March 19th, 2013


(no subject)

No coughing in quite a while. Maybe a week? I'm cautiously optimistic and, per the pulmonologist's instructions, I am tapering off the meds she gave me, one by one, and crossing my fingers.

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Callisto and Lucy continue to circle each other warily. Well, actually, Callisto seems mostly ready to be friends, but Lucy is still keeping a close, suspicious eye on the interloper.

We need to find all our old squirt bottles, because Callisto is in dire need of some social instruction. The attacking of sleeping people's feet at 2 a.m., for example, does not fall into the category of "Appropriate Behavior." Not in this house, anyway. She also tried repeatedly to bite my fingers while I was having breakfast. I took it as a gesture of affection, but not all gestures of affection are appropriate. Like when dogs hump your leg.

My anxiety meds seem to be helping tremendously. There've been a few incidents recently that seemed to indicate this, but then I got a letter from my student loan people a few days ago & needed to phone them about a continuing forbearance, since I can't currently work. This happens at least once a year, and it always totally freaks me out. There are usually tears before and/or after (on my part, not on the part of the student loan people, as far as I know). There is extensive putting off of the necessary phone call. There is hyperventilation and pounding heart and feeling like I'm going to pass out and repeated imagining of worst case scenarios.

But today I called the student loan people, and their guy and I had a very calm and friendly conversation in which I explained to him my situation (without feeling defensive or afraid) and he tried to find the best way to help me. It didn't feel adversarial at all (which it always did before, like they were going to think I'm a lazy shirker who's trying to sucker them and I just need to get a job). Instead, it just felt like a business conversation to resolve a financial issue. No biggie.

I got off the phone and figuratively punched my hand in the air. Yes! I was able to do something that used to totally freak me the fuck out, and it was no big deal! I was like a "normal person"!

It made me realize how much of a role anxiety has played in my life even when I didn't realize it. Because slightly difficult or confrontational phone calls and emails like this (with the cable company, with the people who sell bathroom tile, with dozens of people every year) have -- for as long as I can remember -- felt like Great Big Nearly Insurmountable Deals Often Accompanied By Sobbing. It's made it hard, since Shannon doesn't really have time for all this stuff -- seeing as he's the one with the job -- and so I handle most of it … and yet it has often made me feel a little like I'm facing the end of the world.

Not feeling like I'm facing the end of the world = good.

Still, I didn't take Xanax before bed last night, and ended up having some anxiety dreams. One of them involved me running down the sidewalk with bare feet and thinking I should go back for my shoes, but then realizing with horror that my toenail polish had somehow gotten all chipped and fucked up.

Who has anxiety dreams about toenail polish? Answer: me.