by Elizabeth S.
Well guys, that sick day was just what the doctor ordered. I should remember anxiety is also a sickness, and take that time in the future.
Thank you for your kind comments. I haven’t felt like myself lately, and yesterday I took the day to listen to my body and heart. I slept in a bit, and I made my way to the doctor. That was scary. My doctor’s office is conveniently open 7 days a week, but my doctor keeps strange hours and I have only met him once. I normally see whoever is working at the time. I lucked out because my family doctor was working. He’s slightly younger and from another part of the world, which didn’t deter me, but made me wonder if he was a decent doctor, or if he would judge me for having anxiety. He didn’t.
Just what the doctor ordered
He was kind, and he asked a lot of questions. My ears and sinuses were examined, and they were were completely filled with gunk. He cleaned my ears a bit and told me my driving issue could very well be a combination of inner-ear issues and anxiety. He told me to wait til this cold/flu passes and see how I feel. Then we talked about anxiety, and he asked me when I feel the most anxious. I answered:
- when checking work email
- when I have more than one coffee (my heart pounds!)
- confrontation or perceived confrontation
- seeing my mom’s parents. I love them so much, but we are diametrically opposed politically and it causes a lot of strife.
- sometimes driving the last 30 miles to and from my dad’s house (winding, hilly roads with high speed limits and impatient local drivers who like to go very fast)
- figuring things out with Mike (not much happening here – he works 16 hours a day and I am busy or sleeping during his free time)
He had some practical advice. Kick coffee for a couple weeks and see how it feels. Try driving on the streets around my house, where I am comfortable. Don’t do any of the listed items above before trying to drive. And we chatted about therapy options.
So, what am I doing about my anxiety?
The doc had some practical advice here, too. He referred me to two therapists, one downtown and one near my house. He said to set up intro sessions with both, because personality match is important. When we spoke about the online options, he emphatically endorsed both of the sites I had looked into. He said his wife used BetterHelp in the past for managing work stress, and he had a couple patients who had used Maple.
Essentially, he recommended I talk to a few people and try their services out, and see what helps me the most.
I left, and I looked into my work benefits. We have an Employee Assistance Program at work and I signed up for counselling starting next week over my lunch hour. This appears to be a group of four people (not from my company – from companies who use the same insurance provider) in an anonymous online therapy session. You can be referred to free private counselling from this program, which is the only reason I’m going to attend the online group session.
All in all, I have five options on the go (BetterHelp, Maple, my two referrals from the doc, and my EAP). I’m going to explore them all.
And, I have Rosie and Billy. Sometimes, it’s good to just step outside in the sunshine with my pets and enjoy the moment.
Life is a Highway
Lastly, I want to let you all know I drove my car completely fine today. It was just to get gas and groceries, but it was ok. Maybe it was the sinuses throwing my balance off?? I don’t feel ready for the highway or the winding country roads yet. I’m going to practice some curvy highway sections with a friend on Saturday. I’ve felt a little nervous around concrete medians and high-speed turns for awhile now, so I think I am going to take time to build confidence on the road again, regardless of whatever else is going on.
My next post will have some positive financial updates for you, such as:
- credit score update
- some appliance thrifting I was forced to do
- finally ditching my bank fees!
Thanks for sticking around <3