09 March 2012

Getting past the door (you know, *outside*)

Today started with me waking up and wondering why I was dreaming that the new classic pickup truck I'd just bought from that one shop on that one road that (I think) I used to live near (deep breath) had an inch deep fill of gasoline in the bed and had just caught fire, and was burning. This, before coffee. Not a sign that the day is going to go well. I played around with the screensaver on my computer for most of the day, lots of shiny things to play with.

In therapy this week, C (my social worker/therapist at the VA hospital) and I talked about my problems with getting out of the house; that really has to come first. The goal is getting me back to a somewhat normal life as a student. If I don't go to class because I can't leave, then the rest doesn't matter. He gave me homework that I recognized from the social anxiety group I was in several years ago-- find three scheduled things to do this week that involve other people, outside of your apartment. My three things this week are:

* Volunteer work at two days this week. I worked the first day, then was up until 0500ish the next morning, then slept for twelve hours and missed the second day.

* Attend a speaker's presentation on campus, sponsored by the campus veterans organization. I got confused on which building it was in. Where I was, the numbering system didn't match up. It's *really* a short trip to go from calm to panic when I realize I'm in the wrong place and I don't know where to go next. Sweating, heart pounding, senses on overdrive-- yeah, that. I tried reaching the organizers, who probably had their phones either off or quiet because they were listening to the speaker (so not their fault for not answering). It was getting to be twenty minutes or so into the presentation when I decided I needed to just bail. I stopped for food, then headed home.

In the period between me getting home and going to work, I managed to lose my phone in my apartment. I'd been playing Scrabble on my phone earlier. I also remembered hearing my phone bouncing of the metal frame of the futon I was sitting on, so I figured it was underneath. It took me a half hour to find out that it had not fallen through after all-- it had caught on the end of the frame, under the armrest. 

This was a real half hour of PTSD-- muscles so tense they hurt, me pounding my fist on my desk (once, and where it wouldn't hurt anything), and me uttering something that probably sounded like "gaaaaaaak!!!" in between"where the fuck is it? this apartment isn't that big, it couldn't have gone that damn far!" It meant I was half an hour late for work, and I couldn't call to say I was running late! They were understanding though... so once I got to work I settled down a little.

* Saturday, I'm going to spend a couple of hours studying in the library closest to my apartment. It really doesn't matter what I study, but I'm going to go over my notes from one of my most recent classes. The past two semesters, I was never in any of the libraries; I was frightened and anxious of I don't know what. In the past, I've always had trouble studying at home. This makes being able to study in a library full of people an absolute necessity, and I'm going to slowly work my way into feeling comfortable there again.

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