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).