuse some of these services. We volunteered to have someone come to our house and assist us with making routines, and schedules. Help with getting the kids to do some chores around the house and get them to listen a little more. Our life was begging for some structure.
The “counselor” that has been coming by, typically on Tuesdays and Thursdays, is absolutely wonderful. I wasn’t completely thrilled at first just the thought of someone I don’t know coming in to my home and telling me how to do things better, was a bit intimidating.   It has proven to be a really positive experience for our family.
The “counselor” has this way of suggesting an alternative method to the way you would normally handle a situation, without seeming like he knows better. Even without making you feel bad for the way you have been handling it. He kinda just throws ideas out there and lets you choose what will work best for you. He really has a gift.
My kids are currently all sleeping in their own rooms and they don’t put up too big of a fight when I ask them to help out with some chores. Every one gets along a little better. We don’t want him to leave. We enjoy having him around so much that we talked him in to coming by for an additional 4 more weeks.
While he was here today he asked about my panic attacks, and how often I have them. I told him just about every time I leave the house. I am able to go to the store if we have a specific purpose and I am with someone I know. I have a particularly difficult time with appointments or meetings. It has gotten so bad that my psychiatrist actually dropped me as a patient because I have missed one too many appointments.
I don’t know why it happens. I schedule an appointment with every intention of attending. Many times I have gone to an appointment or meeting, even made it as far as checking in then something changes. I get all panicky and have to leave. Occasionally while driving to an appointment or meeting, before I can even pull in the parking lot I start panicking. I immediately have to turn the car around and go back home.
It has been really difficult because I really want to go to some of these appointments. Like my psychologist. I would not have fucked that up on purpose. I explained to the “counselor” I need to see  someone  regularly and I need to be discussing with someone the effectiveness of my medications.
That is when the “counselor” suggested trying to pull some strings and get me seen where he works quicker. He said they can even come to my house if that is what is needed. So I am pretty excited that I will be able to discuss some stuff with someone soon and start working through some of my issues.

~Public panic~

Anxiety

Anxiety (Photo credit: Rima Xaros)

Well….yesterday I had an appointment at the dhs office. The appointment was for me to meet with someone to discuss whether or not I would qualify for assistance applying for disability benefits (ssi and ssdi).
I developed so much anxiety the few days prior to the appointment. Just knowing it was scheduled caused me anxiety but the closer to the actual date of the appointment it got worse.
In fact the night right before my appointment I couldn’t sleep. My mind wouldn’t shut up. I was up all night. I played out all the possible out comes in my head. Funny thing is, I had no idea, what to expect. I didn’t know what this person was like or What she would be expecting from me? I didn’t know what information they needed from me. I had no way to prepare anything.
Anytime I leave home I have to take Ativan. This day I was rushing around all frazzled and forgot to take it. Especially if I am going somewhere new or somewhere I don’t really like to go. So of all days to forget it just had to be this one.
The DHS office is by far one of my least favorite places to go. Its always packed full of people needing help. You have to wait 20 minutes standing in line just to check in for your appointment. Plus the people working there seem irritated all the time, and never have all the answers.
While I was standing in line more and more people started coming in, it was beginning to get crowded. I started feeling anxious and tried telling my self I would be fine just breathe. When it it was my turn to be helped the guy who I stood 20 minutes in line to talk to just told me he didn’t know how to check people in so I had to get back in line and wait for someone else to help me. When I turned around the lines had doubled in size, I started panicking and had to leave. I told my husband I had to leave. He didn’t understand what was going on and I wasn’t going to talk about it in front of everyone in that office so I left without him, to go sit in the car.
About 15 minutes go by and here comes my husband. He said I had to go back inside. He told the lady I needed to see about my anxiety. So she said if I came back she wouldn’t make me wait in the lobby I could go straight back to her desk. So I did.
She told me it wasn’t nessesary to fill out any more paperwork. She knew I qualified for the help. She said she would personally be the one assisting me and she would be with me every step of the way.
She is a retired nurse, so she knows all about anxiety and how hard it can be. She was extremely nice and wanted me to fill comfortable. She told me that she was going to schedule an appointment to fill out the SSI and SSDI applications and that I could do it over the phone.
She also told me that she could come to my house instead of me having to come to her. Normally it’s not aloud but she said because of my anxiety she would make an exception.

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