Change is [f-cking] hard, pt II

by Kat

Annie realizes that change is saddening.

Annie realizes that change is saddening (and probably maddening for that matter).

So dear readers, we’re taking a break from our discussion with words because I’ve encountered a series of opportunities to cope with change today [or just had a ridiculously hard day, apart from my seeing the women (or womyn, if you prefer — feminist spelling) in my writing circle]:

  • My psychiatrist moved her practice outside the community mental health clinic where I was receiving services, so I had to find a new pdoc (1) in my college town. Not an easy task when you’re still in graduate school, although thankfully I had the day off anyway, just didn’t want to be spending it gathering psych paperwork and doing an intake interview again. Intake interviews are easily the most annoying part of mental health care, other than long wait-times to see a pdoc, because it requires you to rehash your entire history with someone you barely know, let alone trust. Not fun. Thankfully, my therapist did call me last week to let me know this change in treatment providers was coming soon (“So I know how you react badly to change, so just to let you know…”] — probably best thing she could have done at that point. I just really hate change, on a visceral level.
  • My lovely old car, Olive, got towed while I was studying at a local cafe since the nearby restaurant was frustrated that students tend to borrow their parking lot when the cafe parking lot is full. So by now, you’ve probably already guessed that my lizard brain was freaking the f-ck out when it heard they were starting to tow nearby vehicles. I saw my car get attached to the tow truck, but it was already too late. She was gone. Goodbye Olive, until tomorrow at least, when my friend who knows how such things worsen my anxiety spectrum condition takes me to rescue Olive from the tow lot. Poor thing. Post-towing, I found myself texting friends for rides and then chattering with nearby people I barely knew. Usually, the first sign that my anxiety is worsening is that I start talking excessively and rapidly, so I was just glad that the womyn around me were so kind. They nodded and smiled, in the process allowing me to deal the best I could in that moment. One of them even gave me a ride home (thank you awesome lady)!

I was really glad that I attended writers’ circle tonight, even though it was just for a while since I had to return to my laptop to finish a psych report for work. One of the ladies mentioned how our group was like the island of misfit toys — we’re all a bit quirky, but no longer weird in the moments we share together, which I found vaguely comforting.

I’m learning to cope with change, but the process is f-cking hard. I’ve tried to make light of how much trouble I have dealing with such things, but it’s still pretty overwhelming at times, especially since change seems to come all at once. One thing in the universe falls, and I expect everything else to go down with it — probably some blend of fortune-telling and catastrophizing (2), I suppose, but that’s okay since that’s how I feel as I sit in front of my laptop with a cookie baked in my microwave and a leftover, rewarmed mug of tea.

Life is okay even when things are hard, and it seems to be spinning at a rate beyond my comprehension.  Sometimes change is merely additional therapy fodder for the week; at least that’s what I’ve been continually reminding myself lately: “You will be okay; this is a way for you to practice the CBT techniques you’ve learned and talk with therapist lady about how things progressed.”

As Prior Walter says during the closing scene of  Angels in America, “The earth only spins forward,” so I suppose all we can do is learn to cope in the meantime.

  1. Term oftentimes used on http://www.crazymeds.us/pmwiki/pmwiki.php when referring to the person who prescribes your psychiatric medication, whether they are a nurse practitioner, primary care physician, or a psychiatrist. It’s basically shorthand — Crazy Meds, whose tagline is “finding treatment options that suck less,” includes a great meds database and also a forum for people taking psych meds.
  2. http://psychcentral.com/lib/2009/15-common-cognitive-distortions/
  3. http://www.diclib.com/therapy%20fodder/show/en/amslang/T/553/180/0/4/10211  [Therapy fodder is in fact a thing.]