Friday, March 30, 2012

I find myself poised to procrastinate. Actually, I'm already putting things off, the question being how thoroughly I will procrastinate. Will I convince myself to attend this social event late, or will I hide out with my computer, some lame excuse about doing homework (the class website is open in another tab), and my own weariness and desire for comfort. SSRI #4 seems to bring with it extra tiredness (funny how quickly I forget that I was exhausted before I even started SSRI #4). I crashed around 4 pm for an hour and a half nap. That was nice. But sleep doesn't seem to take away this weariness.

What I need to do is go over to the coffee shop and show up at "Deaf Coffee Night." I need this for one of my classes. But I've never gone before. What do I do, just show up and interrupt? Pull out my Puerto Rican accented, Utah State University "educated" ASL skills and hope I don't sign any swear words on accident? Bring along my OCD brain so that it can pile guilt on me for anything that might possibly be almost construed as a mistake?

Speaking of which, I got a homework assignment yesterday afternoon at counseling. My counselor wants me to keep a tally of how often I think about my "bad Christian" concerns (the, what-am-I-doing-wrong-that-has-me-so-depressed-I-must-be-in-rebellion-against-God concerns). I didn't want to keep such a record. Sounded as ridiculous as counting how many times I wash my hands (hmm, I wonder why the comparison). The worst part not being the counting, but the mandated "reduction of episodes" the following week. As in, After worrying a total of 17 times the first week, I must limit myself to feeling anxious only 10 times the following week. Forget the therapy! Can't I at least be miserable in peace?

I decided to divide the issue, since I'm not sure if category B fits with my counselor's request to record category A thoughts, and I wouldn't want to make such a big mistake, nor would I want to misrepresent myself and have her thinking I'm despairing over my depression-religion connection concerns more than I actually am. So category A thoughts are along the line of what-am-I-doing-wrong thoughts. Category B thoughts are "is-this-a-sin" thoughts. The results of my afternoon from 3:10 until I went to sleep are very telling. Three "what-am-I-doing-wrong" thoughts, and ... twenty-four "is-this-a-sin" thoughts! That many "is-this-a-sin" thoughts must be a sin in itself, you know (add tally mark). And then, it is as if my thoughts start mocking me. Like when I have ninety marks and I really want a twentieth mark to round things out. Or when, once started, my brain generates more and more possible sin diagnoses. It was ironic. And irritating. Like,"Brain, could you stop now? This is a ridiculous number of times. I bet even my pastor could recognize that, or maybe even that nice gentleman that assured my that my conscience couldn't lie."

That was a funny assertion. I'll grant a technical agreement. And then add that, even though my conscience doesn't lie, I get pretty good imitation "convictions" that are lies. (24 danger signals from my conscience in one evening? Not saying it wouldn't be possible, but... And did I mention the half hour of my evening spent agonizing on the sinful/sinlesness of making a purchase at the store?) (Ironically, "sinlessness" is not a word recognized by the spellcheck.)

Of course, we could go with how "saintly" I am with my "tender conscience." Kind of a bit like Martin Luther, maybe? Like the Martin Luther thought to have OCD in addition to depression? But then again, if I am so "saintly," why do I keep doing these "possibly sinful" things? And hey, shouldn't my conscience have gotten harder by now, just like I've been warned ("if you go on sinning, your conscience with become hardened and stop warning you so easily"). Why hasn't the thing shut up by now? Then again, hasn't it? Haven't I been increasing my number of "lies" when I don't add sufficient qualifying words ("probably completely," "nearly completely," "cleaned almost every square inch of the floor but I did skip mopping the closet, so maybe I didn't really finish cleaning the kitchen"). And my "conscience" has gotten a bit harder - I'm not in quite as much distress when I "lie" by not including all the details.

Maybe I should just... make an approach to the Scarey Social Situation. I've got to do it. Or could I pass the class with a lower grade without it? Or do it all over the internet with the lovely webcam? Or just make myself go. I could just - get some coffee, and if I'm too scared, I can just leave then, but at least I'll have made it into the room. Good plan. Escape route planned, maybe the anxiety will be lower. But what if they think I'm rude for showing up late? They might think that, you know. Lateness might equal rudeness in deaf culture where I currently live (it didn't in Puerto Rico, but I'm not in Puerto Rico any longer). I guess I'll have to take the risk of being rude at some point. Isn't that funny? I bet not everyone has realized that to interact with another person, you must risk being rude. But I'm pretty sure it's true. Or at least, will feel true to me.

Happy Friday! Writing makes me feel a little better about myself. Maybe that will help me go... right after I look up one more thing on the internet.

1 comment:

  1. Abigail, I can hear so much of myself in your this-is-a-sin thoughts. I would to get others to reassure me, I would "confess" to others, I would try to get a "feeling" that I was right with God--and none of it worked.

    Perhaps your therapist wants you to be more aware of how often you have such thoughts. The more you realize that you're doing it, the better you will be able to begin the work of not attending to those thoughts--just acknowledging that you have them and move on. Very hard to do, and I am no expert, but it helps me to know that I have a choice in which thoughts I pay attention to.

    If you went to the coffee activity, I hope you enjoyed it!

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