The End of a Winning Streak

Two and three weeks ago, things were simply marvelous. No depression, no hypomania, no mania, no anxiety. Once again, I felt like I’d been cured. Well, I’m definitely not cured. While I’m thrilled to say that that for the third week in a row I have experienced no depression and no mania. I’m not thrilled at all to tell you anxiety came back. It came back with a vengeance. The entire week was overwhelming.

Back in October, I was saying the same thing. I shared that I was overwhelmed by appointments and obligations. Considering last week was also overwhelming, I shouldn’t be surprised that anxiety came back. Looking at my schedule, it seems absurd that I would get so freaked out.

My Schedule

Here were my obligations last week:
5:00 pm – Physical therapy
6:30pm – Writer’s critique group
5:00 pm – Physical therapy
6:30 pm – Dermatologist
11:00 am – Psychiatrist
2:30 pm – Therapist

I wasn’t that damn busy! I had only one appointment each day except Friday. Only six obligations for the entire week. As you can see, on four of the days, all my appointments were in the evening, giving me a full day for other things, like writing, blogging, laundry, dishes, etc. It was all too much for me.


I will pat myself on the back for getting the chores, like laundry, done, but my days weren’t pleasant. I fretted about each one. My physical therapist appointments are always at 5:00 pm. It doesn’t change. Yet, I spent a large portion of each day fretting, checking and rechecking my phone to make sure I had the time right.

I walked to most of those appointments which should have helped reduce my anxiety, but it didn’t. When I did have to take the bus, I shook like a chihuahua in January. I’m very familiar with the bus routes throughout my area, but that didn’t provide comfort when I needed it. With each bus stop I would check to see which stop was mine so I wouldn’t miss getting off. When the bus was moving, I’d stand so I could see each and every street we passed. I haven’t had that experience since I was first diagnosed over ten years ago. God knows I don’t want to go back to that.

Must I Talk About Friday?

Of course, Friday was the worst. I met my pdoc first and explained what was going on. He offered little advice as he was too busy bitching about his computer and technology in general Apparently the county sent someone to his office last week to give him extra training on his computer. Watching him fumble with it, he clearly did not learn much. The best part of my visit with him is that he suggested that I may be able to reduce my anxiety by using an old-fashioned paper planner that would go in my pocket, rather than using my phone. What the hell kind of help is that? I have no doubt that his suggestions wouldn’t have any effect on my anxiety.

The highlight of my overwhelming Friday was being called into the financial office at the county mental health clinic. As soon as I sat down I started hyperventilating. I distinctly remember last year being told by them that they had gotten me coverage from several different sources and therefore I had no share of cost. Apparently over the year that bit of information was lost and I now am being billed $800 for past payments. To say it was overwhelming would be a gross understatement. I’m still freaked out a bit.

I don’t know what I’m going to do about this anxiety spell. I guess I need to rush out and find a pocket sized planner. That apparently will give me peace of mind. Do they still sell those things?

33 comments on Overwhelming

  1. I am sorry that your anxiety came back. I know how that feels all too well. Maybe concentrate on the lack of depression and mania. Those are my two biggest enemies, and they occur at the same time. The anxiety will abate……just as all symptoms of this fun little friend always do.

    1. I have been focusing on my stability and it’s what’s been keeping me going. The anxiety does always go away eventually, but not always on my terms. Thank you.

      1. This illness operates on it’s terms only is what I have discovered after nearly 2 decades dealing with it.

    1. Thank you. I don’t know how having a pocket calendar would help, but who knows, I may run out and buy one.

  2. I was just thinking that maybe he has a point with the paper planner idea. Because the moment you pull out your phone to see your schedule you’ll see a million overwhelming Facebook notifications, emails and everything else that you could really do without.
    I hope things improve for you.

    1. I thought it was silly, but now ya’ll have me thinking it may not be a bad deal after all.

  3. Ugh, anxiety is awful! I understand how you feel and I am hoping it passes quickly. You know from the past that it will pass, it’s just getting through it yet another time. Your “only six appointments in one week” seems like a lot to me. Everyday! Everyday the weight of an appointment on you? Do you think making your appointments early(ier) would help – that way you’re not waiting all day for the appointment time. I try to make all appointments in the morning to “get them out of the way.”
    It’s upsetting that your pdoc wasn’t devoting his time to you. His computer issues should be worked on when he’s not with a client. That’s frustrating.
    Regarding the paper planner…I swear by mine. I put some (all?) appointments in my phone, but my paper planner is the first thing I go to. If you find that a planner isn’t right for you, how about a chalk board or dry erase board that you could write out the week’s events and times so you can glimpse at it quickly throughout the day?

    1. I have been printing out a calendar for each month that I put on the fridge. I think I’ll go ahead and get a pocket planner since people think it will make a difference. I like my appointments later because it gives me a full day to write before Maurice gets home and it’s time for dinner. I will rethink it, though, and see if it might help. As you can see, I’m always open to suggestions.

  4. Oh I’m so sorry that nasty, overwhelming anxiety has come to visit. I feel your disappointment, especially thinking you were all cured. Boy do I relate!! If I get three days reprieve from anxiety, then I’m sure I’ve been bestowed a miracle equivalent to the immaculate conception! (Not sure about that story…) Appointments for me are almost all canceled since I can’t handle the anxiety of even knowing it’s a week away. It builds in me like a bubbling pot of evil: I worry about going out of the house, getting in the car, driving the car, being late, getting in a wreck, and then, that something will go wrong with the appointment. Lordy, it’s so awful. So I truly understand. You are actually very busy in my book! So maybe it will be just this week that you will feel this overwhelmed. Try not to dwell on it as though you’ve failed–you have not failed!! Even for “regular” folks, there are bouts of getting overwhelmed-so I hear, haha. You’re doing fantastic dealing with the maddening little roadblocks!

    1. Thank you, Mandy. It’s funny that I thought I’d been “cured” at least a hundred times by now and I never seem to learn my lesson that nothing could be further from the truth. I’m being told by you and others that I do have a busy schedule. It doesn’t seem that way to me logically, but obviously my reactions say otherwise.

      1. Me, too, on the cured thing! Isn’t it beautiful that we never give up?? Yes, you are busy in my book. We have to be careful not to compare ourselves w/ others who are crazy busier! That’s my problem ?

        1. I agree intoto with Mandy… sometimes I could be huggling trucks and still not feel overwhelmed, another day just thinking of the gym leaves me pew

  5. So I in no way approve of the way your pdoc behaved. But I can share some thoughts that maybe will be helpful.
    I micromanage as a coping mechanism. Even if I make the appointment myself, I check and check and check to make sure I’ve got the right day, the right time, the right address, you name it.
    So this new year, I decided that if I was going to continue down this anxious path, I was going to at least make it pretty. I designed my own bullet journal. I’ve got sections for working out, drinking water, a calendar, losing weight, new foods, new coffees, and a whole section on self care. I painstakingly drew out a map of my whole year (it took about 2 days total-with drawing and coloring). I added in holidays, anniversaries, special days just for my own use-the whole nine yards. And I know it’s only been 3 ish weeks since I started, but my life makes more sense now.
    I still micromanage. But now, it’s color coded, organized and I feel like I accomplish things. I’m not saying you have to make your own (I used a composition book), but by taking the time out of my schedule to pencil every single thing I could think of in, I can now see everything all at once, and worry only about what happens on that day. (Plus, I’m drinking 100% more water than I did last year.)
    I got the idea because as a millennial who was born (and aware of life) before the technological revolution, I am far too connected to everything all the time. I can’t scroll past a piece of paper, or open a new tab when I get sidetracked. I do everything I did when I used technology, but now it’s a concentrated version that I control.
    Just some food for thought that I hope helped.

    1. Your comment was very helpful.

      In defense of my pdoc. The county is really on their case to go paperless, which means he’s supposed to log certain things and also email my prescriptions to my pharmacy. He’s a much older gentleman so he gets very confused on his computer so he’s started writing things down and then putting them in the computer. They’ve been so on his case about it that I understand why he gets so frustrated. I typically can get him to laugh about it. (the patient being the doctor.)

      1. Sure. And everyone is entitled to bad days. I guess we’ll see how medical professionals handle these next few days and be prepared for a couple more than average bad days.

  6. Your Captain adores you & I wish I could wipe away your anxiety instantly, and forever – I’ll be back here for “real” come February 1st to give you my two, and three, and four cents and more. I won’t bill you either!

    Thanks for being a truly great friend, i.e. your Facebook message 2day. XoXoXoXo Ms. Captain

  7. Okay, now I know to some people, your schedule doesn’t look hectic, but Bradley, as an anxiety sufferer, I would never see so many doctors in a week. I’d have to be sedated and driven. That’s hella-people-y and would give me stimulus overload. Maybe you’re a more gregarious guy, so maybe you like peopling, but I would struggle with that week and I definitely wouldn’t do two on a Friday. Phew!
    I commend you on taking good care of yourself, but that’d make me anxious, too. BUSES? Chihuahua in Russian January, okay? No way. Give yourself credit for bravery and initiative, cause I’m impressed!

    Now, about the journal/ planner thing, YES. I do think this is worth a shot. Paper is tangible so you can doodle and plot while you wait. You can color in your mood and whatnot. Either buy yourself a nice notebook or fetch a planner. I just bought mine last week, planner with a hard plastic cover — it’s about 4×6 and cost $9, so you know, you can afford to try it out. Do not get the kind where you fill in your own dates. Trust me on that.

    You have my sympathy. I’m truly sorry it was an anxious week, but wow, look at you go! 🙂

    1. Okay, Joey. You and everyone else have convinced me to try the old fashioned planner. I’ll find one this weekend. Hell, now that it’s mid January, they may come cheap.

      Yeah, that is a lot of doctor appointments in one week. My physical therapy can’t be helped because I have to go there twice a week. My dermatologist appointment could have waited and I can probably maneuver my pdoc and my therapist appointment so they don’t fall on the same day. My thinking has been that by piling my many appointments on one or two days it frees me up and makes me less stressful the rest of the week. (well, it was supposed to work that way.) I see my therapist next week. I’ll explain my situation and see if we can meet on different days.

      It was all doable, and I did survive. I’ve been absolutely exhausted though.

      1. I believe you. No doubt on the exhaustion. Yes, stick with physical therapy, and try to move other appointments to the middle of the week. Take a day to rest extra. Absolutely. Good luck!

  8. I know you think that your week doesn’t look that busy, but that’s only looking at it on paper. Think about what you have to do to get ready to go–a shower, grooming, dressing. Then traveling to and from the appointments. Then there are the appointments themselves which have to be dealt with and may or may not be pleasant or stressful. That eats up a lot of time and it’s a lot of stimulation in one week. Too much stimulation gets me anxious. You had a big week. Sorry you are fighting the anxiety battle. Praying you have a better week.

    1. You’re right I didn’t take transportation into account. I have to walk or bus everywhere which takes a huge chunk of my time. Taking all into account that you’ve listed is a lot to deal with.

  9. Sorry the anxiety came back. And since I’m late to the party, I’ll try not to repeat what others have already said. For some reason, I prefer a paper scheduler than what is on my phone. But everyone has their preference. I also like to plan my appointments for in the morning because I get so physically drained from peopleing I need the rest of the day to recover. But I do understand why you like evening appointments. And your schedule looked pretty busy to me! something to do EVERYDAY! I wouldn’t have been able to do that with some anxiety coming to visit me. I hope the rest of your week goes well. xoxo

    1. Good feedback, Iggy. I have a horrible cold, but if I feel up to it, I’ll shop for a planner this weekend. The positive is that I’ve been so focused on my cold and all that comes with it, I’m not anxious. Just exhausted. lol

  10. You make me realize that I have anxiety. I don’t recognize it. I don’t know what to say about that. I’m sorry you’ve hit a rough patch though!

    1. It’s better to know. Now maybe you can do something about it. Thank you, if feels like it’s subsiding – I hope.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: