Saturday, January 14, 2012

It's a date

Yesterday morning I had an "interview" with the director of The Anxiety Treatment Center of Sacramento.  Needless to say, I was terrified.  Talking on the phone is one of my worst fears.  Almost worse than talking face to face.  Anyways, the director, Dr. Zasio, asked me so many questions and told me so many things.  It was clear that she loves to talk. Greeeaatt. She asked me what my reasons for wanting to come into the program is, what my SAD is like, if I am able to go out of the house, etc.  Then she told me a little about the program, explained what CBT and ERP are (which I already knew from my residential treatment), explained what you do with your time in the program, and on and on and on.
Unfortunately, when she told me that I would be the only one living in the house that they provide, I started to worry a little.  The whole reason that I am going to this program is so that I can NOT be isolated.  If I am living in a house all by myself, I will more than likely be very isolated for the majority of the day.  Granted, I will have "homework" assignments to go out and do. But they won't take up all my time. I don't know what I'm going to do, but it seems like at this point, this program is our best option. I'll survive. I know I will. I always do.
We now just have to find out a bit about insurance coverage, but other than that, I'm going to give this program a go. I'm all set to drive up to Sac on the 22nd of this month, and start the program on the 23rd.  I'm excited, and terrified at the same time. But I guess it's a date...

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Dear Emily...

Here is a letter to myself that I wrote a few years back.  It was just one of those days where I felt really depressed about my situation.  I thought I would share it, because I know there are others out there who feel the same way.

Dear, Emily

     I just thought that it was only fair for you to know that I lurk inside your head at all times. Twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. I am the one who controls every movement you make. It is me who deserves all the credit. When you feel like your face is on fire, or like your heart will explode out of your chest, guess who you should be thanking. Yes, me.

     You have tried so many different methods of defeating me. Like the hypnosis… why on earth would you even think that something as insignificant as hypnosis would scare me off what so ever? And you worked your butt off at Roger’s, and you came pretty close to kicking me out of your head, but once again, I defeated you once you returned home. I know that you are in the process of trying to wipe me out with exposures, but in reality, exposures are only helping me do my job. I get to make you feel like an anxious mess for a few minutes at a time, and I get to do it over and over again, while the stupid little doctors tell you that if you do it enough, I will go away. But you know what? Listen to them and see for yourself. 

     I pride myself in the fact that you have no friends, and I laugh with amusement when I see that the only people that you have to hang out with are your parents and grandparents. Wow, I cannot get over the fact that this was all my doing. When I see how depressed you get when your sisters are off with friends and all you have to do is sit at home, I just laugh and laugh and laugh. Ah, it’s great to be me, and not you.

     I want you to know, that I will never leave you. I will live inside your head forever and ever. No matter where you go, or what you do to try to defeat me, I will be there to make your life so much harder. You might as well give up now, because you will never be free.

                             Always (and always and always),
Your Social Anxiety Disorder

Saturday, December 31, 2011

An introduction of some sort

Ok, so everyone has new years resolutions. We all want to exercise more, eat healthier, learn new things, and on and on. We say that we are going to follow through with them, too. "This year will be different." "I really am going to do it this time." However, by the time April or May rolls around (or sometimes even much before that), these resolutions get lost with the rest of our motivation to change.
This year, I personally have many things that I want to do.  But hey, let's be realistic. Many of them are just not going to happen.  However, there is one thing in my life that MUST change.  It's called Social Anxiety Disorder, and it has been present in my life for as long as I can remember.  I've tried all kinds of therapy, treatments, and medications to try to help me live a better life, but none of them seem to have had much of an effect.  From Cognitive Behavioral therapy, to psycotherapy, to Exposure Response Prevention, to Residential treatment for three months, and even to things like art therapy and yoga... nothing has seemed to even touch the surface of this life-altering disorder. 
It's now time to get serious.  With the help of my amazing parents (love you mom and dad!) I have decided that I am going to change my life for the better by going to something called an Intensive Outpatient Program for my SAD.  We are currently looking at programs in either Los Angeles or Sacramento.  So far, the Sacramento program looks the most promising.
This is a huge reality check for me.  I know that if I don't get my SAD under much better control, that I am soon going to have an extremely poor quality of life.  I want to have friends. I want to have fun.  I want to be able to go out and socialize. But most of all, I want to be free from fear.