Friday, October 03, 2014

Worry -- The Overriding Emotion

It doesn't matter what I do or how I approach things I worry.  I worry about whether I do too much... or too little.  I worry about whether I say too much... or too little.  I worry that bad things will happen to those I love.  I worry that the world doesn't care about me.  I worry that the world cares too much about me.

I worry.  It's what I do.

Today's worry has to do with my leave of absence as mentioned in this post.  But wait.  Let's start at the point where we left off in that post, with me having written a two page diatribe about why I should be allowed to take an unpaid leave of absence and waiting to have an appointment with my psychiatrist to decide next steps.

My appointment with my psychiatrist, who I'll call Dr. K (let's give her a name since she's playing a larger role in my story these days), was first thing Monday morning.  Now there's a way to kick off your week.  Such were my nerves that I decided I needed to treat myself to a mint mocha at my favorite coffee shop on the way to the appointment.  Nothing like caffeine and sugar to calm those nerves! (sarcasm, people; sarcasm)

Although I was her first appointment of the day, Dr. K was running late so I got to sit in the waiting room and worry about how the appointment would go, how to broach the subject of the leave and maybe it covered by FMLA, and why a gentleman chose to sit in the chair right next to me in the waiting room when there were plenty of available seats and sitting directly next to anyone was completely unnecessary.

Once in her office, we got to the meat of the issue.  Since Dr. K is a colleague of Freud and they are basically my mental health team, Freud had filled Dr. K in on my situation.  She let me tell her in my own words though.  I went through much of what I shared here in my blog in that post I linked to earlier.  I cried.  Three times I burst into tears while I shared my story.  Three times!  Within just a few minutes!  I think that indicates how fragile I am right now.

Dr. K told me that if I wanted to go the FMLA route, she would be happy to sign the FMLA paperwork as my recommending medical provider.  She also looked at the combination of meds that I'm on and increased one of the anti-depressants.  I had been taking what they consider a low dose, and she is moving me to what is considered the standard dose.  She also wants me to have a follow up appointment in one month.

I told Dr. K I would return with the FMLA paperwork within the next week so she can sign it, and I can embark on this journey to betterness (hopefully).  Then I scheduled an appointment for the end of October to talk with her again.

On my way back to work, I started the worrying in earnest.  Somehow, I feel like a fraud taking the time off as FMLA.  FMLA is supposed to be for serious medical conditions.  Is what I'm going through a serious medical condition? How serious does a mental health issue need to be to be a "serious medical condition"?  It isn't as though I am on the brink of harming others or myself.  It isn't as though I'm hearing voices that aren't there.  It isn't as though I am completely detached from reality.  Those are the things I think of in the mental health realm that would constitute a serious medical condition.  Am I cheating the system?  Am I selfish for wanting to take a leave of absence to gather myself back together and get back to some semblance of "normal"?  Am I just using this as a way to get back at the U.S. system of not providing adequate vacation time for workers?

These are the questions that buzz about my head day and night since Monday.  So far, I have filled out my portion of the paperwork but haven't gotten it back to Dr. K yet.  I've told Boss that I will be taking FMLA leave, and he and I have been working towards that by establishing who will cover what while I'm gone and developing a plan for training those individuals.  I have an appointment with Freud next Tuesday so I will probably drop the paperwork off for Dr. K at that time.

I am going to continue to worry about this for a while I think, maybe even throughout the leave.  I hope not.  I doubt the leave will be as effective if I spend much of it worrying over whether or not I deserve it.

Bleah... Excuse me, I have to go now.  I feel another good cry coming on...