I’d had it all worked out. Last night I got some chores done so they wouldn’t need to be done today, then I took a shower (not a daily thing; I clean myself up every day but full showers take too many resources), so I would be as refreshed as possible for today’s telehealth psychoconsult, set for noon.

Today, however, also needed to be a grocery errand because SNAP resets for me on the fourth of the month—but it couldn’t happen after the psychoconsult, because Portland is having another heatwave, and both the bright sun and the hot air deplete me quickly.

So, I took myself for a quiet breakfast sandwich and latte while reading a book. After which I easily could handle the grocery run and still have time to relax before the appointment.

Then the bees came.

Sure, there were “only” two, but my father was allergic (he carried a “sting kit” from as far back as I could remember), and I’m mortally terrified of being stung and collapsing in anaphylactic shock. (Kaiser, of course, will not test you unless you’ve been stung and had a reaction; I’m left forever to be tortured by any bee’s mere presence.)

Everything spiked. My heart rate went up, my breathing got weird. I was up and walking away from my table trying to eat in what no longer was any kind of peace.

Which is what angered me about it: it had been peaceful enough outside to not even need the noise cancellation in my AirPods. There was shade so I wasn’t being battered by the sun. My plan was working: I’d relax, read, eat, get an errand done, and relax.

All of that was out the window. I had to pack up what was left of my sandwich (which is pointless, because it won’t be worth eating now), and head off, already ruined, to the grocery errand.

I almost had a sobbing fit at the store within five minutes of starting the run.

Until a few weeks ago (when, in a fit of optimism, I deleted it), I’d had a daily, all-day event in my calendar. It read: DO NOT TRY.

This is why. I’m orbiting a breakdown with less than two hours before I have to subject myself to the performatively-social stressor of my first-ever telehealth appointment with a never-before-seen new psychoconsultant.

I tried. Everything conspired against me anyway. I was defeated by ten.