‘When it rains, it pours’ and it doesn’t matter if it’s good or bad; when it all comes down on you at once, it’s hard not to drown. When I feel this way, my anxiety is heavily triggered, and it’s challenging to not feed into my panic.
After my stressed, sick and scared phase of February into early March, I was catapulted into a whirlwind of major anxiety activity. Some really scary, great, life changing events.
In the past few weeks…
I received a letter from NH housing telling me that my name reached the top of the waiting list (I’ve been on their waiting list for 5 years, the average wait is 7-9 years here in NH). I had only a few days to call and verify that I got the letter. Elated, I frantically repeatedly called the contact person. I left several messages, fearing she wouldn’t call me back before the deadline and I would lose my chance. The day of the deadline, I skipped the extension and dialed for an operator who explained as long as I left a message I will be fine, and I only need leave one message (oops!) Finally the call came. It was explained because I was on the Bridge housing program, my name was pulled. We had a 15 minute phone interview, then I was sent a big envelope with a long list of paperwork that I needed to gather, and I had only 10 days to get it back to them. Copies of birth certificates, Social Security cards, proof of income, a yearly printout from the pharmacy and a notarized document authorizing a criminal background check, plus several pages I had to fill out. I ran around for five hours to finally accomplish this feat and popped it in the mailbox with a sigh of relief.
Took a deep breath and got ready for the next major task: My daughter’s disability hearing.
After much inner conflict, I resolutely applied for her last year. Our application got denied which I believe is a pretty standard response. I appealed and we finally had a hearing. I probably should have applied long ago; but, I was worried. I feared she may become dependent on it and use it as an excuse to not keep trying. I personally feel like collecting disability can be a trap in that aspect. I also feared being judged and having her judged. I don’t want her to feel bad about herself. Despite my personal insecurities, the reality is I have a daughter with depression and anxiety, and though she has come far, she still struggles weekly. She deserves therapies that I cannot afford and that the state insurance doesn’t cover. My anxiety was furthered when I got a call from the Social Security office asking me to acquire several different records that the judge needed, or the hearing may have to be rescheduled! I called back leaving a (calm as possible) message that I find it slightly overwhelming that it’s a week before the hearing and I’m getting this message now; but, that I’d try my best to get the information. I added that I’d hate to see the hearing have to be rescheduled because we have waited several months. I couldn’t acquire everything and honestly felt this shouldn’t be my job. I played some phone tag with her and then just left it up to fate. The anxiety and emotions tangled up with all that was happening was overwhelming. I couldn’t wait to put this behind me, no matter what the outcome was. The hearing actually went pretty well. The judge seemed to be in our favor. She had to wait for some records that “the office should have done a better job getting” and will let us know her decision by mail.
In between those two doozies,
I had my appointment with my gynecologist, and even though I knew surgery would be discussed, I wasn’t ready for the reality of it. I told her the birth control pill helped for a few months; but, the pain was back and worse. My latest ultrasound showed fibroids in my uterus and cysts on my ovaries. She suspects endometreosis and said that I’ve been going through this for so many years and I deserve to put it to an end. I agree, but to process the reality of it takes a lot more. My ovaries, uterus and fallopian tubes will be removed. I am having a vaginal hysterectomy. It has taken me some time to even say that out loud without clenching. I am still processing and working on it in therapy. My surgery is next Friday.
A few days after my surgery was scheduled, I got a call from my doctor’s office. My neck xrays were in and they wanted to discuss the results. I thought I had repeatedly pulled a muscle in the back of my neck, towards my shoulder. I was in a lot of pain and my left arm was feeling heavy and tingly. I wondered if I was having a heart attack or stroke. I popped a Xanax just in case and made an appointment with the doctor, who then ordered the xray. The good news is I wasn’t having a stroke, the bad news is it wasn’t a pulled muscle. I have “degenerative c-spine arthritis with narrowing of the discs and spurs on nerves.” This was a hard pill to swallow. I had a good cry and concluded that I will learn to live with it like everything else.
I have been through many feelings these past few weeks, tears, joy and excitement, anticipation, anxiety, feeling old, feeling wise, feeling scared, feeling like something bigger than me is at work. That bigger something is where I have to leave my worries. Let them go and trust. Trust the divine, the process, the healing, and trust myself.
This is easier said than done, when it feels like it’s all happening at once; but I have to remember…
I am a strong woman who has made it thus far and I am not done yet!