Wednesday, March 27, 2013

misinformed high school senior

This is when I could be doing school work.

Or I could be telling you how easy it would be for me to slide back into work as usual and forget about trying to find a new job...

But instead, I want to tell you about my files. I've been cleaning them out. So today, I talked the Writing file.

I glimpsed OCD here and there, particularly the honesty stuff - I was afraid of writing true stories because I might not get all the details right, but obviously the story is more pleasant with some details. And I can see that I was very into my spiritual life, whether part OCD (probably) or not.

And then I got to my teenage years. During high school, in a letter never sent (possibly it is a copy and I sent the real one, but more likely I just never sent it, I wrote, "This is a week when I wish I was in heaven, not here on earth. I don't want to go on! But my Master wants me here." Yeah. Not a healthy sign. I feel cheated of a piece of my adolescence. I guess I'm a little angry that nobody realized that I needed professional help. But that was the way of life for the people I was with.

Then there is a story I sent in for a contest. I didn't win or even get published, to my dismay. Today, I thanked God for that fact, because it was one of those that showed I had mental health issues and then resolved on some spiritual passage. Not that spiritual passages aren't good or that God can't help somebody with mental illness, but it could have added to the wealth of information simplifying the solution for mental illness.

But in my drafts, my words make me feel sad now. I had an illness, so clearly, yet missed the chance for help at that point. So once again, in the words of a senior in high school who was me,

     Somehow, a land-slide of problems had deposited us in a family counselor's office. I bore the inward scars of a problem pastor, friends who had turned against my Dad .... Only perhaps scars isn't the right word. Maybe they were all open wounds. Either way, I was struggling, and I was there talking to the counselor who was looking over my answers to a written list of 105 questions. No one should ask me 105 questions, I had thought earlier. I already tend to be too introspective.
     The counselor was focusing on a few questions, like about my being afraid of things, and little habits that resulted. Then she told me she thought I might have Obsessive-Compulsive Dissorder. This disorder is linked with part of one's brain being too active. It involved a chemical imbalance. And the good news, she told me, is that it is treatable. With medicine and therapy. it was very treatable.
     At first, that was exciting. Persistant habbits sometimes made people angry with me. Insistant fears get to be insistently annoying. It could be a relief if there was some explaination besides my sinfulness. And if I could somehow be released from these things, that could be really neat.
     However, my Dad was not completely favorable to the counselor's opinion. He thought that sometimes I do worry too much, but that isn't necessarily because of a problem in the brain. Worrying is a sin. We should trust God more.
     This brought conflict into the room. I could feel it. But they didn't argue much. We were short on time. The counselor asked if I had questions.
     I struggled to put my question in words. If you take medication for it, I asked, then how do you know if you are still thinking right? Would medication distort my view of reality?
     The counselor said that she still needed to make a more precise diagnosis. But in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, I wasn't thinking right without medication. My brain was telling me lies. The medicine would help in dealing with this. Therapy would also help. We would identify the lies and replace them with truth.
     We left the counselor's office, and my brain was on overtime, trying to understand all the new information. Maybe I had a brain disorder, I thought. That could explain why I did this, and that, and the other thing. But there was supposed to be one driving fear behind my actions. What was it?
     As time went on, I got sarcastic. I'd do something twice to make sure it was done right. I would think, the counselor would call that obsessive-compulsive. Why am I doing this? I asked myself. Then the sarcasm came to play. Obviously because otherwise the world would come to an end. But when I tested my words for their truth, I came up short. Iwould be happy if the world came to an end. Then I would go to heaven and all my troubles would be over. So that didn't work for a fear. Only, I would mind if it was my fault that the world came to an end. So maybe I was afraid after all, afraid of being to blame.
     Mom didn't think I had Obsessive-COmpulsive Disorder (OCD). She did some research and decided that though I had symptoms of OCD, my motivation was different.
     My greatest problem with the counselor's words focused on her telling me that part of my brain doesn't work. Well, if part of it doesn't work, how do I know what is true? How do I know anything? What if what I know is seriously distorted by a faulty brain?
     These thoughts distressed me, but I wasn't willing to completely give in to them. Someone else - a Bible teacher - had once lied to me. When I found out, I was left with the question, do I know anything about the Bible. I did not want to return there because some counselor said I had OCD. My very life is safe only in the truth found in the Bible. I was not willing to say that my brain didn't work. My brain was what God had given me to receive knowledge, to understand. If I had broken my leg, that wouldn't change who I was. But if I had a problem with my brain...? That was too close to who I am.
     The picture brightened a little when I talked to my sister. She had heard about OCD. He has had some training in working with special needs kids. She said that as she learns about mental probloms, she sees symptoms in herself. She said about OCD that there was a range of people, from those whith almost no symptoms to thos e with many. But it was a question about such mental problems where to make the cut. Where do you say these people need help and these people don't? This was freeing for me. Maybe I had some symptoms. That didn't mean my case was extreme.
     Though I was afraid to go back to the counselor, an appointment was scheduled, and I did not refuse. She asked me more questions. I gave her more answers. I hoped that she would change her mind and say that I did not have OCD.
     She said no such thing. Though she told me my OCD wasn't very much in the way of my life so far, she wanted to deal with it now. She wanted to help get rid of the stress OCD was causing me.
     ... The counselor said it wasn't a big problem right now. She even said I had begun to face my fear in the same way she would have me deal with it. So, assuming my  brain works well enough to make a sound evaluation of myself, I think that as I grow in my faith, my "OCD" problems will diminish. The God who is saving my life will keep OCD from becoming a huge problom.

So there you can see it. A teenager afflicted by OCD along with misinformation.

Misinformation regarding medications and what they would do to you. Misinformation about OCD - or just plain not enough. Misinformation in my parents. Misinformation about the role of OCD in my "spiritual" life. Oh, and also misinformation on spelling. I had a "problom" with that.

So where does that leave me? Sad about the past, glad I know more know, and late for a potluck. Write y'all later!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

OCD is back on the academic honesty game

The sun and blue sky is so beautiful out today. Really, delightfully bright. I just finished my edited draft of my part of the research paper. It is due on Friday, and I will be relieved to have it turned in where my OCD mind can stop fretting about plagiarism. This time, I'm pretty sure it is OCD, even though it doesn't feel that different from last time. But there is a big difference. Thus far, my fellow team members (and this is a smaller group, so there are just two others) have proven to be good workers and the sort of people you want on your team.

But I started worrying even about my own writing (and why am a surprised yet again?). Check the sentence. No, recheck the sentence. No, check it one more time. For the most part my OCD leaves numbers alone, but there is something easier about stopping after the third time. Perhaps I should attack that habit. How, by checking four times? Because once I've done three, I've done three and I can't undo it. Second thought, I could. I could scramble words in my sentence so that I no longer knew if they were accidental quotes or not. Yyyyuck. I don't like that moment of identifying an exposure and then deciding not to do it right now. Too much anxiety. Ha, that might be the OCD talking again. And checking three times? How could that not be OCD with such a precision number (hey, 3 is a holy number, or I think somebody told me that once. 3 and 7 and 12 have special places in the Bible. If that isn't enough to start off some good old OCD issues, I don't know what is).

Well, despite eating what seemed like a big lunch, I am hungry again. And just perhaps I will get out to my garden and mix some dirt and decaying material around. After all, the sun is out. Then I might go inside and read the Against Depression book by Peter Kramer. Or maybe I'll listen to my last two lectures before Tuesday's test. Or paint more doll furniture. Or... something else somewhat pleasant. :)

Saturday, March 23, 2013

a garden!

It has been quite the second half of a week. A disagreement at work, getting my hours significantly reduced, looking for a new job. Great, just great. Just what I wanted, more stress in my life. Right now.

I did enjoy having Friday off. I worked on a number of stressful things, but I still felt more rested when I got up Saturday morning than I usually do after working Friday. So hopefully that will help.

And, mysteriously enough, I'm even getting excited to work again Monday with my little kids.

On a positive note, I rented a plot in a community garden! I live in an apartment, so I'm really excited about this opportunity. It is a 4x8 foot raised bed, and I can plant corn (doesn't always grow well here, but it is pretty) and carrots and peas and beans and lettuce and flowers! I love flowers. In a lazy kind of way, since I usually don't go out of my way to work with them. But this summer, I'm going to have a garden!

This should also help with socialization. I'm looking forward to spending time in a shared garden working alongside other people who share an interest in gardening.

And I can even be of service without spending a million dollars. They ask people to make donations of extra produce and then deliver those to soup kitchens and food banks. Yeah, the very places I could go myself. But this way I can add produce (assuming my food grows) without spending money that I should really spend on my own food (well, unless I buy seeds, but that is a little different). I somehow think it would be weird for me to give money to a food bank while I'm on food stamps myself.

Another accomplishment of the day (aside from washing and drying my laundry so that it can sit in clean heaps in baskets on the floor, and aside from getting together with my family) was painting more furniture for my dollhouse. I learned that mixing acrylic paint with water does produce a product that I can paint onto wood that looks like staining (but is cheaper). My dollhouse is looking really neat!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Issues 1 through 5

Issue 1: Well, I "should" be working on my research paper. Hey, I don't even have to write the whole thing, because it is a group paper. And I've started it.

Then I got this brilliant idea to ask the other two members of my group to upload what they had so far, and I uploaded mine. The good news? They had something; they were started. This paper should be a success. The bad news? I quickly concluded that they were doing better research and better writing than I was. I haven't touched my paper since.

Oh, well. The paper will still be there tomorrow (and even if the paper isn't, the deadline still will be). Or in a "few" minutes when I get around to it.

Issue 2: I was asked to fill in and play guitar and sing with the worship team on Sunday, yesterday. I did. Technically (i.e., Wednesday night last when I agreed to do that), I'm happy to help, happy to serve, and even enjoy playing with a group. Practically, it was not pleasant. I was having a "grumpy" morning. Aka depressed. So what does one do when waking from an emotionally stressful dream and going to church to play music when the dear older ladies say how happy they are that one is singing up front again? One smiles her fake smile, no attempt to smile the eyes. The I'm-here-but-I-don't-want-to-be smile.

Sundays period. Sunday mornings, more specifically. I'm sure I could easily get someone to say it was probably spiritual warfare and an attack from the dark side. But really? That is a great way to intimidate me or even make me feel helpless, but that seems to be about it. So maybe I'm just depressed Sunday mornings, mysteriously, without demonic involvement. Okay? I don't know why. I mean, it doesn't help, even thought I know that my pastor is in support of people getting professional help when they need it, when certain "Christiany" subjects come up. The beloved application oft repeated in Bible studies, "I worry so much and it doesn't do any good. I need to trust God. When I trust God, I feel better." (Really? That's so great. Just rub it in. Linger on the words "anxieties," "worry," "fear," and "trust," wont you? I could use a little more guilt in my life. Oh, but I can't complain, because you are quoting scripture. And it is a valid application. So I'll just write on my blog.) And then Sunday even the book we are following that has questions about the Bible passage, it got in on the game, too, asking me (I'll change it a little; wouldn't want to plagiarize on top of my complaining - and I don't want to reference it, either, since that wouldn't be fair to the poor book. So I'll very slightly change it), "do you have peace in your life? If not, is it because you are sinning somehow?

Sure it is. It's all my own terrible fault. Oh, yes, remember, I picked to have depression. And then each Saturday night I think to myself, oh please, can't I feel miserable tomorrow? Life is too easy. Oh, yeah, and can't I need some really expensive medication to help continue my financial failings? And I really want to need a counselor, too, because it is just so much fun to need to be free from work for that time so that I can drive all that way and use all that gas and collect all that stigma and on top of it, pay somebody to help me handle my life. Yup, I love it this way. Fills me with great joy. And it is all on purpose. And obviously, it is all sinful. Thanks a lot, book, for hinting at that. I needed another reminder.

Lets see, did I finish issue 2? I think so.

Issue 3: My therapist will be there this week, but then she is taking a week off. Which is when I try to tell myself I can handle it (because I can, and if I can't I'll have to figure something else out). It is good; I shouldn't be too dependent on another person.

Unless that is the only way I can function.

Issue 4: Well, this one has a good side. I was reading and reading and reading yesterday afternoon and evening. Got in the way of sleeping, and of course, in the way of dishes; almost everything comes before dishes. Even my research paper (though that might change).

The good thing is reading the book, Against Depression, by Peter D. Kramer of Listening to Prozac fame. A book I have not read, because I still think it would probably make me upset, even though his main topic in the Prozac book doesn't really have much to do with me. Against Depression doesn't make me mad. Well, take that back, it makes me mad at depression, but not at the author or the book. I have read the first section of the book; there are two more left. But he speaks of how our current culture has romanticized depression and seen it as a fount of creativity and depth, while really, it is a destructive disease. The author talks about how every day with depression could be harming a person's brain. So I read away, thinking about how long my last stretch of depression lasted, the one I'm still not completely out of (unless I'm in a new bit of trouble, but I still want a whole good year to let me know that the past stretch is truly over). The one that is still potentially harming my brain cells day by day.

He also talked about people getting suddenly really better, getting truly healthy again. And I've gotten close enough to that to know some of what he is talking about. That miraculous moment when you realize that you haven't wanted to kill yourself much in a while, that you actually enjoy life, that existing doesn't take so much work, that you can actually handle washing the dishes more than once in a rare while. It is really amazing.

So if I can still remember what better feels like (I don't mean before depression - that was too long ago. I mean some of my better moments this year), perhaps I can trust myself when I know that what I felt Sunday was getting up with the fog of depression back in place. Not as dark as it once was, but truly there.

I think it is there today, too. And I think it and probably OCD and certainly perfectionism are involved in a plot to sabotage my part of my research paper, for the moment by keeping me from it.

Issue 5: Work. Technically, me and my coworker can handle 6 one-year-olds and 8 two-year-olds in a room together. That is the max of legal, but still legal.

Guess what; I can't handle it. Not like I want to be able to. Not keeping calm. Not avoiding yelling. Not without loosing my temper. Not keeping a peaceful classroom. Not giving the best care.

Just in case you didn't know; we've had this kind of numbers three days a week for the past several weeks, but generally not that many for the entire 4 years I've worked in day care before that.

But the whole, "It's legal" thing makes me think I should be able to handle it. But I'm starting to think I really can't. I mean, I can get through, with stress taking its toll on all of us, but I don't like it.

So do I approach my boss? I think I should. Pull out my last tiny bit of optimism and ask for lower numbers. But lower numbers means less income for the business - at least short term. Soooo... yeah. That is issue five.

Well, that's enough for now, I think. Maybe I can get a bit in on that paper before I go home for a late supper.

Friday, March 15, 2013

problems and obstacles that aren't so bad

My biggest problem with taking naps in the middle of the day is not that I might not fall asleep as soon when night comes. Because that has been hit or miss. And besides, loosing an hour or two at night in place of an hour or two in the day doesn't sound too bad (and that is as much as would likely happen). No, my biggest problem is getting upset with myself and simultaneously anxious about not getting to sleep, often resulting in not even trying to go to sleep. Yup, those are my problems. Oh, and sometimes feeling half asleep/out of touch with reality afterwards.

So yes, I took a nap today and have almost forgiven myself. But how do you change your opinion of yourself? "Self, I'm okay with your taking a nap." - well, my brain was okay with it, but not my emotions. "Self, I'm not upset with you for taking a nap." - That isn't true! Afraid I can't change my feelings about myself by snapping my fingers. Now, a glittery wand might be a different matter... - just kidding.

Other than that, I've started writing on my part of the research paper in the second group project of the semester (different class, different people, fewer people). There is the "I'm too hungry to think" obstacle. And the "don't plagiarize" obstacle - hasn't given me too much trouble yet. And the "where did I just read that" obstacle. That one is annoying. And the "I read that a long time ago and I'm sure I could find it or something similar if I just spent the time and effort, but that would potentially add a whole 'nuther source to the reference page for one little quote or paraphrased fact" obstacle.

And now, I've given up for tonight and am happily blogging. But I've got to leave now, due to the building closing. The benefit of not having internet at home... really, it is a good thing. It limits my time online.

Monday, March 11, 2013

dollhouse pictures

Above is my "girls' room." I hope to put a crib in for the baby. The new additions to this are most of the playmobile (bed, shelf, guinea pigs and cage), the sponging on the walls, and the "carpet," as well as the mirror, which hasn't been attached yet. It blends in more than I wanted it to, though, so there is a chance I'll find a different mirror to stand out a tad more.
This is the master bedroom. The recent changes are the carpeting and the bed. I didn't make the bed; it came that way from the dollar store. They have other furniture there, too, but it is all to a different scale (I don't know why the bed is a different scale, but hey, it worked out well for me).
 Here is the new couch! I finished it last night. Below, you can see it in a couple scenes. I'm planning to make a loveseat to match, and maybe even an arm chair. The loveseat is already started.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

back to normal

I think that I'm coming down from my near two weeks worth of nervous energy. I'm tired, and have been most of the time, but now it isn't offset by nervous energy. It is offset by reading blogs, though.

So I guess that makes me a bit happy. I tried doing my writing ERP exercise yesterday on the scrupulosity issue, but was unsuccessful at making my anxiety rise. I really just wanted to move on to something else. I think that is a good problem. Hopefully I've pretty much won this round with the OCD monster. And with the quoteless quote fiasco in the past, and the last two days at work not having so many kids, well, life is almost peaceful. As long as depression doesn't swoop in.

I'm also cleaning out files. I'm not sure why that activity attracts me more than my dollhouse activity, except that I feel more successful at it. My dollhouse couch pieces are sitting on the fake buckskin, waiting for me to risk messing the whole project up by cutting into the fabric. Too risky, you know. My hobby is too risky; I might waste a piece of fabric that I spent 25 cents for! And I don't risk my money lightly, you know (except when I'm trying to get out of an OCD or anxiety-provoking jam, at which point money sometimes looses value). So instead, I throw away papers. And read through others.

Which leads to remembering stuff from a few years ago. Wow, three years ago. A time when my dreams were dashed. OCD played a prominant roll. Depression wasn't uninvolved, either. And then add in some communication issues. Throw on some theological issues. Don't forget that emotional issues were already involved. And then Plan A fell apart, the dream that had kept me going for almost three years, the one that convinced me that I wasn't depressed since I actually had hopes and plans for the future.

Followed by Plan B. This plan involved living a "normal" life. I hadn't experienced that much, because I was homeschooled, grew up in a large family, went to Puerto Rico for two school years following highschool... well, that pretty much does in any hope of being a normal, stateside, American young adult. Of course, having never really been culturally normal, I just kept going. But plan B was to work at a regular job (no raising support for mission work, and no confusing taxes in another language! Two HUGE plusses, though I would have been willing to deal with it had Plan A worked out). Yes, a regular job, a car I owned, and an apartment! With a room-mate, of course, for monetary reasons as well as for my mom's peace of mind.

Plan B had another side to it, though. And that was to take care of the OCD monster who I largely blamed for loosing me the job I so dearly wanted. So I found the only therapist in the area who was still practicing who was listed on the IOCDFoundation website. And together, we attacked the OCD monster.

I made a little progress, but the stress was too much, and the depression was acting up, so we got a doctor on my team of professionals. The medication possibly worked at the first dose. Then, as it increased, I got migrains from it. So the doctor added an antidepressant (tricyclic) that can help migraines. Meanwhile, in addition to the migraines, the depression acted up more. And the depression and OCD had a party, and I landed in the hospital, on the behavioral health unit that I still wish was called the Mental Health unit, so that it would sound like I had a brain problem as opposed to being a naughty child, now adult, who still couldn't behave right.

If that didn't end my chances of being normal, the following months with moderate to severe depression did.

Then again, what is normal? Maybe now I am normal. Homeschooled, mentally ill, part-time college student, day care worker, living in a cheap appartment with my guinea pig. Yup, sounds like a sort of normal.

Anyhow, remembering the demise of Plan A was a little sad. I think I'll take in some of the papers I found to my counselor and see if she can come up with some brilliant insight that will help me out.

In the mean time, I'll hope to adjust to the time change (jetlag anyone?), and possibly work up the courage to cut into that beautiful piece of fake buckskin so that I can cover the kitchen sponge pieces and manufacture a beautiful, expensive-looking set of couches. Or just sort through more papers. Or just watch a movie.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Distorted thinking and OCD

I was doing a little research on emotional abuse and have come to this opinion; OCD is emotionally abusive. Talk about showering someone with guilt and shame, holding unreasonable expectations, demeaning a person, manipulating, lowering their self esteem, etc. That OCD monster is really a bad character.

On to other subjects. The group project FINALLY resolved the word-for-word quoteless quoting problem, at least the areas that I recognized. Is it a superior example of research? No. It is in the grey area on taking quotes to support its theory - a number of articles had information on both sides of the issue, and were quoted on the information on the chosen side. But at least some of that as well as the word-for-word unquoted quotes were fixed. Now for the grade... But really, now for forgetting about it. I'm done, okay?

The scrupulosity issue... well, I filled out my FAFSA, which was another exposure. It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. And I'm planning a written exposure (i.e., writing out my feared outcome over and over and over), hopefully for later today. Down with the OCD monster!

I stayed up late last night, which raises its own set of fears. I was deep in conversation with someone late at night, which was good, but did interrupt my sleep schedule. This rouses excellent concerns like how my life might be ruined because I didn't go to sleep early enough last night. I might feel sick. I might actually get sick, and it might be my fault. It might have been a sin to stay up so late. With the day light savings time switch tonight/tomorrow, I might be even more thrown off. It might cause trouble at work Monday. I might be extra short with kids because of not taking care of myself, which adds "sin" on top of "sin." Scrupulosity? Or is it just distorted thinking? Well, I can "name that distorted thinking pattern!" Catastrophism, a word that Spell Check still doesn't know. And then the whole attaching guilt to everything? Hyper-responsibility? I don't know. How about just Annoying? That covers it, don't you think?

And then I could go off wondering if the conversation was good or not, if the words shared are going to mess up my brain and my life... I'm thinking that might be catastrophism once again, with perhaps a little magical thinking thrown in.

The sun has come out again! Yesterday, I actually thought to myself, this is the sort of day that I like living here (a snowless blue sky day!).

I'm working on my doll house again. Carpeted the master bedroom yesterday, as well as starting work on my fake leather couches. Perfectionism thought it would drop in for a visit, but I'm thinking if it does decide to come watch me work, it had better keep it's mouth shut (and no eye rolling, either!). I have to remind myself that I'm doing this for fun and relaxation, not to be a winning fair exhibit or an exact model of a full size couch.

Well, it is 4:09 pm, clearly time for lunch (as I ate breakfast at half past noon... how unhealthy!). And I really should go walking or something under the beautiful blue sky. I can already feel that the sun is on the decline, so I shouldn't wait too long.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

an anxious time

Life is an ongoing exposure right now.

First, there is the scrupulosity issue from last week. I thought I had already won the issue, until Sunday evening, when I was crying on the couch, feeling like going to jail would be better than living with a "guilty" conscience. In the moment, I wondered if all the anxiety I had been feeling was my guilty conscience, if maybe I really had sinned, if I should try to fix my "sin". Or if it was OCD. There were a few clues that it was OCD; the urgency; OCD guilt is very urgent, makes putting it aside very, very unappealing. And... well, the anxiety felt very much like anxiety, straight, chemically related anxiety.

I actually went ahead and called a friend. I wasn't too worried about it giving me assurance; I asked for confirmation of my foundational assumption that most Americans would think what I had done was fine. She gave me that. But she also talked about times she had felt guilty and treated it as real guilt... it ended up being a distraction, which was helpful.

After I settled down, the terribly urgent concern that this "sin" had come between me and God and was ruining my life subsided considerably. As in, it is now more of a thought in the back of my head as opposed to a current emergency situation. So that is good. I told God that I thought it was OCD, so I was going to keep treating it as OCD. I figure He can let me know if that changes (of course, I'll have to figure out that it is Him, not my OCD back for another round, but I'll take care of that if/when it comes up).

Then, there is the plagiarism issue. I think, for once, this isn't just my OCD. Admittedly, my anxiety probably hops on board the stressful situation, making it feel much worse (another clue that OCD is involved; you are panicking while the rest of the world is mysteriously calm). But the plagiarism is just that. No safe ERP exposure like having three words in a row like they were in a book (i.e., "she said that..." - and yes, my OCD could worry about quoting those three words). But real life, word-for-word copying. Yuck.

So I call it a very unideal exposure. Or just a mess. Or my worst-case scenario coming true (except that I actually recognized plagiarism before it got turned in, so that is a step up).

And now, I get to... wait. Oh, yeah. Because now, the work is in the hands of my group members who are responsible for putting together the revision. And will I even get to see it before it is turned in? (I sure hope so!!!). And what if...? What if they turn it in anyway, still with plagiarism. What if there is more plagiarism that I did not identify? What if I get an F on the project (suddenly a C sounds good and even a D sounds bearable)? What if they kick me out of college? Okay, so that is extreme. Especially since I should be able to document a good-faith try at fixing the plagiarism.

Anyway, here I am, in this dangerous world ("See?" crows the OCD, "I was right!"). So now I am going to look for used books. A hobby of mine. And then going to have coffee (another way to waste money). Actually, it wont be coffee, and it will be with a friend, and it will cost money, but not that much. So anyway, goodbye for now; I'm going to attempt to relax ("HAHAHA!" laughs the OCD - it is known for its sense of humor after all).

What can I say? The best thing about all this is the nervous energy (except when it keeps me awake at night). Which nervous energy, by the way, doesn't necessarily include good balance, as I found out last night in tap dancing lesson.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

REALLY? (I'm venting, really.)

And now for venting. You know how much I worry about plagiarism with my beloved OCD companion.

But then I get to help proof-read for my group's work. And there were a number of unquoted quotes. That makes me kind of really angry. Really, cowriters? Don't you care about citing quotes right? Aren't you at all afraid of getting an F if we plagiarize? Don't you think blatent quotes should be blatently quoted? Well, I guess I can give you credit for not switching two words out and calling it a paraphrase. But please, please, please, please, please put in those quotes. Do I need to check every statement in here? Because I can if I need to, but I shouldn't have to. Writers, an accidental quote, that is what a proofreader should catch, not repeated, word-for-complicated-word quoting without quotes. That is your job!

So now I'm worrying because I didn't go through and check every single sentence for unquoted quotes. Instead, I asked the group leader to have the writers check their work. Trusting people again. And we see how that worked out the first time. And we see how maybe I'm not being fair. Maybe they didn't know how to quote quotes. In college, in a junior or senior class. Maybe they thought you don't have to in a Power Point presentation. Huh? Am I completely off base here? Is it just because I have stupid OCD? What happened to carefully putting in the "so and so said, "quoted material" carrying phrase, or whatever it is that people call that when you say who said the material you are quoting.

Frustration. Maybe that's what I get for doing schoolwork on Sunday. How evil of me?

And I'm already so stupid anxious. Energized, I suppose, but not pleasantly. Yesterday the depression, today the anxiety. Hi, friend anxiety, how I missed you. My life just isn't the same without you. I might do something crazy like relax if you leave me alone to long. REALLY?

Today, I colored in church. I sat in the back, so that it wouldn't be as obvious. I think only the lady next to me and maybe the sound guy knew what I was doing. But I needed something to temper my anxiety. I was still listening, I just needed to do something to help me relax.

Then I pulled out my markers and scrap paper at the table when I finished eating before Bible study (we each bring sack lunches and then eat together). The pastor smiled at me. Not sure if he was amused by my childishness, my boldness, or my eccentricness. But it doesn't really matter. I was bored, and anyway, I was still listening! (And I didn't color during Bible study time.)

Well, I think I'll go return my overdue movie, perhaps rent another, and then...

Oh, wait. Get ready for preschool tomorrow. Never mind, I'll keep enjoying the internet a little longer (internet: site of amazing craft ideas for preschool teachers).

Saturday, March 2, 2013

tired, perhaps with a depression twist

It has been a stressful week, and I think I'm feeling it. It was a week of triumphs, but that doesn't translate into an easy week. Despite the fact that most of my tax papers and files have been returned to their places, and the fact that I got through one of my biggest intentional exposures, I'm tired. Some of it probably would be there anyway. Who knows, maybe all my tiredness would be here anyway. But maybe being so tired after such victories feels like a letdown.

I washed my dishes again today, maintaining the miracle that started last Sunday when I cleaned them all up. I cleaned half my bathroom (I usually do it in fractions), cleaned my guinea pig's cage, vacuumed, and took the garbage out. All minor miracles, emphasis on the miracles part.

But I still feel done in. Maybe like I let my stress level get too high so that the depression could sneak back in. That, of course, wasn't my goal, but seems to possibly be the result. Of course, I know that high stress usually triggers my depression. And I know that Exposure Response Prevention originally creates more stress, but should lead to a reduction of stress. And my conscious stress has indeed gone down from Tuesday. But, well, I guess I've been saying it over and over, so perhaps this will be my last time (for this post); I'm tired, perhaps with a depression twist.