This week’s mail included a letter from my psych’s office regretting to inform me that my PNP is leaving the practice in a month. I cried on the spot; it took so long to find someone with whom I felt I had a good working relationship. I’ll call to get set up with someone new for medication management sometime soon, but transitions like this are hard for me. I’m terrified of being written off by medical professionals and therefore not taken seriously, impacting my quality of care and overall stability.
Unfortunately, this shock came during a bout of “brittleness”, as Mr. Chickadee called it. Brittle is a couple levels less intense than “fragile” but feels uncomfortably similar and worrisome. I’ll try to describe it: it’s a state of emotional overload, like a balloon stretched to its absolute limit and ready to burst at any provocation, good or bad.
My heart feels temporarily swollen beyond my chest’s capacity, overflowing with emotion that’s trapped inside me until the pressure of it causes a leak or explosion. Every nerve is set on end, my face flushes and skin becomes oversensitive, like a tiny burst of adrenaline. I have to consciously stop myself from hyperventilating. I feel as though I can’t breathe because I’m already so overfull there’s no room for air. Usually it lasts only a moment, or maybe a few minutes; long enough to make me start crying buckets at the least trigger, but the tsunami quickly recedes.
When it’s prolonged, that overemotional state goes from a passing emotional hiccup into brittle, and then fragile, while I get progressively less functional. Fragile is about two steps away from semi-catatonic. So every time it washes over me, that overemotional sensation brings a secondary fear that it will stick around and screw everything up again.
I even know the cause for this episode and it could be treated immediately. I just can’t get the medical attention I need. Isn’t that absurd? My PNP was really working make it happen but somewhere along the incomprehensible line it keeps getting cockblocked. I can’t self-refer for the services I need, so I’m stuck waiting in the dark until someone makes a move. I hate feeling so helpless.
And now I’m losing my PNP too. She was the one mental health professional I’ve ever felt was really on my side, so I’m taking it a lot harder than I feel like I should. This is everyday stuff – why am I still crying about it? Oh yeah, that brittle thing.
Write What You Feel: cold, stifled, exhausted, bored. Mood scores have been on the low end of tolerable lately. Horrible spell of intense distractability lifted, finally started to pick up the pace on work, but shallow optimism is negated by fear of February’s usual downhill slide. Catastrophizing, crying, head constantly buzzing with worries I can’t seem to swat away. Working so hard on dumping everything out of my brain as fast as I can so I can clear space to think, but I can’t pour it out quickly enough to banish the noise for more than a few minutes at a time.