Thursday morning, I made the mistake of telling Dusty, in front of another co-worker, that I was sorry I didn’t call him back the night before…and that I’d talk to him about it later.
Right after that conversation, that co-worker, shut the door on the office we share and told me to spill my guts. She said she could tell something was eating at me and that we weren’t going to leave the office until I let it all out.
So I did. Or as much as I could form into words.
It was therapeutic and scary at the same time. My thoughts and experiences are shared with only a select few. But she was seeing me in a patient/provider capacity so I took the opportunity and ran with it.
Afterwards, I felt drained yet anxious. Anxious that this co-worker would now somehow look at me differently and drained because of everything I’d just told her.
A few minutes later, she asked to take my blood pressure. I told her no problem as my blood pressure is always normal and the only time it’s elevated is when I’ve had caffeine.
She took it twice and then had our other provider take it. It was 190 over 110.
I nearly fainted and then burst into tears because having blood pressure that high is just downright scary.
Both providers explained that it was due in large part to my anxiety. They immediately called the boss into the room, and asked that he send me home.
“Go home, get into bed, relax, that’s an order.”
So that’s what I did. Yesterday, I returned to work with a near normal blood pressure with one exception. My diastolic was still a little elevated which indicates that it’s probably been that way for a while. She again, explained that it was probably due to my anxiety.
I decided then and there that I will no try to “cope” on my own anymore. My mental state is now greatly affecting my physical state and I’m putting my foot down. After all, mental wellness is one of the things I want to strive for in 2008.
While I was lying in bed watching another episode of my beloved and now defunct “Six Feet Under”…a scene from the final episode of season 4 resonated with me. In fact, it could resonate with anyone who’s been through a painful or traumatic experience and is having trouble moving past it. The dialogue is between David and his dead father’s ghost who often visits his wife and children to dole out antecdotes beyond the grave. I’ll end this post with the scenario. Because I hope it really is that simple.
Nathaniel: “You were brave to face him.”
David: “Not really there was a guard.”
Nathaniel: “Doesn’t matter. I’m proud of you.”
David: “I thought it would set me free but it didn’t change anything, except now I know he really is insane.”
Nathaniel: “You’re missing the point.”
David: “There is no point, that’s the point. Isn’t it?”
Nathaniel: “Don’t give me this phony existential bullshit, I expect better from you. The point’s right in front of your face.”
David: “Well I’m sorry but I don’t see it.”
Nathaniel: “You’re not even grateful, are you?”
David: “Grateful? For the worst fucking experience of my life?”
Nathaniel: “You hang on to your pain like it means something, like it’s worth something, well let me tell you it’s not worth shit, let it go. Infinite possibilities and all he can do is whine.”
David: “Well what am I supposed to do?”
Nathaniel: “What do you think?! You can do anything you want you lucky bastard! You’re alive! What’s a little pain compared to that?”
David: “It can’t be so simple.”
Nathaniel: “What if it is?”