rchan: (Gravi -- determined -- sunrise.aoaki.net)
[personal profile] rchan
So, I finally decided it was time to start making calls and hunting up a new therapist. I have an appointment with someone on Monday and of course I’m now mildly freaking out about it. My last two experiences with such things have NOT turned out that well. *heavy sigh* But I'm getting really really really tired of living my life through the lens of anxiety. And I'm getting really really really tired of being so fucking tired all the time. I live most of my life feeling exhausted, like I can't budge to do the things I really need to do. And it's frustrating because I keep feeling like I should be able to just kick this thing in the ass and move on. Thing is... it doesn't work that way, does it?

So, yeah. Therapy. Here's hoping that this new person is a good fit for me, but if they're not, at least I know better than to stew in it for several weeks, hoping it will get better. There are certain questions I know to ask now that I didn't before. *crosses fingers* So, here's hoping, right?

In other news, I'm SO OVER SUMMER. I'm sorry. I know that many people like summer. For me... it's too hot and I end up spending most of it hiding indoors in the air conditioning so I don't pass out. I have constant headaches from the heat and it's even harder for me to go out and do things than usual. But it's mid-August, so that means I'm in the home stretch of the thing. And so my brain automatically turns to craving fall things. (Tumblr people: I know that some of you live in more northern climates than I do and seeing autumn stuff on your dash can be triggering as we're heading into winter. I promise I'll tag all my autumn posts so you can avoid them if you need to. My autumn tag is 'autumn is always my favorite' but just blocking 'autumn' should block that, too.)

But as a result of all these feels, I find that I'm dressing more autumn, too. I'm dressing in my autumn colors, I've even worn my boots once or twice (even though it's WAY too warm for that, still), I ordered a new pair of mocassins from Manitobah Mukluks and have been staring longingly at the harvester moccasins and the winter mukluks on the website. And all these autumn things make me happy. They make me want to go to craft fairs and fall harvest fairs and do all the fall things.

And I know that with fall comes a return to school and work and an end to endless free time... but really, I'm starting to think I need that. My anxiety preys on uncertainty. When I don't know what I should be doing or don't know where I'm supposed to be or don't know what's expected of me, my anxiety spirals out of control. When I have open, unlimited tracts of time with nothing scheduled, my anxiety spirals out of control. I NEED structure in my life. And as much as I needed a break this summer, because I never revved down from school, part of the reason I was so stressed was that my first class (the longer of the two) was run by someone who was VERY loosy goosy in her teaching style and from one second to the next, I never knew what we were doing. And even though my next class was back to structure structure structure, by then I was just so exhausted and burnt out that it didn't help. But now... these past few weeks, I've had just enough rope to hang myself with, but not enough free time that I can structure my OWN day the way I need it and it's not been working out well for me.

I think that's why I've fallen into the spiral of binge-watching SPN. It's comfortable. It's easy. It doesn't require anything from me but that I enjoy the angst and manpain. And it makes me nostalgic for a time when my head was WAY more together than it is now. And I think I needed that. I needed to retreat from tumblr a bit, too -- for those of you who noticed that I was pretty much just letting my queue run and not interacting with anyone, sorry about that, it wasn't anything personal. But ironically... the feeling that my summer is coming to a close (because really it kind of is -- come Thursday, I'm scheduled out the ass pretty much every day until school and work start) is decreasing my stress level? Just knowing that there is somewhere that I'll be required to be at certain times of every day is making me feel SO MUCH BETTER. And I think there's an important takeaway message for me in that.

The punchline is that this was the first time that I was ever in school with my anxiety revved up full gear. Even vet school wasn't this bad. And last year? I TANKED. I utterly, completely fucking TANKED. And it was as ugly as I was afraid it would be. I somehow still pulled As (and one A-) out of my ass, even WITH being sick, run down, and loaded to the gills with anxiety, but it was NOT a pretty picture to get me there and I did NOT do it with the ease I usually do. And that pisses me the fuck off. Because I'm GOOD at school. I'm really, really, really good at it. And this year? This year I was really, really, really not. I need to do better. And if that means I need to schedule my ass to go sit at the school library to work, then I need to do that.

And you know what else I need? I need to schedule time to write. Because "oh I want to write today" always turns into "or I could watch five episodes of SPN" instead. And not writing? That's not good for my anxiety either. Writing is how I cope. When I don't write, I've reached a low in my mental health where I'm burnt so far the fuck out that NOTHING is picking me up again. Not being able to write? Not being able to read? That's mental health ground zero for me. The year I went out on disability was kind of a rough year, but it was also the year when I was the most mentally stable I'd been in a while. I was out of a toxic work situation. I'd discovered something new to be passionate about and started making friends (thank you, Hair). I'd started to think about life beyond veterinary medicine. I'd started to heal. And my anxiety wasn't ruling my life. Not yet. I wrote 367,037 words that year. That's over 30K words a month. That's a FUCKTON. Last year? I wrote 110,071. But here's the real kicker. I had SIX MONTHS last year when I wrote NOTHING. Absolutely nothing. And that's the best indicator of how my mental state has been that I can think of. In short? Not good.

So, what this all boils down to is goals.

  • I'm going to stay on top of my school assignments and get them done in a timely fashion, starting with the book I have to read this summer.

  • I'm going to try to do the things my therapist recommends rather than just shooting them down right out of the gate.

  • I'm going to write. It doesn't matter what. But I'm going to write.

  • If I do end up teaching two classes, I'm going to stay on top of those, too. I will make schedules. I will plan in advance.

  • I'm going to lean as hard as I can toward the 'J' half of my personality when it comes to work and school and hope like fuck that the 'P' half doesn't pull me off the rails.

  • ...here's hoping?
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