Damn I am stressed

Hi me. Sweet lord am I stressed right now. I just found out I have a mandatory grad student orientation, exactly at the same time as a doctor’s appointment on Monday morning. I don’t know if I can cancel or move the doctor’s appointment in time, as the office is closed so I am very worried if I will be able to make it to the mandatory orientation. I also am faced with the potential decision of reapplying to UCSB as a computer science masters student, as currently I am doing computer engineering – the same as my undergrad. The problem I didn’t foresee was for masters, the departments are fully different so I am unable to realistically take CS courses – which is the thing I am interested in. I can either tough it out for two years and get a masters in a field that I am not that interested in compared to CS – or I can somehow reapply as a new master’s student next year and restart my master’s program – adding on another year.

I shut down often with decisions like this, and I don’t know what to do. I’m leaning towards just toughing it out, as it is the path of least resistance, but I’m afraid of regretting it down the line. I’m pretty scared at my own incompetence, especially since growing up I was never the one to make decisions as I had a helicopter mom. This is a huge anxiety trigger for me, but thankfully over time I have gotten better at it; it still sucks a ton.

While sitting at the lookout point at the end of my walk the other day, I was thinking about which is worse. Being depressed, or being anxious – two big things therapy helps me with. Anxiety to me is feeling too much, and depression is feeling nothing good. At the moment, while I had been depressed for the last few months, I felt anxiety or stress was trivial compared to an overwhelming lack of pleasure in life. I also was aware that it was biased due to me forgetting what stress was like – I, unfortunately, can no longer say it’s a forgotten feeling.

One of the last things I asked my therapist last session was for her to tell me that things were going to be okay. I know this isn’t something she can necessarily tell me, and she did the thing of asking me to answer my own question (and I said yes things will be ok). I sometimes wish someone would give me that reassurance on it.

It’s been a while, might as well do some CBT with the whole doctor fiasco

Situation: Doctor's appointment on Monday morning, and just found out a mandatory orientation is on Monday morning and the office is closed – so I don’t know if I can reschedule in time.

Thoughts: I have no more options, it is over. There is nothing I can do, I am going to be faced with a huge cancellation fee that insurance will not cover.

Feelings: I feel hopeless, overwhelmed, and ultimately like my life is falling apart. I feel impending doom and dread filling my body.

Behavior: I increase stress levels to an unhealthy amount, constantly panic and freak out, and do not allow myself to enjoy anything or feel ok for the next few days.

Now for something better:

Thoughts: It is what it is. I can try to contact the doctor’s office, and I have already emailed to see if I can skip the orientation. Worst case, I call at 8 am on Monday morning to tell them the situation and try to reschedule the appointment to another day or to later.

Feelings: I feel stressed, but I also feel a bit more reasonable. I feel more okay, as I am doing as much as I can do, and excess stress doesn’t help me.

Behavior: I calm down, don’t put up a mental block on doing anything to help the situation, and act through it reasonably. I don’t stress excessively.

That does sound better, doesn’t it? Also more rational – a big point is excess stress doesn’t help here. I love you QWERTYsuman 💟