Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Ever notice when you have plans to go on vacation, it feels like the days leading up to it just take forever. Too much anticipation? That is pretty much how I feel. Starting Friday, I will be on leave for 11 days - it is extremely needed. I just needed to make it through the next 2 days. Trying to take care of all of my loose ends at work so that I can hopefully leave it all here and not take it with me.
I ended up getting in a 3 mile treadmill run on Monday after work. Oh it was wonderful. I felt really good after that run. I didnt struggle either, which was good. I actually wanted to run longer, but I also wanted to run errands and didnt want to be doing that later into the evening because I wanted to try and rest and relax.
Yesterday I was pretty busy all of the day, so at least the day went by faster, I suppose. I stopped in to the office briefly yesterday morning to check my emails and then headed over to the mental health clinic on base for my first appointment. I will admit that I was super nervous. I tell my clients that they shouldnt be ashamed if they need to go there and ask for help, and yet I felt completely ashamed of myself going there. :/ I was super honest on the million pages of questionairres I had to answer, and then about 5 minutes after my appt time I was called back. I met with a licensed clinical social worker and he was really nice. And the best part was that someone understood how I was feeling! I think that might have been the best takeaway from the entire visit. Ultimately, he told me that I am vicariously re-living my own trauma through my client's. Talk about vicarious trauma. To vicariously re-live your own trauma is pretty bad. And that my learned coping skills - keep myself busy to keep my mind off things - isnt really helping anymore because I am exhausting myself trying to keep myself busy, but once I stop my thoughts immediately go back to work - so I am not actually getting any rest or relaxation. Yup. Pretty much exactly how I feel these days. So, pretty upsetting. We are going to work on acknowledging my reactions and then learning better ways to cope. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. I am just hoping that it helps because I just want to be able to sit down, relax on my couch, without doing anything else, and not feel overwhelmed by constant thoughts of work - not even just work - its more the details of what I hear everyday.
** If you are wondering what "my" trauma is: I was harassed and stalked when i was 15 by a boy I had been friends with, and his friends - culminating in graphic death theats. And the police told me that it was just teenager pranks and they wouldnt do anything about it. Maybe it was just teenager pranks, but it was terrifying nonetheless.
I left the clinic pretty shook up, but with a plan. I have to go to counseling twice a month for the next 3 months and then we'll see how I am doing. I was afraid he would tell me that I just couldnt possibly do my job anymore :( But he actually told me that my clients are very lucky to have someone who cares so much as I do. That made me feel a bit better.
Immediately after my appointment, I had to head back to my office so that I could meet up with my new paralegal. She officially starts working on Friday, but since I will be officially on leave on Friday, I asked her to come on for a few hours to go over our client files and a list of things I wanted her to do while I am gone. I was still pretty out of it initially, so when we were going through the client files, I had to leave the most upsetting ones to last. We also discussed her office space and the possibility of her moving to better office space in a few weeks, which she was happy about. By the time I finished meeting with her, I had about 45 minutes before a client was coming in, so instead of going home for lunch as planned, I had to rush over to the BX and get something quick (taco bell :/). That meeting lasted a few hours becuase we were meeting with law enforcement. By the time she left I just wanted to go home. I hung around for a bit, and then headed home. I had intended to mow the lawn, but I was drained and didnt get around to it.
I called my mom instead, chatted with her, and discussed our upcoming vacation plans for next week - her and I are going to Atlantic City for 2 nights - soem gambling, beach time, shopping, and good restaurants. That sounds wonderful.
I finished reading the book I had been reading for the past month - it was good, but very long. It's a trilogy I think - the third book just came out, but I am going to take a break with that for a while, and I am looking for some easier reads to pass the time while I am on vacation. I've wish-listed a few on Amazon, but if anyone has any recommendations, please feel free to pass them along! I admit I like mysteries that are quick to get through, young adult fiction if its not horribly written, and some fantasy and horror. Basically, I am looking for anything that will be quick and easy and doesnt require a lot of thinking!
I've still been drinking a lot of coffee - I didnt have any yesterday, and I decided not to get any today, but I am definitely regretting that decision. Just so tired. I might stop down at the coffee shop downstairs andget a muffin or something. I feel like I have no appetite lately - I am hungry, but nothing ever sounds appetizing, if that makes sense. I know this is just an effect of what I've been dealing with lately. I am hopeful that the therapy and time away will significantly help me.
Thanks for being supportive with what I am going through. It's been extremely difficult for me to acknowledge needing help, and being able to talk about it.