Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Just for today I will live through this anxiety

My stomach is tied up, twisted in knots and hurts like hell. I am really stressed out. I have a policy of sorts that I don't talk about my family (much) or anybody else in my life on this blog, because I don't feel it's right to discuss personal details of others here, particularly since a small number of people who know my actual identity also know about this blog. But anyway, there is a lot of stress related to some of the people I am close too lately. Well, pretty much there is a lot of stress there all the time. I am not the only person in my family with a psychiatric illness, and several people related to me are alcoholics. Recently, one such person has run into very serious trouble and life-endangering situations, which have me extremely concerned. I don't know if the person has any concern for their own life anymore, but it seems that they do not. For this reason, and because of many things that have occured in recent months, I am concerned that they will die. I am concerned to the point that it is all I can think about right now.

Last night, I went to an Alanon meeting, because someone in my family was involved in that organization in the past and always recommends it. I did not really want to be there, but I had no other place I particularly needed to be, so I went. I ended up crying for some reason, because sitting in this room with other people who knew some of the things that I have lived with all my life was suddenly a place that my real emotions felt safe enough to be released, if only for a moment.

When I was a pre-teen/teen, I was involved with "Alateen", but later I was not so fond of the twelve step groups, and did not feel like I really needed their help. I have trouble getting past their focus on God, because I don't really believe in God (no offense to all of you who do), and also, aside from my long-term drug addicted boyfriend, I have not had a romantic relationship with an addict or alcoholic. It was always family members, and I wasn't sure I would fit in with people in Alanon, since typically, those people have spouses who are alcoholics.

I'm not sure these meetings will help me very much, but I know that I need something that will help, and I am willing to try it. At the moment, it seems like stress from so many different issues in my life have quadrupled into a big snowball of anxiety, and I cannot feel calm or at peace these days at all. I feel sick to my stomach and boiling over with nervous terror all the time. I'm not sure whether or not this is related to my Seroquel situation, but it might be, in part, related to that. I think, primarily though, it's about things that medication won't solve.

I don't feel that I can manage the social work program I was going to try to transfer into next year to earn a Bachelor's in Social Work degree. It would require me being able to go to college full time, and work at the same time, which is more than I feel I can manage. I also have lost much of my desire to be a social worker in the first place. Honestly, what I really want is to get out of poverty. And going into being a social worker without a Master's Degree is not a good plan for getting out of poverty. It's a good plan for permanent poverty.

I also don't know for sure that I'll ever be able to work full-time. I am terrified of giving up the healthcare that I have, or of moving out of the area. That is another reason why the social work program seems no longer to make sense. I would have to either move or travel a great distance every day in a car that is old and has tons of mileage and no air conditioning (it's 95 degree here right now), and neither of those plans seems too logical at the moment. If I move, I would have to find a new job, a new community mental health center or doctor's office and a place to get Risperdal injections, a new therapist, new medical doctors, and some new place to live that would be affordable. It's too much for me to tackle. I can't deal with all of that change. I don't think it would be a good idea, or even possible. To find an affordable apartment in Tampa would, in itself, be virtually impossible, with my income.

So, at the moment, I am not sure what bachelor's program to enter, and I am starting to think that, regardless of what program I go into, I might never be able to have a regular career without needing to only work part time. I will figure this out, however. I have a couple of ideas of what to do, and I will figure it out. I'm not sure I will get past this overwhelming feeling of stress that is now a daily part of life. I go to see my ARNP (psychiatric nurse practitioner who prescribes meds) later today, and will have to discuss this with her. I do not want to be put back onto 1200 mgs of Seroquel, and my insurance will not pay for that anyway, so that's not going to happen. I don't want to be on a higher dosage of anti-anxiety medicine either, if I can avoid that, and generally they never prescribe that stuff at the mental health center if they can avoid it, since those meds are usually benzodiazepines. Taking 1 mg. of Klonopin is already a trap I haven't been able to get out of for ever ten years, and I want to get off that drug, not take more of it. The side effects of not having that prescription filled on time are horrendous, and worse than the side effects of not having Seroquel at the usual dose.

Some day there will be a scientist who will come up with a medication that treats psychosis and its related issues, works well, does not cause one to gain 100 lbs or get diabetes, does not cause EPS effects, and does not make one vomit every day like Abilify did to me. Someday there will be a drug that will actually cure Schizoaffective Disorder, so taking the drug every day will definitely be worthwhile because you will know for sure that it always works, and that it works completely. Then a person with this illness will be able to plan for her future, to know she has a future, to look forward to life beyond this illness. Someday.

Although I have not usually been involved with the Twelve Steps, I always liked this poem from when I was in the Alateen groups twenty years ago. It's called "Just for Today".

Just for today: I will try to live through this day only, and not tackle all my problems at once. I can do something for twelve hours that would appall me if I felt that I had to keep it up for a lifetime.

Just for today: I will be happy. This assume to be true what Abraham Lincoln said, *Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.*

Just for today: I will adjust myself to what is, and not try to adjust everything to my own desires. I will Take my *luck* as it comes, and fit myself into it

Just for today:I will try to strengthen my mind. I will study. I will not be a mental loafer. I will read something that requires effort. Thought and concentration.

Just for today: I will exercise my soul in three ways: it will do somebody a good turn and not get found out; if anybody know of it, it will not count. I will do at least two things I don't want to do-- just for exercise. I will not show anyone that my feelings are hurt: they may be hurt but today I will not show it.

Just for today: I will be agreeable. I will look as well as I can, dress becomingly, keep my voice low,be courteous,criticize not one bit. I won't find fault with anything, nor try to improve or regulate anybody else but myself.

Just for today: I will have a program. I may not follow it exactly, but I will have it. I will save myself from two pests: Hurry and Indecision's.

Just for today: I will have a quiet half hour all by myself, and relax. During this half hour, sometime I will try to get a better perspective of my life.

Just for today: I will be un-afraid. Especially I will not be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful,and to believe that as I give to the world, so the world will give back to me.


  1. Jen, just wanted to say I'm thinking of you.


  2. Thank you for writing this and reaching out to the world. I like the "just for today" vows, and I think I will try to use them myself, to manage my own combination of issues that I need to deal with.

    I know what it feels like to be so trapped by circumstances. Writing about it and putting it out there takes a lot of courage, and I think it helps those of us who are also struggling with mental illness to not feel so alone. My thoughts are with you.

  3. Thank you, Yumers and thanks to you too, Depressed Reader. I hope you are doing as well as possible, and I appreciate you taking the time to read my writing here.


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