WELL DESPITE MY ANXIETY THIS MORNING WE WENT TO THERAPY. AND I HAD MOST OF OUR SESSION. FIRST OF ALL CAROL ANNE TALKED TO EILEEN AND TOLD HER I WAS FEELING ANXIOUS. AND EILEEN ASKED WHAT I WANTED TO DO, WHETHER I WANTED TO LET CAROL ANNE SPEAK FOR ME OR COME OUT MYSELF TO TALK TO HER. WELL I DONT LIKE OTHER PEOPLE SPEAKING ON MY BEHALF, SO I DECIDED TO COME FORWARD AND TELL HER WHAT WAS ABOTHERING ME. IT ALL STARTED LAST WEEK, AFTER OUR APT WITH DR BARRY. SOMETIMES THE APTS REALLY TRIGGER ME BECAUSE WE TALK ABOUT REAL INTENSE THINGS IN THEM. IT WAS NOT SO MUCH THAT THE APPOINTMENT WAS INTENSE, BUT MORE ABOUT THAT DR BARRY WAS SAYING LOTS OF GOOD THINGS ABOUT US, AND THAT IN TURN WAS TRIGGERING MESSAGES FROM OUR PAST…MESSAGES LIKE YOUR A FAILURE, WORTHLESS, NO GOOD, ETC. LOTS OF PEOPLE INCLUDING OUR ABUSERS AND OTHER PEOPLE WE’VE KNOWN HAVE SAID THINGS LIKE THAT TO US, SO THAT NOW WHEN ANYONE SAYS ANYTHING TO CONTRADICT THOSE MESSAGES IT IMMEDIATELY TRIGGERS US. EILEEN SAID IT WAS A PART OF ME THAT WAS TRIGGERED, AND WE WORKED WITH THAT PART FOR A WHILE. I WAS HAVING REAL TROUBLE WITH BEING ABLE TO SAY THE WORDS. EVENTUALLY I MANAGED TO TELL HER THAT I’M SO AFRAID WE’LL FAIL, IT WONT WORK OUT, AND THEN WE’LL LET PEOPLE DOWN. I DONT WANT TO DO THAT. I ESPECIALLY DONT WANT TO LET DR BARRY DOWN OR OUR MOM. EILEEN ASKED IF I REALISE THE TRIGGERED PART IS A PART OF ME. I SORTA DO BUT ITS SO HARD TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT AND ACCEPT THAT ACTUALLY ITS A PART OF ME. WE ENDED UP WORKING ON BREATHING FOR A WHILE AND I WAS HOLDING MY BREATHE, EILEEN HAD TO REMIND ME TO BREATHE ON MORE THAN ONE OCCASION. THEN I GOT THE JITTERS, BECAUSE MY ANXIETY WAS SO HEIGHTENED. I TRIED TO PUT WORDS TO WHY I WAS SO JITTERY BUT I COULDNT. SO WE LEFT IT AND SAID WE’D COME BACK TO IT ANOTHER TIME. IT WAS QUITE AN INTENSE SESSION BUT I AM GLAD I GOT TO HAVE THE TIME BECAUSE I NEEDED IT THIS WEEK.
Here it is, my care plan, the plan I made with Mark my OT, for managing and overcoming anxiety around starting school. Feedback is appreciated.
Management Strategies Identified
- Anticipation and Preparation
- Breathing techniques
- Body Scans
- Think about 3 things near to me. Sounds in the room. Sometimes require prompting.
- Use quiet room
- Time out and collect thoughts. Perhaps toilet break. If triggered can use water.
What am I looking forward to:
Learning new things
Building computer skills
Getting into the workforce
Having a satisfying routine
Structure to the day
Something to get up for in the morning
What do I see as obstacles to course engagement:
- Instructors not knowing about jaws or equipment
- Equipment breaking down
- Lack of awareness about dog
- Not familiar with spreadsheets etc and difficulty with such
- Concerns about becoming unwell and unstable
- Work Placement and finding the right placement Will companies want to take me on
- Mobilising around the building
- Exams and exam process (Will I get to do the exams on same day)
What Strategies can I use to overcome obstacles?
- Ring Brain Manning form NCB and he can give training on Jaws as it is specialised equipment. I can help out re commands etc. On email support lists and I can get answers from this around technology supports.
- They have tech support and also Brian Manning can help with such.
- Have had Natalie (trainer) in and if needed she could come in again. Perhaps get leaflets about guide dogs if needed. Like the Basement, people get used to the dog and more familiar. Confidence will be developed being around the dog.
- There will be individual support when needed and I will have an opportunity to confirm items and question if I have not processed information or grasped concepts.
- Use weekly appointments to discuss about impacting items from past aswell as current stressors. Prioritise what needs to be talked about. Do things in personal life to maintain wellness i.e. relationships. Basement resource centre. Fill up evenings and use distraction techniques. Talk to link worker on the course so they are aware.
- When go to do work placement anticipation and preparation will be key and using resources in NLN and outside of this to get the best opportunities available.
- I have done route familiarisation and I know much of the building. The first two weeks of induction will give me time to adjust fully. Confidence has developed already and staff have been so friendly and will be helpful if required.
- The exams are every 6 weeks approximately. It is continuous assessment as opposed to one exam at the end of the year. This takes stress off. I have initiated availing of extra time and supports for exam to maximise likelihood of best outcomes. I will link in with my key support worker in NLN leading up to exams and discuss any concerns as they arise. Link with Mark (OT) leading up to exams as an aspect of exam preparation.
What preparation do I feel I need prior to commencing NLN on Sept 7th:
- Adjust sleep pattern: Starting Monday 31st August getting up at 7am and going to bed before 12. I will adjust body clock as when I commence NLN I will be getting up at 6am. This preparation will give me confidence to start the course.
- Ring Brian Manning as I need guidance on a scanning ap on the phone. This will be necessary to scan printed material on the course.
- I feel ready for the course.
I FEEL ANXIOUS. THERAPY IS IN AN HOUR. DONT REALLY WANNA GO. DONT WANT TO TRY TO FIND MY WORDS. THEY GOT LOST AND ITS SO HARD TO FIND THEM TO SAY THE THINGS ON MY MIND. I HATE THAT FEELING OF ANXIETY WELLING UP INSIDE IN MY CHEST AND THROAT AND BELLY. MY THROAT FEELS LIKE IT MAY CLOSE UP. MY CHEST IS TIGHT AND MY STOMACH IS DOING FLIP FLOPS. ITS NUTS AND I AM BOTH STRESSED, ANXIOUS AND IRRITATED AT MYSELF FOR FEELING THIS WAY. EILEEN WILL BE HER USUAL AWESOME SELF I KNOW THAT. SO WHY DO I FEEL LIKE THIS? WE HAD A NICE EMAIL EXCHANGE OVER THE WEEKEND. I TOLD HER AS MUCH AS I COULD IN AN EMAIL. I TOLD HER I WAS FEELING TRIGGERED AND DID NOT HAVE WORDS TO PUT TO IT. SHE UNDERSTOOD. I HATE MONDAYS TOO SO EVERYTHING JUST FEELS BLA THIS MORNING.
Tonight I got really triggered. This guy came to my door, and I opened it not thinking. He said he was selling make up. I’m not sure if he was, he did try to show me eye shadows and stuff but I got very dissociated and fearful and could not take in what he was saying, I couldnt concentrate or think clearly, my head was foggy and fuzzy and I was freaking out I just wanted him gone! Eventually I managed to say that I am not interested and could he please leave, and he did. I’m still not the better of it. My anxietys through the roof. The good thing is I have CCTV on my house both front and back so he’s on camera and so if he comes back again I will have evidence! I know people go around houses selling things all the time but I dont trust that he was actually selling something. I wish I was not on edge so much! It really sucks to be constantly hypervigilent and overly anxious and on edge and I would like a break.
Just home from an appointment with Dr Barry. It was a good appointment as always.
We mostly discussed stuff around college, especially my anxiety around that. I told her that I was afraid I would become unstable again when I start, that the stress of doing the course would cause me to decompress. I know when I start the course we will have teething problems, mostly due to my blindness, and the fact that I am the first blind person to do this particular course. They’ve had parcially sighted people before but not someone whose totally blind. So I do know there will be problems. I told Dr barry that I did not want my mental illness to be the focus point, but that I’m afraid when I start it will take a dive and I will become unstable again. Dr Barry said that she can understand why I am worried, but she said she thinks I’ll be ok, that I’ve spent the last 12 months stabilising and doing lots of hard work in therapy, and that she doesnt think that I will undo it. She’s hopeful I wont. She said to take things slowly and I should be ok. Mostly our appointment today focused on the college stuff, it was a shorter than usual appointment, I was done in 30 minutes when usually I am with her for an hour or more.
Yesterday Mark our OT went to a meeting with the school psychologist and the manager of the college and himself about me and about what supports I’ll need in order that I can deal with my mental illness effectively. He rang me when he was finished and he said it all went off ok. Apparently they wanted to know what they should tell the other trainees on the course, whether they should mention our did to them or not. Mark told them to consult me about it, but that he thought I wouldnt want them to mention it, as I dont usually tell just anyone, that I prefer to only tell those who I think will have an understanding of the disorder. He told the school that if there was a problem with my mental health or if I was in crisis that I’d contact either my psychiatrist dr Barry or my therapist Eileen, he said to leave it up to me to do that which the school agreed to do. He told them that I prefered to keep my mental illnesses separate from the academic side of things, that I am there to learn about IT stuff, and not to focus on my mental illness. They seemed to be ok with that which I am glad about. I am meeting Mark tomorrow to discuss the anxiety and ptsd stuff so I will probably talk omore to him then about stuff. Yesterdays call was just to touch base after the meeting.
I told Dr Barry today that we’re going away for the weekend, me, my mom, my sister and her kids. I’m so looking forward to it too. It will be nice to get away for a couple of nights and I know we’ll have a good time.