just another nervous wreck now

They’ll run for cover
When they discover
Everyone’s a nervous wreck now

–Supertramp Just Another Nervous Wreck
on the album Breakfast In America

One of the things that helps me most when I am in crisis and spending my days at home trying to hold off my anxiety is music. I’ve bought a few songs from iTunes and imported a number of CD’s I brought home from the lib into my iTunes. And sometimes I really enjoy listening to radio on Pandora, though that is kind of hit and miss in my experiences. Some days that site plays only songs I absolutely love and other days it’s like it just doesn’t know me.

The doctor warned me that my new anxiety pills would probably make me sleep a lot and boy was she right. Last night I believe I slept 12–14 hours and that was on top of the 15 and a half hour nap the night before. But my sleep had been so disturbed the past two weeks or so as the pressure and stress level continued to build at work. The thing is the rage, panic, crying and babbling that are the symptoms of my ‘out breaks’ are actually there in me All the time. I’ve learned over Years of experience dealing with myself that the key to living normally in the world is to continually not let them get started. It’s like a semi automatic reflex. I’ve learned that I can not control what the world will throw in my path but I CAN control how I react to it. And a lot of the times that works.

I used to have horrible rages in traffic and feel extreme and irrational anger towards drivers who did something like cut me off or followed too close or whatever. Now, though I mostly just drive slow in the right lane, never worry about who is passing me and when another driver behaves badly I just say to my passenger or to myself ‘what an asshole. did you see what he just did’ all the while continuing to drive safely and keep my mind in an “everythings ok, no need to panic” mode. I’ve been able to apply similar coping strategies to most areas of my life. With my hearing impairment I don’t like loud parties or large gatherings but here in cyberspace I am jovial, outgoing and sociable and am genuinely amazed at how many people I’ve met online who remain good friends and ever ready to lend a helping hand. Honestly, in spite of my multiple handicaps, I know I have truly been blessed in this life by the love and kindness of my family and all of my friends.

Part of me feels guilty because except for it being Too Damn Hot, I am mostly just enjoying my sick leave from my nervous breakdown, though Ron could tell you that if I let myself start thinking about what I need to do next like request some ADA accomodations from PCLS so that I can go back to work and apply for social security which i’m told will allow me to continue working for the lib, where I can earn up to my monthly benefit amount. It will ultimately mean working fewer hours and having a higher net take home pay. My mom and several of my friends are really pushing me to apply for disability. I also have to decide whether I wish to pursue a Worker’s Comp case…..in my mind the fact that the raised stress levels (which everyone at the library is feeling and which the branch supervisor readily acknowledges) contributed to my breakdown which was directly percipitated by my supervisors really poor handling of telling me about the new “standards”.

When I can listen to the music and not think about what I need to do, my nervous breakdown honestly feels like vacation. But I have a lot of decisions to make and have to decide what I am going to ask for and how I’m going to approach it when I go back to work Friday morning.

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