Thursday, January 26, 2012

somewhat better

Currently, my computer is somewhat working. That at least is encouraging.

Today, I saw both my counselor and my psychiatrist. Right now, I'm kind of doing okay as long as I don't think about it. But thinking about it when I see my counselor and psychiatrist... well, I've been better. But hey, I've been worse, too.

My current areas to improve are socializing and exercising. Exercising has somehow fallen out of my schedule. Not out of my to-do list, just out of my completed list.

As for schoolwork, I think for a moment that I'm doing good and then find out that I'm actually falling behind in another class and might not be able to get the paper in on time. Somehow my expectations aren't lining up with reality. I expect to be able to do more than it seems that I actually can do. And there probably was a time in my life when I could have done more. That bugs me. Then again, when I could have done more, I wasn't working five hours a day caring for a million toddlers. One semester, I was sort of full time, but that college was different in how the classes went. And I pretty much just had to take tests and write papers. One of my classes this year involves actually going out and observing Speech Language Pathologists. That takes a different kind of time. For me, I can learn information for a test in a relatively short amount of time and I'm pretty good at test taking skills. Papers are a bit harder (thanks to OCD), but I can still do them, probably quickly, though I don't really know what to compare that to. Observations, however, must take a certain amount of time. You can't do an hour of observation in 30 minutes just because you have the academic kind of smartness that lets you memorize information extra quickly. And then I get to add in OCD time. Did I verify that I have all the written permissions that I need? Did I get the SLP to write their permission, too? Did I accurately answer the questions? What exactly did the SLP say? Ooops, I'm not positive that this is a direct quote, so I can't use it as a quote or a non-quote. Let's change the wording. Oh, no. I still don't know if that is a quote or a non-quote. Or, did that really happen, or did I just assume that it happened? Blah, blah, blah. I'm guessing I'll be able to handle part of that fairly quickly, but the OCD-related procrastination? The "I don't know how to do it right, so I don't want to start trying yet. Maybe I'll understand more later, or maybe... Jesus will come back before the paper is due. Or maybe... Um, I should do it. But I still don't know how. And somehow... oops, I ran out of time." Blah, blah, blah.

I guess this is me thinking "out loud," you are already falling behind in a class you have to pass while you work on this other class that you want to take but don't have to pass.

Then lets add in some false guilt. I potentially disappointed my mom by buying this laptop and webcam with my credit card when she was busy helping me not need my credit card for things like doctors appointments and food and gas for my car. That purchase might even be sinful, who knows? (OCD does; it must be sinful!) But I could almost justify it to myself because of this ASL II class which is really more practically taken with the computer and webcam that I now have. But if I drop the ASL II class... then the "it must be sin" voice can't be (somewhat) drowned out by the "I (almost) really need it for the ASL II class." All I'm left with is the "it must be sin" voice, and the softer (nicer) voice of my counselor that I really can still use a laptop. But oh, well. I'm thinking that the OCD and depression and anxiety are really having another party inside my brain, the annoying things!

And Mr. Psychiatrist is thinking the stress in my life is the cause in my recent decline, voiding the need to change medications just yet (which I agree with, even while I'm annoyed). So then (wanting some perhaps justifiable assurance), I said, I feel like it's my fault, that I'm taking too many classes or not exercising enough or not socializing enough or something. And he said, no, it's the stress. And I think, but I'm the one putting this stress on myself - well, aside from things like... my job and my mom's health issue and such. But I didn't say that. And he said I also need to forgive myself. I wonder how many times I've been told that. It's a popular theme for inspirational fiction. Speaking of which, how about I just hide from my troubles and go read a book? Forget about isolation for a minute; I'm in trouble. And I feel safe when I'm lost in a book. Safe from my mind.

Compromise. I can exercise, loosing myself in some tv show on the fancy gym machinery. Then I can go isolate in my apartment, and face the scarey schoolwork tomorrow.


  1. Hi Abigail. I'm sorry. You sound a bit overwhelmed. I totally get that, as I just graduated from college myself a year ago. All the classwork can really grate on you, especially when you have to do something that takes more time, like observation. You sound like you are very hard on yourself. As far as the laptop and webcam - beating yourself up about it will just make you feel worse for no reason! Maybe you could focus on enjoying the laptop and everything that it allows you to do instead (like blog!).

    Could you try some mindfulness, and then just do one part of your homework at a time, not thinking about any of the other homework? Could you join a study group? That may help with your school work and with socializing too. Anyway, just some ideas.

    I'm glad you're feeling somewhat better. Hang in there.

  2. Hey, Abigail--I'm glad you're feeling a little better. I hear you on the procrastination. I have a LOT of problems with that. My therapist suggested that the reason I procrastinate about certain things is to avoid anxiety associated with whatever it is I'm procrastinating about. Which makes sense.

    I agree with Sunny--one piece at a time. It's really hard for me to focus on one thing, but I'm always glad when I'm able to. Working on meditation helps me with that. I mostly just get really quiet, focus on my breathing for a short time and then just sit. Focusing on the different sounds around me helps me. The longer I sit, the more of the little sounds I hear that I would not have without getting quiet and still. I do that for about 10 minutes at a time.

    Being overwhelmed with classes is something I relate to, also. I used to get like that when I was a student, especially at the beginning of a semester. Once you get into kind of a routine, hopefully that will get better.

    You have the laptop now. So try to let go of the guilt. I know it's frustrating sometimes to be told to "forgive yourself." There have been times when I didn't even know what that meant. I think part of it is to stop telling yourself that you sinned. You may not believe it yet, but eventually you will.

    Take care!