Wednesday, March 7, 2012

just more.

Tonight i sit here calmer than the last few nights but we will see.

i have no reason to be calmer other than at some point my brain becomes unable to maintain this level of intensity.  My sister Erin made a beautiful response to my last entry.  Discussing the definition of control being the power to direct or determine.  This made me think (dangerous ground, i know).  what i realized is that i have a piece of the puzzle that you reader may not have or  have only in some sort of partial disclosure. The full disclosure is ocd.  Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

It has in many ways become watered down. a phrase just thrown out. a descriptive for "type a" or uptight personality.  Sometimes I guess it is true, but not always.  It is,  however,  a very real disorder, not a joke. Riddled with very specific traits/symptoms. I am one of the few people I know of who may feel confident enough in a semi public forum to admit that I have been diagnosed with this disorder. It is an anxiety disorder.  If you don't have an anxiety disorder, think about sometime when you were really really excited, like a kid on christmas eve waiting for santa.  well, that is anxiety. for good reasons, but anxiety none the less.  Now take that feeling and if it were a 250 degrees on an oven, then turn it up to 550.  then have this feeling live with you day in and day out.  that is an anxiety disorder.  sometimes it manifests in people in the web known as obsessive thought and compulsive behaviors, hence ocd. ok. I am not a doctor, but i do live with this. i live with it and read about it.  this however does not make me a professional expert on this subject.  this disorder can manifest in 5 different people in 5 different ways.  i only claim to know about my own experience.  In the end, this disorder has  roughly 5 base components to it. I am lucky enough to say that i only suffer from about 3 of these components in varying degrees.  I am also extremely lucky that I am not diagnosed with depression in conjunction with obsessive compulsive disorder. I suffer primarily from perfectionism and secondarily, religiosity which drive the following described intrusive thoughts.

I have first and foremost intrusive thoughts (obsession).  This means that I have thoughts I (until recently) CANNOT  SEEM to STOP. I am however, no matter how much I struggle, working with help to change the language of that.  I am working on being able, simply to say, that they are intrusive, but they  will stop. I am not necessarily comfortable discussing those thoughts, but know that they are not about boiling freaking bunnies in some ex lover's crockpot.  they are personal and almost never have anything to do with anybody except for myself (and quite far from egocentric or narcissistic). i will just leave it at that.

It is these thoughts that in turn lead to a variety of compulsive behaviors.  Like excessive apologizing, in hopes that it will end reliving some episode that i just keep going back to over and over and over again.  Like cleaning my house to a degree that is ridiculous. Read: toothpicks and toothbrushes are my tools of this trade. Scratching myself till i bleed.  Or becoming overly superstitious.  As a kid i really was sure that if i stepped on a crack my mother would be hurt.  I started when I was about 5 or 6 talking to the universe...actually i started learning about Greek gods and i spoke to them. I have read an excess over the years on many religions in hopes of finding some magic to quell these thoughts. Still looking.

So about two years ago, i stopped taking the medications that made these thoughts go away.  They made me happier, but the price became to steep, and in the end, started,  in my mind,  to work against me.  I have not looked back. Now we talk about control. I live these days with an obnoxious amount of control. there are days when it just becomes ridiculous.  I wouldn't trade the experience i am living. the amount of strength i have learned that i have is tremendous. that doesn't mean that i don't question it. or at times want to descend into what feels awful and warm all at the same time.  so  to keep myself from descending i write and listen to music (usually at the same time). i vomit all over the page to somehow keep it from repeating in the head.  it is a bit of my own personal pensive. if you don't know what that is, read harry potter.

So i do regularly question control. how much to have? when to loosen the reigns? when does the control become the obsessive thought? the power to direct. that is the problem. i have the power to direct myself. no one else. in my mind control, power, hope are all still tied together. it may take me years to figure out how to unravel that tangled bunch of wool.  or something to think about as i swim lap after lap after lap.

listened to rolling stones' beggars banquet on repeat on ipod while writing this.

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