Progress nulled and voided?

Hm. This is a mildly shocking experience. “Mildly”, because I had already assumed that my little “ZEN bubble” might burst quickly upon the slightest strain or attack. And the latter happened today.

I had an appointment with the hypnotherapist at 13.30 pm. He lives about 20 minutes to half an hour away by car. I usually enjoy going there, giving my MINI Cooper a run for the money it once cost by riding the bending, narrow backroads in these rural parts where I live. Depending on the mood of the day, some slight speeding is involved here and there. Never beyond what I think I have good control over, but not exactly within speed limit, either. But I had overlooked two things today: The appointment was around noon and it’s a Friday. Many people working in the city may have left work early and gone home for the weekend or were headed for their weekend homes and yachting harbours and such. In other words: The roads and streets of the district’s capital I was headed for were busy. Very busy. It felt like the universe conspired against me. I had to pass by a pretty major accident minutes after having left the house, I was in for more slowing down and congested roads as I continued. Luckily, I had given the therapist, whom I have become friends with, a prior call letting him know that I might be a little late. Usually, this would have reduced stress level to where I’d have been able to enjoy myself again. Not so today. And what had thrown me for a loop to begin with? Well, not being able to follow the routine I have established for myself to create some “anchors” outside of myself. I had meant to stop by the pharmacy quickly to pick up medication I depend on (the enzymes) and which were close to running out. I knew I wouldn’t be back before night and probably not make it before noon tomorrow. So I decided to stop by there, hoping to get to pick up the meds on prescription. Guess what? They denied handing them to me, because one payment was missing from as early as February and they had never bothered to let me know about it. Yes, I know – it was my fault to begin with. But for reasons of good CRM, it wouldn’t have killed them to give me a buzz about it, would it? That never happened. Instead, they waited for me to come back in and confronted me with the issue – in front of other customers, of course. And then denied me handing over the meds I had a new prescription for. Seeing as there is exactly one pharmacy in the village where I live and since I can’t ride the car or train too often on account of a tight budget …. I can’t do what I might have normally considered, which is set the record straight with them. (I mean, c’mon – they have received all other payments, so they could have figured some minor mistake out for themselves… The a-word comes to mind – but I bit my lip, stayed nice and accommodating, excused myself for the possible error before actually knowing it was an error on my part and sucked it up…). But – my medication is running out and they not only denied me this batch of pills, but also alluded to no longer being willing to follow the procedure we have established which is: I pay my share up front (20%) and my insurance usually transfer the missing 80% within a business week. Worked every time except this particular one time. (This is due to a certain ceiling I have to exploit first in covering expenses myself and up to around 130,-$/100,- EUR, after that it’s 80/20). This one time – has escaped me. Shoot me!

So now I have to act quickly, check transaction history, make phone calls, bug family out to front the bill, call the pharmacy back, do the humble dance another time, offer my apologies and confirm and explain that this won’t happen again and find an agreement as to the batch of pills I had gone to pick up in the first place. Long story short: Humiliating. And this sort of thing has been going on … well non-stop for the past six years. I kid you not. Whatever “ego” or narcissism or whatever I may have afforded myself previously – they are thoroughly ground down. There is no such thing as ego or pride left in me. I’ve gotten humiliated like this and in worse ways over and over during the past six years. (Should I take solace in knowing it’s the same or worse for people in my situation in this country? To the point, where single moms and dads simply lose it and jump to their deaths? Or set fire on themselves in the middle of a busy pedestrians’ zone? Or starve themselves to death, because they were denied the benefits for food and rent they depend on? For shady, if not forged reasons, b.t.w.? I don’t think I should use these sad facts for comfort, should I?). Anway, I’m digressing. Let’s just say, this experience threw me for a loop. And of course, it was extra time I hadn’t planned on. So now I’m thoroughly running late and it’s this busy Friday with congested roads. Really, when taking a third person’s view – it’s hysterical to a point. It is. It’s your first class Murphy’s Law manifestation. Or so it felt.

But I have learnt to contain myself. I would have had a psychotic fit in earlier years and acted on it by e.g. pulling over somewhere, driving down a backstreet or into the woods, opened the doors, jumped out of the car and screamed myself half into passing out. No kidding. That’s how I kept myself from doing seriously bad stuff. So I guess, there IS some progress after all as I didn’t need to do that. But I arrived at my appointment about half an hour late, in major – major! – physical discomfort, a hair away from producing a full blown panic attack and totally stressed out. I mean, right there, I could have called the thing off and gone for a walk to settle down. Actually – and this is reassuring to know – my therapist friend sensed the tension in me and we skipped the work we had meant to do and talked about this experience and some other things.

So now I know, what I had been assuming all along: I can’t take stress any longer. Not one least bit of it. Not of this nature, at least. Nothing that triggers any old shit. Nada. I guess, I had been establishing this “ZEN-like bubble” I was operating from, established certain routines and habits to follow in order to feel safe and comfortable. And did my best to stay in that comfort zone for as long as I could. And up until today, I was under the impression that I had been doing fairly well for the most part. I felt – almost contended, except for the living situation, which has now sent me down another road to triggerhell. But that’s a different story. I guess, the bottomline is this: I JUST CAN’T TAKE PRESSURE & STRESS ANY LONGER!! None! I feel very bad feelings building up, when being exposed to a sequence of stressful situations like today. They render me not only useless, they almost immobilize me. Physically, mentally, emotionally. I was supposed to help my therapist’s significant other with some computer work, something I had offered for compensation and insist on. In order to do so, I needed to bring a few items, like e.g. an external hard drive including power supply and matching connection chords. Well – sure enough, I had taken the wrong things. Because I acted hastily and under pressure and didn’t have a chance to check the list. I had also made an appointment with a realtor not far from the practice (I needed to cram that in, too, because I simply can’t afford to split those three things into three days and rides… I don’t have the money). Same thing: I almost forgot the map, but I sure enough forgot to take down the realtor’s mobile phone number, just in case. I made that appointment, though. But generally speaking, if you look at this afternoon from the viewpoint of an employment situation – I fucked it all up good. Couldn’t do the work I had planned on, packed only half of what I needed to bring and was this unorganized mess for the rest of the day. I also noticed trouble in listening to the questions of my therapist’s partner well enough to think about an informed, accurate answer. I repeatedly asked her to slow down and take it easy with me today. Have I mentioned being a useless mess…?

I’m not shocked, though, for I had expected this to be the case: Whatever progress I thought I had made only works in this “perfect world” I had artificially built for myself. And that world is one of isolation, mind you. There is nothing along the lines of real life, like spontaneous socializing, thinking on my feet, making quick decisions, improvising and such. In other words: I truly am useless by now. Not dependable. Not the guy you can safely assign tasks and projects and expect them to be done in an acceptable manner. The disability is there, I’m not making shit up. Why aren’t I more shocked…? I should be. Because I really want to feel like someone again, someone who lives up to the standards in place, someone others respect and like. Someone that someone else could love. Not only for my accomplishments and productivity, but – simply for me. I miss all that. I miss feeling significant to someone else. I want to feel needed, acknowledged, respected. Is that really so way out?

Coming back home, I gave in to … yeah…. self medication in the form of overeating. I think I figured out the exact reasons for the latter, though: It’s a very pathetic form of consoling myself. I think the technical term is stress eating (have I become a woman? I thought women stress eat, men succumb to drinking binges. Ah! Yes. The gout. Can’t do the drinking no more….). Or some sort of venting or for compensating for major frustration. Yikes. And I’m sharing this publicly, too? I rather deserve to be euthanized. But I’m past suicidal ideations. Fuck it. I want to live. Productive or not, I don’t give a shit. I’m embarrassed with myself though. As I should be.

P.S. I raised the “medication” issue once more. I desperately need something to keep me more settled, especially on days like today. Maybe I’m missing the “numbing” and hope for medication to do that. I think that’s it. I can’t seem to deal with all these overwhelming and contradicting feelings, which I don’t seem to have any good filtering system in place for. It literally and verbatim is “too much” too often. When that happens – feeling helpless kicks back in (triggered response). Sheesh.

P.P.S. and update: After sleeping it over, I have arrived at the conclusion that those people at the pharmacy are assholes and I’ll look for a different place. That will include some inconvenience as I have to factor in a greater detour to go to a different village around here. But I’ve had it with them. They took forever to understand the process to begin with and aren’t the sharpest tools in the shed apparently. I have very little tolerance for ignorance. Hence – fuck ’em!


6 thoughts on “Progress nulled and voided?

  1. Know that your followers “wish you luck”–and more than just that. I read your posts carefully, and I’m sure the others do, too. As Dharmagoddess says, we are all in this together! Yes, you stepped into a pothole, an asshole, in the road when you had to deal with the pharmacist, but to balance that, your therapist seems to have understood and helped you get yourself back up and going. You managed to hang in there through the pharmacy scene–some people would not have done this as well as you did! I realize what it took to get through the situation, and you did it. As I said, better than some people. So I see that as a win for you. It was a shitty, nasty day, but a better day will come. You can make that happen.

    How is the health insurance saga unfolding? Health insurance should take some of the stress from your shoulders. I realize that the process of getting it and dealing with the officials who administer it may be another “asshole” in the road, but maybe not. I always hated dealing with German government officials, but maybe they gave me a hard time because I was an Auslander.

    If my plan for participating in equine therapy comes to fruition, I will post a description of that process on my blog as it unfolds. I know it may sound somewhat wacky, but if it truly helps heal some of the very early stuff, then why not? That’s my view, anyway. I’ll let you know.

    It’s hotter than hell in the Pacific Northwest this week, but life and therapy go on . . . Hang in there . . . As Cowboy says, “We’re ridin’ this range together–sans the fancy boots and Stetsons. But we’re ridin’. Watch out for assholes and stay on your horse.”

    • Hi Jean,
      thanks so much for the support! Yes, we’re all in this together. Funny thing is: After having slept it over, I indeed arrived at the insight that this pharmacist was an asshole. And you’re right: I feel lucky and fortunate that my kind therapist friend was observing and caring enough to somehow balance this for me. As far as a win: I think I can give myself some minor ‘accolades’ for not having stood there like a deer in bright headlights, mouth open, but retorted right away in that I let them know immediately how I thought they could have dealt with this issue SOONER and in a more considerate, less humiliating way. Apparently, they didn’t think so. Well, they now lost me as a customer for good.

      About the heath insurance: They sent me an offer as to the new product/health care plan and I’m going to have to study it thoroughly and choose wisely. The major advantage of outpatient PT being included by up to 70% of the expense, not 100% mind you, is being watered down by a number of not so minor setbacks over the current plan. I’m going to have to inquire, if I can deny the new plan if there is a new health assessment, which might as well arrive at trying to sell me the new plan for more money but STILL without outpatient PT. It’s very tricky and I really can’t afford making any mistakes in this regard.

      I hear you about German government officials. I have to resort to a bit of sarcasm here by saying: No, you weren’t being treated exclusively in them giving you a hard time. They seem to have “embraced you” as one of ours… Your cowboy would probably feel like going on a revolver firing spree over how things are today – flat out unbelievable, at times!

      I heard about the heat wave, yes. Must be pretty crazy. But I’ll trade it over rain and cold without blinking an eye! I’d even trade without A/C!!! However, I understand how it can get a bit exhausting.

      Here’s to the Cowboy and to riding on! Have a great day and good luck with the equine therapy! I’ll certainly be interested in how it all goes when it does. Thx!

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