Coronavirus!

So schools were just announced to be shut down in Alabama recently. I thought maybe I should say a little something about it. I’m not all that concerned at the moment about it. Because I will be washing my hands all the time and thanks to my agoraphobia, I won’t be exposed to it too often. I’ve got lots of groceries so I don’t need to go out for a while. I could probably stay here for two weeks if I needed to. But don’t worry, I wasn’t one of those people who stockpiled toilet paper and fought to buy the last of everything. I did not go overboard about it. Partly because I’m younger and healthier than the older people who are more at risk of having serious problems if they get it (like dying). I left groceries for other people.

Why?

BECAUSE EVERYONE NEEDS TO BE ABLE TO STAY CLEAN AND HEALTHY SO THE VIRUS DOESN’T SPREAD!!!!

People seem to have forgotten that little nugget of truth. It’s not all just so you won’t get sick, it’s also so that others don’t spread it. Remember that. Clean everything you touch. Avoid touching your face as much as possible. Wash your hands ALL the time with soap and water because soap is actually more effective than the Clorox hand wipes and hand sanitizer.

(That’s a link to where I learned that information.)

So y’all stay safe! Stay clean! Remember others out there and take care of each other!!

APA Paper – Veterans and PTSD

I’m in an Orientation class and they’re teaching us how to write an APA style paper. Coming from an English major to Psychology major means switching from my well-known MLA style to the foreign APA style. Anyway, so I’m learning that. We get to choose our own topic. I chose veterans’ suicide rates and PTSD.

I’ve done lots of research and reading statistics and government produced documents. The point is… the state of the government and public’s relationship with veterans is pretty bad. The suicide rates and extremely high and getting higher. The ages of those committing suicide are getting younger and younger. And it seems like there’s a lot of talk and everyone agrees that something should be done and veterans should be taken care of, and yet nothing is actually being done. Not enough anyway.

It’s time for the public to stand up and demand better treatment for our vets, better facilities for them, and better education and training of the people working in these facilities. They need a bigger budget to accommodate this.

I’m ranting, but something should be done. Vets should be a much higher priority than they are now. They shouldn’t be homeless. They shouldn’t have trouble finding jobs. They should be able to get help from educated people dedicated towards their mental health. There should also be some kind of education, training, preparation for families of vets coming home with PTSD or any other mental illness.

Okay, I’m done now. But come on… America, the greatest country in the world but if you look at the state of veterans, we’re pretty low. Not enough people are speaking out about it. Certainly, not enough people are doing anything about it.

Done now. For real. But seriously… like if you agree.

Doctor’s Appointment Pt. 2

I posted about this earlier, but here’s the continuation. Here’s how the appointment actually went…

First off, I wasn’t alone. My mother came with me. In a previous appointment (at a different doctor’s office) I had a panic attack while on the table with the doctor in the middle of doing her work and jumped off the table and sent things flying. Needless to say, I never went back there again. To keep that from happening again, my mother (so kind and supportive) comes with me.

Secondly, I still cried. Silently, but there were still tear marks on my face even though I tried to catch them before they fell. Embarrassing.

Third, the doctor did tell me everything that she was doing and that really helped. I was prepared for it, or at least as prepared for it as I could be. And she was very, very fast about everything.

All I kept thinking about was that if I were normal and nothing had ever happened to me, this wouldn’t be such a big deal. I wouldn’t be a grown adult who still needs her mother to hold her hand. If I were normal… And that’s what really hurts the most, I think. All the things that might’ve been if what happened to me hadn’t happened, if I’d been in a different place at a different time… all the potential I had wasted because I was afraid of my own shadow for a while. Which made going to school impossible. So I’m in online university which is great and I know what I want to do and that’s nice. That might’ve not been the case if what happened to me hadn’t happened. That’s what I have to tell myself. The silver lining…even if it is a little tarnished. Anyway…

I’ve just gotten home. I stopped at Starbucks on the way home and got myself a little treat. My therapist, when I went to equine therapy, told me that when I go out and do something I don’t want to or that causes stress and anxiety that I should reward myself. So that’s what I did. Starbucks is my reward.

I’m glad the whole thing is over. Don’t have to go back for another year. So glad it’s a once a year thing and not a 6 month deal. Anyway… That’s how it went.

Woman’s Best Friend

Cammie now, aged 6

There’s no way to describe the bond between a dog and its owner. This little pup just always wants to be by your side, barks a little when there’s someone in front of the house, and will only eat her food if you’re eating. Now, that may sound like a needy dog, but for a person who was suicidal it’s perfect.

She warns me if someone’s coming to the house so the doorbell or knocking doesn’t send me into a panic attack. She reminds me to eat a meal every now and then because I’m making sure she’s eating. She never lets me feel alone because she’s always with me or if I’m in my room, she’s across the hall watching out the window to the front of the house.

She’s a smart dog. I know all owner’s say that, but it’s true. It doesn’t take long to train her to do something (like not jumping on you when you come in the door, shaking your hand, sitting and laying down with hand signals only).

She’s really the perfect dog for me. With all my mental health issues, she balances them out. When I’m down, she comes and lays with me. When I’m getting into a manic phase, she’s there to help me let out the energy in a safe manner. She seems to know when I want to self-harm and she puts her head in my lap.

If you’ve got problems, if you’re lonely, I highly recommend looking into getting a dog. Make sure you can handle the responsibilities and everything that goes with it – money for vet visits. Get it neutered/spayed. And look from a shelter. Those dogs may feel exactly like you do and just need a home and some love. So if you’ve got love to spare and money and are willing to try, adopt a dog. Cammie is a rescue and I couldn’t be happier.

Another Diagnosis

My psychiatrist doesn’t live in my state. She used to, but then she moved and now we have our appointments online. I don’t need to leave the house which is something that I love, but it’s also a problem. Part of the problem is that I stopped going to therapy. I just felt like I wasn’t getting anything from it and I sat in an uncomfortable chair, in a too warm office for an hour and complained. I don’t know if I’m doing it wrong or what, but them’s the facts.

My new diagnosis, I’m sure you’re wondering what it is. Well, it’s dum, dum dum! … I’m now diagnosed with agoraphobia! What’s agoraphobia, you ask? It’s a type of anxiety disorder where you avoid things that make you uncomfortable, that could bring on a panic attack or other things that you don’t like.

Having PTSD, it makes leaving my house a little difficult and very exhausting. Being on constant alert, not trusting anyone even if they’re just shopping the same aisle in the grocery store as I am, I’m wondering if they’re going to try to steal from me or hurt me, what do they want? The answer: nothing. They don’t care two figs about me. I know this, but my brain doesn’t when I’m in the moment.

So basically, my agoraphobia means that I don’t leave the house. And when I say that I don’t leave the house, I mean literally I don’t leave the house. I’ve gone into the garage a handful of times. I’ve been in the front yard three times and the back four times. That’s all been since mid-July 2019? I have left the house I think twice to go to my sister’s, but that’s in straight into the car and then straight into her house for the remainder of the trip. Other than my sister’s, I went to my brother’s once late at night to pick up his dog (his baby was in the hospital-whole other story I might tell you later).

Being agoraphobic in this day and age isn’t all that bad. I mean, all the streaming services (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, YouTube TV) and I can watch literally anything I want. I can have a meal delivered to me from almost any restaurant. And I’ve just recently learned that grocery stores will do the shopping for me. I pick out what I want from online, someone goes around and picks it all up, I pay for it online and then it miraculously shows up at my front door!

So while it isn’t all that bad for me, it actually is that bad for me. Because it doesn’t force me to go out and do things, leave the house. It’s much easier to sink back further into my hole. But since I’ve decided that I’ll be posting something on here once a week, I’ll have to get out and do something. Something that I can talk about. So don’t worry! I’ll try to keep this the least boring blog as possible.