Friday, December 30, 2011

Improved mental health

I am hesitant to say it, as if saying it will somehow trap me in the "I don't need help" chategory when I will in fact need help. But I'm doing better. I no longer wish to be dead. I no longer pray for death. Etc. Etc. Instead, I ponder it. How come I don't want to be dead today? Huh, I don't know. Nothing much has changed, except, I suppose, the chemicals in my brain. Praise God for medication and/or whatever brought about this astounding change. It's amazing. The whole thing is. Wanting to die (duh, who wouldn't?) though my sister couldn't even immagine such a state of mind. Taking the thoughts for granted because they were around so often. It was just my life. I spent each day with the nobel and challenging goal of living until the next day, at which point the process would be repeated, and I'd live another day to get to the day after. Admittedly, it was exhausting. And now, just as wishing to be dead was just a part of life, not wishing it has now become a part of life. Now it's, duh, here I am and this is what's going on in my life.

Anyway, I saw my psychiatrist yesterday. Perhaps it helped that I'd already spent an hour earlier in the afternoon, part of which was spent trying to explain my current state of mind. I think I'm still mildly depressed, or some level that leaves me firmly outside the hospital with no immediate risk of landing in the psych ward. But I don't really know what normal is, and neither does my counselor. I guess there's this "normal is what you were before you were depressed" idea, but it doesn't work so well when my life has been weaving around depression and anxiety since I was a kid (not saying I was depressed all the time, but I don't know what "healthy" is supposed to feel like). Anyway, I explained to Mr. Psychiatrist that, since returning from Puerto Rico (location of my two "gap" school years between highschool and college), I've spent lots and lots of energy, first trying to go back to Puerto Rico, then trying to fight the mental illness stuff, especially the OCD, and then fighting to live each day. But now, I live each day automatically. I don't have to struggle so hard to get through each day. So I feel kind of empty. He suggested that I sit back and enjoy it for a bit. Which, of course, goes against my former beliefs that aren't completely former that rest and fun are potentially wrong. And he suggested that I keep working on my goals for my life (i.e., college classes for my Communication Disorders degree, or working on relationships that are important to me).

I think the OCD is still around, it's just learned to hide in the woodwork a little bit better, and it's being smart enough not to do something major like ruin my paperwork or stop me from doing  something I really care about. And, of course, Exposure Response Prevention is pretty intimmidating and uncomfortable as well, so as long as I think the ERP would cause more distress than it is worth, the OCD skates by relatively unchallanged. Actually, I also think that the OCD has moved from being a major issue to being a minor issue. And perhaps I've stopped the ERP too soon. Perhaps the OCD is causing more trouble than I realize. Let's ruminate over that for a while.... I wanted to say, just kidding, but I probbably will think about it for a while until I settle the question somehow.

I also told the psychiatrist that I was scared of going back, and he told me I was in good company. I now join the mass of people just out of a strong depression who are decidedly scared of falling back into the deep depression.

And so the Psychiatrist and the Counselor gave similar advice for different pieces of my life puzzle; keep doing the things that help me and bring me pleasure - like the dance exercises and the online college classes.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas is passed for another year. Last year I helped with the Christmas tree and enjoyed a day of cleaning house and watching a movie. This year... I avoided the tree, I went to church in the morning, and I pretended it wasn't Christmas in the afternoon, but still went to a movie. Sunday morning was hard, but I thought to myself, this is how it used to be every Sunday and now it's only some Sundays. That's progress.

The whole "Merry Christmas" wish still seems out of place for me this year. I can wish other people a Merry Christmas, but for them to wish it to me? Just not quite right. But they don't know that, so I'll try not to hold it against them. :) I came up with an alternative Christmas day wish for people with mental illness who have trouble with Christmas and for anybody who has trouble with Christmas. "May you have a day with as few moments of distress as possible and may you continue to tomorrow..." I was the only one who wished it to myself, though. I suppose that might be tacky.

I plan on keeping all my bone marrow, unless the doctor comes up with a sufficiently compelling reason to change my mind so that I will let them do the lab test. That gives me a slight bit more peace, but not much, since I still don't know how the doctor will respond or if I made the right decision (oh, hi, OCD).

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

a good day gone angry

The day started out pretty good. I got some good laughing time with my little kids. Then I got told of a "better" way to run my classroom, and my mood started sliding downhill. Then I did not volunteer to help with something. I feel guilty about it, but also angry. Angry that something is wanted from me that I am unwilling to give. Alas, my negative emotions are having a hey day. I'm trying to not get too riled up and to wait until I see my counselor tomorrow.

Then I had a doctor's appointment. This doctor can be Doctor H, as in hemotologist. I think he's into oncology as well. Anyway, last time I saw him, he said I looked quite healthy and as long as my other blood counts were normal, they should be able to just watch me instead of needing to do a bone marrow test. So this time, I came confidently, thinking that he would deliver the great news that I was basically fine. Instead, I come in and am given a slip of stickers. I go to see the nurse, not quite sure why I'm getting more blood work done. "What are the tests?" I ask her. She replied that it was for blood tests and a bone marrow sample. "I haven't agreed to that," I said. I didn't care if she took my blood; that has happened many times and is relatively painless. But the other? They didn't even talk to me about that! So then I got to skip the labs and read my book. Fine. Then blah blah borring as they check my weight and all that normal you-just-entered-a-doctor's-office stuff. Then I read more. Then I gave in to my tiredness (I just got back yesterday evening from being two plane rides away, visiting my sister for a week) and started taking a nap. The door was open, so the medical people could see me when they walked by. I thought about closing it, but the doctor came first. I think that taking a nap in the exam room in a chair might possibly be a way to encourage the doctor to make time on this "not busy" day to talk to me for three minutes. Three minutes! Why do I have to wait twenty minutes so that the doctor can give me three minutes. And why do I have to pay thirty five dollars for a copay to have him talk to me for three minutes and say that since all the tests except for my hemaglobin count look great, so we better check the bone marrow to see if something dangerous is going on.

I did argue a little bit. And I for sure didn't agree. Anyway, I protested that he'd said that if everything else came back fine, then they could just watch me instead of checking my bone marrow. He said, "but I told you we might have to check your bone marrow" (he did, more or less, but he said if the other things were fine, I shouldn't need one). He wisely offered me the option of thinking about it. He didn't offer the option of fleeing to the ends of the earth and never returning. He wants me to have another appointment with the regular doctor whome he is covering for. In a month. He asked me if I wanted it sooner. I considered asking what my risk of serious need for fast medical action was, but I held my tongue (if I said that, it might imply that I agreed with him). So I settled for no sooner, just about a month. And then he dismissed me and I didn't even talk to the receptionist to pay my co-pay early before they sent me a bill. I did smile at her, though, since my mood wasn't her fault.

Just now I did a slight bit of internet research, but I ended up giving it up. I'm in too bad of a mood to be reseptive right now. And I still don't want them to test my bone marrow. I still feel lied to. I still think the stupid thing is ironic. Today he tells me that BECAUSE it all came back normal, now they have nothing to blame the anemia on, so he thinks I should be conserned enough to get this test. BECAUSE this time the tests showed that my blood wasn't eating itself as if it was a flu virus, now we should be concerned. I thought it would be more concerning if my blood was eating itself like a flu virus.

The moral of the story is.... I don't know. Oh, well. Surely my anger will not last forever.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

today

Today, I had trouble getting out of bed in the morning. I wondered, is that because of depression and anxiety, or am I using that as an excuse? I was kind of thinking it was both, and eventually made myself get up and eat breakfast.

Then I watched a movie. Once I got far enough in, it did distract me, but at first, the anxiety was still having a heyday. It was being really absurd. "You might not sew that right." And there I paused in indecision, which was rather ridiculous since I was determined to finish making this handbag, and I wasn't even demanding that it turn out perfect. Finally I just dove in. It is definitely not perfect. No worry there, but it is turning out fairly similar to how I intended (but a little bit smaller).

The upcoming travel involving my leaving my "safe" (-ish) home state where I have multiple friends and where I have my psychiatrist and therapist (well, they are technically in another state, but close by), this trip is getting great anticipatory anxiety ratings. I'm not usually this anxious. Well, I guess that's something to celebrate. The majority of my life without these stupid anxieties (replaced at times, by other, more logical fears, like what could happen to me from the invisible contaminants on the bar of soap in my family's bathroom). But really, I often haven't felt this concentration of random anxiety.

Yesterday, I saw my psychiatrist. We had a valuable conversation. I brought up my monetary worry, saying apparently I shouldn't have checked my credit card account. The thought that the problem was just because I'd actually looked at the information was somewhat amusing to me. And he said, well, you can still smile about it, so it must not be too bad. I replied, but I can smile in the psych ward, too. I really meant it. I did smile there. And it didn't mean I wasn't upset. Anyway, Mr. Psychiatrist replied, so I can't take your smile at face value, it isn't necessarily a good indicator of how you're feeling. Yes, I confirmed, I sometimes smile to cover up my distress. He asked, so how would your face look if you weren't smiling? Then I made a face, trying to think about that. He asked, Is that the face you would make? No, I replied, that's my thinking face. Actually, I still don't know what expression would really express how I feel about the state of said credit card account. I'm not sure I have one.

And then, I set about thinking about when I cover with a smile. Sometimes, I think it is meant to downplay my distress, to myself and/or to others. Sometimes I share things that are part of my normal life, and it bothers whoever I'm talking to (i.e., describing depressive thoughts to a person without depression). I want to smile to lighten it up a little, try to take off some of what weighs on them. Okay, so I might smile also when describing that to my therapist or my psychiatrist. I guess my face shows it more accurately when I cry.

Which I did when discussing the dear credit card account with my therapist, who decided to wave my copay altogether, which really bothered me, leaves me feeling incompetent. She tried to convince me to accept it (which I probably would have anyway, even though I was upset about it), by comparing it to how I care for my toddlers at work. By saying she's done it for other people, too. It seems that, though raised in a family that wasn't rich but that always had enough (though not always enough for icecream), I still judge myself by my financial status. I have easily stated my opposition to "prosperity gospels" - i.e., that if you were good and God was happy with you, you would have lots of money. I wasn't into being rich. I was quite content with how my family was when I grew up. And not until money started decreasing did I wonder if I was doing wrong and that was how God was judging me.

Wow, this past couple years have been just great at showing me my pride and judgementalness.

So now, I will speak to myself, but you can listen in if you'd like. (And now that I've said that, okay, I am talking to you, too.) God's oppinion of me does not necessarily correspond to the state of my finances. You know, in one way, I'd like for it to be, because then maybe I could do something to ensure I had more money. But the thing is, if I try to get points from God by doing what I should, I fall so ridiculously short that it's pretty crazy to seriously consider such a thing. It would be like approaching a hotel that cost a million dollars to enter and saying, "look, look! I have three pennies! Now won't you give me one of your better rooms?" So I guess I'll stick to wearing Jesus's goodness and entering on his ticket, not trying to buy my own with three pennies. And having said that, why, since I know that that is what I choose to believe, why do I still keep thinking I need to earn more pennies? Why?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

a bit of toddler handprinting and a bit of figuring out my life

Possibly, I should exercise, but I might not, because I have a cold. And such an excuse should be useful for something even though I'm still going to work.

I am perfecting my ability to make decoration handprints with toddlers' hands. Perhaps perfecting is the wrong word, considering how a few of them turned out. Note to teachers of one-year-olds: some one-year-olds may close their fingers with paint on them. If your hand print is just one color, it's not too much of a problem if you don't mind getting your hands painty when you open their hand up to print on the paper. Oh, then you have to be careful to keep your painty hands from adding prints to their paper. Or just buy "correction fluid" to cover it up (I did a very little bit of research and this appears to be the non-name-brand term). I think that's the best plan.
If, however, you are doing one of those cool, multicolored handprints that are supposed to look like something else, beware. I tried blue on the hand and red on the fingers. Remarkably enough, we soon had purple. I tried again. I had to do that one piece by piece, printing one color at a time. It didn't look quite the same as everybody else's..., but oh, well.

I was filling out paperwork to prepare for my appointment to see the hematologist (or rather, some doctor filling in for him who I assume is also a hematologist) about my mild anemia. They, of course, mailed the paperwork to my mom (where I used to live). She kindly dropped it off at work. My coworkers sent me down to see her. And I wondered, why didn't she just hand them the paperwork, or come up to see me? Apparently, they didn't invite her up. And as for my first question, the paperwork came in an envelope with the bold return address saying it was from the cancer center. I guess I didn't really want my coworkers to see that. Presumably, I don't have cancer, just another episode of mild anemia for me. But I do have an anxiety disorder. Actually, I'm pretty sure my anxiety disorder stayed out of it, because I have been pretty able to put the issue aside. But I'm still human. Anyway, I decided to prepare for the worst case scenario (in a yes or no type way). Supposing they said, yes, you have cancer, I would have wanted to have spent these last days of not knowing thinking that I was healthy. And so, I have determined to enjoy this week of health. I see them tomorrow, but they shouldn't know anything tomorrow; they should just decide which tests they want me to take next. Maybe they will say, nothing, and I will be able to set the whole anemia issue behind me. And stop taking those iron supplements. Iron supplements in combination with psych. meds... side effects! Oh, yay. Of course, I've been living with said side effect for months now, so it shouldn't be that big of a deal to keep living with them.

It's funny, as soon as I finish my college work for the semester (actually, just before I finish it), I start wondering what I'm gonna do with my time. Unfortunately, my depression or my value system (the secret one that doesn't like to conform with my intentionally chosen beliefs) leaves me not wanting this "dead" time. I mean, this time to relax and enjoy my life. Unfortunately, said secret value system thinks that relaxation and "me" fun time are not good at best and sinful at worst (as in, reading a for enjoyment novel or watching a movie for fun etc is probably wrong). Maybe we should blame the scrupulosity OCD for that. Or the secret value system. I bet you are supposed to attack secret value systems just like you are supposed to attack OCD; disobeying the thoughts you don't agree with.

I wanted to get a second job, because I wanted to get paid for a second job. For reasons obvious to my financial records (since, of course, said records in paper or electronic equipment have brains of their own). But my counselor wasted no time in telling me that I should not do that. Really, I meant a second job. I hope she understood that. It would just be a few more (12 - 20 more) hours of work. I could take part of that time out of reading my for fun novels (since those might be sinful anyway). My counselor didn't see it that way. (She tends not to agree with my overly ambitious plans unless they are set far in the future and don't involve the amount of college work and paying work I'm doing. She also tends to disagree with my scrupulosity. You'd think she was a licensed counselor or something.) She said that my reading time was needed relaxation time. Four hours in a day? I asked. Apparently, the "wastefully" large time - I mean, "self-helpingly" large time - I spent didn't change her opinion.

So I was relieved and upset. Relieved because I don't have to go looking for another job. Upset because this annoying and disturbing mental illness stuff is preventing me from being Super WorkerandStudent. There was a time when I would have tried. Like just before I talked to my counselor. And like a few years back, before I knew how thoroughly I could be affected by ongoing depression. I have the smartness for speedy studying. After all, OCD tends to come with that. (And this is why I had trouble with some lecture about how we want to raise our students' IQ. What for? I thought. So that they can have depression, OCD, and/or some other psychiatric disorder and experience a few days in the psychiatric unit at the hospital?) But back to my scholastic intelligence... if it was solely dependant on that, I could do Super Student work. But then we add in things like OCD fears of accidental plagiarism (an oxymoron to some people who are not "enlightened" with the right kind of OCD). We add in work. We add in the stress of living with a mental illness (and hey, I'm talking about one that isn't that bad). And suddenly, I'm back to being a normal human. Subnormal for what I expect of myself.

Would you believe it? The spellchecker noticed the words I created using conventional English patterns (i.e. self-helpingly).

Thursday, December 1, 2011

a bit random

To the person who asked in a comment on someone else's blog about exercise; I like to exercise enough that the doctors and therapists and well-meaning people can't blame my depression on lack of exercise. I'm pretty sure it helps me feel better, especially when it is exercise that I enjoy. But even if it doesn't change how I feel, it rules out a possible cause of my depression, which is enough of a reason to keep me trying to exercise. (And yes, I still do usually fall short of my exercise goals for the week, despite my good intentions.)

To myself, how come I end up writing blog posts when I'm hungry enough to be distracted by it?

To whoever wants to read my blog...

My driving exposures aren't doing so well. I have trouble standing up to my ocd feelings of danger. I'm hoping not to worry too much about it, though, because I can gather myself up for another attack on the ocd later.

I'm getting ready to go on a real, true vacation. I'm going to see one of my sisters. The trip involves missing 6 days of work, traveling through airports and on airplanes, and messing up my carefully constructed "normal" life that has been designed to minimize depression and mental health issues. Today my counselor had lots of good advice. One thing she said was that it could be good for me to know ahead of time (like I do) that if I ran into too deep depression trouble, there is a hospital in my sister's area where I could go (where my Psychiatrist here used to work many years ago - an extra connection that makes me feel better). Of course, neither I nor my counselor wants me to end up there, but there is always that option should things get too bad, just as there is that option here where I live.

She also encouraged me to make lists. (I don't have a particular list-making OCD problem, so this isn't adding to a compulsion for me.) What am I going to bring? She encouraged me to think of things that work for me here that I can bring there or that I can copy or immitate there. Which made me remember my cereal. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, and an important part of my wake-up routine.

So I'm trying to think of my "security blanket" -type things. My word-search book (yes, I keep working through those and replacing them with new dollar store buys). My chapstick. My alarm clock used to be important, but I haven't used it in a long time, so I think I'll just use my cell phone this time.

I am making (i.e. decorating and modifying a cheap simple bag into) a purse special for the flying. My purse now has no zipper, just one snap, so things fall out. I'm trying to make one that zips closed. I picked the bag color and the ribbon I'm decorating it with... It should hold emotional as well as practical value. Actually, it does already.

And I'll probably bring my lullabye music. I was thinking about that recently, how it sounds kind of silly. "Grown-up" though I am, I use (dollar store!) lullabye music prepared for toddlers. It works so well at child care centers to relax the kids - and the teachers. So naturally, I use it for myself, too, when sleep is a bit hard to transition into.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

learning

Good news! I've been preventing driving compulsions with some success! Thinking it through yesterday helped me to cognatively assess the situation before I was in the emotional moment. It's going pretty well. I do have to watch out for replacement compulsions (i.e. compulsively checking around my car extra before I drive).

Thanksgiving went pretty well this year. I visited my family. I brought sweet potatoes and even my mom liked them (she doesn't like another recipe because it is too sweet for her). And I noticed something new.

I already knew that my oldest younger brother likes to play devil's advocate, leading to lively discussions/arguements at the dinner table. What I learned this time was that I played devil's advocate right back at him. He isn't the only one arguing/debating. Myself and other family members participated. And, just like he might do, I argued more because I thought his opponent needed some defending than because I personnally cared alot about the subject. In fact, at the end of dinner, I had to conciously switch from arguing/debating mode to normal appreciation for what my youngest brother was trying to tell me. So now I know; my brother is definately not completely responsible for intense dinner conversations.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

My recent most obvious OCD problem is back to the old driving and harm issue subject. It happens regularly.

I get in my car, and look behind me while I back out of my driveway. Thus far, I'm a normal person. Then, I wonder if maybe a neighbor happened to be in my way and got hurt when I backed my car out of the driveway. Then, the "responsible" thing seems to be to check to make sure there are no injured people in the driveway.

Cognatively, I realize the very low probability. First, I was looking when I drove, so unless someone was laying right behind my car, I probably would have seen them. Even if they were hidden right behind my car, I probably would have seen them when I approached my car to get in. And then, even if my eyes failed me, I would have felt something if the car had hit anything. I know the sound of the car brushing into plants on the side of the road (leaving them unharmed) (I used to live in the country). So it is pretty sensible that if there had been a problem, I would have felt it. But once I wonder if I've hurt someone, or even if I jump straight to thinking I should check just in case like I usually do, not looking at where I just drove seems unthinkable. It strikes me as an unacceptable risk. You don't just accidently hit people with your car and then drive off without looking (this statement remains true, but the context is off since no-one was hit). And somewhere in there must be the OCD misthinking. Because I jump from a what-if to an if-then that is not far enough from a faulty since-then.

Okay, now I've thought it out. Cognatively, the risk is in the acceptable realm. Emotionally, it's not, but I'm gonna have to disobey my emotional reasoning. Maybe now I'll go ahead and do the response prevention.

Monday, November 21, 2011

One of those days

I worked this morning, of course. It went okay. Then I went home with a headache. On my way home, I got to drive the interstate at 4 miles per hour. That was interesting, in a fairly boring sort of way. After lunch, I planned to take a nap, but my landlord showed up with an electrician to fix our heat in the livingroom and kitchen. He was pretty fast, but it still delayed my nap.

Then, for my nap, I didn't fall asleep, but I rested, so that's okay.

Now I just turned in my homework for the week (due today). We were given a free pass to skip one week's assignment without loosing any points, and I actually used it today. I'm a little surprised that I actually used it. And I'm a little disappointed that I used it. And I am sufficiently glad that I used it. Takes a bit of stress off. I was too far behind this week... (thanks to the paperback novels I read, etc.)

Now Thanksgiving approaches. I don't think I want a four day weekend, but it isn't really my choice...

Anyway, I was feeling gloomy when I started this post, but for the moment, I'm feeling better. Who knows? Maybe it will last.

Friday, November 18, 2011

update

I just ate my whole post up by pressing the wrong button at the right time, or however you are supposed to put that. Two wrongs? One right and one wrong? One wrong and one right? Either way, bye-bye nice, thoughtful, disconnected, entertaining to me, etc., post. Now, can I write it in fewer words, and cut out the I'm-hungry-and-need-to-eat-soon comments? (I mean, cut them down, not out, since I just put one there.)

From both my counselor and my psychiatrist (whom I both saw yesterday), I was reminded that my anxious thoughts actually are emotionally taxing. I forget that sometimes. They are just my normal thoughts. Also, I know some of the thoughts are quite disconnected from reality, so since they aren't valid (as in, aren't realistic), I assume they don't cost me emotionally what they would if they were factual. And maybe they don't, but they still might scare me/ weigh on me more than I think they do.

The other big thing I came away with was that when my counselor talked about being happy with my current improvements, she didn't mean that I couldn't keep hoping for more improvement or for a better life. She didn't mean this was as good as it gets. And neither did Mr. Psychiatrist. We can all keep hoping and expecting the improvement to continue. I don't have to settle for this. And I'm not. This is great for now, and I'm so happy I'm not where I was a year ago, but I don't want this to be the end of the improvements. That would be discouraging. Anyway, I think I've made my point, maybe more than once.

The other thing I learned on the side was that it can be worthwhile to keep trying to explain myself when I don't think the other person is understanding me. I tend to just give up instead of continuing to try.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

disconnected

Friday night, I stayed up late, eating dinner with my family and a friend after 9 in the evening. It was exciting in that it's the latest I've been out socializing in a long time, but the after effects weren't quite so nice. Saturday, I slept until 12:23 early afternoon. This wouldn't be so sad except that it starts to get dark before 4pm. Too little sunshine. But I made it through Saturday okay. Then came Sunday. I, not surprisingly, slept in, missing Sunday school. I did manage to get to church on time, but I'd call that a miracle. I dislike these moods. I suppose I've had them most of my life, but being aware of my mood now, they are annoying. What would I call it? Feeling at odds with the world?

It is interesting to realize that I've been effectively cutting myself off from people, slowly and steadily. Not completely, but still, it's been happening. When I go to the gym to exercise, I sometimes work hard to avoid contact with people I know because I'm afraid to talk to them. I just want to exercise and get out, not have an awkward social moment. And so my fear cuts me off in one more area of my life.

I keep convincing myself that I'm getting better (maybe I am), and then when I see the evidence of depression, I'm like, "what is this doing here? I'm not depressed, so why do I have that symptom?"

Thursday, November 10, 2011

My week has been going fairly well. Improved mood is definately nice.

My homework has been going fairly unwell. Will I pull through in time and still turn in all my homework?

Today I saw my counselor again. Most of that even went okay. It wasn't until I thought about a current social situaion that's giving me troubles that I started feeling too upset... Of course, that was in the last three minutes, so nothing was solved with that. Sometimes I wonder why I go to counseling? What is it I get out of it? I like starting the hour, but I don't like finishing the hour. Oh, well, the likes seem worth the dislikes.

I want to sound really profound or witty or something right now, but really, my brain's feeling blocked. Why? Schoolwork undone? Social situation decision unmade? Concern about the future? Plain old depression? Plain new anemia? Does it even matter why? (Well, maybe determining why, I could get rid of it.)

Oh, well. That's enough for now.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

what if I feel better? what if I don't?

I've been doing a bit better. My counselor suddenly started thinking my depression thought sounded like an OCD thought, so maybe I should treat it differently. I told her I thought it was a depression-OCD hybrid. And she asked if I was kidding. No, I was quite serious. I still think that. Anyway, I settled on a shorter response to my thought. Just, "no." Usually that helps. But still, if my emotions get riled up too high, I still have trouble.

It's funny, but I'm afraid of getting better. I feel like if I find something that works (like answering "no") that it just proves what a jerk I've been being about this whole OCD depression stuff. Suddenly, it is "proven" to me that it really was all my fault, and if I'd just said "no" a year ago, I'd have gotten better then. And then, delaying healing by being afraid of it... that's me again, too.

But I'm thinking I can (as in "should" - it wouldn't come easy) drop the whole "fault" thing. Who really cares if it was me or a disease or an alien taking over my brain? (Except the scientists - they can keep wondering without me. I'm sure they'd like to know if it was an alien.)

I had a great talk with somebody yesterday. It was the sort where I cried half the time, but she was willing to listen. And she was (is) a Christian, strong in her faith at that moment and clearer in her understanding. I've gotten all confused inside myself. Depression, OCD, anemia, my faith in God, all making a big confusing mess. She helped me see once again that I was really okay before God (because of Jesus). That how I felt didn't change what I believe (that's really good to know with depression and OCD). That God loved me and I can believe it without feeling it. And I can believe God even without trying to do good enough works to feel it with my emotions (I don't agree with that, but I keep trying it anyway). And I'm gonna keep believing God even if I never get better from my depression and my OCD and my anemia and whatever else might be wrong in my life (not that I won't have my moments).

I'm still afraid the depression's gonna win, though. (Another feeling that very likely isn't based in reality).

Anyway, after talking to her, I somehow thought all my troubling thoughts and feelings would just go away. As you might expect, they didn't. I still didn't want to eat supper. Still had trouble getting to sleep. Still wanted to sleep all day today. Still had more crying to do. But I am encouraged. I wish wish wish that my problems would all go away, but encouragement is enough for now.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

sympathetic looks...

Well, my research was enough to convince me to follow the Doctor's recommendations, so on to more medical bills trying to find out what's going on with the anemia. I get a day off work out of it (no pay, of course; one of the characteristics of my line of work in my part of the country).

Have you ever seen people's sympathetic/pittying looks when you talk to them about your mental illness or some time after that? I'm not too good at accepting that. Not that said people ever know, but I think (or even say), "hey, it's my life." I don't want too much pitty, nor too much of people feeling sorry for me; this is my life; I gotta deal with it, so pray for me, talk to me, but don't look at me like my world is falling apart. Because it isn't. Even if I tell you about my really depressing thoughts, my world actually still is not falling apart. And even if my world is falling apart, it's still my world; a falling-apart kind of world. And, I don't always want to think that my problems are as serious as people's expressions indicate that they are.

Having said that... I'm not above calling someone on the phone when I get that un-grounded, disconnected-with-the-world feeling. So I guess everything has it's place and time (well, most things).

And now that I've said that, I'm beginning to feel disconnected again. Maybe I should change the subject.

Hmmmm, what shall I say? Maybe I should just say something noble and expressive, like, Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I'm tired, and this time I have an excuse. (I mean, beyond such obvious reasons as depression, anxiety, and less than peaceful sleep last night.)

I'm still mildly anemic. I started looking up online what that might be. I was thus assured that it could be serious and scarey or depressing, so I quit looking. But not before gleaning enough info to start worrying about my spleen. Now my side hurts. The correct side (I think?), but in two different places, as if to make sure the spleen area is hurting even though I don't exactly know where it is. How amusing (seriously).

Monday, October 31, 2011

time

I'm using up time. On purpose. There was a time when I thought time was practically worth money. Now I spend money to get through the time. Because I'm not worried about the time or the money (false: I'm worried about too little money and too much time). My main goal is not to give in to the latest, greatest (more than a year old) depression thought. Sometimes I wish I could pull out the thought and put it on the floor and stomp on it, or something like that. Wish I could. But, as I told someone yesterday, this is my life [right now]. And, as I agreed with someone else, I'm hangin' in there.

I don't like Halloween. Because my depression is particularly intrusive on this day. And because I'm scared of some costumed teenagers "trick"ing me. The darkness at "trickortreat" time doesn't help. Probably the fact that my family hid from the trickortreaters doesn't help either.

We used to celebrate Reformation Day on this day, in honor of Martin Luther's 95 Theses (or whatever the plural of thesis is). I'm very grateful for Martin Luther's work and respect those 95 Theses, but I'm not celebrating that today and pretending it's not Halloween.

Oooh, poor scrupulosity OCD. I might as well have pulled it out and stomped on it.

I carved a pumpkin for the first time in my (remembered, at least) life. (We see that the scrupulosity OCD maintains the excessive concern about truthfulness, even as it quietly endures "sinful" Halloween behavior.)

And I wore a costume. A princess costume. Because I didn't get to dress up as a princess for Halloween when I was a girl (for Reformation Day, I think we once did imitation clothing from that time in history - but wait; I might not have dressed up - too much like Halloween). Anyway, I'm a pink princess. So there.

(Maybe I'm being rebellious.)

Oh, hello there, OCD. What a surprise (NOT).

(Ah, yes, good to see you, too, but I'd rather you shut up and be miserable.)

Really? How interesting. Duly noted. Now I have a blog post to continue writing.

(You ARE writing. Maybe we could frame that as a lie somehow... do be sure to add enough maybes.)

"Maybe"... you should be quiet.

(I know. Ha ha. Which is like a witches cackle, which relates to sin, which relates to you failing miserably in your holiness by celebrating such a dark holiday as Halloween. By the way, Depression has a good idea, there. You should take him up on the idea.)

Shut up.

And so I see that both "ocd" and "me" like to use the phrase, shut up. It isn't particularly effective, though. But "be quiet" just doesn't sound as good.

And time passes. Ahhh, lovely.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

medicated, educated, but still with OCD

The academic honesty policy was sent to all the students at my college. No big deal, right? I'm a diligent, honest student.

With OCD. So then the what if-ing starts. What if I accidentally plagiarise and am kicked out of college! (Worst case scenario following the "what-if.")

The associated ritual is very detailed and precise, but still won't guarantee that I haven't accidentally copied words that exist somewhere in the world. I know this might seem silly to some people, but it's OCD, so why be surprised at it's unlikeliness?

First, I can worry. As if worrying about it will change anything. Then, I ponder sentences and wonder, did I hear this before? Over and over. One time (different college) I used one of those internet plagiarism catchers. It passed over the sentences I thought sounded "suspicious" and questioned phrases I was pretty sure were mine. I ended up crying in the writing lab, with a poor English teacher who had explained the "simple" issue of plagiarism. She referred me to my own English teacher. When in doubt, refer to someone else. (Now, shall I erase the "when in doubt," since I know I've heard it before? No... English is made of phrases! Somebody might have written that about English before, too. Like me. I've said it before.)

Somehow, I made it through English 102, and all the other classes I've taken so far, because at some point, I have accepted the risk and turned in the papers (except for the two or three I was able to skip and still get a good grade). Yet still, today, the Academic Honesty policy sets off anxiety in my medicated and educated (regarding OCD) brain.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

I now know why I shouldn't sleep thirteen and a half hours and then eat an inferior breakfast to my normal breakfast (the granola was gone and I didn't want oatmeal, so I came up with something else): the end result is me feeling exhausted. Of course, I'm not really repentful; that's thirteen and a half hours when I didn't have to think! The day is successfully shortened. The only problem is that now I feel like taking a nap (two hours after waking up).

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Today I saw my counselor. It was nice. But I left wanting to cry. Which is a risk when I let myself express feelings and thoughts I usually try to push away.

I had two good days in a row, and then came a grumpy morning. Work didn't change that. I even went to an exercise class. Afterwards, a nice older lady mentioned how it was so fun, didn't I think so? And I didn't really agree. But I explained, I'm just having a grumpy day. She responded, didn't the exercise class take away my grumpiness? And I answered, no. The poor lady looked a bit concerned and said, God's blessings on you. And I thanked her. If I'd been in her shoes, I might have said that. And also, I could really use some more of God's blessings.

Back to today. I learned that comparing myself to others in depression recovery is as unhelpful as comparing myself to others who share my spiritual beliefs. Other people seem to be doing better than me. And I'm not extremely sick, well, not in my own view. So why can't I be working full time like so-and-so. Why can't I be smiling like that? Why can't I be doing such a great job of following directions - so much of a great job that I eat healthy foods? And it's okay for someone to be struggling when they are just out of the hospital. Duh. But I've been out more than a year. Why can't I pull it together? Why won't my (insert derogatory term here) brain stop tormenting me! Why can't I find medications that really work like they are supposed to? (The jury still hasn't decided on my current medication; it's still a bit early for that.) Why can other people find them? It just isn't fair!

And then, what am I left with? I can grump and cry, but I still have the same wonderful (sarcastically spoken) task of making it through, one day at a time. It doesn't seem very noble. Maybe I should change my view and call it noble. Each day, I choose to get out of bed, I choose to eat, I choose to participate in activities that will help me or at least keep me in a safer place.

And I am looking forward to one thing that is more than two weeks away; I'm going to visit my sister in December!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

OCD gains strength and old mascara is doomed to the garbage.

Knowing some friends who keep their mascara until it is gone... I used it last week after letting it sit unused for possibly up to a year, probably a little under that. Now I have an itchy eye. Add OCD. "My eye itches. Maybe it is serious. Maybe it's not. Maybe I shouldn't work. Maybe I should work. It doesn't look that pink. But it does look a little pink. And it itches, since I'm thinking about it. Let's try to think about something else... it still itches.... and still itches.... it doesn't feel right..." And on and on and on. I'm thinking the fluvoxamine that I've been tapering off of is loosing its control on my OCD.

There is another reason I think this. I have a particular OCD issue that really bothered me at work. I couldn't figure out how to get around it, because it just seemed to wrong not to follow my compulsions. (This is my reigning OCD symptom.) Then, after taking the fluvoxamine and getting more depressed... suddenly this obsession became less of an issue. I could forget it and move on. Now, it's gaining strength. And just like I keep thinking my eye feels funny and so it keeps feeling funny because I keep thinking about it, my OCD issue just keeps going.

Fluvoxamine let me forget OCD issues. Ah, the ability to forget. It is very important.

But the fluvoxamine wasn't helping my depression enough and might have made it worse, so now I'm on to venlafaxine, or however it's spelled. This weekend, I was convinced that this med also increased my depression, but yesterday I had a good day, so my hypothesis has some disagreeing evidence.

A good day; not perfect. Calling it a good day brought in stress. "Oh, no, it's a good day so far, and I'm going to mess it up, maybe even by thinking about it being a good day..." But I told myself, it's a good day, not a perfect day. That gave me more freedom to enjoy the good without insisting perfection. I feel so successful when I can talk to myself and get a worry to go away or at least loose strength.

The research paper I worried so much about came through at 100%, without revision! I needn't have worried so much. I forget that what I consider a B can be seen as and A by someone else.

Happy Tuesday.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Even Mr. Psychiatrist thought that working on Saturdays, too, would be too much for me right now. I thought so. My counselor agreed. And so did Mr. Psychiatrist. So I don't feel so lazy.

Well, in that particular circumstance.

Last night I slept about 11 hours. I went to bed early because I didn't want to deal with my brain any longer. (I wasn't able to sleep early; I got some coloring done in a kids coloring book among other things.) Today it was nasty trying to get up. Basicly, I'm afraid that the short term results of doubling my antidepressant is greater depression. :( Is that just because it makes me more tired? Is it really because it's the weekend and has nothing to do with the antidepressant? Is it because my cold is still hanging on a bit? It isn't because of an antibiotic, because I'm not on one.

Anyway, I've got some schoolwork to do. That should help me for a few minutes.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Second posting for today

I realize that I have already written today. But this time I'm experimenting with the whole "think positive thoughts" advice. I will try to write a positive entry and see if it helps my mood.

I like:
Toddler art, especially finger painting with multiple colors.
Sarcastic humor (but not just any sarcastic humor)
Blogging
Talking to my guinnea pig
Watching movies at home
Studying phonetics and transcribing into IPA font - i.e. specific symbols for each sound, not necessarily the same as how we would write in English.
The book, "We're Going on a Bear Hunt" by Michael Rosen
Trying to think of art activities for my toddlers to do based on this new "bear" theme
Singing with the "big" (3 to 5 year old) kids
A toddler's smile when their face lights up
Music (well, many kinds of music)
Being able to drive and having a car that works
Computers that I can use at the library
Eating supper with friends
Dancing (again, certain kinds)
Ummmmm, I like the word "um," even if it isn't a word
I really like that our group final paper is turned in now!
I went to the doctor. I don't feel good. But so far, it is probably just a virus, a head cold. Yuck. We wont call it a bacteria until Friday, if it is still this bad. What? Feel this bad through the whole week? How am I gonna work? I'm just so tired. But maybe that is depression after all. Yuck. Let me just say that adding to sleep-twelve-hours-a-day depression some school stress and feeling sick with no immediate cure, and, well, the depression isn't very happy (or it is very happy? Does it like it when I'm depressed? No, I prefer the medical view of depression, remember? Depression, you are a medical problem. Oh, won't you please please please respond to medication???).

Now I am chatty and depressed. Oh, great.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Saturday has arrived. My sore throat got worse. What shall we blame it on? Or shall I leave it a symptom with unknown cause? That sounds good. No, I want to blame it on allergies that I may or maynot have. That way I'm neither a walking germ machine nor having a dangerous reaction to something.

Today my wish was to sleep most of the day. But I had schoolwork, so I only slept part of the day. I did make it to the exercise class I was planning to attend. But I thought I wanted to sleep after that. To me, the sleepy thing is a slightly less annoying symptom of depression than what I could be having. Of course, schoolwork brought out the worse parts. Why? Why, why, why?

I suspect I should be writing part of a paper. I really don't want to. My throat hurts and I want to sleep. Maybe it is a virus, letting me justify 16 hours of sleep in one day. Why not? (Other than my counselor telling me not to. I guess that's a compelling reason not to.)

Okay, let's go look at researching that part of the paper.... :(

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

When I learned about numbers of words, I started counting the number of words or meaningful word parts (morphemes) that "my" kids said. "I jumping" would be three morphemes. And "ing" has grammatical meaning (I think it belongs in a category with a special name which I don't remember right now).

Now, with the grammar class, my evaluation changes. So-and-so used "but" to connect two sentences; great conjunction usage! That child used a preposition. Oh, what fun. Aren't you jealous.

Here is my short complaint about my college education (it comes up every once and awhile). Sometimes questions give away other questions' answers. When I get those right, it may not mean that I understand the material. It might only mean that I'm good with test-taking logic.

Here is my second short complaint. Why do I get such high scores without working so hard for them (except for the defeat-the-depression-enough-to-do-a-little-schoolwork work, which can be hard)? I get told good job, etc. But I didn't do much. I'm not sure why this bothers me, but it does.

Back to uncomplaining, ... okay, I'm a bit grumpy for no complaints.

I get to learn to transcribe a sound that I don't use but other English speakers do. Makes me want to rent a tv show that had a lady that really pronounced that sound. Maybe I'll talk with that accent for a while, too.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

other people knowing my problems

Earlier this week (last week, technically), I was having a pretty hard time, so I called some people from my church. Today, I felt a little awkward knowing these people had seen me at my worst, or at least not at my best. But nothing too unnerving actually happened.

In Sunday school, I decided to actually claim depression instead of "a health issue" when asking for prayer. That was scary, too. But I'm glad I did it. How will people be open about mental illness if no-one speaks first or earlier on? Maybe I have more to do with the perceived stigma than the people around me. Maybe being a little more open will let other people be a little more open, too. And, of course, there is the other factors involved for me, like really wanting prayer and having been with this group of people for a while and trusting them.

Last weekend was hard, so I, with my great cognitive reasoning, am afraid of this weekend and Monday. But this week isn't last week. I'm sleeping more now. I can do this...

Friday, September 30, 2011

I've continued doing better, except for the time when my depression made a fine showing last night. Kind of reminds me that I'm actually not okay, even though I can sometimes cover over the worst of the depression and have a somewhat good mood.

I hate feeling so deep in depression. I sometimes dislike pitying looks. I sometimes dislike advise. I like sharing, but find it hard to share. Questions are easier, but I don't have questions (except for the psych dr. and my therapist). It's just a painful reality. Really, I like it when people are there for me. When they spend time with me. They might not know that that is what I want. Maybe they think they should fix it (despite the facts that my therapist and psych. dr. have not been able to "fix it" despite their professional positions). But I know there isn't any answer right now. Sure, an answer would be nice, but so would winning a million dollars (actually, I don't think that would be so nice). So I'm grateful for people who have talked to me and listened to me and just "been there" for me.

And I think that's about all. I have a headache (need more than 9 hours of sleep again, apparently). I have homework. I have a movie to watch tonight. Maybe it will be scary. Maybe not. Maybe it will trigger more depression. Maybe it will trigger laughter. Who knows.

And I have a quiet weekend planned, no working at camp this time. I had enough trouble working my normal job this week. So on to homework, painting, and exercise. I'm painting Christmas gifts, since I needed something to paint.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

the value of sleep

Sunday and Monday I fell apart right on schedule. Monday, I talked to my dr. He added back in a med that helps me sleep. What a difference sleep made, with the addition of a short day of work followed by some good relaxing time. Now I'm back to coping. A little scared still, but I have more room for error again.

It is neat how God puts people in my life who somehow help me on my worst days (not the same as the days I think are my worst until the next one comes). I got to talk to people I usually wouldn't even initiate contact with. It was nice talking to them.

Yesterday, I spent a while painting and coloring. It was quite peaceful. And I took a walk. Also nice. Except for the weird planes that flew over that looked scary and made scary sounds. I still have that fear. But if I don't look and do plug my ears, I'm not so scared (and a little embarrassed to be caught plugging my ears in public).

So anyway, I'm doing a bit better now. And that's very nice.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

side effects

Last week, when I worked in the kitchen at camp, I enjoyed myself more because I was able to forget OCD triggers. Not so this morning. In fact, I could remember some of what was contaminated a week ago when I worked there. You know germs; we gotta be careful.

I was, however, able to give one up when slicing cucombers on a cutting board that didn't meet my ocd standards of clean. But I knew ocd could never be satisfied. I was afraid there wasn't even one cutting board that would meet my ocd standards. That or it was too embarising to think of putting cutting board after cutting board into the dirty dishes.

I worked in the kitchen at camp when I was just out of highschool. My boss said that she was glad I had a little ocd perfectionism in the kitchen because it meant things got more clean. I'm pretty sure she didn't know the distress that accompanies ocd. I am somewhat amazed that I got through that summer as well as I did.

Anyway, I don't know if the ocd can be blamed on my coming off one medication.

But I'm 98% sure that the tremors that my hand has resumed displaying is a side effect of the new medication. Let's put it this way; threading a needle would probably be harder than when my hand is still. It had tremors on the medication two meds ago, but not on the last one, so I'm pretty sure this tremor is from the new med. I'm not particularly worried, except that in the literature, it says to contact my doctor right away if I get tremors. And it is the weekend. What's the worst that could happen? I don't know! The tremor is mostly just a nuisance, but is it expressing something more serious? I'm pretty sure it can wait until Monday, unless I get more disconcerting symptoms, like hearing a siren when there isn't one. But was that a hallucination, or a worry combined with an over-active immagination? Oh, and add in a few twitches, but it's harder to trace the cause of that. That is supposed to be serious, too. So, seriously, I'm having serious side effects that don't particularly bother me, and I seriously don't know how serious it really is. I think I'll talk to a nurse. (When in doubt, put the decision on someone else - not always a good way to keep friends, though.)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Dr visited, peace restored

I didn't make up the "I started twitching more when I stopped the medication" thing. The Dr. said that sometimes happens. It has a nice long name. That I can now claim, in the past tense, which is okay, since it is passed, and since it wasn't too bad in my case.

I got really anxious about visiting the Doctor. In my mind, I immagined what would happen, and I didn't like what I immagined. As is not unusual, my feared events didn't happen. So I'm breathing many sighs of relief.

And filling a prescription for yet another antidepressant. Oh, please, God, let it be effective and inexpensive. I probably wont have insurance forever.

At least when I try a new medication, there is hope that something new and better will happen. So I'm back to hoping. Which, I suppose, means that I should get more serious about my homework. That online group I might have complained about that I became the leader of? I may have started the ball, but they are sure stepping up and keeping it rolling. Which is good while I have/had my little extra-dark spot. Isn't that a group at it's best? Each helping when they can? Or something like that. But that is philosophical and not necessarily applicable to school project groups...

Anyways, I'm trying again. Maybe this time the medication will work like it's supposed to.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

good things

Maybe you should stop reading my posts for a few days. Or maybe I should write cheerfuller posts.

Now my concentration has been taken hostage by the depression, so I just don't have a good attention span.

My counselor told me to focus on my senses, not on my depression. I.e. the way the keys feel under my fingers, the sound of typing on the keyboard, etc. It works, at least for 20 seconds. Twenty seconds throughout the day would add up to minutes. Good deal, all around.

Here is my partial list of good things.

Tomorrow I see Mr. Psychiatrist. Yay.
Today, I am getting my laundry done (well, most of it). That's good, too.
It is already 5 pm.
I have two corndogs frozen in my freezer.
I have ten icecream bars in my freezer. And 5 bagels. And I have milk and cream cheese. Or, in plain English, I have food that I like at home.
I have a guinnea pig. (I think I scared him two days ago trying to get him to reach out of the cage to my hand with a yogurt treat.)
I have a television and a dvd player and a cd player and two radios. They can keep my thoughts in less depressed places.
I can come to the library and use the computer.
I am still driving.
I can rent a movie to watch tonight.
I have suggestions from friends of what movies to watch.
Last night I went to my favorite local grocery store.
Before that I spent time with friends.
My counselor called me back yesterday.
Today is better than yesterday.
It is really beautiful outside right now.

So I can think of good things. Just don't start a philosophical conversation on it. That's directed at you, brain.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

My brain is talking to me. Blah, blah, blah. We'll call it depression, though OCD might have a say as well. I keep talking back. "You think I don't hear you?" "I know! I heard you." And so on and so forth. Meanwhile cue flu-like symptoms of depression/anxiety (minus the throwing up). And cling to hope.

I've got a few specks of hope and half a mustard seed of faith. But they are clenched tightly in my hands.

Meanwhile, I'm here at the library because I have homework to do. I'd gotten it almost done yesterday, and then mannaged to erase 7/8ths of it. So now I can re-do it, around my brain muttering and my normal procrastination habits. My brain did shut up for me to write this post. Thankyou, brain.

I see Mr. Psychiatrist this week. I felt oh so much better getting off of the second atypical antipsychotic. With my usual contradictory enthusiasm, I hoped that meant that the depression would pretty much disappear. No such luck. The weekend came. It's not my fault that the weekend came. People set up the calander that way, and I wasn't one of those people.

I've been "being good." Getting out of my house, talking to people, etc. My counselor should be happy-sad. Happy for my actions, sad that I don't feel better.

I'm sick of this, really. I'm sure you are sick of your illness, too. I wasn't planning on having a chronic illness while in my twenties. I'm sure you weren't either. I somehow thought that if I dealt with it and did the right things, it would go away. The OCD would tone down and the depression would leave. But that didn't happen. Well, the OCD toned down and the depression keyed up. For those who would ask me to choose which is worse... If either of them is bad, I struggle. If I'm depressed, I'm depressed. If I'm anxious, I'm depressed or very close to it. What is anxiety anyway?

But we believe this will get better. It will, it will. My specks of hope and half mustard seed of faith know I'll get better. At some point. Just it seems that today is not the day. Maybe tomorrow. (The contradictory thoughts that I'll never get better on earth and that I'll be better tomorrow are rather confusing. But let me not bother the doctor, because I might be better tomorrow. Only now I do call the doctor. Because enough todays have been tough.)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Success is Sweet and Short-lived

I just got part of my homework done. I worked hard on it. It looks pretty good. I feel pretty good. After this, I have more homework to do.

Getting off the medication makes it harder to fall asleep (yes, this med was having the opposite effect than expected and made me very tired), but I feel more awake. I feel more alive! I feel better. Praise God.

I think I'll go back to homework. Deadlines inspire.

I was going to say and forgot to say, my main lesson from counseling today was that I'm "too hard on myself." How to change that is a whole other question. But identifying a problem (again) is a good step.

It was a revelation to me that weekends were not my fault.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Combine depression and anxiety with normal procrastination... and schoolwork is a bit tough. Then add a slow computer/internet program.

I think I'm doing great one minute with the depression and stuff, and moments later I feel sick and depressed. I don't get it.

I'm getting off a medication. Seems that that causes side effects, too.

Monday, September 12, 2011

The weekend has been successfully navigated. I got to babysit, which I enjoyed.

Today, I went back to work, and it was the first day of preschool. I don't know what you would call our two-year-old version; Pre-preschool? We sing, we eat snack, we do an art project - or rather, an "open-ended art activity," since I have been indoctrinated by the current teaching at the local community college. Actually, I agree with open-ended art most of the time. Then an active activity, and then back to normal free play. I showed my boss my schedule and she liked it, which made me happy.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

I think I'm getting an ear infection (you're surprised, right? :)
That is why I should not blow my nose (i.e., so I can get a sinus infection instead?). Maybe it will go away if I ignore it (and take a decongestant). I think I've gotten rid of a few that way. I'm guessing a 50-50 chance either way.

School is going better than I expected (except that right now I really want to be doing jumping jacks instead of transcribing the phonetic consonants in a list of 50 words. Yay. (As in, I just did 50 and now I have 50 more.) The whole chatting online with group membors thing is going terribly for me. Yesterday, I couldn't get on at the agreed upon time, and three people met without me. I'd call that a partial success. Today, I can get on, but I'm not finding anyone else. So much for chatting. Let's go for the long, slow discussion process. And guess what else? I think I might end up the leader of the group. I took the position just to get things rolling, but keep offering to give it up. So far no-one has volunteered. So I remain leader by default unless someone volunteers in the next week or so. It's kind of fun, though, because I usually don't officially lead things, but when I take those Skills/Gifts surveys, I tend to get decent leadership scores. It was my skill/gift that I intentionally avoided using. I had the "later; I'm too young" excuse, which obviously works a little less well each year that I live.

I think that my newest med. is making my anxiety worse. However, cognative-behavoirally, I'm doing surprisingly great. That is why I'm not pacing my home or in bed crying right now but instead am typing a blog post in between homework. That and God's grace. Tuesday, I need to call the psychiatrist. But I have this problem. When I can call him, I think, oh, I'm better today, maybe I don't need to call him. When he's unavailable, I think, I really need to call him. Anyway, today I'm currently in a good mood. :) How lovely.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

School work has ambushed me. That is why one might want to check what they have to do in a week before taking the holiday off. But really, a day off was nice. And the thing I'm most worried about is the group project, and that doesn't depend only on me.

My OCD is behaving itself, well, as well as it does. The depression is being "normal" or a bit worse. I was watching a movie today, "Fathers Day," and haven't finished it. But one character is a bit like me with depression and anxiety. The other character is surprised by him. I forget that my thoughts are unusual. I'm having a pretty good day today, but Sunday I was making it from one activity to the next (not even one day to the next). Admittedly, that was worse for me. But when I told my sister and heard her response, I thought, Oh, that isn't normal thinking. I had kind of forgotten. I had kind of assumed that everyone had bad days like that. But the movie and my sister remind me, no, my thoughts aren't all normal, which means they might get better.

Here is my happiest news; my "projected graduation date" is fall of 1013! A semester over two years away! (Meaning, I'll have to take classes each summer, but only have to take two or three classes each semester.) It gives me a feeling of hope - coupled with, but then what? What good will this degree really do? Who knows, but I'll actually have it. And I will hopefully enjoy the classes (or most of them) on my way there.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

contamination and myself in a seven hour battle

I worked on Saturday dicing tomatos. Throws off my sense of time. And restarted the symptoms I'd blamed on the medication I just got off of. (Shaking, occasional twitches.)

Working in a kitchen where I've worked before, for money, for a bunch of people to eat, that is a great OCD invitation. All things considered, I think I did well. Only one extra glove change (I think the other people forgot to notice and there was a "touched which touched which touched" contamination. Hmmm, looks more rediculous when I write it out.)

I diced tomatos, as I said (though not the whole time). I had some good self-talk. I'm proud of myself. I would worry about something (not getting it quite right) and then think, do you think other people always get it "right"? It helped to remind myself that the issues I faced were faced by other people (even if they don't realize it). The boss complimented my tomatos, which made me think, oh, no, now I have to live up to that. But I was able to remember that she liked the job I was already doing, so I didn't need to change it.

So, now my body says it's stressed out (studying quickly and taking a test after work wouldn't have anything to do with that...). But I got my big two tasks done today (test and work).

Friday, September 2, 2011

My teacher thinks that when citing sources, one can't cite too often. She didn't read my first research paper. She probably doesn't know about OCD fears of plagerism.

sweet house and checking - unrelated

Hey, let's check it five more times. Since the zeros on the account balance that my eyes saw, well, maybe they were not zeros. Yeah, I looked several times, but maybe I should check it again. Or I could play ERP. "The account balance is really something above zero, and you will be dropped from your classes and blah, blah, blah, it will be very disturbing, and then..." I like making up funny endings, but I'm pretty sure you aren't supposed to. "And then..." Somehow, misteriously, this will cause me to be in debt the rest of my life? My depression will strike really hard and I'll end up in the locked part of the hospital again? I'll never get to take classes again? But those don't seem to follow the "reasonable" consequesnces part of what if my fears came true. Really, they sound like fears themselves. More reasonably, I'd get re-signed up and would keep taking my beloved Phonetics and Language Science classes. I love them, so far, as rediculous as that may be. This makes studying pleasant, or at least close to enjoyable. (Fighting with computers, not so fun.) (This does not mean I won't complain about studying later.)

 Home sweet home. This (both pictures above) is the edible house I entered in the fair. Got third place with no competition at all (the only one there. How do I pick those?). Below is my practice try.



I think the first house was cuter. I mean, aside from the fact it was falling down and the "dirt" was melting into the icing and the door was falling/fell off and the back and other side were just bare graham cracker, and the icing wasn't stable, and it is tacky enough that it probably would have gotten a worse rating at the fair. It still is more cute. Better colored. Not one of those perfect little houses with perfect grass and no dandelions or bare spots or anything. What? I'm still bitter about neighbors having had better yards when I was in elementary school?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

ocd and paperwork

I was doing an online training thing that was supposed to take about 30 minutes. Took me an hour and a half. Like the OCD said, "You can think you've got the best of me, but guess what? I still know how to make some of your schoolwork take three times the length it needs to. I just easily ate up an hour of your time - which re-qualifies you as having clinical OCD just in case you thought you were under-qualified."

How have I gotten along up to this point? I have a great memory (which is useful to the OCD). I can learn things the first time around, often. Otherwise, who knows how long I'd spend on schoolwork. Maybe not that long. My brain still has it's limits (attention-wise and motivation-wise).

I take this exercise dance class that has almost continuous but slow movement. Only they like to talk about things like freedom. Meanwhile, I feel un-free, un-happy, un-whatever positive emotion I'm supposed to feel. Maybe I'm still a rebel (okay, sometimes I am). But still, it's exercise, so it checks something off my to-do list.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

a piece at a time

Sometimes I wonder how to keep going. Like this morning at church. Well, if you can't cry at church, (at least silently), then you might want to look for a different one. Actually, I don't really worry about permission; I just figure people should be allowed to cry at church, and I go ahead and cry sometimes. Hopefully in such a way that is not obvious.

And then prayer.  This one couple has been around helping me through this mental illness stuff, usually just by talking, praying, and being there, which means alot. Letting me be there with them, which is one of the most helpful things. But the husband is on the prayer team, and I'm not too scared of him, and his wife is my friend, and I went to ask for prayer. The good old, I'm having trouble talking because I'm crying, kind of requesting. It was good, though. He asked somebody else to come, who does another kind of counseling. And this is the neat thing. I thought he'd be judgemental about my being on medication and being a Christian and struggling this much. But he wasn't. He was not judgemental. He didn't blame me. He said medication was fine. Etc. So that was nice. Because I was feeling pretty judgemental about myself, like, "what am I doing wrong? But I know that just because God hasn't healed me yet doesn't mean I'm doing something wrong... But, how do Christians deal with chronic illness? I need to know."

Apparently they pray, they cry, they keep in touch with friends, more or less, and they just keep slogging through their chronic illness, but they don't have to blame themselves. That's the good news there.

And then there is distracting chatter. I love it. And get frustrated if there's too much of it. So I enjoyed the church picnic and was happy to leave. And by the time I left, I had just enough encouragement and whatever I needed that I know I'm okay through tomorrow morning. And that's just how I'm living right now. Through defined bits of time. Too long might be too overwhelming. It's like saying, I'll write the first page of my 50 page essay. Now I'll write the second page. Now I'll write the third page. And if it was me, the third page might very well be the last, and the 50th page might well be the first by the end, so the analogy breaks down. But the moral of the story is, I'm living life a piece at a time.

And I'm emotionally exhausted, the kind that sleep might not relieve so much. Will a movie help? Or maybe a book. I've been wanting to read a fiction book. And exercise today; it's an exercise day in my normal schedule.

Friday, August 26, 2011

One for me, one for OCD

According to my counselor, my ocd will continue to pop up at different times, regardless of the state of my depression. I just have to exposure it back into place. So far, that's true. At least with the depression. Handwashing - suddenly the maybe-not-clean-should-wash-now state returns. It must be fooling me, because I let myself wash my hands. And another area, but I'm not willing to give that one back to ocd, so exposures have been lived through. I guess the moral of that story is I've learned more about dealing with ocd, and I have room to improve. But the germs... :).

Maybe someone is allergic to the coating of my antidepressant medication, which I touched. So if I go to a picnic without washing my hands, maybe I'll touch their food with the exact spot on my hands that has(?) residue from the coating of the medication, and then they will die. You know, peanut allergy type allergy, except it should probably be a little faster, because even a peanut allergy case might not be fatal since we're in the city with help near bye. Okay, so when I write it out, it becomes more obvious the chances of my fear occuring are very small. First, that the coating leaves residue on my hands. Oh, maybe 10%. Then, the coating is still there after I drive there but will come off onto food. Okay, that could be 1%. Then that someone with a severe allergy would happen to pick up just the right piece... Ah, the OCD fooled me again. That's gotta be a very very small chance. But I thought it was compelling justification to wash my hands.

The depression is being it's usual annoying self. One day I'm in tears, another day I don't care in the morning and cry at counseling. Another day, well, I've just got other things to do. But I'm tired. Because 8 1/2 hours of sleep just isn't enough.

Tonight, I'm planning to take it easy. Spoil myself. For now, I have just over two hours before I go back to work for the second part of my day, which should be shorter than the first, so I'm okay with that.

Monday, August 22, 2011

circumstantial happiness

circumstantial happiness; it throws everything off! Well, really, I'll just be thankful for happiness, but whether or not my meds are working right...? It did suddenly occur to me that my knee jerks less often. Maybe getting off Seroquel is good for me. My sleep is unpredictable - except that I can sleep. The quality of the sleep and dreams, that varies.

Friday, I decided to enter something in the local fair, so I made a practice edible house. I really enjoyed making it. I'm thinking maybe that helped Saturday's cheerful morning.

Yesterday was not fun. But when I made my actual edible house, I enjoyed that. Maybe I should do art more often. Now it's at the fair. Which means that I for sure do want to spend the dollars to go this year (okay, I was already planning on it). Thankfully, entering was free (ignoring the cost of all my ingrediants and an icing tool).

Sunday, August 21, 2011

mountain top and then sliding down the other side.

Yesterday was great. Really great. I woke up happy to be alive. Note that amazing sentence. Happy to be alive. Then I cleaned my kitchen, part of my room, and did laundry - all the way to putting my clothes away. It's amazing how much one can do when the depression takes a vacation. I did discover that being actively excited to finally be happy to be alive was still emotionally draining. I also found that I tired more easily than that phantom time when I lived a "normal" life.

I went to the NAMI picnic. I ended up playing the guitarist's guitar when he wanted a break. Spontaneity. I like it. Oh, and there was just one person I particularly knew still there then. That helps. And people mostly ignored me. That helped, too.

Then I crashed for 30 minutes at home. Then exercised at the gym with a friend. Then went to my dad's b-day party. Stuck my foot in or near my mouth a few times, talked alot (I do, sometimes), ate food, petted the stinky goats - oh, wait, I didn't pet the really stinky one, I just petted the nicer ones, petted "my" cat and dog. Then dreamed about my dog that night, I think getting ready to die in my dreams. Alas.

I knew the happiness might or might not last. I'm going through a med change, so maybe it would last this time, I told myself. I was not going to "plan for my relapse" or however my counselor put it (negatively). I was going to keep high hopes. I did remember that it's rotten to have the depression say hello after a really good day or few days. But I was going to hope.

Yeah, today,...

I HATE ocd. Or whatever it is that messes with my brain. I can't figure it out. I can't understand like I want to understand. Christianity, chronic illness, sin, grace, etc. I visited a different church today. It was nice, but nothing seems to shut up the hole in my understanding. I guess I've got to just let it be there. I HATE ocd.

When the depresion goes down, then I can notice the anxiety. Then the depression comes back. That is my lovely pattern. I hate that, too.

Anyway, today I was feeling like a stranger on earth. One of those people who should be locked up. Great morale to be gained by a stay in a psych ward.

But I was hoping my meds were working better. I keep hoping, keep thinking that this time, we've got it licked. That in the next few weeks, this mental illness thing will recede enough that I can live a normal life - i.e. work full time without going crazy, or taking lots of college classes also without loosing it. See a counselor only every other week. See the Psych Dr. every 6 months. Be able to plan to go over seas again. Not need to keep getting training and help to deal with this monster. But so far, I'm not all the way out of the woods. Well, maybe this afternoon will be better. Or tomorrow. Or the day after. Come on, optimism, don't leave me now!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

when I feel the craziest

The psych ward was interesting, because of it's implications. No plastic containers?

My therapist's office. Ah, the tears (when the depression is having a party). And the "the tears are just under the surfice and why do we have to discuss this and why did my brain come to such an unhelpful conclusion and how do I change it and it hurts not to cry" moments.

The Psychiatrist's office. No, right after being in the Psychiatrist's office, when I'm leaving and crying.

Church/religious issues or paperwork to fill out and sign my name to (yes, I have to verify my FAFSA information; suffering through the initial form was not enough). Scrupulous OCD, you're like the princess and the pea.

But what really seems crazy to me? Working with six to eight toddlers by myself, or with help, and liking it. Why on earth do I like it? Changing diapers, contemplating the misteries of healthy discipline (that nobody's really figured out, but some moms are probably closer), eating snack so that I don't loose my temper (not always successful, but worth a try), controling my lost temper, getting in trouble for what a toddler did (crying, throwing a fit, biting), getting them to take a nap, putting on sunscreen - esp. if the child tries to bite me while I do it - but that only happened once - wiping their noses again. Why do I like it? What makes the hard hours and, um, not the largest paycheck worth it? Some psychologist has some theory, but I prefer my own. I like seeing their smiles. I love their hugs. I like how they call my name when I come in. I love hearing them go from using no words at all to two and then three and then more word sentences. I really enjoy watching them sing. How this all overcomes the negatives, I still don't understand. And that is probably why I sounded "like it's a bad thing" when I told someone I liked my job. Some sort of feeling like life is worth living around them might be involved. And now, please let me sleep those ten hours a day that I like. Pretty please? Please with a fit, lots of tears, and a show of teeth? Just kidding. (Have you ever watched two kids open their mouths, simultaneously threatening to bite each other? That's pretty cute. Especially since it didn't get past the threat stage.)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Med change

The doctor mentioned something about my possibly needing help to sleep again on this new medication. I wasn't really surprised when I didn't sleep well last night. That could likely be "normal (for me)" worrying. I think the nausea might actually be from the new medication. And maybe part of the tiredness? But maybe not, 'cause I've been pretty tired lately.

A bit of advice; don't read a book about people having upset stomachs when yours is upset already.

So the medication testing continues. Switching from Seroquel to Abilify. Yes, I'm scared. What if the Seroquel helped more than I thought it did? What if I have a bad reaction to Abilify?

Yawn. I'm a bit too tired to worry very well today. I skipped excercising today. I'm a bit too tired for my most hazerdous thoughts. That's convenient. Back to my oppinion last fall; if I feel like a zombie (in the not-horror-film-art sense of the word), there are some mistakes that I wont make. I wouldn't want to bother. I'd just want to sleep. Or stare into space. That's pretty nice, too. But I'm bored (what? I'm saying that?). And I feel like I have a light case of the flu. Yay, med change. And tonight I want to watch a movie that I rent for about 50 cents. I'm pretty excited, in my deliberate, tired way.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

shopping

It occured to me perhaps 25 minutes into shopping for the right gift bag for a babyshower gift, that people actually wouldn't be analysing my choice of gift bag (too girly, too boyish, wrong animal, inaccurate baby when it's for two babies, too big, too small, etc.). I did finally choose. Oh, and I didn't spend the whole 25 minutes on gift bag shopping; I got a few other things, too.

Hehe, and I went to a whole different store before that to get the gift. Trouble finding the registry. Checking to see if I could have gotten a better deal on a lawn chair at this store than the chair I've already purchased on clearance at another store. Yes, I knew it was checking to make me feel better. No, it still didn't solve the pressing question, should I or should I not have bought said lawn chair. I like it, but maybe I wasted money on it. Maybe it's a sort of stealing since I've gotten some financial assistance in another area of life. But chair aside, I found a baby gift. Off of the registry that I finally found after checking a different machine after looking for baby gifts myself after trying to find the registry on the first machine. Then, let's not forget the "is it too boyish or girlish" question (hint, if you keep thinking it's one and then the other, it's probably pretty nutral). I chose a bit quicker because I friend walked up (who was also on the babyshower gift hunt). She answered my checking question that the colors of the sippy cups were okay. She thought it was a fine gift. Somehow I felt locked into getting that gift then -some indistinct avoidance of lying? Then the, should I get more than this or not question. Which relates to the whole big question about spending money right and not missusing it... The good news is, I can make a shopping trip last a long time, so if I'm trying to kill time, I'm fairly successful.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Sarcastic, silly, and serious, all at once

I saw my counselor yesterday. I gave my suggestions for why I was depressed, but she wasn't convinced. Maybe I have a tiny sinus infection really close to my brain... Um, no. Maybe it's because one of my medications last month had funny spots on it (seriously, but I've already taken them, so it's too late to change that. This months still look fine). Um, no.

So why? Why the stupid depression? Maybe if I did this, maybe if I did that, maybe... oh, please, I just want to sleep (she doesn't particularly like me using the sleep answer to what-will-I-do questions).

I said, I felt like I came to counseling and got told what I'm doing wrong. She said, no, if I'm getting that impression, I need to let her know. Her final position was that I was doing the right things. She still wants me to be less judgemental of myself and had mercy on myself (particularly in the area of figuring out my own understanding of religion in relationship to what I've been taught). Blah, blah, blah. Scrupulosity is a really annoying thing. But maybe it isn't all OCD, maybe there are other problems, too. I admit; I don't really understand everything about God. Actually, I understand a little. And technically, that's enough. She wants it to truly be enough, not just true for 26 hours. Picky. I want the same thing. Picky, also. Oh, and that was just two judgments. Which are bad. Which is another judgment. So it must not be good. Which is another judgment. Have fun with that treadmill.

So this weekend, I'll keep working on doing what I'm supposed to (excercise, eat, talk to people, do fun things...). And the depression... well, I'm afraid we tend to fight extra on the weekends. It finally occurred to me within the last hour that the weekends aren't my fault. I'm working to do what I should. It's not my fault that I don't work at the child care center on the weekends (when it isn't even open). Remarkable the guilt I manage to scrape up for myself.

Happy Friday. "This is a new minute of a new day (days restart every minute for this)." My counselor called that a mind trick, but said, "whatever works." "This is a new minute. This is a new minute and not a compulsion. This is a new minute and not a compulsion. Really, this is a new minute - no wait; new seconds of the old minute. And not a compulsion. Merely sarcastic, silly, and serious, all at once.

viewing non-ocd life

One of my friends invites me over fairly often, and I invite myself over occasionally (okay, maybe I only did that once). I love to watch her make cookies, with help from very young helpers. And she peacefully ignores the loud bang of measuring cups on the counter. Doesn't care when a child decides to try raw oats, seems unconcerned about the raw egg, and definately eats the raw cookie dough. She might rinse her hands in there, but I don't recall a good, solid, with-soap handwashing. I just watch kind of amazed (and very rarely help, after I wash my hands with soap in an acceptable way). I think, this is how people live on the other side of the ocd barrier. (My family had ocd-ish tendencies in cooking and cleaning.) I feel uplifted by the insane possibility of sanity in the kitchen. And I feel a bit jealous. And I sort of almost kind of start to understand, but at the same time, it never really makes sense. That's my non-ocd glimpse through a friend.

This same friend has been leading a Bible study. I have scrupulosity issues, as I've already expressed elsewhere. We landed on a verse that my ocd would have a grand time with. Something about turning away from barretsin and obeying and doing right. This is the sort of verse that my ocd thinks justifies perpetual praying and more (I mean over and over asking for forgiveness and searching to see what else I should ask forgiveness for and generally feeling bad and wanting to feel "right"). In response, I feel like I've rejected the obedience verses in the Bible. Because now I only ask for forgiveness once a day (or two or three times...). Because now I don't notice as many of the millions of sins I think I must be commiting each day. I even don't recall any specific sins. This is all clear (OCD) evidence that at best, I'm a back-sliding Christian. (Meanwhile the pastor's wife holds as her goal to ask for forgiveness from God every day instead of less often.)

So I asked my friend about it, in my lovely, repetetive, almost stuttery, having-trouble-expressing-myself-in-words English. Her answer was amazing. Just like eating cookie dough or not washing hands. To her, the verse meant that she should admit/claim Christianity when it came up, instead of just being quiet about it. One general/basic application. No lice comb needed. No infinite number of applications to worry about. Just a quick hair clip added. Prettier, less stressful, and more practical (at least if you don't have lice).

For all of which, I still don't think that way myself. I still am not sure how to think that way.

This post was mostly written on a different day, not Friday.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

live my life

The Sunday meltdown. Usually, I don't actually cry in the morning. Wait, didn't I say that another time not so long ago? But I was discouraged, even though I kept telling myself it was a new minute in a new day (new days restarted every minute). That helped, but didn't completely erase the muddy waters swirling beneath me.

I asked for prayer. The one word "health" on the paper thing that the church collects. The multiword having thoughts I don't want for the lady available to pray with people that I talked to. I didn't want to say depression, because I didn't want her to judge me. I guess I feel like unwanted thoughts are more acceptable than an ongoing, yet-to-be-ideally-medicated depression.

I continue to not understand the whole Christianity versus legalism versus laziness versus scrupulous OCD thing. Earlier this week, a friend asked if the OCD was why I had so many questions about that. Yes, I'm pretty sure it's nicely embedded in the issue. And I told her that right now, I was okay with not having the issue solved. Now I wanna know, I wanna know, I wanna know! For sure and certain, 100% accurate. Oh, and I want to be that perfect, not just because of God's forgiveness, but because I now live up to it. And yes, I know that that is technically an error. Who can "live up to" God's forgiveness? I think I should go back to the not-knowing-and-okay-with-it state. I love God (really imperfectly), He loves me, somehow He will take care of me. The end, for now.

Today, I talked to a lady who has been through the OCD depression game, only she actually got out of it. She said I should stop trying so hard to make it stop. Hmmm, sounds like good ocd advice. But I want my depression to stop NOW! I'm excersizing, thinking, eating when I make myself, thinking, working on a puzzle, thinking, watching movies, thinking, etc. Maybe she's right. Maybe I need to accept where I am right now and quit trying to frantically get out of my dark hole that I am scared of. She said, let God do the healing, and I just needed to keep living, not worrying about getting better.

I thought... I've got questions there. But I'd already taken a nice amount of her time. And it sounds good.

But runs right back into the Christianity/Legalism/Liberalism/Ocd issue. Rats. I think I'll finish up here and go buy myself something sweet to eat at the local fair/something similar to a fair. And take part of her advice without forever analysing the rest. I'll go live my life.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Brave

Sometimes I think that (other) people with mental illnesses who are still fighting, I think they are so brave. I forget to apply that to myself; personally, I know how un-bold I'm feeling. How sick of everything. How it's hard to keep going. I know more of the tears I've cried, more of the times I've indulged in coming up with bad solutions. I know more of the hours of "un-needed" sleep I've enjoyed, more of the therapy homework I've left undone, more of the meals I have trouble bringing myself to eat. I don't feel bold. But really, I am part of their group. Maybe they don't "feel" brave, either.

It's amazing how much sympathy and care other people with mental illnesses can give to each other. Never mind - or perhaps especially in mind - of their own time in deep dark holes. Them there telling me to take care of myself. Me promising to see them next week. I'm glad I go to some support groups here locally. They aren't specifically for OCD - more generally for people dealing with mental illnesses. But it's helped me.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

"I'm not freaking out, I'm not freaking out, I'm not freaking out, Okay! I'm freaking out." That is the way I drove into the center of town. Ha, and I live in a small town. Immagine what I'd do in a big city (simple, I wouldn't go there unless there was a compelling enough reason).

My rough days got rougher. Sunday and Monday were pretty bad. I can't remember much of Saturday (I did sleep a good part of it), so that could be good or bad. But today, I was more hopeful, having survived yesterday. Now I just have to finish out the evening and get through tomorrow. Thursday, I see my counselor.

Yesterday, I went to a book store that was closing (my afternoon plan was to wander stores until I needed to get home to eat something in time to get to the gym for the excersize class. After that, I was free to go to bed. Ahhhh. :) But back to the book store. My weekness in buying books is actually for board books. And preferably not the lift-the-flap kind, because those get ripped in a one-year-old classroom. 9 books (carefully chosen based on appearance, educational use, price, and suspected durability) and 20 dollars later, I left the book store. Today, I brought six of them to work. The kids liked the new books, but they didn't amuse them for the hour I wanted them to be amused (okay, so that was a high expectation). I brought the books home again, too. They are my private collection that I might sometimes share. :)

Today, I got the oil changed in my car. It was first come, first serve. There were parking spaces available; several, so I could choose an easy one (i.e., not right next to any other vehicles). The office didn't smell overwhelmingly of rubber (I still am not sure how that happened since there where tires in there). They charged me a reasonable low price (as in, within a couple dollars of the cheapest in town), and tested my car to find out what the nasty sound was from. They didn't figure that out and asked me to come again another day when they had more time. They did make sure it was safe to drive (what I really wanted to know), and they didn't charge me for the diagnosing they started. I'm impressed. And it's within walking distance from my house. I think they may have won my business.

I'm really really tired. Fighting my brain can do that to me. But Thurs. I see my counselor, Lord willing. That is a managable time to fight my brain for (if it doesn't get too much worse). For the moment, I feel cheerful, actually.