Thursday, December 30, 2010

objectivity

I guesssometimes I'm not very objective. The word makes me think of stepping back and seeing a more accurate picture. Like being reminded by my counselor that, even though I don't like the feeling of being angry, really, I'm pretty mild when I'm angry.

So glad I got to see my counselor again. It's been like three weeks, which translates to very long in my current state of mind. So helpful to have her to say, no, you shouldn't cancel your psychiatrist appointment just because you are "mad at him". And are you more angry with him, or with feeling the way you do for so long?

Yeah. So it's hard for me to admit that being moderately depressed isn't fun despite the improvement from severly depressed. It's frustrating to feel like I feel no better and maybe worse than I felt right before I started medications. Okay, some better and some worse. Net effect doesn't seem worth the dollars I pay for the medication.

Ah, well. And my general health doesn't help. I've finished two rounds of antibiotics since Thanksgiving and am feeling less than perfectly healthy. Maybe a sinus infection. But no, I don't want to go in to the doctor and admit that I'm still feeling sick, that the day after I finished my antibiotic I started feeling worse. Um, yeah, maybe next week. For now I have the weekend to relax. Because I get a three day weekend. Well, actually three and a half, counting this afternoon.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

happy-depressed-angry

Sometimes my mood flipflops way to fast. Today, I switch from cheerful to angry in almost no time.

Like medication refills for Psych meds. "They say," you have to take your medication. Don't miss your doses. And then the pharmacy says it will have your prescription in time and then tells you, oh, sorry, we're out of stock!!!! Like really! So then, because I was mad, and out of 40mg fluoxetine, I transfered my prescription to another pharmacy that has that in. But it will cost me 16 extra dollars. I don't usually spend 16 dollars just because I'm angry. I could have just taken 3 20mg fluoxetine pills. But no, I transfered my prescription. So there! It's not like fluoxetine is a rarely used drug! Why can't you have it in stock? Okay, so it did snow alot today, but this is my second "oh, we're out of stock" experience with this pharmecy, so I'm still frustrated.

And frustrated because the kids language-learning dvd had words that didn't match the pictures. I mean, how is THAT supposed to help language development? Say a word that means one thing and a picture that means another?

And then I changed to another dvd ('cause I was mad), and this one I'm pretty sure showed bananas hung on a palm tree/coconut tree. Really? Why can't you show the big banana plants? Are you really going to send the message that bananas grow on palm trees? I thought this was supposed to be educational!

And that's why I need to settle down and stop being so angry. Because it's only costing me 16 dollars and I don't really have 16 extra dollars right now.

And I just applied to the community college I got my AA in "modern languages" (spanish) from and I'm trying to take two more classes so that I can have an AA (the same AA) in psych, too, and then maybe get my B.S. degree in psych so that I finally have a bachelor's degree. And yes, I took lurazepam after deciding to take a class because I did want to sleep despite upsetting my brain. In case you wondered, I ALWAYS make last minute decisions about college. Whether last minute to pay or last minute to cancel or last minute to enroll. I have withdrawn from two colleges right before starting. And I've taken a semester at one college (just one class) and one at another college (22 credits) and two more at another college (one class each semester/term) and first of all, my AA at said community college. That wanted to know the exact days that I moved into state and started and finished educational experience. Oh, my poor ocd, I don't offhand know the exact days. Maybe they will kick me out of college for being a day or two off. Maybe I will want lurazepam tonight. But I don't intend to take it, because I only like to take it once a month and I already took it once this week.

Happy Wednesday. We have too much snow here. If you want some, there's plenty of extra on the roads.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

I survived Christmas. Actually, I enjoyed it. Not to say my brain never irritated me, but over all I enjoyed it. And today I am exhausted. It would seem that the stress of the holidays is real. Stressful to be around people in a way that isn't in my normal routine. Doesn't mean I don't love them. Doesn't mean they don't love me. Just means that non-normal is stressful to me (and normal is stressful, too).

I'm hoping I get to go to counseling this week. It's been awhile. It's scheduled, so hopefully it will happen.

And now I'm going to look for a movie instead of playing the "lets solve the mental problem that I'm sure is there and I forgot/don't yet know what it is" game. I can do this!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

I was enjoying a lovely lemon cookie when... in popped the "brilliant" idea that maybe there was alcohol in the cookie and when I drove home, I'd be drunk driving. Maybe I'd get pulled over and the policeman wuold ask if I'd been drinking and how could I answer that since maybe the cookie had alcohol in it? I finished the cookie, but the pleasure level just wasn't the same after that. Stupid OCD.

My counselor missed two weeks of counseling, so I decided I'd better toughen up and work on this, because I was somewhat convinced that the pain of unchecked ocd was worse than the prospect of Exposure Response Prevention. So I wrote up a new exposure hierarchy and gave myself some exposures to work on. Going okay, so far (I didn't put any TOO hard exposures on, don't worry. I like success).

Now I must return to work. :( A few more hours and then I get a long weekend. I can handle this!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

reassurance

So it's no great secret that OCD can shift from one area to another. As my roommate says, I don't wash my hands as much. And that's not the only OCD area that causes me less anxiety currently. But it seems that the OCD just crawles back in another, preferably unidentified area.

Like reassurance. Like I want lots and lots of reassurance and I will do my best to get it from the people around me and/or from myself. "Figure it out" and/or reassure. Somehow regain that sense of peace that (maybe I imagine that) I had. Research, study, reassure, figure out.

Sermon at church today on peace. Last week was Joy, and I did okay; the pastor specified that joy wasn't the same as happiness, so I didn't have to worry about my fleeting happy feelings. But peace? Do I have peace? Oh, lets start checking now! Not! I am pretty sure that I need to just take the risk in the religous area of my life. Let's go for response prevention (I sure don't feel like seeking out exposure; that seems to come quite frequently without any help). Response prevention. That would be... not figuring it out.

So instead, I can talk about Christmas. Oh, no, that needs "figured out." Actually, for real I have to eventually decide what I'm gonna do 'cause at this rate I'll take lorazapam and hide in a movie like I did on Halloween.

Today, though, I think I'll try to paint something. For my dollhouse, I suppose. Painting gives me a peaceful feeling. Does that make it a compulsion? No, let's call it a "Pleasurable activity" that I'm supposed to be doing for homework for counseling (yes, I'm serious!). Don't "figure everything out", just live, trying to enjoy some moments.

Friday, December 17, 2010

First I was struck with the brilliant idea for a blog post. It went like this:

I do not have repetitive thoughts.
I do NOT have repetitive thoughts.
I do not have repetitive thoughts.
I DO NOT have repetitive thoughts.
And if I say repetitive too many times, I wonder if I'm saying it right
(the word itself is repetitive in the "etiti" part).
So that was sarcastic and funny and not a problem.
Then, someone suggested to me that since I can work and live life ("function"), I don't actually have obsessive compulsive disorder but rather have obsessive compulsive tendencies. Which actually matches what the Psychiatrist said a bit better ("obsessive compulsive symptoms"). And then, with the disorder I "don't" have, my brain started going crazy! Do I not actually have OCD? Am I no better than the people who claim OCD when they hang up Christmas decorations and live the rest of their life symptom free? Have I been lying to people, saying I have OCD? Should I just avoid this person the rest of my life because maybe the person thinks I lied to them? And so on and so forth. All the way home, all the way to bed, all the way keeping me up for an extra two hours at night, all the way through attempting not to seek reassurance in the library books I had brought home (for reassurance purposes, but I was thinking about trying not to read them), all the way through giving in and seeking reassurance from two books and my room-mate. (Then I framed it as a success; I successfully put off reassurance-seeking. Possitive thinking is coming into my everyday life!) If I "don't" have OCD, why do these thoughts bother me so much?! If a person can drag themselves to work, do they not qualify as having a mental illness other than depression? (Because my having depression is not as questioned as my having OCD and OCD prefers to choose the weaker link in the argument to torment me with.) I know this isn't true. I know I have OCD even though it isn't severe. I know that it interferes sufficiently that I want my life to be better.
But maybe I'm being unrealistic; maybe this is about as good as it gets. Maybe I don't have OCD and can't get better. Maybe I'm stuck wondering and wondering and wondering and wondering the rest of my life, because maybe the wondering isn't ocd and so maybe it isn't treatable, and maybe the ERP therapy wont work for me because maybe I don't have ocd and ERP is way too hard to do it without hope of improvement.
Blah, blah, blah. Kind of like the child crying hysterically, "I don't need a nap!" Only it's me wondering and wondering and wondering and wondering if I have ocd or if I'm a terrible lyer. And really, logically, what does it matter the name of whatever problem I have?
Because maybe it's not a problem. Maybe the problem is all mine and isn't an illness at all. Maybe I'm a horrid, wrotten, hopeless person. And so on and so forth.
Really? Does this never end? And I'm on stupid medication that I don't like and still my brain can tie itself up!
I guess there is the step-off-the-merrigoround option. Response prevention. As one friend who's "been there" with OCD has often reminded me, don't try to figure it out.
I'm guessing "figuring out" is probably one of my big, less-obvious compulsions. How is the psychiatrist supposed to understand how many times my brain second and third and fourth and fifth and sixth guesses itself? How am I supposed to express that on demand in a high stress, short period of time when he talks nearly as much as I do? But does it really matter? OCD meds tend to be depression and/or anxiety meds as well, so does it really matter if he thinks I have OCD or not? My OCD (maybe I'm lying again) thinks it is terribly important, with possible catestrophic results. What these catastrephies would be, I'm not too sure. It would mean I'm hopeless, self-centered, a fake, and so on and so forth.
On a different subject, I'm making Christmas/First Day of Winter gifts (depending on who they go to and what holidays that person celebrates in what ways). I'm enjoying that. I did that for part of my un-sleeping time last night. Relaxing.
Why, when I published this post for the first time (without this comment) did I get advertised to about panick attacks? I have anxiety; I'm not sure I'd qualify as having panic attacks, and my ocd is okay with leaving that vague. I'd like advertisements about anxiety disorders. Let's see if this paragraph will change anything.
Okay, no advertising that time.

Monday, December 13, 2010

http://www.christianadhd.com/anxiety.php

This is what I found today in my search for info on anxiety disorders and Christianity. I'm sure there's more, but it's enough for today. I don't personally quite accept that having an anxiety disorder is in itself a sin, but have been confused about it. This article seemed decent, though too short (or shall I just remind myself that reassurance rarely shuts up the voice of OCD?).

Today I went to the Dr. for another ear infection. I'm usually relieved that I actually have something identifiably wrong when I go to the doctor, because I don't like paying money to be told I have a cold. So I was satisfied with today's visit - not a complete waste of money, and maybe I'll feel better soon.

And when I realize that I am legitimately physically sick not in the depression/anxiety sense, then I feel relieved that part of how I'm feeling should go away in a few days.

Being sufficiently negative, I told the receptionist at the Dr's office that I expected to be healthy in June. My doctor countered that he had higher hopes as in a few days instead of several months. I think I'll try to believe these so that I don't make a self-fullfilling sick-until-June prophecy. Because that wouldn't be pleasant, and if I have to be sick, I don't want it to be my fault (thank you, OCD).

Anyway, think three times before working with little children. It's a great job, but I'm so good at catching colds! (Add in unidentified allergies, depression, and anxiety, and who's really so surprized that I got a second ear infection within a month's time?) Actually, I love the little kids, and the Dr. told me he thought I did better depression/anxiety-wise when I worked more, so I'll return to work tomorrow! (I considered returning for an hour this afternoon after the dr visit - I worked this morning -, but instead I went and got one of my depression medications from the place that the patient-assistance prescription was sent to. Showing up to inquire helps with the speed amazingly. Phone calls and silence didn't work so well. And I know, it wasn't so-and-so's fault; the hold-up was somewhere else.)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

overthinking and Christainity with ocd

My therapist said I overthought things. Duh. That is a common thought. But stopping overthinking is another matter.

Maybe I compulsively overthink. Maybe I have to resist it.

Lately, I've been half thinking I didn't have OCD. Maybe wishful thinking. But when I wrote it out in my journal last night, it at least made sense. Thinking until things "make sense" is what I like. It made sense that if I really didn't have OCD, but just thought I did, thereby giving myself some symptoms, then if I could stop thinking I had OCD, I would stop having symptoms. One counselor I went to said something about my greatest problem was worrying about worrying, so if I could just stop that, I'd be fine; I "wasn't as messed up as I thought I was," she said. So, with my usual slow and obnoxious overthinking, I have taken a month or so to slowly conclude that MAYBE she was right and I didn't have so much OCD and I brought this on myself by thinking I have a problem when I really don't. Actually, I'm pretty sure that isn't accurate. In response to my "I'm pretending I don't have OCD" comment, my therapist said sarcastically, "well, that's a helpful thought."

What if. Key words in OCD, I know, but just pretend it's not OCD and "what if" it goes away? What if?

But then my stupid anxiety jumps up and grabs me about something stupid, an out of proportion response, and I go, grrrr, maybe I have a problem.

I'm "used to" being sick with a cold/sinus infection/allergies. I spend months this way, having maybe a week or few good days between one illness and the next (working in a day care doesn't really help that). It's a way of life, but I wish it wasn't so.

The anxiety, I used to be accustomed to it. It used to be normal life. Then I dared question it, dared hope that life could be better than what my depression and anxiety handed me. This lead to discouragement, because even though I think I should be able to significantly improve, I feel like I'm not improving enough.

I want the anxiety to go away! I want to stop having to fight through it!

My therapist said that now I am "behaviorally" like I was when I first started coming, before the medication challenges when I got worse. Now I'm extremely tired, but the difference is that now I expect a day when I'm not so tired. Now I don't accept the depression as "just the way life is." It seems like it would be easier just to accept it. Forget it! Stop fighting it. Let the OCD eat me; who cares? Its just a figure of my imagination anyway, so it should go away if I forget it! But I can't forget it enough. And so I'm here overthinking for the millionth time. Why do I blog anyway? I'm gonna say something stupid and something bad "will" happen. Anxiety or OCD, whichever it is, still influencing my emotions.

If I could just think right! That seems to be the focus of some/one method(s) of dealing with depression and anxiety. If I can just stop my negative thoughts and think positive thoughts. If I was just a better person!!! And I want an answer. And I can't have one. So drop the compulsive overthinking! But maybe I can't. Or maybe I can, or blahblahblahblah...

Another subject, Christianity and OCD and scrupulosity. I feel like a "bad Christian" now. I have watched R-rated movies. I've worn make-up and not worn make-up, so whichever or both is sinful, I've done it. I've stopped some of the compulsive praying, but "good Christians" pray more. I mean, I lot more, like I did when I prayed compulsively. "Good Christians" enumerate their sins when requesting forgiveness. "Good Christians" read their Bible every day. "Good Christians" never feel frustrated towards God because they are more humble than that. "Good Christians" aren't depressed and I dared to get severely depressed (as if that was intentional, but see, maybe it was "my fault" because I wasn't being a "good Christian"). "Good Christians" for sure don't have anxiety disorders, because that's straight out unbiblical. I mean, at least Elijah felt depressed once, but anxiety is in the category of sin. So here I fall. I'm a Christain with depression that has reached severe (even if it's back to moderate). I have anxiety issues. And I'm sick of fighting it! Sick of making myself anxious. Sick of not feeling like I'm making more progress.

Okay, I've probably written enough. I should probably move on with my day. Control my actions even if I'm tired of trying to control my thoughts or emotions. "This will get better." It better get better, and I'm choosing to believe it will.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

enjoying the humor in life

Work is going better - I don't feel shakey by my lunch break anymore. :)

My depression is a bit better, too, but not all better (it hasn't been all better in a very long time, so what a surprize).

I have started drinking coffee in an attempt to help myself be awake at the start of work. I think it works because I can get through the first part of the first hour at work without yawning excessively (though this does not work for the entire 8 hours of work). It was funny debating with myself about "becoming dependent on coffee." I can rely on prescription medication to stabilize my mood, medication that costs around 60 dollars a week, but do I want to depend on caffeine? No! I don't want to be "addicted" to coffee! But then again, I want to be awake for work, and really, caffeine is probably much less of an issue than my prescription medication. It was just funny that it bothered my brain so much to give in and drink coffee.

My most humorous moment of mental illness this week came when I asked somebody at church Sunday to pray for me. Some people at church know about my, uh, difficulties, and most people don't, but I was in the mood for prayer, so I asked somebody who was standing around waiting to pray with someone if he'd pray with me. "I'm really depressed and I want to die," I said. And the look on his face was something! I think I sometimes forget that most people want to live. Sunday afternoon I had my anti-anxiety -you're-not-allowed-to-drive-for-eight-hours medication. Usually I don't have it, but if my brain is REALLY bugging me and I don't have to go anywhere for eight hours and I don't have to work for more like 16 hours, then I can take it. Cry that my brain isn't more cooperative and then take the stupid medication! I hadn't taken it since Oct 31st, so I think I'm doing okay. It slowed my brain down to a tolerable pace and I watched two movies. And I have to think extra hard to remember what they were because I can't remember so well when I take that medication. Ummmm, ummm, what were they? "Because I said so" and "Two weeks notice." There! I can remember!

I have now completed two complete books of word searches since I "won" the first one playing bingo in the "behavioral health unit" of the hospital. That's about six weeks per book if I spent the same amount of time on each. I started the third one today. It's a nice brain-organizing activity. I intend to keep it up for a while, until my mental health is better.

Now I can go visit my friend, and maybe pick up my million dollar medication that makes me soooo sleepy.

Oh, last night, I actually fell asleep like "normal" instead of like I'm-depressed/anxious-and-its-interupting-my-sleep. It was lovely! But it left me soo tired. What's that about? I had trouble waking up to my second alarm (the first was the radio and didn't wake me at all), reinterpreting the second alarm as part of my dream until it's persistance woke me.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

I survived the work week. The new job and my depression didn't get along well, or maybe they got along too well. Either way, it's been a harder week. Even if I am just supposed to say I've had a few bad days instead of saying I seem to have slipped down hill a little bit. Being mad at one's therapist is probably not the most helpful state. But really, I'm more mad at me and mad at the mental illness that I've got. Mad at my unhelpful thoughts. Mad that I have to try to change them but that that seems hopeless.

I was amused this week because I was indecisive enough to worry the doctor. :) My tongue was bothering me, so I called twice about it at the beginning of the week (he knows I have anxiety trouble, so why pretend I don't? Oh, I know, I don't want it to become a compulsion). When I was told I'd have to come in for more information, I decided to wait. Especially because my counselor kind of reprimanded me for going with my ear infection to my not-quite-the-cheapest-in-the-area doctor and not arguing about the price. And I don't plan to ever argue with his office or him about the price. But Friday, when both sides of my tongue joined the game, I called and went in. Simple, nothing serious, then he asks, do you want me to write the prescription down or call it in? And then my brain goes panicky and I rub my forehead and he actually asked, "are you all right?" To which I replied, I was fine, I just couldn't make decisions! I forced myself to try to answer... call it in... unless that's too much trouble, you could just write it... I don't think he heard me, I was probably rambling... Then he helped me logically evaluate it, chose for me that he would call it in, and we continued on with our lives. Driving away, I thought to myself, I "have trouble making decisions." It's a symptom of depression. I'm aware of that. I'm on medication for that. Don't worry. This is what I might have told the doctor but didn't.

I'm not good at thinking for myself and not thinking for myself at the appropriate moments. I submit when I should stand and I stand when I should submit. I forget that it's okay to disagree with your counselor on some things. I also disagree on things I should probably not disagree with. Make your brain believe something different! Really? How? I know how to change my actions - "with greaaaat difficulty", as my grandpa might have said. But it's possible. I can get out of bed when I want to be frozen. I can make myself excersize when I don't want to move. I can make myself go to work. But believe something? I can tell myself, I'm "worthy of honor" in God's sight. I forget the verse referense. I think it's Isaiah or Jeremiah. But that's my English translation of the NVI (Spanish) version of the verse. I'll believe that because it's part of my religion. So maybe that works. Then what else am I supposed to believe. "I'm just having a bad day." Okay, sure, just a really bad day, just the millionth really bad day in the last recent while. But it is just a bad day. What else? "My roommate probably won't be harmed by my breaking any ocd contamination rules. " Are you rediculous? The rules are meant to keep my brain safe. Breaking those rules means risking dangerous contamination etc. There is a possibility (in my mind at least) that something terrible might happen. I must take the risk! How dare I underestimate the risk! (I mean, it might make exposures easier or something.) Okay, arguing with myself reminds me that my brain falls short of logical.

But I think actions are easier to change than thoughts. So I can focus on actions. I can choose to go be with people. That should have a possitive effect on my thoughts.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

irritable

It would seem that most of my good moods are away from the computer. Oh, well.

I went from being happy about work on my way to counseling to agreeing with my counselor that I didn't feel like I "deserved" food (I don't want to eat - but I still eat, so don't worry) to being depressed about work... I didn't eat a full lunch in there, so maybe we can blame low blood sugar, or my general moodiness, or my look-on-the-dark-side tendency, or my "lack of sleep" last night (merely around 7 1/2 hours). Or whatever you feel like. My ear that still isn't clear. My hand that cracked from being too dry (contamination fears here we come!!! Now I can worry about spreading diseases that I don't even have, all because of a crack on my hand). The fact that I still haven't eaten a full lunch (yes, I ate a partial lunch) (yes, I know that wasn't my smartest move)(yes, I think I've said this before, but I do like putting parentheses one after another after another).

My counselor said, I did great on writing down exposures and on writing out the thought challenges (thoughts, cognitive distortions, improved thoughts). But now, she said, it's important that I ... do it in my head. That I actually believe the improved thoughts. I don't feel like it. So that sounds lame. I don't feel like seeing the glass half full even though the half-empty glass has me depressed. I don't feel like eating! I don't feel like... dealing with this second bad day this week. I'm still on those medications; why can't they help a little more?

But bad days happen to everybody. My counselor said that, too.

But so I do want to get my college degree, but I still am not sure what I want it to be in! Nasty decisions, nasty budgets (or lack thereof), nasty... mood. I guess I should eat and excersize, probably in that order. Oh, and pick up a medication on my way home. Last week, I was okay with the fact that it is excessively difficult to wake up in the morning due to this medication (or depression, who knows for sure? But my depression prefers to just steal my sleep, so its probably the medication). This week, I've had to go to work early and I haven't liked it. Okay, so there's an eating issue. I don't eat soon enough to keep my stupid mood from being stupid! I have to start eating more between when I leave my home and when I finally get a lunch break maybe 6 1/2 hours later. I am aware of that. And it's slightly easier (maybe) than making my brain believe rational thoughts, so I guess it's a good place to start.

Oh, and I can't tell my ocd and anxiety and whatever else apart. I blame my ocd for calling my Christmas tree evil, and then my counselor suggests it has more to do with my upbringing. I blamed something else on ocd (or was it the same thing? I don't remember) and she said, no, that's probably anxiety. Oh, and my brain is currently proposing that I don't have OCD (around it's thoughts about how ocd is ruining my life). My brain doesn't keep it's story straight.

Why does life hurt? Why am I sad? Am I sad with cause, or without cause? Is it my perception of life that hurts? How does one change the way one sees the world when one is already depressed? With super-powers? My super-powers are tired again. The questions go on, but I guess I just need to make good choices now. Like reading other people's blogs and then going and excersizing and eating.