Sense of responsibility ….

I saw my therapist earlier this week – cognitive guy, not pill guy.

We had a bit of a catch up as I had not seen him in a few weeks.

I explained what had happened with chemist guy, and that I had been on the incorrect meds for the last three months, and we discussed how much strain I had been under since December, and how in part it was due to the shift in meds and the fact that I was under and incorrectly medicated.

Long conversation and he started talking to me about how I felt I carried the responsibility for the incorrect medication, which added to the difficulty of being able to go back and speak to the pharmacist.

Logically I could explain that the error lay with the pharmacist.  I sensed there was something not right and had queried it twice.  I felt something was wrong, but after being assured that actually it was correct, then I put my head down and just took the stuff, because two people had told me I was wrong {even though I knew that they were wrong}.

We spoke about the need for me to go back to the pharmacist and explain that he was incorrect.  I explained that the idea of doing that would make me so very uncomfortable.

Dr Cognitive explained that the pharmacist had trained and that was his job to issue the correct medication.  He asked that if the pharmacist had trained and he had made the error and swapped something out, why was I feeling responsible.

I explained that maybe he had asked me to substitute medication, and maybe I had said yes.  I said I should have checked the script.

Dr Cognitive asked how I would have done that if the pharmacist kept the script.

I just said I should have made a copy and cross checked it {you can see logic has no real place in full blown anxiety disorder}.

Dr Cognitive was trying to hammer the point home that I was not responsible for the incorrect script, that surely I could see that the pharmacist held the responsibility.

I had followed the medication and taken it according to the stickers on the boxes, I had followed up and checked to be sure.  The error lies with the pharmacist.

Somehow in this I am responsible that the incorrect medication got given to me, some how it was my error.  I should have known.  I should have checked.  The onus is on me to have made sure it was right.

And this really is an illustration of what is at the core of a great deal of my stuff in my every day life.

Everything is my fault – if something goes wrong, somehow I should have known and anticipated that it was going to go wrong and seen it.  Some how I should have.

When things happen, I always feel like I hold all the responsibility.

You not having a good time?  Don’t worry somehow I should have made sure you did, and it is my fault.

No matter what the situation I always feel like I am on the backfoot.  Instead of being able to assess a situation and see that maybe I share some responsibility, I always feel like it is all my responsibility to ensure things go right, go perfect – it adds a huge amount of weight/responsibility to my day and it is a bit on the exhausting side.

So you see it is not just about going over the pharmacist guy and saying “Hey dude, you might have made a little error over here ….”  it is a bit more than that.

Dr Cognitive and I have a lot of work to do.  Logically I can GET that I need to be realistic, and that I also need to accept that not everything is about me, but that requires me to empower myself, and at the same time be able to express how I feel and be heard.  Which I fail at miserably, and impacts most of my days.

It’s a big ask – and this is the year for letting go of {some} of the sense of responsbility, and accepting that I cannot control and thus be responsible for everything.  Baby steps right?

<<an inflated sense of responsibility is a  standard side effect of anxiety and panic disorder>>

Leave a comment


  1. Hilary

     /  March 16, 2012

    I can relate to this. It’s something that I also struggle with. Always taking responsible for certain situations – one classic eg: my stepdaughter comes around for a weekend every now and then. Dad’s quite happy to go about the normal Saturday routine, some tidying up, shopping, and then eventually him going into a rugby induced coma. During the week before I’m already feeling pressure to plan fun, exciting activities so that she enjoys the time with us. I feel like this is my responsibility. Dad could not give a toss. It’s his daughter and the point of her coming to us is so that they can spend quality time together. He’s not interested in arranging a special programme of activities to entertain her. I feel the opposite. It’s totally insane and I understand that but I still feel this way every time she’s schedule to come to us.

  2. Tania

     /  March 15, 2012

    It’s really difficult. More so for you as you have always had to rely on yourself and fend for yourself in oh so many situations as a young child and teenager. BIG HUG

  3. countesskaz

     /  March 15, 2012

    phew I know what you mean about feeling responsible.

    good luck Your Man will definately help.


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