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Finding Myself

**WARNING : COULD BE TRIGGERING**

Today I saw my psychiatrist and my pain doctor. My psychiatrist visit went better than I thought that it would. We went over one of my drawings and talked about what it meant.

She understands that right now, I am having a tough time. Getting a service dog is an amazing opportunity and so is the fact that I get to tell my story. There is just some part of me that still feels lost.

Lost as in I have no clue what my “career” will be. When I was in my early 20’s I graduated with one degree and I was working on graduating from nursing school when my illness hit me like a ton of bricks.

Then we talked about the fact that even when things were going well, I could not work full-time. Which brings me back to the question of what to do. Where is my life going to take me? Due to my illness I have issues with balance and can no longer lift anything heavy. Sitting in one place to long causes my back to have shooting pain and standing for any longer than 15 or 20 minutes begins to radiate the pain to my upper back.

I do like presenting and telling my story. There are no programs out there that teach you how to become an advocate. That is what I want to do. I want to help other patients know the rights that they have and assist their families in finding support.

Am I ready to start over again? I know that I need to talk to an advisor about what classes I have behind me and where I can go. That is scary for me. Change is scary, yet it is what I need to do.

My second appointment was with my pain doctor right after my appointment with my psychiatrist. I had opened up and was feeling exposed when I walked into the office. The only topic that I planned on exploring was my back brace that does not seem to be working. Instead, I was asked if I was feeling depressed. YES! Then came the next question. For those of you who have been in the hospital you know. The first is was I thinking of hurting myself? The second was do I have a plan? My sarcastic and true answer is that I have had a plan since I was in high school. I did establish the boundary that I was not going to talk to a pain doctor about my mental health problems.

I am proud of myself for setting a boundary and actually worked out of the office feeling better than I did going on. Hopefully, the job question will get solved. I just have to think of things in a different way.

So, why the tree. I love trees, esp trees that do not have leaves. I thought that the picture represented where I am at. I feel like the negative image of the tree. One can see the tree and there is color, just not the colors that one would think a tree would be. Right now I am not where I would like to be, yet I know that I will get there.

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