Mental Health

Too Stressed For A Stress Test. I’ve been writing about how much better… | by Jymi Cliche | Sep, 2021

photo taken by Jymi Cliche on 9/18/01 and manipulated twenty years later

I’ve been writing about how much better I’m doing lately, and how I achieved my growth, but there are still rough days, and they’re still fairly often… just not EVERY day anymore, or even almost every day, but at least once or twice a week, I still lose it.

I woke up kind of grumpy Sunday and I had a lot on my plate that day. I had an appointment with a mental health worker and had to call my building management about a broken door buzzer they still haven’t fixed. The broken buzzer is a major issue with my arthritis and PTSD because I have to go up and down the stairs every time I need to let someone in. It’s been broken for a month now.

I did dishes, took out recycling, and had a grocery delivery with a guy who didn’t wanna help me bring the groceries upstairs although he was perfectly able and could see I could barely lift the stuff or breathe, but I felt like he was judging me for being fat and being a dick even though I told him I needed help due to arthritis and breathing issues. I tip well ahead of time because I count on the help, and I ended up having to carry it all to my door myself. It was too much for me and I hurt myself. It put a real damper in my day.

Today I woke up pleasantly surprised as I made it out of bed and began my day without too much trouble. I got a few things done and was feeling fairly positive. I decided I should check the weather to see what to wear to my stress test tomorrow. I thought I should probably wear or bring gym shorts if I’m gonna be on a treadmill, but wasn’t sure if it was gonna be shorts weather. I looked at the app and it’s supposed to be around 70 degrees with 70% rain all day from 10AM to after dinner. That’s when I began to feel myself cracking a little. I hate driving and am not usually comfortable going places outside my comfort zone, which this is, because I haven’t been inside this hospital since around 9/11, twenty years ago when I lost my therapist that day due to me driving her into madness or whatever happened. The story of all that is in my book. I’ve also never been in this PART of the hospital and I have no idea where I’m going or what I’m doing. On top of that, I’ve never had a stress test and I have anxiety about it. To make it even weirder, I’ve hardly been inside a hospital in a decade when I had my last psych ward admission, and I find hospitals very intimidating. I’ve actually barely been ANYWHERE in the last three years due to my seven months on bed rest in 2018/2019 and then the Pandemic began in March of 2020. Since the Pandemic, I’ve only been to the doctor and therapy about six times total between the two of them, plus the art gallery a few times, and I went to an ATM once and picked up a roast beef sandwich once. That’s literally all the public spaces I’ve been in since March 2020, so doing a stress test outside my comfort zone in an unfamiliar, large hospital building was already a lot. Did I mention that I’m agoraphobic as well as afraid of being in a car? When I saw it was gonna rain, I cracked.

PTSD has my stress level always right above the brim of my cup. The average person is usually operating on only half full most of the time, but I operate while nearly overflowing. Any extra thing, like rain in this case, makes the stress overflow and I just lose it. I screamed and sobbed and had to take a medication that I hesitate to use due to its addictive nature, but my doctor says it’s okay to take it in these kinds of moments. I only take a few a week at most. Sometimes I go weeks without needing them, but I took one today, along with lots of weed, because weed is my primary medication for stress. The benzo is just a back up for moments when I lose my shit.

It was a rough moment, but I took a bath while sobbing and screaming, then forced myself to take some deep breaths. I called my mom to talk to about it and we decided it was best if I cancel my stress test for now, rather than try to push myself so far beyond my comfort zone when I’m still so fragile and quick to lose it. My fear is that I’ll be out in a public place and get triggered and start screaming or punching things like I often do at home, and that the police will be called. That would be the end of me. The police would love to get their hands on me again, and if I were sent to jail, a state hospital, McLean or anywhere in the for-profit, Catholic, Arbor system, I don’t think I’d make it out again, and I can for sure bet that if the police were called on me, I’d end up in one of those places, if not dead. It makes going out into the world a giant risk.

Considering what I’ve been through and what I’ve been writing about and editing the last few years in my memoirs, it makes sense I’d be angry… but even though I have every right to be angry, I don’t want the anger to consume me. I don’t wanna be angry unless that anger can motivate me to do better, and I mean, in some ways, it HAS. The more I’ve examined my life and been angry about it where anger is appropriate, has helped me to do more, and I’m proud of myself in ways I’ve never been before. I’ve proved to myself that I could do the shit I was too scared to do because I thought I wasn’t good enough… and now I have lots of haters, who are often other creative people who aren’t doing anything with their talent, even if they ARE more talented than me. I try to just shake it all off and do what’s good for me.

Today I listened to the new Little Simz album that I treated myself to as a reward for meeting and surpassing my goal to sell at least 30 copies of my book, “I Write the System” in the first 30 days. I’ve been happy with the sales and reviews coming in. I’m still getting work done at home, I started my tarot card drawings, and I have a new person in my life who I feel quite positive about. I’m doing okay with my diet, getting most of my chores done, and I’m dancing, meditating, or getting outside every day. I’ve taken control of my life in most ways. When I lost it today, it wasn’t fun, but I didn’t hurt myself or anyone else, nor wreck any of my shit. I just screamed a couple times and sobbed; and sometimes ya gotta. I think it’s okay. I don’t love the idea of canceling my stress test because it’s last minute so they might charge me; nevermind the fact that this is a test I was supposed to have months ago to get an idea of how my heart is doing. I’ve had pain and fast pulse, so it’s an important test. Heart attacks run in my family. I’m 43 and on testosterone for 15 years. I do need to get this test done, but it’s just too much on me right now.

Here are a few things I’ve been enjoying though. I always try to enjoy shit…

“Sometimes I Might Be Introvert” by Little Simz. The hip hop heads are saying she’s the best out there this year with this incredible album. I just heard it today for the first time, and it’s definitely fire. She’s been one of my favorite emcees and hip hop artists since about 2015 but she’s from England. She’s not the Cardi B or Nicki Manaj type of rapper. This is quality shit. Think more along the lines of Lauryn Hill or Queen Latifah… or newer women rappers like Rapsody, Jean-Grae, Sa-Roc, and many more. Women and queer artists are killing it in hip hop right now and Little Simz definitely deserves some recognition.

I’ve also been reading this awesome comic book, Hip Hop Family Tree.

The new person in my life gave me this awesome affirmations coloring book that inspires me… “Empowering Affirmations Coloring Book For Adults And Their Inner Child”.

I’m gonna try not to push myself too hard tonight since I don’t have anything going on tomorrow. Most of my usual appointments this week were canceled on me and now I’m canceling tomorrow, but I’m gonna try to get outside and dance and meditate and maybe watch a movie.

Here’s a song from the Little Simz album to check out…

That’s all. Peace. This Too Shall Pass.

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