Day 7840 | Day 7888 | Day 7968
It's been over a month since I've graduated and my life is at a frustrating standstill. The counseling I had been receiving was provided through my college as a service and, because I've now graduated, it's no longer available to me. So one of my first priorities after graduation was to find someone else and start over again as quickly as I could. This did not happen.
The main sticking point is that I've been unable to manage my anxieties lately. Over the past ten years or so I've gotten very good at identifying the things that will trigger a panic attack so I can avoid them entirely. This leads me to do detrimental things like literally starving for days rather than going out to buy groceries, never answering my phone or email, and skipping dinner several times a week to get blackout drunk instead. The irony is that the one thing that probably would help me tackle my anxieties is itself a trigger for them—a particularly frustrating catch-22.
A few days ago I tried setting up an appointment at a place I've found that seems to fit at least some of my needs. Drove there, went around the block, parked on a side street, drove around the block again, parked, sat in my car for 20 minutes, drove around the block, pulled into the parking lot, left, drove around the block, and then went home. My inability to even address my issues in a functional way was immensely discouraging.
The same anxieties also turn finding employment from a tedious chore into an emotionally exhausting gauntlet with an unclear end. Success is based on selling yourself, putting your best qualities on show and minimizing your worst. This is antithetical to my normal mental processes and something years of depression have left me painfully out of practice with to the point of incapability. Let's say I lack the confidence in the quality of the product I'm soliciting—I'm a bad investment.
It is difficult to talk with people about the limitations my anxieties put on me because of the universally dismissive attitude people have towards them. The fact that I work very hard to catalogue and avoid the triggers of my anxieties gives me the appearance of not having them at all and the fact that my panic attacks are quiet, insular experiences of dread rather than expressive manias makes others doubtful of their severity. Thus, why the usual response I receive to telling people about my anxieties boils down to "it's not that hard, you're just whining, suck it up and deal with it."
The inability to function on a basic level not only as a member of society but as a human being is not doing good things for my mental health. Neither is having to deal with my recurrent identity issues which have solidified in the last two months into a well-defined yet monolithic problem. It's one thing to not know who you are; it is another thing entirely to know exactly who you are and be terrified of it.
Unlike my anxiety and depression, my identity issues have a clear cause which can be addressed fairly directly. Because of this, there is some hope floating in the mix that I may be able to solve them. Instead of merely being another variable in my cost/benefit analysis of life, it's changed the equation fundamentally—the same inputs do not necessarily result in the same outputs anymore. However, along with that hope are extremely conflicting emotions about those solutions—I do not want to build up the expectations of those who care about me and waste time, money, and effort only to end up as depressed as I was at the start. Which I suppose is the exact reason why it requires several months of therapy at minimum to proceed, so, again, I'm back to the problem of finding a new therapist. I don't really know how to proceed when working towards solving one issue aggravates another to the point that paralytic despair sets in. It kind of pisses me off.