Thursday, April 5, 2012

I was just going to quickly process something through writting, but it kept getting longer...

I saw my counselor today. Spent the first part decompressing from a hard morning of work. It wasn't just me; I think all the staff felt it. Why do we decide to decorate eggs and conduct egg hunts? But we all survived.

We talked about my anxiety with some social situations that my nasty - I mean, my challenging college classes have brought to me. I still don't like it, don't like the anxiety. But time is running out... nothing like a little pressure to force me into an anxiety-triggering situation (haha, it's probably a good thing that happens since I'm not good at doing it completely voluntarily; that's how I got so much more comfortable driving on the interstate - and I mean the nice semi-country interstate near where I live).

We touched on the potentially obsessive-compulsive issues I have with Christianity. I was eager to defend my recent research of Charles Spurgeon. My counselor was wary of anything involving the word research (outside of "normal" research, like college homework). So as I left, with the sun shining (I'd seen snow earlier in the day, so the sun was extra nice), I thought about it. I've recently researched Spurgeon. I've resently gotten the confirmation and encouragement and comfort that I wanted about my depression and still being a "good" Christian (never mind my technical oppinion that there aren't "good Christians" and "not-so-good/rebellious/bad Christians). And so, I nobely determined that, OCD or not, I could withhold from researching for a month, until May 5. That goal is so much easier in the sunshine. It kind of falters in a room with walls and a roof. It really trembles a bit when I look up a book that the young adult group at my church is going to go through. This, mind you, isn't the same kind of research. Maybe OCD, but not quite the kind I'm determined to avoid for a month. This investigation was to gage if this book was likely to make me angry/upset when I go to the group. So I look at one page of the book shown online. And I read through it. And... there wasn't anything wrong with it, no obvious heresy (I know, a "normal" person wouldn't be worrying about that) nor any doctrinal errors. But, there were instant triggers. And suddenly avoiding research for a month became a much stickier problem.

It's easy to determine Response Prevention when still enjoying the comfort and assurance of the last compulsion. It's easy, in the bright sunlight and brief moment of mental clarity, to see that I really don't need to keep researching this; a month off won't hurt a thing. But once the window passes? Once my brain is re-scrambled? Once the fear and almost-despair and I-don't-even-know-what arrive on the scene, I wonder how to handle this. No research. I'm still solid on that (after all, I haven't had that determination for three hours yet; I can't quit yet). But... When do I place myself in situations that set off my fear and guilt/false-guilt/insecurity? When is it better not to place myself in situations that I know will upset me? Is this something I need to "expose" myself to, or is it enough to just fight the compulsions that will naturally occur without enviting them to come faster and harder. Because Mr. Psychiatrist has actually commended me for avoiding situations that will bring me down.

I think I will keep to my current course? (End confident assertions with question marks. Leaves room for the OCD to question you without adding in false-OCD-guilt over lying.) I go to church on Sunday. Maybe I will be triggered alot, maybe I will just be triggered a little. Maybe it will be one of those amazing Sundays that actually goes well at church. But Sunday morning service is staying on the calender. Sunday school and young adult group? Those are optional. They have been optional for months, so I'm not making a new decision of avoidance. I'm trying to keep myself a little more sane. Like when I decide not to go to support groups for mental illness sometimes because I think that if I went, I would have to follow it up with self-support and attempting to talk myself out of the piece of gloom that came directly from my time at the support group.

Instead, maybe I'll get my taxes done (now, I'm just talking about tonight, since there is a church option and a support group option available tonight that I just might not go to).

1 comment:

  1. Abigail,

    It is a lot easier for me to decide to do something/make a commitment to do something, when I feel good, am sitting in the therapist's office, or in any pleasant situation.

    The problem is . . . I have to keep making the decision to do whatever it is, like exercise. I might exercise today and feel pumped up and determined to do it again tomorrow, but come 6 a.m. tomorrow, I still have to make the decision: do I exercise or stay in bed?

    That's something my therapist talked about this week, and it really helped me.

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