I had to fill out some papers for Social Security, a 15 page document to be exact. Well, like a responsible human being, I filled them out and sent them in. I knew they would arrive with plenty of time because I took them to the post office to be weighed and stamped and sent on their merry way. These papers were due Monday so I waited on the phone for over an hour last Thursday to check if they had arrived. They had not. I called the local office the following day, not having to wait nearly as long on the phone, asked if the papers had arrived and was told no, negative, zip, zilch, none.
Monday morning as my recently old psych doctor walked into his office, I tried to catch him. I needed to know again what each of the medications were prescribed for. Well, the women standing between me and his help told me he could not help me – that his day was booked with back to back appointments. Shit.
I sat in my car and googled each one but none of them said they were for hallucinations, which I remember he had referenced twice the first time I filled out the forms. I did the best I could.
Then it was off to the Social Security office where there was a line half the building long. I got in it right in front of a heavy breather. Oh my goodness. I thought I was going to go mad as we waited for the doors to open. Once they did we had to go through a metal detector and have our handbags searched. All this was so unnerving to me because I often feel as though someone is carrying a bomb or machine gun in their bag.
I took a seat in the back near a woman reading a book, safe enough I thought. I sat there for a while until I walked up to an open window and asked if I could have the forms to start filling them out. I was told no one was “could” or was it “would” help me until my number was called. This is when I took an Atarax. Eventually my number was called. I ironically it was the man I had asked about the papers in the first place. He handed me the packet and told me to get a clipboard from security. I still wonder why they had them? Were they afraid to give someone metal to make a weapon out of? Weird, anyway.
So, I set about filling out every line on the page. I had thought and brought the name of the companies and providers along with their phone numbers needed which made it a ton easier than it would have been relying on my recall. OH! Also, I was sitting in a new seat (mine had been taken) behind a man who surely had the plague. His cough was filled with phylem and loud and ,you got it, yucky. If this whole anxiety producing situation did not kill me, the plague certainly would.
One question was, “Describe a typical day in your life.” That is nearly an impossible question for someone with rapid cycling bipolar to answer. It is hard for any of us with any diagnosis of bipolar to answer. Today I may be manic, tomorrow it could be quite the opposite – the dulldrums of depression.
I did finish those 15 pages again and handed them off so they are where they need to be. Case officially closed.
So what did we learn here today, dear readers? Never get yourself in a position in which you must go to the Social Security office. If you are prone to anxiety or panic attacks – this is your nightmare. It was mine. But also know you will make it through it. If I can, anyone can.