Working On Pushing Through

   I’ve been experiencing a type of depression these last couple weeks.  I’m completely unmotivated and it’s been driving me nuts.  It’s affecting many aspects of my life from housecleaning to my relationships with my kids.  One moment I’m yelling at everything they do and in the next I see everything but have no response to it.  When I was younger (late teens, early 20’s) I would work out my issues by working extra shifts, excessive cleaning, baking and/or I’d find some minor thing to change.  Unfortunately, I’d usually cut myself some bangs and feel satisfied enough by this mediocre change to somewhat move on.  It was never a thought out plan.  It would typically happen sometime in the bathroom when I’d catch my hair laying a certain way that would make me think for an insane moment:

I should cut some bangs at that angle! It would look mighty fine, I’m sure!


   Luckily, my hair grows fast; in about a week the horribly uneven tips of hair always swinging into my eyes are long enough to push  behind my ear.

   I cut myself some bangs two days ago.  I have no idea how to cut hair but I saw an angle in the mirror as I was passing and thought it would be a good time to cut them.  Afterward, I thought the angle was backwards so I kind of freaked out a little bit.  That’s the only logical reaction, right?  To cry, yell, whimper a little, stare hard at your mistake, curse yourself, cry some more and maybe take a break to figure out a fix?

    Actually, they aren’t that bad.  I tried too hard to use the mirror apparently (I over compensate for my lacking cognitive and spatial skills) and the bangs follow the angle I was shooting for.  After two days of growth I have no issues so the freakout was for nothing.

   I had an anxiety attack yesterday but it was a “fun” one.  I have no idea what happened.  We had a full day of errands including signing  Kasper up for insurance through the exchange.  He is clueless about the ACA and pretty much relies on what I tell him about it but I only know what I’ve read and have no experience signing up for insurance– I’m on Medicare and our kids have Medicaid.  I have trouble renewing benefits every six months because it’s confusing so imagine how I felt trying to look at the exchanges.  They tried to make it easy but for me there are too many steps, too many menus and too much clicking.  I get lost in the map my brain is trying to create of every click I make.  I become afraid I can’t go back if I enter something wrong or that I’m on the wrong page or misunderstanding the terms… It’s a frightening process for someone like me.  So while I understand a lot of the law (more than pretty much anyone I know), I’m unsure what to do when you get right down to the signing up and comparing and checking where you fall into what.

   As a supporter of the PPACA I was anxious to see if all that I’ve concluded about the laws were correct.  I’ve used what I’ve read about it and what little I learned in my “college” courses to defend it but, unfortunately, there are steps you have to experience before you can confidently opine if you agree with the opinions of others.  So I was anxious to learn if I had been misled by the  gov site as some conservative op-eds and random commenters have suggested.

It’s a government site, you can’t trust what they tell you

    I was also fearful that he would have to pay for insurance though I was sure he would qualify for an exemption.  I just didn’t know what to expect.  As a physically disabled person I experience some anxiety when I’m going somewhere new because I have no idea what accommodations they will have for me.  Some places seem to go out of their way to make disabled persons as uncomfortable as possible.  I understand handicap ramps but why are some at extreme angles?

Seriously, wtf?

 This was like double anxiety and it seemed to make me bubbly instead of skittish or unnerved.   Experiencing the two types and causes of anxiety created this double negative tickle in the center of my back and chest.  It felt like a cement cylinder had been placed between my two halves.  It was heavy but it was centered enough not to make me uncomfortable.   Brain injured persons and advocates always speak of the anger and confusion that comes out of nowhere but not too many talk about the “positive” emotions that can hit you just as hard.  I told Kasper with my wide grin that we had to leave.  My smile confused him so I put his hand on my boob and laughed.  He pulled his hand away asking why my heart was beating so fast.

I’m having an intense anxiety attack or something so we need to go before I’m not able to leave

   I shook all the way to the car, all through an errand at Walmart and up until we were sitting patiently in  chairs watching the lobby fill up with people.  I never felt anything but hyper and while I’m used to this at home I’m not used to this with anxiety.  The office filled up and we were given an appointment for today.  I went home completely drained with no time to nap.

   I think I made it an hour on the couch after kids were in bed and the house was cleaned before I woke up shaking violently, confused and yelling.  I’m not sure what happened.  I dozed off and woke up freaking out.  I was shaking all over again and my eyes felt like lightbulbs shadowing everything inside of me.  I hate this feeling.  I held up my hand to see the level of shakiness but when your eyes feel like they’re shaking…  My skin looked odd, like it wasn’t skin but something similar which is completely strange to experience and I hate it.  I went to bed immediately after and didn’t wake up until my alarm went off.

  Knowing what to expect lessened my anxiety for today and I wore mascara for the first time in 4 years.  I’d say since the stroke but I tried to wear eye makeup 9 months into recovery then fell into deep [unrelated to the makeup] depression, making any makeup a waste.  I would like to overcome my anxiety as I had done before in my late teens.  For me, I think it’s possible but I know it’s not so simple for everyone.  I figure I need to start doing things and going places to expose my disability to society.  I can’t think of any other way to get used to being disabled in public other than throwing my left body out there and functioning with it as best I can with everyone else.  “Fake it ’til you make it” I think is what people say and I guess that’s going to have to be my plan.  It’s pretty much how I got away from my wheelchair and cane/s.

    In case anyone was wondering, Kasper did qualify for an exemption and it was ridiculously easy to get a copy for the IRS.  We went to an insurance agent that assists with the exchange. We asked what we needed to do because we were sure we qualified for the exemption but wanted to know if he needed to apply anyway (apparently you do?).  We answered basic questions, I handed him the SNAP letter that details our household income, he entered it in and an exemption letter was the result.  He did it through the same site I visited, trying to figure it out with Kasper with the same damn letter.  Mostly all I thought I learned about “Obamacare” is correct but I definitely learned a few things. The agent explained one of the major things he disagreed with is how the employer mandate only requires employer provided insurance to consider the employee.  So “legally” it’s alright, but “realistically” it just doesn’t work.  Awful plans are offered at “affordable” rates and the full family isn’t really considered.  If you opt out of your employer provided insurance, you no longer qualify for a subsidy from the government.  It’s a lose for the people and that’s just awful.  It’s a rock and a hard place with a sharp spear at the bottom when you include the penalties for opting out completely.  I will leave my political comments out of this. 

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