Transition Back to Reality

When I leave my daily life behind to go on a vacation for any length of time the transition back is typically pretty brutal. If the vacation involved seeing or being with my family I have separation anxiety to contend with on top of the other anxieties that come with transition and change. Being my first time back to South Dakota in 11 months I was gearing up for the worst. Typically we get back from our vacations later in the day, not leaving us with a lot of time to get unpacked and settled back in before diving back into the daily grind. I mentally prepared myself for what I assumed was going to be a no good, rotten day. With our flight getting back into Austin before 12n that meant we had an entire day to do our thing before reality hit us the next day. Knowing this, and being completely exhausted from traveling, I didn't let myself rest. We immediately went to get Wrigley from being boarded at our Vet and it was the sweetest reunion ever. We have never boarded him before and when I asked them how he did they told me he was very sad. That broke my heart because that is exactly what I feared. He was SO happy to see us. Kisses and nips and lovins all over the place for hours. When we got him home and reassured that we weren't leaving him I got to work on unpacking. What a damn task that is these days. I did multiple loads of laundry and other household chores that I neglected to do before we left. And then I napped. When I woke up I felt the same as I did when I fell asleep. Tired. Not sad, not in tears, not having an anxiety attack. Just plain tired. I didn't put a lot of thought into it because I was still convinced that all of that was coming.

Here is where I explain, in short, why I was dead set on crashing and burning upon my return home to Austin. At my therapy session the week before I left my therapist told me that he couldn't treat me anymore. He didn't believe that my diagnosis of anxiety was correct (a conversation we had a couple of weeks prior) and that his approach was not appropriate for what he felt my real diagnosis was. I was heart broken, to say the least. My heart was ripped out of my chest and shattered. I cried in his office more than I talked that day. I was so confused. I didn't understand. This was not a  topic of conversation that was even on my radar and I did not see it coming. Knowing that I didn't have a therapy appointment scheduled with him for my return is what kept my anxious mind believing I wasn't going to be okay. He promised to call me the day after I got back to check in and discuss things a little more. He never called. That's when the resentment came. The email he sent the following morning regarding my care is when the anger came.  In between this last session with him and my trip home I had a brief moment of bravery and called a new psychologist to schedule an initial appointment. That appointment happened on 12/1/16. That's the day it all started to slowly fall down. I felt tired and lethargic. My energy level was below zero. I had racing thoughts going well over the speed limit. I was really struggling to focus on anything. I was apprehensive, nervous, scared, (still) confused, pissed off, and sad. I had no closure from someone who it took me months to build rapport with, trust, and feel safe in his presence. And there I was, in a strange office with a strange person expected to start all over as if nothing had happened. I got a few answers out of that first session, and I did go back for another one. I still have apprehension, I'm still trying to go through the stages of grief (don't laugh, it's real) from losing someone, and I am fighting like hell to not re build the guard I had FINALLY broken through.

My downer days didn't last nearly as long as they typically do. That is how I know I have made some progress in the last six months. I was able to pick myself up and adjust back into my routine much easier than normal. I still have a lot to process and accept with this new phase of recovery, and that will take time. I'm trying to be okay with that.

                                   Try not to resist the changes that come your way. Instead let life live through you. .....:


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