I think lack of sleep induces mania for me. Due to my anxiety over the job interview with the temp agency and my first therapy appointment with the new counselor, I only got maybe 6 hours of sleep last night. Anxiety and insomnia go hand in hand. After all the running around I did today, I’m flat-out-wore-out!
First, the job interview, which wasn’t so much a job interview, it was basically just filling out paperwork to use the temp agency’s services and an employee looking over my resume. The position I’m interested in is a temporary, seasonal position putting together gift baskets. That job won’t start until probably around the second week of December, so I have some time to get used to the idea of working again. It will most likely be full-time, so this will certainly test my ability to maintain my sanity. It’s also a factory-type setting which is something I didn’t want. Who cares? Force myself into something that will most likely overwhelm me in an attempt to prove a point, right?
Maybe I’ll get lucky this time and it won’t.
After that I had some time to kill, so I stopped by Goodwill to take advantage of their 60% off everything sale. I got several pairs of dress slacks because I had none that fit properly. One of the two pairs I do own had holes all in them, like a mouse got into them or something; and the other pair still needs to be hemmed because they are way too long for my petite stature. The ones I found today at Goodwill are much more suitable interview clothing than what I wore today. KR told me temp agencies don’t care what you wear and to just wear jeans today. That must obviously be the case because most everyone I saw there was indeed wearing jeans. I wasn’t raised that way, though. A job interview is like church, you dress up to make a good impression! Whatever.
Then, it was on to the counseling session. I’m not really sure what to say about that. He seems nice enough. Yes, I was placed with another male counselor despite my wishes to see a female counselor. He was highly recommended by both my last facility and this one, and he has a lot of experience in the area of trauma; so maybe it’ll all work out okay. I don’t know. I waited more than 6 weeks for this first appointment. It’ll be another 7 weeks until my next one, and after that 3 weeks for the next. Long gone are the days of weekly (or even bi-weekly) counseling sessions, ya’ll. Welcome to the new and improved (yea, right) mental healthcare. Hence the reason why I keep coming back to this question of: What’s the fucking point?! I won’t apologize for my bitterness. I refuse. If I’m working full-time, I doubt an employer will allow missed work for such things anyway.
Get over it! You’re on your own.
Anyway, we only briefly touched on my history. He did offer another distraction method to help with the panic attacks: Set your sight on a fixed point in front of you. While staring at that fixed point, what do you see out of your peripheral to the right, then to the left, going back and forth until you’ve calmed. At least, that’s the gist of it. I’ll try that one these next few weeks when I remember it. That’s been the biggest problem with most of the distraction methods and grounding techniques I’ve learned — remembering to use them, especially in the moment. I’m getting better at using them, though. A nurse at CSU made a very valid point when she was helping me calm myself during a worse than normal panic attack one night during my last stay. Use these types of techniques while calm to help in remembering to use them when panicked.
After that appointment, my case manager and I met to talk for a bit. Apparently, my case worker from Vocational Rehabilitation had called her for more information about me and my psych history. My case manager forgot that I had already signed a release giving MHC permission to discuss “me” with VR, so she wouldn’t tell him anything. Ugh. She found that release after I brought up already having signed it and said she would email him to find out what he needed. That may very well be the reason why I haven’t heard anything else from VR. I ran through the list of things I’ve accomplished over the past few weeks. She acknowledge my ability to challenge myself to accomplish several of the goals I set for myself while validating my struggle to do so. See, that’s how this is supposed to work.
Recalling that conversation now, I recognize that I was far more optimistic at that moment than I am at this moment. I wonder if my mood always shifts this drastically throughout the day? I should pay closer attention to that, perhaps come up with a rating system that allows me to track my mood throughout the day for a time to see just how often this happens. It could simply be a fluke today, a result of so little sleep in addition to the added stressors of 2 new situations — the prospect of employment and a new counselor.
After that I had to stop for some food. My stomach was growling so badly during my appointment and with my case manager that it felt like an earthquake going off inside my body! I also stopped by Books A Million and our local public library to try to find a book my counselor recommended. I’ll have to order it since neither place had it. Then, I get home and realize KR didn’t take off the garbage. For a week, I’ve felt like I’m drowning in trash! Totally spent and pissed off by that point, I loaded up as much as I could get in the trunk of my car and took it myself. A load of laundry and remaining chores later and I can do no more. I’m done, positively depleted of energy! I just want to veg for the rest of the night.