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Kicking Myself

My Fourth of July weekend started with a bang, and not a good one. I was in a car accident yesterday afternoon. I was on a narrow country road, and a tractor was coming from the other direction. I drove to the right to give the tractor more room, and I ended up driving into a ditch. The car fell onto its side, luckily not the side I was on.

I wasn’t hurt, and the car escaped with a few scratches and a loose wheel. But I was terrified I would be fired, since it was one of the company cars that I drove into a ditch. I was so scared of being fired that today at work, when I realized I’d forgotten to get a signature and fee for a food license from a client, and our secretary told me off for it, it seemed like the icing on the cake. I felt dizzy; I seriously thought I was going to faint.

Luckily, I didn’t faint. Even better, I’m not going to be fired. I also got the signature and fee from the client. But I’ve been kicking myself for my mistake all day. My counselor suggested that I forget about it and just do better next time. It’s good advice, but I have a tendency to magnify my mistakes and beat myself up over them.

Does anyone else have this problem? I have a feeling that I’m not alone.

Eight Days in a Mental Hospital

Last Tuesday, I was feeling anxious and guilty and having suicidal thoughts, so I called the 24-hour crisis hotline. I was just hoping for someone to talk me back from the brink. Instead, they called the police to take me to the emergency room at the local hospital. After that, I was sent on to Generations Behavioral Health, a mental hospital in Youngstown.

To be honest, I was relieved to go, because I thought I would finally be getting some help. And I did get some; they changed my medication, which got rid of the physical part of my anxiety. I’m not waking up one to two hours early, and I don’t have the knot in my stomach that was plaguing me ever since last August.

Unfortunately, there was no therapy at Generations. I talked for a short time with a nurse practitioner every day, and that was it. Sometimes we’d have group activities, but not often. Usually, they’d give us our medicine in the morning and at night, and then they’d leave us to our own devices.

I was upset with this, for two main reasons. First of all, I need way more help than just taking medicine, and I’m sure the other patients did too. In fact, one patient definitely needed a guide or an aid with her at all times, because she would yell out random things and break into song. And the aids there would just tell her to shut up. She wouldn’t, of course, and it made things extra uncomfortable for the rest of us.

Second of all, it was mind-numbingly boring. I brought along my tablet, but we weren’t allowed to have tablets or smartphones. I didn’t bring anything else to do. There was a bookcase of romance paperback novels, a few of which I read. There was a word search book and a lot of coloring pages, with crayons and markers, as well as two TVs and some playing cards. And that was it. That was all there was available to do. The boredom only made my anxiety worse.

I definitely don’t want to go back to that hospital. It had the feel of an institution, and I felt neglected there. I’ve heard there are better mental hospitals out there. For the sake of mentally ill people everywhere, I hope that’s true.

Nostalgia

Head bowed to the ground,
Back hunched to the sky,
I crawl backwards through time,
Away from the unknown, the painful,
The noisy, the bright, the hot.
Backwards through time
To a warm, quiet shelter
Of memories and dreams.
I am safe.

The Accident

I was in a bad car accident today. A pickup truck slammed right into the driver’s side of my car. Of course, the car was totaled, but I escaped with chest bruising, probably from hitting the steering wheel. However, I don’t feel lucky to be alive.

You see, the cops said it was 100% my fault, because I was pulling out into oncoming traffic without making sure the coast was clear. That means my insurance won’t pay for a new car, and I have a court day in May. So now, in my mind, what was once an unfortunate, well, accident has now become a failure, a sign of how incompetent I am.

And it’s only the latest one. Last Thursday, I drove over a curb, blew out a tire, and was almost stranded in Millersburg, because every auto service place there closes at 5 or 6. On Friday, Wal-Mart (where I’d been towed) couldn’t fix the car, because for some reason, they couldn’t get the right rim. I was an utterly useless, crying mess for an hour and a half. Everybody at work had to help me–I owe them so much. The car was fixed on Monday. On Wednesday, I tried to drive to a restaurant for an inspection, and got lost; I never made it there. Of course, it was partly over confusion over the address, and I tried to buoy up my self-esteem by telling myself that. I actually made it there and did the inspection yesterday. And now, this horrible thing has happened. That doesn’t even count the small failures I’ve had all week.

I can’t do anything right. No wonder like I’m just being tolerated and humored, like a mentally-handicapped kid at school. No wonder I feel like my parents regard me as their incompetent daughter, whom they have to keep pulling out of these situations and for whom they have to keep driving up to Wooster and spending money. I feel humiliated and degraded by it all, and I’ve practically lost all confidence in myself.