Freefall

Classes are over for the semester. Finally. I had my last final exam yesterday afternoon and by 2pm, I knew all of my grades. I got all A’s, which means I keep my 4.0! Hurray! And I scored four perfect 100’s on my practical exams this session, which is really quite extraordinary just in general, but even more so when I look back on what I’ve been tackling these last few weeks. It is moments like this when the ability to compartmentalize and let “someone else” take over has it’s very obvious benefits. I am so incredibly relieved to be done with coursework for a month because my brain is absolutely at capacity right now.

Except, it’s been just over 24 hours since classes ended and I already feel like I’m going insane. I don’t really have plans for this month off except sporadic social engagements, therapy three times a week, and going to the gym every single damn day. I went to the gym for two hours this morning because I literally didn’t know what else to do with myself.

I feel like I have been sprinting for seven months straight, working tirelessly to get through classes while battling flashbacks/memories and eating disorders and internal hostility and the natural challenges of navigating therapy. It has very much been a practice in “one day at a time”.

And now it’s over. I made it. It feels like I went from a full-on sprint to a full-on stop. But with all of that momentum, it’s hard to brake, so I feel like I am just freefalling through the air, wondering where I’m going to make my crash landing.

Last year at this time I went to my hometown to visit my “Mom” and sister/nieces. I was there for about a week or so and within mere days upon returning, woke up in the locked psychiatric ward of a hospital. Not good. I think a lot of that had to do with being back there and dealing with the massive triggers around that place, so Wife and I decided not to make the trip this summer, partly for that exact reason. But it’s also because when we don’t have a routinized, tightly-scheduled life, the System tends to unravel rapidly.

It’s hard enough to keep myself entertained, let alone all Parts. To be fair, I don’t think everyone requires constant amusement, but many do. And when there aren’t things to fill the day and keep our brain occupied with non-torture related items, we tend to fall into a pit of darkness.

Also, when there’s less to keep in balance, the “apparently normal parts” have less to do. This ultimately frees up more energy for the “emotional parts” to be out and to assert their needs, much of which relate to therapy and recovery. However, whenever there is an uptick in the amount of sharing in therapy, there is also an uptick in the amount of internal hostility.

And another thing…

When I got to session on Tuesday, the therapist opened by saying we needed to talk about “logistics”. Long story short, my insurance is changing. I’ve been paying her out-of-pocket since December, but the plan was to begin out-of-netowrk reimbursement once this new plan kicked in (August 1st). However, it turns out the ONE plan she is in-network in is my new plan. But she is trying to get OUT of that network because they restrict session length and frequency, which she doesn’t like (probably because she does a lot of work with trauma survivors, who benefit from more time).

I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I don’t like the idea of neither using her in OR out of network. That means all of this money I’m throwing at treatment won’t be going towards any deductibles or out-of-pocket maximums, it will just be going into her bank account. Which, to be fair, she is absolutely worth her fee…I just was hoping it would eventually work out to be less pricey for me because Wife and I really cannot afford to keep paying at this rate indefinitely.

But the mere mention of potential insurance problems sent me into full-on panic mode.

I normally sit in a chair across from her during sessions and I always take off my shoes and curl up the moment I sit down. There is an ottoman pushed against the wall to my left. As soon as she started talking about insurance issues, I stood up and climbed onto the ottoman. I grabbed some pillows and curled into child’s pose, barefoot and all, resting the side of my face on the pillow. I just said, “Do you remember the reason Zooey gave for terminating my therapy?”

“Yes. Because of insurance issues. But that is not going to happen here…”

Then she said a bunch of other stuff I don’t remember. I felt like I was going to die. It was all too much. Eventually she switched topics and I was able to pull myself out of panic mode, but I’m still shaken up. I hate the idea of losing ANY of my treatment due to financial/insurance problems. It’s taken us eight long, hard months to work up to a frequency that feels right for us and the idea of shaking that up for any reason is really upsetting.

Which means I need to talk to her about this tomorrow and I don’t want to. It terrifies me. And there’s so much else I need to talk about, such as how the fuck I’m supposed to get through the next 32 days without completely losing my mind.

Because I already feel like shit and it’s only day #1.

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33 thoughts on “Freefall

  1. jenasauruswake says:

    Aside from the therapy stuff – congrats on such fab results! When I finished uni for the summer (or forever this time) I scheduled everything just to fill in time – getting up, chores, bath, downtime, everything. It gave me structure for the first week or so

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Zoe says:

    Congrats on your grades!

    I know your panic when it comes to insurance and finances. I really hate how sometimes it’s not crappy care, it is finances that keep us tied to crap. Insurance companies are ALL rip offs. They take and take and then are shitty about giving what you need.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Cat's Meow says:

    Every time my therapist has to do a review with the insurance company, I go into a panic. Fortunately, she has only had to do them once a year and, even more fortunately, they seem to understand that if I don’t get the frequency of care that I need, I’m still at the point where everything will start to unravel again.

    I hate, hate, hate feeling like my healing process can be influenced by some corporate entity. My therapist always reassures me that we will find a way to get me the care that I need. Thank goodness we don’t live in a place as expensive as NYC, it gives her more flexibility on sliding fees.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. luverley says:

    Oh alot to deal with. Great on the grades though it is so awesome. You need some self care time. It’s hard but a month will fly by. I know what is like though i Totaly get your fears. Hugs and it will work out.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jean says:

    Hooray for your grades and boo for all insurance companies!

    When I was in a hard period and not working, I made a schedule, wrote it out, and followed it. I blogged about it at https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/08/05/structure/ My schedule today would look very different, as I have a lot of RA-Internet projects and obligations. But it still would have time slots for ADL (activities of daily living), meals, friends, a craft project, gardening, the pool and gym, working on my process, etc.

    Can you fill in the basics, and then brain storm with Wife?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Anxious Mom says:

    Congrats on your grades!! I hope you’re able to get into a routine that works for you over the next month while being able to take a breather at the same time. The insurance stuff sucks ass. Stuff like that, I swear, like they know how long someone needs a session or how many they require. I hope it gets resolved and works out for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Rachel says:

    Amazing job!! So impressive you have maintained a 4.0 with all the shit you have going on. You have my awe and admiration 🙂

    Also, I completely relate to feeling at a loss for what to do when school isn’t in session! When I don’t have too much going on, and things quiet down, shit really hits the fan internally. I add as much structure in via exercise, social, house chores, outdoors time (I know, prob not very accessible in NYC), etc. I do whatever I can to stay busy, yet allow some down time. It is a hard balance. I’ll be there in three weeks myself. Hang in there, I think you’ll settle into it in a few more days. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Andi says:

      Aww, thanks! Yes. Shit TOTALLY hits the fan. Too much free time is just not good. I need to figure out ways to add more structure for sure. Hoping it will settle down soon and just be annoying, as opposed to unbearable.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Rachel says:

    OH, and I would also be so triggered about the insurance stuff. I can barely handle my schedule changing my appointment times every 3-4 months b/c of school quarters, so the thought of the coverage affecting your therapy must be paralyzing. And given what happened with Zooey, your reaction is so understandable. Your therapist is committed to making it work, and I know it will. Though I know it probably is hard to believe that, on your end. It is scary to think of these external factors causing us to lose support, but I think its part of trusting. I really believe it will work out for you two, I do. And the money stuff is stressful and a pain in the ass. But it will work out. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Andi says:

      I’m sure it will work out, too. But I still feel the need to panic. And yeah, a lot of that does relate to Zooey. Also, HATE having to change my appointments every 6-12 weeks due to class schedules. So much anxiety each time that happens (which will happen again in September. Oy.)

      Liked by 1 person

  9. alicewithptsd says:

    Yay for such awesome grades!

    Insurance companies are the worst. I feel like i have been fighting with them since my daughter’s autism diagnosis, and add in my therapy and hers, well, yeah, i swear the insurance company call takers all know me by name. I’m sorry you are dealing with this, it is really hard and so triggering. I hope the comversation goes well and nothing has to change.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. mm172001 says:

    I have real bad issues and problems functioning when I’m not in school or on a structured time schedule too. But I still need time to balance and re-charge. Sometimes I just wish life were so much easier. :/

    Liked by 1 person

    • Andi says:

      Me too. I am trying to figure out how to use this time to be loving and nurturing towards myself because I honestly really need that before school re-starts in September.

      Like

  11. ambivalencegirl says:

    Awesome A’s, and yes compartmentalization at it’s best! I miss being able to do that and very much dislike how my mental filing cabinets fall over. My thoughts and memories that were once tightly packed away came flying out and I can’t put them back no matter how hard I try.
    I like reading your blog and I can sometimes see so much of myself. It is often a crappy feeling in that it validates that bad things happened and my responses are so similar and I don’t think I explained that well.
    But I do the same thing in therapy in terms of taking off my shoes and curling up on the couch. And paying out of pocket stinks and yes, it can’t go on indefinitely. My T doesn’t bill insurance at all. She is always out of network and I’m not sure what to do about that and I’m not sure about finis someone new but both you and Rachel seem to have benefited so that keeps me hopeful. But still makes me sad and I don’t want to lose someone else.
    I also understand how visiting your “mom” triggered you into the hospital. I still can’t identify exactly how it all happened or why I broke after so many years of dealing with my mom. But I guess we can all only take so much and that each of us has a breaking point. Or maybe we are like Dixie cups, you know how they hold water just fine until they get soggy and wet and the bottom begins to give way and the cup just breaks apart?!
    I’m thinking of you as you “free fall” but really it’s just change and unstructured time yet to be structured.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Andi says:

      It’s so hard when everything sorta comes flying out at you and you’re just standing there, going “Wait! No! I can’t handle all of this!!!!” Thank you for your kind words. I’m so glad you enjoy reading my blog. Being able to connect with each other and catch glimpses of ourselves in the stories of others is a truly beautiful thing. Once my T is out of this network, she will also be completely out of network. I REALLY do not want to lose her. And, yes, we ALL have that breaking point. Working on building in structure (and maybe even a bit of self-care) during this time off. Thanks again ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • ambivalencegirl says:

        Yes, the dreaded but needed self care. Actually it’s not as difficult as it once was and I so didn’t mean to leave that out! My T doesn’t do the insurance thing because she says that what she does is not covered by most panels (holistic psychiatry/therapy). And it stinks at $150 per session and even if she doesn’t abandon me I may have to abandon her and it feels much the same because I want her work with me and reduce her fees or something, anything that’ says she cares. And omg, I sound crazy. But I know you get that.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Andi says:

        Oh, my dear, you don’t sound crazy at all. I pay $125 per session and at three times a week, that adds up fast. I always daydream about my T lowering her fees for me. I know she won’t for myriad reasons, including the need for boundaries, but I still fantasize about it. I think my T is leaving insurance panels for similar reasons. She often has therapy multiple times a week and for long periods of time (i.e. 75 minutes) with her trauma clients, which doesn’t translate well into neat “billable hours” for insurance companies. I sincerely hope you can work something out that feels okay to you because you deserve good care ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      • ambivalencegirl says:

        Thanks, I hope so too. And I’m so relieved that I’m not crazy in that I feel like no one else pays out of pocket for therapy. I still feel so incredibly selfish. And boundaries, ughh I so dislike and love them at the same time.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Andi says:

        Hahaha, you and I both! And yes, I absolutely *cringe* at the thought of my therapy expenses when there are infinite other (better?) possibilities for that money. Except, really, we are both absolutely worth every damn cent xo

        Like

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