Day 229: 14 Days to Self-catheterization; 1 Day to Shopping
I'm thinking I should give myself a break. I'm thinking this because I have two big triggers to face and I'm looking to back out of one of them. But, I have been avoiding it for weeks and weeks now (shopping). And, I have another important event this week. My job calls for me to meet with guests who are strategically important to my organization. As much as I am not one who stands on formalities, I have to admit this is a time when it matters, when how a person looks impacts how they perform their job. I could rail on about society being superficial, but it wouldn't help me do my job successfully. Besides, this creates a motivation for me to face this fear I have of clothes shopping.
It's possible I will go tomorrow. AF has suggested tomorrow evening instead of Tuesday morning. She actually isn't in a good place to spend this kind of time with me. There is much work to do on our project and the deadline is looming larger and larger each hour. I tried to make an excuse along the lines of it not being a good idea for her to spend this time with me, but she had a ready response, "Oh, it's not going to take much time. You're not going to be able to tolerate shopping for long." It took a second for me to catch what she said. When I did I laughed loudly and told her I wouldn't speak to her any longer because she was a brat. Of course, I was kidding.
She really has a way of finding humor in moments when I am afraid or worried.
Yesterday, in anticipation of the possibility of going clothes shopping, I took a step in that direction, a sort of practice step. I hadn't intended to, though. I stopped by the store to pick up some items to bring to a friend's for dinner. As I walked toward the section of the store with the items I needed there was a series of clearance racks right along the aisle. I noticed a rack with shirts that caught my eye. They were just t-shirts, but more feminine than I would normally purchase. I walked past and thought about my plan to go shopping. So, I doubled back and decided to grab a couple t-shirts quickly. As I approached the rack with the t-shirts I felt my heart begin to race. But, I decided I could tolerate it. I told myself 'he' wasn't with me. No one would hurt me. No one would make fun of me.
As I was thinking these things I noticed a shirt on another rack that was a little more dressy than a t-shirt. I wanted to look closer to see what size it was, but I felt dizzy and could feel panic starting to rise inside me. I shook my head to clear it. It sounded like wind was blowing in my ears. I went to grab the t-shirts, but thought again. "Don't be afraid. It will be OK." I looked around to see if anyone was near me. I couldn't tolerate anyone being close, like at the same rack as me. I stepped up to the rack with the other shirt. It was too small. So, I looked for one in a larger size. My head really started to swim at this point. My heart felt like it was in the back of my mouth. I shook my head several more times to clear it. I took deep, slow breaths. I lost patience with the search but found another shirt in my size that was more feminine than the t-shirts. I grabbed it, along with the two t-shirts, and hoofed it away from that section, my head pounding.
I developed a migraine after that. My ribs pulled out. My shoulder started burning. But, I did it. I purchased the items and ended up wearing the nicer shirt to the dinner with my friends. They don't know me well enough to react, which helped. I didn't feel I was being appraised by them for how I looked. I had a pleasant visit and got home late. The migraine cleared before I got to their place. I took my prescription for it.
The one thing that didn't turn out well is that I broke my promise to not drive distracted or dissociated. I don't remember leaving the store, driving home, or whatever else happened up to the point I took the migraine medicine. I'm not sure how long I was home when I took it. So, I drove dissociated.
That's a difficult promise to keep because I don't know what's going to trigger me on any given day. And, I still struggle to recognize when I'm dissociated. Although, I knew I was doing something that would trigger me. So, I guess the lesson here is not to purposely do something triggering unless I have another driver with me.
Man . . . I'm having to add a lot of rules to my life!
If we go tomorrow I am hoping with all my might I don't have a bad reaction. There won't be time for me to grieve. I want very much to just get through it. But, I also know if I push myself past the emotions, I will be at risk of SH. I can feel the pull already. I don't want to cry, but I know I shouldn't SH. There is ground in between these two places. I just don't know what it looks like yet. I don't know how to find it. Please, let me find that ground tomorrow! I need to believe it's there and I need to believe I will find it. Also, I need to do what's necessary to avoid SH.
On the other front . . . 14 days to the self-catheterization appointment. I'm afraid about this, but less afraid than I am of shopping. I don't have anything to add on this topic tonight since I wrote about it last night. I will keep working on preparations and try not to think about it too much between now and then.
Addition a few hours later:
I forgot, again, to mention my T suggesting to me the idea of writing a letter to my parents and either not sending it, or sending it. My response at the time was I had already written the letter to my mom. So, I dismissed the idea summarily. However, I realized this evening I never wrote a letter to my step father. Now I feel the need to take on that project. But, no need to do so now, while having these other issues to address.