Posts Tagged 'anxiety'

New Meds Again

Sorry I’ve been away.  I just have no interest in things.  And no energy

The Welbutrin didn’t help or hurt so the doc put me on Lexapro.  Two big side effects : increased anxiety and screwed up sleep.  Not fun.  I told the doc if this one didn’t work then I want to be off meds because this is the forth (4th) medication I’ve tried and doesn’t seem to be working.  I called for counseling but there was no availability. 

I have been making it to Mass every week so that helps (even if I was late this past Sunday).  

Still working on finding a job. I need one soon. The woman in charge of the paperwork part of the food benefits program does not like me. Dealing with her drives my anxiety up so I avoid dealing with her as much as possible.   She keeps changing the rules about what I have to do and what I can include on the paperwork (no interviews unless I physically walk to at least five separate businesses and physically fill out an application on site and then interview).  She’s also given me really bad advice about how to interview (she wants me to bad mouth my previous employer when you are never supposed to do that and to make myself look like a horrible candidate by bringing up immaterial stuff from previous jobs i.e. say that I got written up when I was working for evil security company). I want to leave evil security company in the past.  I’ll talk about why I was let go but I won’t bad mouth the company. (Just thinking about evil security company is activating my anxiety; that place was majorly anxiety inducing towards the end).

Still volunteering at the library and still very mildly frustrated that people can’t remember the alphabet when reshelving books.  I like working there but the are times when I want to go up to random patrons and have then recite the alphabet.  I don’t but occasionally I feel like it.

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Lent is Coming. Time to Start The Misery Competition

Lent starts next Wednesday and my anxiety has increased. It doesn’t help that I’m not on meds anymore.  

I hate Lent. It fills me with dread.

Lent always seems to bring out the competition in Catholics, more so online these days.  It’s like Lent needs to be the horrible torture fest in the name of God and if you aren’t miserable and despairing than you aren’t a good Catholic making a good Lent.  The more miserable you are the better.  Of course that feeds my anxiety and depression because I already believe I’m a horrible Catholic because I don’t do fifty devotions everyday, volunteer 70 hours everyday along with working 90 hours a day while caring for 4000 people.  Heavens, I have a hard time going to Mass on Sundays and I pray in the morning and at night and go to Confession regularly but apparently that isn’t enough.  That God isn’t going to love me until I’ve worked myself into the ground and then He’ll deign to notice my existence but only the once because I still haven’t done enough to even be considered worthy enough to gain a second glance. And forget about Heaven. As my mother constantly told me growing up, bad girls like me go straight to Hell.  I existed therefore I was bad.

Lent seems to turn God into a psychopathic, sadomasochistic tyrant bent on humiliating people and sending them to Hell, going by the way Catholics act and talk during Lent. (And outside of Lent, too, at least for some Catholics).  It’s like God is absent or barely there the rest of the time or at least this pleasant parent that lets the kids get away with everything but then Lent starts and God turns into this bully that lays down the law very strictly and any deviation is automatically a sending to Hell, do not pass Go, do not repent and go to Confession, there is no way that forgiveness is going to happen so you better freaking forget it.  Messing up means you’re dead to me.

Intellectually, I understand that this is not God but how people imaging God to be and what they think Lent should be.  The part of me that constantly heard that God couldn’t possibly love me and that I was going straight to Hell along with all the “Catholic” opinions stated as Church teaching make this easy to believe and to fall into this mindset.  And I’m left to figure out what is real and what isn’t all on my own.  It all feeds my depression and anxiety and just makes worse. And there are a lot of Catholics that would like to keep my marginalized or even excommunicated from the Church because of my depression and anxiety. I am not in a good place when it comes to Lent let alone my faith sometimes.

Lent has an emphasis on three things: fasting, prayer, and almsgiving. Yet, I’ve always seen an extremely improper focus on fasting and fasting alone with maybe Stations of the Cross thrown in.  Everyone is “giving something up” which they think is the whole purpose of Lent.  This is where the competition comes in. And it is competition because it ends with Easter and they can resume what they had “given up” which many do with relish.  This is not the purpose of Lent. So what is?

The purpose of Lent is to prepare for the Crucifixion, Death, and Resurrection of Christ. It is also when the elect (those going through RCIA) prepare to enter the Church and receive the Sacraments, to be Baptized into the Body of Christ.  Fasting is important but it isn’t the main thing or the primary importance.  Jesus is.  Our focus should be on our relationship with Jesus and what we can do to improve that relationship. But that relationship shouldn’t necessarily be at the cost of our other relationships.  A parent can’t stop taking care of their children to go to daily Mass, volunteer at the parish, etc. They can add these things if they are prudent but the care of children is how the parent lives their relationship with Christ and their vocation and has priority.  A mother can’t add or do things that would harm her child(ren).

And what about prayer and almsgiving?  Other than adding the Stations of the Cross or maybe daily Mass most don’t focus on prayer. And almsgiving? Well, Catholics seem to be tight fisted with money and give the least out of all groups.  

Lent uses all three (fasting, prayer, and almsgiving) to help us focus on Christ and his Crucifixion, Death, and Resurrection.  Like Church relies on Scripture, Tradition, and Magisterium (think a three legged stool) to uphold her teachings/doctrine, so does Lent rely on the three legged stool of fasting, prayer, and almsgiving.  You can’t focus on one to the detriment of the other two.  You’ll fall off the stool on to the ground and end up with bruises and embarrassed.  I can’t think of Lent as a time to focus on being punished for my sins, as a time to suffer just to suffer.  Yes, I have come across Catholics that just want fellow Catholics to suffer just to see them suffer and so they can gloat about being “better” Catholics.

So what to do for Lent?

Well, the Church already tells us when and how to fast and abstain. Maybe add Wednesdays during Lent as an extra day of fasting and/or abstinence. If you have an activity or behavior that drives you batty and you know gets in the way of your relationship with God and/or others, then definitely give that up.  I know I shouldn’t read certain things on the Web  (I’ve started it already) since they make my anxiety worse.  It’s not just something I’m going to do for Lent because my anxiety exists all the time and not just in Lent. Don’t just “give up” something just to give up something.  Do it with purpose and that you can continue outside of Lent. I suggest giving up sinning because you can continue it all year round.

For prayer, I’m working on being consistent in my prayer life.  I started that several Lents ago and work on that all the time.  That’s a good habit that can continue outside of Lent.  Or maybe add one prayer. Or add a prayer to pay at specific times of the day.  I pray a Hail Mary as I’m making my bed in the morning (okay, when I get up) and include several in my bedtime prayers.  That was actually a penance I received several months ago that has turned into a good habit and I liked doing it so I kept doing it. Yes, you still pray the Stations of the Cross.

Almsgiving.  Yes, you’re going to have to open your wallet.  Look at your budget.  How much is truly necessary (rent, utilities, food, gas, insurance, student loan payments) and how much is luxury (daily trips to the coffee shop, the gym membership you barely use, buying new and expensive clothes when you have perfectly good clothes already or can find it cheaper and used at Goodwill, etc.)?  If you haven’t been giving anything, start with $5 or $10 at least once a month.  If already giving, give another $5 more or start giving weekly.  Or at least give to the special collections like St. Vincent de Paul or the Bishop’s Appeal. If you can’t give at all, offer you time. Volunteer.  Parishes always need help somewhere. (I do give even though I’m still currently unemployed.  I give because I can and my lack of employment doesn’t effect my relationship with the parish.)

See, Lent doesn’t have to hurt.  You don’t need to suffer needlessly or pointlessly or at all.  I don’t have to either.

One thing I am focusing on is taking better care of myself. Depression can be very debilitating.  It can be hard to do simple, everyday things let alone new, complex things.  And my anxiety feeds my depression and my depression feeds my anxiety. Not fun. So I’m working on treating them and not just during Lent.

I am totally giving up snow, however. That stuff is vile. (And yes, we had snow yesterday (23) and today (24) and it’s almost the end of February. Seriously whacked if you ask me.

Remember That New Medication…

Yeah.  Didn’t work so well.  Made me sleep 12-14 hours a day. It also made me want to hide in bed all day. So I stopped taking it yesterday. And those were unexpected side effects. I emailed the doctor that I stopped taking it and the reasons why. We’ll see what happens.

Of course, my anxiety has gone up lately. I found out last Thursday (from Mr Drug Dealer himself) that he is schizophrenic and bipolar. And he’s not on any medication but he does take street drugs (aka illegal drugs).  I also got to hear his lovely delusions about his previous apartment and how the newspapers and TV news programs were going to expose “the truth” very soon.  He also keeps changing his story about who helps him and about all his “friends” that keep pounding on his door at all hours.  He also said that a girl screaming (for help) is no reason to call the cops. (I don’t know why the woman screamed which I didn’t hear but there was more going on that night than a scream and whomever called the police was right in doing so.)  I’m afraid to open my door anymore because I don’t knew who might be out there and if they might be dangerous to me or not.

I had a panic attack earlier today.  I know part of it stemmed from the library volunteer party Saturday night (I hadn’t been around that many people in a social setting in a very long time) and I was freaking out over what I said (I was fine but I always freak out over social situations) even though I didn’t say anything stupid. But I spent several minutes before my volunteer shift sitting in my car working on calming myself down because the library is totally not a scary place nor are the librarians.  I was able to calm myself down and was fine for my shift.  Then I went grocery shopping (I bought more than I planned but I should be fine for like two weeks now) and as I was driving home I realized I didn’t want to go home because Mr Drug Dealer is still my neighbor and I don’t want to have to deal with him at all.

I swear the quality of the tenants in this place has gone down. More are on some kind of public assistance or have a mental illness (oddly enough I’m not talking about myself though I could be included though I actually seek help and treatment) or substance abuse problems/addictions.  There seem to be more issues or at least talk about drugs/drug use in regards to tenants. Mind you, there are several children living in the complex, many under the age of ten.  I don’t want drugs anywhere near children. I don’t want them anywhere near this apartment either.

I would like to move but can’t afford to st this time, especially not without a job.

Some Good News

The apartment manager talked to Mr. Drugs (I may also refer to him as Mr. Drug Dealer) next door today.  I heard them through my front door. So the apartment manager is aware and is taking this seriously. I have no idea who reported him, again, and I don’t want to know (to keep them protected) but I’m grateful they have said something and made the apartment manager take notice.

This has also triggered my anxiety which I’m trying to manage but not doing very well. I want Mr. Drug Dealer gone but it’s not going to happen overnight. It will take time. This is the first step. It took several months to get Mr. Superiority Alcoholic evicted.  But this is a positive first step. I just have to keep this is mind.

I do have new medication for my anxiety so we’ll see how that works.

The Truth Behind My Anxiety

I didn’t set out the last few weeks to figure out my anxiety. It just happened. More accurately, conversations and reflections happened. I’ve been talking to the downstairs neighbor who started me on this track to figuring things out.

I’ve been in my apartment for over eleven years now. That’s 11 years and three months if you want to be exact.  I have seen tenants come and go. I’ve called the cops on some. I was grateful for others.  I’ve also dealt with a horrible apartment manager for several years and then was blessed with better ones. I’m still getting a feel for the new one.

The last four years or so have seen the quality, so to speak, of next door tenants degrade. (Reference point being from about 2013 onward) Enough so that seeing the police show up is not an unusual sight.  How screwed up is that? I also don’t know what to expect when I walk out my front door. With Mr Superiority Alcoholic (2015-June 2016), it was either him on some tangent or the police. I preferred the police because they treated me with respect. Mr Superiority Alcoholic treated me like an idiot. And when he started drinking, well, it was better for me to not be here. He may have never physically hurt me but that really didn’t mean anything.  He would still get violent and abusive. He also called the cops on himself but they couldn’t keep him locked up for long so he would be back within hours to start all over the next night.  And he would do this several times a week. I’m glad he was evicted.

The tenants before him, well the kids and grandkids really, were trouble before that.  Though the police weren’t called, there were a lot of issues with drugs and alcohol.  Lots of both. And even underage, I think but can’t prove. I’m glad they were evicted.

Between the two, knocking on the door sets me off.  I tense, worrying that something bad is going to happen if I don’t answer. I don’t answer because it’s next door and I hear knocking on that four due to how little of a wall there is between the apartment.  But now the current tenant next door is the most problematic. He has visitors at all hours of the day and night. Knocking incessantly.  I can’t prove it but I believe it’s drugs. I don’t want that shit here.  And they don’t stop.  They knock even when Mr Drugs isn’t home and they keep knocking til somebody answers the door.  And it’s a specific knock. And it’s the same people over and over again. But I can’t prove it’s drugs so I can’t do anything.

So living in this apartment has increased my anxiety. I don’t feel safe here. I worry about walking out my front door.  I hear a knock and I’m worried about violence.  I worry about people damaging or dealing my car or breaking into my apartment. 

But I can’t afford to move. I looked for another apartment and I’d be looking at paying nearly $1000 (yes that’s right) for a studio. I have a one bedroom now. I don’t want to have to move due to other people’s bad behavior. I want Mr Drugs gone. I shouldn’t have to suffer for someone else’s bad behavior. 

Withdrawal. Anxiety.

I’m dealing with both right now.  It’s 2:14 in the morning and I don’t want to sleep even though I have a medical appointment at 10:30 that I have to leave for before 9:30.  I’m also freaking out about an interview for a job I have Friday.  I’m not thrilled with the possible commute to the job but I’m getting desperate to find a job. Not that I care much for the job either but I really need to find a job soon. I feel like I’m on the knife edge and something really terrible is going to happen to me very soon. That I’m going to end up homeless or my parents are going to stop helping me or my rent is going to go up to where I can’t pay it or I lose my food stamps.  Just something really bad. And I’m doing something, driving somewhere for the next seven days and I feel overwhelmed.

I have been off my antidepressant for five days and the withdrawal has set in. I just want to sleep and hide.  But then I don’t want to sleep at all.  And I’m crying all the time. I definitely don’t want to go anywhere or deal with anyone but then I really want to talk to someone about all this. But my friends all work so I can’t talk to them until the weekend.

I still don’t have someone to drive my to my major medical appointment next week. And then I might be picked for jury duty since I got a letter a couple a weeks ago and have to go in on the 12th. And if I get the job, (which it sounds like I already have) training starts the 16th.  My birthday is the 18th and am pretty sure I’m celebrating it alone as always. I feel like I’m being slammed all at once and how I handle it determines how the rest of my life is going to be like. That I’m being judged on how much I can take before I break and still more stuff is going to be dumped on me even after I break.  That this is a game to someone and I’m the loser participant.

And we’re supposed to be getting more snow this weekend, possibly even today, and I don’t want snow. All it’s been has been is nearly freezing or snow for the last month. Very little rain. I want the rain back. I can handle rain with no problems.

Yeah, my head’s not a good place right now.

One Of Those Days

So I never did hear from the bureaucracy. I waited all day.  I’ll deal with it on Monday, maybe.  But with how many times I’ve dealt with them in the last few months and they said they would call, all of this is on them. 

I did call the phone company to try and fix my phone.  Calls from someone in my contacts are fine.  Calls from unknown numbers screw up my phone. Hell, the phone company couldn’t call me after I called them, tried to follow the emails they sent me, and had someone call me. I’m going to try to the store tomorrow.  Hopefully, that goes better than this.  I may have to do a reset. Tried to wipe the cache partition  but the instructions I had didn’t work. And I tried many, many, many times.

I talked to my baby sister (hey, I’m the oldest, I can call her anything I want) and found out the reason my mother has decided to cut me off is because my stupid man chasing sister S broke up with her boyfriend that she was living with in Idaho (after breaking up with the New York boyfriend she was living with before) and moved back in with my parents that live in Kansas. And since S is my mother’s favorite, she’s getting the monetary benefit without having to look for work or take responsibility for her actions and behaviors.  Not that S ever has. She’s gotten away with near murder all of her life due to being my mother’s favorite.  Unfortunately, I ended up crying while talking to my sister and explaining why I was having a bad day. And also unfortunately, she passed that on to my mother who texted me again. So I had to deal with her again.

Money has always been an issue that causes me anxiety.  It always has. We weren’t poor growing up. My dad had a really good job with really good benefits. My mother did hate spending money on me and I can recall several incidents growing up where she manipulated me into choosing some trivial item over a necessary item. There were also a lot years where my clothes came from thrift stores while my sisters got all new stuff from from really nice stores.  And I knew at Christmas not to ask for anything I really wanted because I wouldn’t get it or my sister S would get it with my mother rubbing it in my face.  There was the Christmas that my grandmother and her second husband gave my sisters actual presents but gave me soap, then told me I had to pay for the soap, and then took the soap away. My sisters got to keep their presents.  I was told I was ungrateful and that I was going to hell. Then there was the time I was homeless and living out of my car.  Or the times I was behind on student loans (I’ve made my displeasure with the evil student loan company known on this blog before) and had to deal with constant phone calls to collect money I didn’t have because I’d been fired by evil security company. So yeah, money has been an issue for a good portion of my life.


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