so last week i started feeling anxious about the concert. i haven't been able to pinpoint it and spent like half of my therapy session this week trying to do so. i just had this huge, overpowering anxiety about going to this concert. my husband was supportive and like, so let's not go. but part of me really wanted to go. i decided to play it by ear and see how i felt over the weekend and maybe i'd buy tickets.
friday at work both of our supervisors were out - one is on extended medical leave and one was going to an eating disorder training. so us counselors were on our own and were working together to run a weekly meeting. then the director of our program and our office manager (really?) come in the meeting room. the director started talking about how we have been doing great BUT (there's always a fucking BUT) we needed to do more. she started talking units of service, groups, how many people we had on our case loads, stuff like that. the director and the office manager started talking about how us counselor could do more intake assessments (mind you, neither the director or office manager have done those) and the office manager tried to tell us how we should schedule intakes. so we were all getting a little frustrated and we all started trying to brainstorm with her. ultimately our director ended up saying that our clinic would close, how long we stayed open depended on how many units of service we did.
i was very frustrated for numerous reasons. one, both of our supervisors were out - it was just us counselors and the director of our program with all of our go-betweens and the people who would stand up for us out of the office. so none of us could like talk back to her or offer anything more than 'okay'. i mean, really. i was (and still am) really pissed off that she chose to dump all of that on us when our supervisors were not in the office to smooth anything over. plus, just after lunch on a friday? great way to start my weekend. one of the other counselors and i debriefed after the meeting and she reminded me to leave it at work and enjoy my weekend.
easier said than done. so my already heightened anxiety was sent even higher, but not quite into overdrive. yet.
on the way to the mets game, i was trying to tell awesome husband @_antgas about the meeting and all the crap and ugh. and he fell asleep. so i got angry and stopped telling him, i just kept my feelings about it in.
anxiety creeps up a bit more.
the weekend itself was pretty good. i worked hard to leave work at work and just focus on spending time with my husband and puppy, shopping and cleaning and doing laundry. but i was still really anxious about going to the concert. we decided not to go and i felt guilty and angry about it. i love that band, i really would love to see them live again. why can't i go, why can't i be normal and not have ridiculous anxiety that affects most parts of my life?
so monday comes. i go to therapy, try to talk through what i can with my amazing therapist, and go to work. i'm in a good mood. we have supervision on monday, so i know we can tell our supervisor what happened on monday and try to address it. but as soon as i walk into my office, boom - more anxiety. now by the time we're in supervision my anxiety is at like 8 - i'm not having a full-blown panic attack; i can breathe, my heart is not really racing, i'm not sweating. but i'm shaking and anxious and having trouble speaking and am on the verge of crying or actually crying for the entire 2.5 hour meeting. i'm barely able to speak. my supervisor keeps asking me if i want to talk or whatever and i just can't. i'm grinding my teeth and trying not to make eye contact.
our supervisor tries to smooth it over. she talks about how it will take a lot of time to close a clinic and she's not sure we'll close anyway - we likely will just integrate with another clinic. she talks about what we can do to try and stop it. she encourages us. and since i'm sitting there CRYING LIKE A FUCKING IDIOT she and my colleagues all try to make me feel better. one counselor talks about how much of a mentor i've been to her and how much i've helped her; another reminds me that we're always exactly where we need to be and that if we do close, it's because there's something else in store for me. it helps in theory, but my anxiety is just overwhelming.
after the meeting, my supervisor keeps me behind and asks me what i'm feeling (this is the best/worst part about being a counselor - no one thinks you're crazy when you spend an entire meeting crying). i mention anxiety but have a lot of trouble formulating my thoughts. during the meeting she asked me if i wasn't feeling safe; i didn't know what she meant. when we spoke after the incident, she said she was sorry that the office wasn't a safe place for me any longer and she was determined we would reclaim that. so when she asked me about feeling 'safe' that's all i could think about. but when we were alone, she mentioned 'safe AND SECURE' and i immediately started crying. it wasn't the physical or emotional safety - it was the security. i felt secure in my career, with my job, with my colleagues. when i started crying, she got up to hug me and linked my past abuse to my anxiety in relation to security. i cried some more, had a nice long hug, fixed my eye makeup, and finished my day with a quick individual and an easy group that i let the clients lead. i went home early and ate my feelings (not the best option, but it's what i did).
i am still feeling anxious. i missed the concert and i hate myself for it. i hate that my anxiety controls my life at times. i hate that i can't do 'normal' things. i can't plan for something like that because who knows what the fuck my anxiety is going to do on that day. i hate that i already take medications and have coping skills and they don't always work to ease my anxiety. i hate that all i want to do is eat or sleep and that i think about drinking or drugging when i get really anxious.
for today, i'm just going to stay sober and stay focused.