Unstable Again – Temporarily I Hope

The last two days have been very disconcerting. And I’m upset that I have been so unstable. What happened?

With the news that my social security payments are a month behind (which is normal), I discovered that my November payment would arrive the 4th Wednesday of DECEMBER! Which means it’s like we are skipping a paycheck just in time to Not Pay the Rent. Now Dave usually handles all the money stuff since looking at it causes so much anxiety. But because social security and disability are in my name, I had to make the calls to check on these dates and amounts.

Which led to an anxiety attack, lots of tears, not knowing where to turn. I ended up calling the Presbytery of Chicago who helped us with rent earlier in the year when our disability payments were late. Anxiety attack still in full bloom, and still in my PJ’s as I tried to find a solution to the rent problem, I took an anti-anxiety drug I’ve rarely used – clonopin. It took the edge off, thank God, and a few hours later sent me into a few hours’ nap.

I woke up in time to make it to my water aerobics class, only to have another anxiety attack half way through. This time I wanted to self-injure and the anxiety was so high I started hyper-ventilating too. I was able to tell myself it was better to stay in the water than to go home and be alone. At least in the water people were around to make sure I didn’t drown! And the anxiety attack might pass by then. It lessened a little bit, or I was managing it with my DBT skills enough to get dressed and get to the car. Then it raced out of control again and I had to force myself to drive home safely. Will power, baby! Took another clonopin to take the edge off and feel a little calmer.

The next morning I felt so fragile and jittery, and full of anxiety. My schedule included a skype chat with a great friend, #themostawesomebookclub lunch, an open afternoon probably spent at church, and handbell rehearsal. I decided it was better to be anxious but around people instead of home alone with my anxiety. A good choice!

The presbytery got back to me in the morning, too, and were able to offer a small grant and the rest of the rent in a loan. Not knowing if we could make the payments made me even more anxious that my back up plan wasn’t working. So I really was anxious all through what could have been a fun day. By the time I got home from my long day, my anxiety was so high, and I felt so jittery and out of control that I just wanted to curl up and die. It was horrible! I took another clonopin – feeling bad that I was resorting to drugs again – ate something to be sure it wasn’t just a blood sugar reaction, and then went to bed, unsure I’d be able to sleep with so much anxiety and jitters.

Now it’s the next day and I still feel unstable and a bit jittery. But it’s better. It’s anxiety-producing to be still dealing with the money issues for the rent. I just need a quiet day to recuperate and find some stability again.

All through this days I’ve been so disappointed that I felt so unstable and anxious. Why wasn’t I able to control it with skills? Or, why, when I was using the skills, didn’t the anxiety reduce more than it was? Am I really not as stable as I thought, or was I right that new-found stability is fragile?

Either way, I’m disappointed at what feels like a set-back. Even though I know that setbacks happen and don’t mean I’m heading back to the hospital.

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4 responses to “Unstable Again – Temporarily I Hope

  1. I need to let you know “ANYONE” would be anxious about the circumstance you just described…When we are ill…it seems we relate everything to our illness…sometimes it’s whatever ANYONE would experience…hang in there…the tide will turn…

    • Thanks! It’s good to have the experience normalized. What bugs me and makes me think it’s the illness is how long the anxiety and destabilized feeling have lasted, even though we have a plan for the rent now.

  2. What BabyJill said. Last month I had a major money issue (my paycheck didn’t go through, so not as bad as yours) but I was rearranging money all over the place and bouncing checks and GAH. You are in a fragile RECOVERING place, so of course stuff like this is going to rattle you. Sending many cupcakes. The fact that you are writing, the fact that you are spending time with people, these are all good things. You are at a bump in the road. But you haven’t stopped walking on it. Very very proud of you.

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