Sunday, March 4, 2012


Tina's response to my last post (thanks!) got me thinking. Do I put things off because of the anxiety that will likely come with it? And then I took my American Sign Language expressive test that was due today. I read the English sentence, translate it into sign language, and record it through my webcam. But I was recording things over and over and over. I'd watch myself and think, my expression wasn't good enough, or, I hesitated there, or, I signed that too fast. I'd keep re-recording, feeling frustrated and upset, wondering if the depression showed in my eyes. But then I started thinking about OCD, thinking that maybe it was having more fun than I was aware of. Maybe OCD was secretly manifesting itself in my schoolwork. So I tried to only record things once or twice. Or three times... On one, I saved it without even watching it.

That's something I do when writing an English paper. If it has too much anxiety involved, I won't re-read it; I'll just send it in fast. Because if I re-read it, I might find mistakes. If I find mistakes, I might get caught in an OCD cycle trap, which I then have to take the risk to get out of. For example, today, I wrote a report on a lab I did, for another class. But I was reporting some things my aunt had said. So begins the OCD trap of paraphrasing accurately without plagiarizing. The double-danger set up that OCD is good at. If I am too close to my aunt's words, I'll be plagiarizing. If I'm too far, I won't be accurately representing her. And I didn't write down what she said when she said it yesterday, so I can't just straight quote it without once again running the risk of misrepresenting her (and all of these options are somehow worthy of considerable guilty feelings and anxiety. Really? Who cares? Except me, of course. I know I care, thanks to a malfunction of my brain - or is it the truth? - or is it OCD? - are we misrepresenting the facts here? Okay, now I'm exaggerating to make a point.).

Anyway, maybe I'll do more thinking on that and come up with another plan-of-attack - I mean, exposure exercise.

The other thought I had when I was thinking after reading Tina's comment, was that I remembered something I used to do when I was in the hospital. As directed, I would write down a goal that was specific and attainable. I picked things like, "take a shower today," or, "Come up with three grey options for three things that come up." (Trying not to just see black and white. Things like, "I'm a bad person, - or I'm a tired, sick, but normal person, - or I'm a person having a bad day." Or, "maybe I'll play this game. Maybe that's sin. Maybe it's not. Maybe it's neutral. Maybe I could play this or that game or read a book.") Anyway, I want to go back to little goals, mine for today being to come up with positive thoughts to correspond with five negative thoughts (depressive thought versus, the sun is shining today).

Running out of time before the library closes...

1 comment:

  1. Ah, Abigail, now you've got ME thinking! :-)

    I have a lot of problems letting a piece of writing go. I write a lot on the job because I'm a newspaper reporter. I put off writing because of the anxiety I feel about it. Then I take too long to write because I read the piece over and over, past what I need to do. So I am working on setting time limits on how long I can spend writing and how long I can edit. Last week, I turned in some pieces before I had gotten that "right" feeling, and the world didn't end, I didn't get fired, I didn't get it wrong--it was OK.

    I really like your idea of coming up with positive thoughts to counter the negative ones. That's sometimes hard for me to do because I get contrary about it. It's easier to hold on to the negative thoughts than to try to look up.

    Sounds like you are making strides. Yay!