I made it through another family get-together. There were only a total of 10 people, but I only knew 2 of these people. This was a long overdue family reunion. I took a Valium on my way over there, and it kicked in just in time. I automatically introduced myself to people when I arrived, which is something I would never normally do; thank you Valium. I offered to help out in the kitchen, and I ended up doing a lot. I was even hugging people when I said goodbye at the end of the night. It’s amazing what 10mg of Valium will do.
Pets can be extremely beneficial for all individuals, especially for those that suffer from mental health disorders. For me, my dog, Cash, helps me get up and moving. Even when I don’t want to do anything, I know I have to get up to feed Cash and let him outside. It also helps me because it gives me a reason to go out for a walk.
Cash also helps reduce my anxiety and paranoia. When I hear noises, such as a knock on the door or kids yelling outside, I know that it’s not real if my dog doesn’t react to the noises. I have auditory hallucinations quite often, and Cash helps me determine the difference between what is real and what is a hallucination. I also never feel lonely because Cash is always there to keep me company. I talk to him all throughout the day. He’s one of my closest friends.
I think it’s important for me to have a pet for these reasons and more. I’ve thought about getting an emotional support dog, that way I could have my dog and the support he brings to me everywhere I go. Some people have told me to just get a vest for Cash that says he’s an emotional support animal, but I won’t do that because it’s wrong and lying. Does anyone have a real support animal? How was the process of getting a support animal? Was it expensive?
I had a dentist appointment yesterday, which is one of my least favorite appointments to go to. Lying down in the dentist’s chair makes me feel so vulnerable. I can’t see who is walking up behind me and my reaction time is slowed because I’m lying down. These are some of my biggest fears. I have to use nitrous oxide to get through it without a panic attack lately. However, I think I want to try to do it without it next time. Maybe I can see how far I get before asking the hygienist to hook up the nitrous. It all depends on how I’m doing emotionally at the time of the next appointment.
This time, the hygienist asked me if I really needed it. I felt pathetic. He asked me if I needed it because of a bad dental experience. I told him no; he kept probing for answers. I told him it was PTSD from a bad relationship, not like it was really any of his business. He tried to give me tips on how to stay calm, but I cut him off. It’s not like I haven’t tried just about every trick in the book to deal with my anxiety/panic attacks. He wasn’t trying to be disrespectful, he was just trying to save me money; however, it wasn’t his place to say the things he said.
The 4th of July is coming, and that means fireworks. I’m not a fan of fireworks because of the noises they make. In my neighborhood, people started setting off fireworks last night. They will do so every night and they will do more and more each night. They even set them off during the day. I’m not trying to be un-American; I’m just saying that fireworks scare me. Loud noises that come out from nowhere and happen over and over again terrify me. It’s a PTSD trigger.
My dog normally barks at fireworks and never stops barking, but last year I got him a ‘ThunderShirt’. The shirt is like a giant hug and is meant to help keep dogs calm. It works like magic. My dog may bark once, but then he goes and lays down. At least I don’t have to deal with my dog barking nonstop all night long from the fireworks.
The fireworks started last night. One really loud one went off, and I thought it was a gunshot. It’s not uncommon to hear gunshots in my neighborhood at night. My dog barked once and then went to bed. I wouldn’t mind the fireworks if they only happened one night, on the 4th of July. But instead, it’s at least 4 or 5 days of fireworks and loud noises.
I do my best to manage my fears. It scares me a little less since I already know that the fireworks are coming. I can prepare myself for them. Some nights, like on July 4th, I will take a Valium, which will allow me to actually enjoy the fireworks and celebration. Do other people have this same fear and problem?
This is a saying I remember hearing over and over at my AA meetings. When I was getting sober, I was constantly told to pray for help to change. Change is not an easy thing, so I was told to pray for the courage to change. I am not a person that likes to pray, but when you’re desperate enough, you’ll try anything. I’ve now been sober for 12 years. At this time, I’m still having difficulties, just in a different area of my life. But I still need to work on changing, and I still need the courage to do so. I don’t feel like I have any courage. I feel weak and helpless, but my friends and family tell me that I’m a courageous person. Either I don’t see what they see, or they’re just wrong about me having courage. I suppose I’ll be positive about this and just assume that I’m not seeing what these other people are seeing.
One thing I know I’m good at doing and I keep trying. No matter how many times something fails or problems arise, I don’t give up. I guess others see this as courageous; I see this as desperate. I want to give up all the time; I’m not sure why I don’t. Maybe it’s because of my family. My entire family is so supportive and caring. They put a lot of energy into dealing with me. I feel like it’s the right thing to do to keep trying, if not for myself, then for my family.
I have learned that it’s okay to have fear, but don’t let that fear stop you from doing anything. I am in control of my life. I make the choices. I can choose to look fear in the face and keep moving forward. I have learned to never give up on myself. If I can’t do things for myself, then it’s okay to find another reason. For me, it’s my family. I wonder what other people use as their reason to keep moving forward. Does anyone want to share?
I was having a conversation with someone I know and get along with yesterday. He was saying that he tends to get overwhelmed with all sorts of situations in life and often explodes. He says it takes him a couple of hours to cool down. I told him that I have those same feelings, but I hold them all in, which is difficult to manage. I don’t allow myself to properly express my emotions. This guy asked me why I hold everything in; he said it’s not healthy to do that (neither is the way he manages his emotions, but there’s a middle ground somewhere). I knew right away why I hold in my emotions and why my anxiety and fears are so extreme. It’s because of my ex-boyfriend, Jared, but I didn’t want to get into it then, so I just shrugged off the question.
However, the inquiry has been with me all night. Jared was physically, mentally, and emotionally abusive. I was hooked in our relationship. He had me believing that everything that went wrong was my fault and I needed to be punished for the problems I caused. Over time, I stopped expressing myself. I don’t like standing up for myself anymore. It’s just a natural reaction for me now. I automatically stuff my emotions down; however, one day they will all come out, and it won’t be pretty. I already liked to drink by the time I met this guy, but being a black out drunk became normal for me because I didn’t want to remember anything. There are some situations that I remember, even though I wish I could forget them. I’m sad to say that Jared is one of the reasons I act the way I do. He has nothing to do with my bipolar disorder, but everything to do with my PTSD, which was diagnosed in 2009.
I’m getting better with time. There was a couple of year period where I couldn’t be touched by anybody, not even a handshake or hug. That is no longer an issue. I have come a long way. It’s still difficult being in crowds, having people around me that I can’t see (such as standing in a line or shopping), talking to or being around strangers, and not knowing what is happening. I like to have control over situations; it makes me feel a little safer. This may sound weird, but I tend to blame myself for what happened with Jared. If I’m to blame, then I can do something about it. If it’s entirely his fault, then I have no control over the situation. One thing that helps is that he’s dead. He was killed several years ago during a drug deal. At first, that made it even harder for me to deal with because I had no closure, but now I’m okay with it for the most part.
I doubt I’ll ever get past all of this, but I have grown from it. As long as I continue to grow, then that’s okay.
I just got back from working out with my husband, so my anxiety is already increased. I checked the mail and found some of my husband’s medical bills. I’ve been dealing with their billing department for months now because they messed up the bill by billing the wrong insurance company several months ago. Now, it’s all figured out. I did verify that the bills are correct at this point. However, I’m not happy because it’s a huge bill. On Monday, I’m going to have to call the billing department and set up a payment schedule. It’s all extremely stressful and nervewracking. I think I might go take a Valium to help me get through the day.
I like to stay on top of my bills, but I couldn’t do that with this because the billing department screwed up to begin with. At least this huge bill will mean that my husband has met his deductible, so as long as we stay in network, which we will, there will be no more bills. I’m hoping the billing department will accept a payment plan. Otherwise, we can’t pay it. I’m sure they will, most people don’t have the capabilities to pay such large bills all at once.
Right now, I just have to work on reducing my anxiety. The gym and the bills have made my anxiety pretty high. I wish I could lower it myself, but I still have to run some errands, which makes me nervous. I don’t take my Valium often. A one month’s supply generally lasts me about three months. I suppose it’s time to get ready to go run errands. Hopefully, it will work out without an anxiety attack.