My anxiety has been so much worse lately. It’s weird. I’m currently living in California (something I have wanted for several years) for my fieldwork rotation, and while it has been one of the sweetest, most freeing experiences, I have also felt HIGH levels of anxiety. There are a few things I can DEFINITELY pinpoint as contributors to this.
- I don’t have my people. I’m on my own out here and all my family and friends are in timezones 2 or 3 hours ahead of me. By the time I get off work, get back to my Airbnb, and get settled, it’s going 9:00 for my parents. It definitely makes it hard to find convenient times to talk to my family or my friends. I’ve always been someone who has prided myself on being independent and confident in doing my own thing, but not being able to easily talk to my people is HARD.
- Lack of physical touch. I haven’t had a hug from anyone in over 3 weeks. Part of being human is the fact that we are wired for connection. Hugs are such a big part of supporting our health, as oxytocin is released (stress levels = lowered). The only form of physical touch I’ve had in the past 3 weeks is when patients have held onto me during transfers.
- Self-doubt. I have been hardcore doubting my abilities with becoming an OT. I’ve had days where I have been struggling not to cry at my fieldwork site because I just feel so incompetent and don’t know what to do. I don’t see how I’m going to pass fieldwork. I don’t see how I am going to learn all of this in time. I don’t see how I am going to remember it all by the time I graduate and am practicing in a clinical setting, as I still have one more fieldwork after this and two terms of my doctoral capstone. I just feel so incapable.
All this combined is making my anxiety sky rocket. It doesn’t help either that my therapist is back in Texas. That’s nothing that either of us has control over, but not having face-to-face appointments is really wearing me down. I’m grateful for telehealth, but I REALLY miss my face-to-face appointments with her. Another thing that doesn’t help is not having a prescription medication that works, even though I have been trying for over a year now. It’s just a lot. I know I’ll get through this, but it’s really hard right now…