I don’t know whether I’ve really talked about my connections with Stigma Fighters before, but they’re important (to me, at least) and related to recent happenings.
In early January 2015 I was offered the position of Executive Assistant, and I accepted. Then in early September 2015 I received an email from Allie asking if I would like to join the Board of Directors as Publication Director. I didn’t give her an answer right away. Seeing as I’ve just entered the Interpreting Training Program at my school, I said I would have to wait to see what the workload looked like before I could give my answer.
I had walked away from my first day of classes a couple weeks prior feeling overwhelmed with how much work I had ahead of me – and I still had a fourth class to add on in two weeks. At that point, I thought it seemed like I’d never be able to keep up with everything. I sat in my room wondering how on earth I would be able to keep up with all of my school assignments, and then add the anthology work on top of that. But I talked to some friends, and they helped open my eyes to what I can do. These amazing women at the top of Stigma Fighters wouldn’t have asked me to take on this role if they didn’t believe I could do it.
Do I think I can do it by myself? Absolutely not. No way on Earth.
Did I accept the new position/promotion? You bet I did.
Part of why I was so worried about being able to keep track of everything is that the day after I received the email with the promotion offer, I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). I had taken medication for anxiety two to three years ago, but nothing recently.
The new SF position on the table wasn’t what spurred me to ask my psychiatrist if we could possibly add in a medication for anxiety. I’d been noticing symptoms of anxiety for a while, and I could feel them getting worse now that I was in the intensely focused classes for my degree. So I’m now taking an atypical antipsychotic (Seroquel) and a benzodiazepine (Xanax). They’re definitely taking some getting used to. It’s especially difficult on morning when I have to get up early and didn’t get enough sleep, and I’m not feeling super anxious – because both medications tend to act as soporifics.
Now that I’ve been taking them both for just over a month, things are starting to get easier. But there are definitely still days where I take my meds in the morning and I feel horrendously groggy for hours even if I’m drinking coffee.
The intensity of my schoolwork is beginning to really catch up with me. I feel like I’m either in class or doing homework and projects. I’m definitely glad that my psychiatrist was willing to take me at my word about my anxiety and prescribe something for it, because without it I would be a blubbering mess right now.
Especially having been the maid of honor in my best friend’s wedding recently. I think on the day of the wedding, I was a bigger bundle of nerves than she was. When it came time to do my speech, I told the emcee for the night that I was basically flying by the seat of my pants. He looked and me and said that wasn’t possible because I was wearing a dress. My on-the-spot comeback was that I was wearing invisible pants so it was possible to fly by the seat of my pants. Anyway, I managed to pull my speech off without an issue and everyone seemed to like it. But oh man did I wish that I’d waited till later in the day to take that anti-anxiety pill, because inside I was shaking like a leaf in a tornado.
Hopefully with time, my anxiety will become less of an issue. But for now, it’s something that I have to learn how to manage. It’s not going to be an easy road of ahead of me, but it’s one that I have to be brave enough to walk.
Katy is a college student studying American Sign Language Interpreting. She’s addicted to coffee and is always dreaming of more tattoos that she wants to get. An avid reader for as long as she can remember, she treats books (and her kindle) like a security blanket – always with her, even if she won’t have time to read it. Blogging and journaling have becoming forms of self-therapy for her over the years.
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