Saturday, 30 July 2011

Another letter from my work = back to the wanted unwanted thoughts

My life seems like it is nothing but a constant headache. I am tired of it all and I am going nowhere fast. It is only just after 2pm on what should be an attempt to a relaxing afternoon. I have my husband here but I also have my ocd and another letter from the manager in my work. The remains of another panic attack and the red eyes from another breakdown of tears. Within these few months I could have built a lake with all of these tears.

The letter is upsetting enough. Claims that the manager if my work has made in the letter stating that I said this and that when I had not said anything remotely close. Setting up another meeting for the 17th of August even though I simply asked for no meetings to be made and that I will come in when I feel able to cope with it. I attempted to phone the assistant manager and without any answer, I even attempted to phone the manager herself despite the sick feeling in my stomach and in the end I phoned this 'area manager' or what ever you want to call him. I will simply just call him a prick.

He refused to listen to anything that I said. He talked over me constantly and when I tried to say anything he told me that he would not be spoken to like that (like what exactly?) by a member of staff. I was threatened with a disciplinary for my apparent tone of voice used and I was told that I should not have phoned him on a weekend. He does not work weekends and then I was given an earful for that too. jeez..sorry. I would have thought that given that job as a manager with the pay increase you would be on call when needed when there is an urgent matter. I guess not.

The manager in my work is on holidays now. How nice to be told but apparently no one has an obligation to fill me in on anything even though I received this letter and the meeting is on the day of her return and at 9am. So how did she expect me to contact her about this meeting when she cannot be contacted until that day?

I am not only back to square one for the millionth time. The phone call only resulted in a disciplinary threat, me feeling even more worthless along with feeling like complete trash with being told more or less that I am lower than someone and the only thing that came out of it was cancelling the appointment made and having a side note of 'I will phone ahead of time to arrange a meeting when I feel up to it' The horrible phone call that lasted about 15 minutes could have lasted 2 if this man would have just listened to me.

I don't even think for a moment that he is going to put that side note in there, likely it will be something not so nice said about me. I just needed help and I didn't get it. I am far from getting any form of help from anyone. I am just another number in that company and on the waiting list to get back into treatment. I attempted to help myself but that didn't last long. I can think of other ways of helping myself and this time those aren't intrusive thoughts. They are real and wanted thoughts all over again and I know my GP left me strict instructions on who to contact if those thoughts started again but I would rather just ignore them and go fill that prescription that I was too scared to have filled over the week in case I overdosed. I feel like I should have had them here just in case I felt like it. I can't help but wonder if it actually takes me doing to deed for the people around me to understand the state I am actually in. I don't think they will ever just get it and I am sick of trying to get back on my feet and I am tired of constantly trying to only fail.

Friday, 29 July 2011

Clean This, Clean That, but don't clean that or that or that.

On an ocd fueled day there is no escape as of yet. I am sitting here behind bars in the ocd jail and my only escape is the trusty file that was baked into a cake and despite the ocd having the habits to check check and re check it failed to spot my chance of escape. Now I am sitting here with the means to escape from this mental torture. I need to start using that file to saw my way out through the bars at the moment that the ocd isn't keeping a close watch on me. Maybe I should have been sent a spoon to tunnel my way out of here,  also I need ambition, support and hope to get far enough so maybe someone can bake those 3 things into a cake and send it to my cell along with that spoon? Also, can you make that cake dairy free. You see, I have an intolerance to dairy like I have an intolerance to my ocd. I can't enjoy either so I don't want them. They make me unwell and that is no way to live.

I had cleaned my cell today not like every other daily cleaning spree. I am fighting to not clean everything.

It was a hard task to hoover and not dust and cleaning the bathrooms but not giving the toilets a heavy dose of bleach, well actually I didn't bleach the toilets at all. It bothers me to an extent that I am ready to rush into the cupboard and get the bottle of bleach and clean both of those toilets all over again along with every millimetre of both bathrooms whilst apologizing for my actions. I refuse, I am refusing the best that I can and I don't know where to place these thoughts. Supposedly I can't ignore them and if I am left sitting here listening to them surely I will strangle them, mentally, of course. Although the thoughts are real and they exist the thing that is 'going to happen' Isn't really. I mean, it would be beyond dreadful if it did happen but it isn't going to. I hope.

Despite not having any treatment until I get a new therapist I am not going to just let everyday be an ocd day. If I allow everything that I worked towards achieving to slip underneath the floor boards then I am going to be defeated. I will need to be picked back up for the hundredth time, dusted off and my tears wiped away and inevitably I will have another panic attack. I just don't want to do any of it. Not that I wanted to do any of it before but I suppose that 18 years of mental torture is more than enough and I have found that there is no happiness or indulgence into these compulsions, the rituals and the few seconds of relief after performing endless cleaning and tasks that mean nothing at the end of another wasted day.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Can you tell me how to get, How to get to Sesame Street

This message was not brought to you by the letter H and the number 10

Just like it isn't brought to you by my ocd.

I don't think that I like the idea of when I am in a bad mood it is because of the ocd and nothing else and I also don't think that I like my ocd being used as an excuse for something not so nice that I have said to someone. It is almost as if it is an excuse and the other person should apologize, not for their actions but for my illness. No! I don't want that but what I do want is some understanding. Never give me a birthday or Christmas present again and don't even worry about giving me another card for those occasions again in our lifetime but just give me the free gift of your understanding and that will give me a lifetime of relief, happiness and the ability to speak my mind without the fear of crazy being an excuse.

I still have my mind, it is intact .. If my head was like a pillow case I could unzip it and show you the stuffing and you would see that it is still held together by the glue that I bought from the dollar store all of those years ago.

I suppose that this subject is on my mind because of recent events, recent things that I have said to someone or well, wrote to them in an e-mail. I wasn't at a low point when I wrote it. Well, not any lower than I have been for the last 3 months and my ocd didn't tell me what to write. Like I said, I have a full functioning mind equipped with voices that like to boss me around and the only problem is the switch to turn those voices down a few notches and the mute button is busted and part of my brain needs to be rewired in order to fix the entire problem and at the moment it is just the cheap fix of blue tack to keep it from falling apart because I can't afford the repair. All that I am saying is that just because I feel emotion doesn't mean I am completely insane. Where is our human form when we lack the ability to not only feel but to also speak up on the injustice!

I am saddened that my mother apologized for my state of mind regrading the letter. It had nothing to do with the state of my mind other than the state of anger and frustration followed by so many years of hurt.

Yes. I have ocd and yes it is a burden. I am robbed everyday of my most personal thoughts and feelings. I am humiliated like the years that I spent in school and I am tortured to the point of my nails being ripped out would feel painless in comparison. Well, in my mind they would feel painless and yes I know that it would be very painful and now because of my worst enemy I believe that it will be something else that my abductors will do to me. Thanks ocd, thanks a lot.

When my thoughts aren't being twisted into sick screen plays I have the ability to feel normal for a few seconds some days. When I can say words without a counter word to keep the first word from causing unnecessary harm then I can carry on a conversation and it is enjoyable, like it should be. What I am trying to say because I can never seem to say what I want to say without writing a whole sitcom to say what I initially wanted to say in the first place is, I don't want my illness to be some reason to make it excusable for my own actions and words. I get annoyed and upset like any other person and if I can't tell someone how they made me feel then I wonder what actions out there away from my ocd are actually human?

I may exclude people from my life often but only because I would rather reject them first than face another rejection from someone that I care about. Family is a real sore spot because I have only a few that I can consider to be just that and maybe because of my paranoia I have few that I can trust. Or maybe it isn't because of my paranoia? Like I said, a sore spot. Wait, no.. not just a sore spot. The girl who died of paper cuts and who only felt her death when a bucket of rubbing alcohol was splashed over her body as she was slipping away into darkness. Have I turned into that girl? Every rejection is every cut and the splash of alcohol is what I feel with each loss. It really is a never ending death.

An apology to my dear friend Kelly for stealing her subject on the girl who died of paper cuts. I wish that she would rewrite that paper at some point because I never did get a chance to read it.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Therapist vs Manager - Which one is the biggest bully, lets find out! FIIIGGGHHHTTT!!!!

I have had a horrible set of events over the last week. I tried to ignore them and I tried to get away from them and I can't do either. My two issues are two different people.

My Therapist vs The Manager
Who will win this round on the most cruel robot like creature?

They both win. It was a tie.

I have been having a few clashes with my therapist over treatment. The last session was indeed the last. I have never been made to feel more worthless and hopeless in all my life. Well, other than living in my parents house with all of my siblings but that is a whole different matter right there and it is one that I can't go into because it is just too bothersome and I don't have the energy or a keyboard that could tolerate the whole story.

Being taunted isn't treatment. 'Little miss perfect in her immaculate home with her immaculate shower in her perfect bubble where little miss perfect is always kept safe'

Frankly I think that I have annoyed the hell out of my last therapist. Maybe the fact that I don't see anything wrong with keeping my home spic and span and yes, I look up to Martha Stewart! I love her cleaning tips and her cleaning calendar and yes, I would go as far as sculpting her into a gold statue and praying to her to help me bake, cook and keep my home perfect.

It is not so much the issue of my cleanliness and as she liked to call it 'My perfectionism, because not making your bed everyday would make something bad happen' Not that I have ever stated that I felt that not making my bed as soon as I get out of it would cause something bad to happen. Never said that once, she assumed because she refused to accept that I clean so much because I like a clean house. I mean, I am in my home almost 24/7 because of my ocd fears of leaving the house. Maybe she should have focused on those fears instead of how often I clean out my fridge. Once a week and I think that is OK because it is my fridge and my choice. Not my ocd choice but my choice.

When I told my therapist my reason for not wanting to leave the house. My fears of what would happen when I am out of the house her eyes rolled and she threw her head back and had a laugh. Seriously.
I was ridiculed on the matter and she didn't take it seriously. She also didn't take my story of the time that I was stalked, harassed and nearly grabbed by an old drunken man. Instead she accused me and my ocd of making up that story and told me that I had it all out of proportion and that he was likely just trying to have a conversation with me, but my ocd wouldn't let him.

I don't think that the security guards in Buchanan Galleries saw it that way, otherwise they wouldn't have given him the chase that they did.

My therapist gave me a whole new set of fears from the hour that she spent taunting me that day. The day that I was so proud of, the day where I faced several fears in her words was a wasted attempt because I washed my hands, therefore breaking the rules so I failed. It has taken a lot of people to convince me otherwise.

My therapist ignored my pleas to take the treatment slower and to set tasks that I at least stood a chance at achieving. Instead she set them higher and higher every time and told me that it wasn't going to be easy, if it was then we would all be cured by now.

She gave me the fear that my husband would leave me because he has to take care of me, even though my husband has only ever taken care of me when I am too ill to leave my bed - like when I have the flu.

I think that when the alarm bells sounded in my head I should have listened to them and backed out of her office from the minute that she claimed that she would cure my ocd and when she shook her head in disapproval of my use of the OCD-UK support.

There is a lot that I could say about this woman. I am very angry and annoyed that I feel like I have not only been wasting these 3 months but I am also annoyed that she set me up to fail every time and she made sure that I felt like a failure. 'Do not dust the house for 1 month' and on my 10th day I failed that task and it was the support from everyone else that made me realize that 10 days is a real achievement and that the cbt should have been to see how far I could go with it and that 'failing' didn't exist.

As for the manager in my work.
She has been harassing me over the phone over the last few weeks for me to attend a meeting to set up my return to work. Despite the report from my GP stating that I was unfit for work and that she does not have any idea when I would be fit for work due to the nature of my mental illness ....

And my managers side of the note from the doctor 'I have read from the doctors report that things are looking positive and you should be back to work within the next few weeks'

It really doesn't match up does it? Her bullying tactics make me sick - literally! and even though I have tried to explain to her what I am going through because of the ocd

I have faced some of the worst suicidal thoughts from the ocd and from my own depression. I hate every minute of it and I wish that it would go away but it isn't going to.

The only things that have been sorted is through my GP I am back on the waiting list for another therapist. I don't know how long it will take or even how long it could take. I did admit to the suicidal thoughts and I had to tell her about the violent thoughts that I have been having. Something that I failed to tell my therapist about but there was a lot of things that I didn't feel able to speak to my therapist about and I think that may have doomed it from the start along with her promises of a lifetime cure for my ocd.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

A Successful Day Out, Was it real or did I make it all up?

I put off writing about my weekend adventures until today. Today was another day full of stepping stones which felt like they were along a busy canal. With the water rushing past the stones and myself attempting to cross to the safe side to retrieve that pot of gold - or is it the magical cure for ocd? and with flocks of ducks flying over head and knocking me into the water and there in the water I became tangled in the plants, algae and soon the fish swimming around me begin to consume my entire body and there I died while drowning while being eaten alive by the sea creatures

Another one of my horrible thoughts while walking home by the canal today. Another idea followed by a hundred 'what ifs' worst case scenarios and then I have to pinch myself to remind me that the only reality that I am in is the one that is right there and now. With the rain washing away my tears from today's session and refreshing my my tired red eyes. 3 weeks since the last session and this one was a painful one. Every session I feel the pain of my ocd, emotional pain followed by chest pains. I often end up with migraines from all of the anxiety. My ocd has turned into a nightmare of every kind. Mental anguish, Physical pain, Restless days and nights and I feel like the lack of sleep keeps it into a circle and circles are never ending unless we get out a pair of safety scissors and make a new shape.

OK. Enough with all of my rambling what if stories. No matter how many new 'what if' stories I tell they are all the same.

Nick and I were going to focus on the attempt of going out. Going out unnecessarily is a hard task since I feel like I am putting myself in danger but also my husband. I like to stay in my safe bubble but since it was pointed out to me in today's session that staying inside my bubble doesn't keep me safe. I am missing out on life and so far I can count 5 years that my fear consumed.

OK, I am talking more then I need to here. Or typing.

I wanted to go to the west end. To see the botanic gardens, see some shops that I have not been to in years and specifically to buy from fresh produce for the week from a local shop. I hate supermarkets. Words cannot describe my distaste of them and buying from a local shop is what I wanted to do so badly for so long. We had to get a bus to get there and going on a bus is a very difficult task. So difficult that the last time that I had been on one was when a friend came over from Canada to visit and to do some major sightseeing. I had to hide my fears the best that I could and attempt the bus and soon I became too agitated and frustrated that I didn't get along with this friend so well after a few days into her holiday. I blame myself for ruining her trip and I can't speak to her without feeling guilt. My ocd has ruined so much over the years and friendships are at the top of the list.

There was a shop that I wanted to go to. So badly that I have spent years thinking about walking into the shop and being surrounded by the most amazing scent from all of the different kinds of incense sticks and cones. The feel of the shop would send me into the most relaxed mode that I have ever felt and the last time I had indulged into a visit was 5 years ago. Lets just say I have not had any incense to burn in that long.

We walked down to get the bus. My heart was pounding so hard that I felt like it would come out of my chest. I was filled full of panic and as the bus approached I felt like making a run for it. I didn't. I got on the bus with Nick and I sat down. I felt sick to my stomach. Everything in the bus felt dirty. There was a smell and I instantly felt like I needed to wash, no, I needed to scrub and scrub again and again in order to feel OK again. We were only on the bus for 10 minutes and those 10 minutes were a nightmare.

As soon as we were off the bus and I felt the breeze of fresh air I realized just how badly I needed it since being on that bus. Looking around at all of the people dressed in all different ways and going in all different directions doing all of their own things I soon calmed down. I didn't feel like I was being watched or stared at. We walked around the botanic gardens and enjoyed the sun. There was a book fair on and I bought a used book. The pages look dirty and I don't like the idea of touching it. The book itself looks like a good read and at some point I will open up the pages and begin to enjoy it but I have to finish the other two books that I am reading at the moment before I start another.

The shop that I have not been to in 5 odd years I went to. It was just how I remembered it to be and I was in some kind of blissful heaven. I looked at everything on the shelves and I browsed the tiny but cozy shop and I stocked up on incense sticks.

We went for lunch and I never washed my hands. Well not properly. I attempted to in a public bathroom at the gardens but there was no soap and I was already breaking my no hand washing rule. My hands didn't feel clean with the warm rinse of water, if at all it actually felt worse. The ideal temperature with no antibacterial to kill off the germs. My hands would be swarming in filth and I couldn't do anything about it. I suppose that gets me back for my attempts to break the rules.

We went into several shops to have a look around and one of my favourites was a shop that sold local fresh produce. I was in heaven and I would have bought everything in the store if my funds would have allowed it. I picked up each piece of fruit and vegetables with my hands to put into the basket. Unwashed and the thoughts were there and every 'what if' came in to play. I didn't want the ocd to ruin it for me and I wasn't sure how exactly to win that game that it was wanting to play so badly. I just continued what I was doing and it felt good.

I had one of the most wonderful days out with my husband that I had in a very long time. We have not been out together like that in over 3 months. I was out of my safety bubble and by the time we were in bed that night ready to fall asleep I said to Nick that I wish that we could travel back in time to that afternoon. I want to relive it all over again and maybe once more after that. I have never held hands with him for so long and I didn't let the ocd wedge into the middle of us to keep me away from his affections. Nick told me that our day out was the first time that he saw the old me, the real me in a long time.

My dilemma now is that I don't feel like any of that happened. I feel like I made up this whole story and that Saturday we must have just sat at home and did nothing exciting. I am becoming delusional because there is no way that I would go out and do something like that. To go out and enjoy myself while knowing all too well that I am not in the house and therefore not in my bubble where it is safe and everything is the same everyday, no nasty surprises and where nothing could go wrong.

While telling my therapist about the day out and how I felt like it didn't feel real at this point, she suggested that maybe I don't want to get better. I don't blame her suggestion because in one way I am not so sure if I want my life without the ocd. This is all I have ever known and I don't know what I would be like without it. What if my life without the ocd is so different that my husband falls out of love with me, what if every ones expectations of me are so high that I could never achieve any of it and I will be a failure and all over again I will fail at so much more than I have ever failed at before. What if my whole life becomes empty because of all of the changes and what if those changes aren't good changes. What exactly will I be without my ocd? I feel like my ocd is me and I am my ocd.

Friday, 15 July 2011

My Fridge is Dirty

So it is a Friday night and it is just the same night as any others as far as I'm concerned.

Maybe because I don't have a life to speak of at the moment or maybe because the idea of going out to drink to get completely drunk to wake up the next afternoon with the room spinning and with vomit along my cheek isn't what I am into. Socially I feel awkward. I generally don't have much to say to anyone unless I am in a talkative mood and my ocd is far from controlling what I can say. Yes, my ocd also controls my conversations. When I want to say something I fear how it sounds or what could happen if it is said and that is even if it is idle chit chat. I worry that something that I say could bring on a series of unfortunate events so I remain quiet.

I like my own company. I like not having to worry about what people think of me because no one is there to watch me perform the same tasks over and over again until it is done the right number of times or until it feels right but that is as long the lines of an even number of times. It is all very complicated like my use with numbers. No one understands it but me and with thorough explanations to my husband he has a good grasp on how it works.

Like when I used to go swimming. The key words is *used to* It is something that ocd has robbed me of. Anyways, an example of my number use. When searching for a locker it had to be even numbers. The only safe odd numbers for myself are 5 and 9. So if the locker number was 242 that is usable and if it is 259 then I could use that one too but if the locker number is 139 I could use it if I add the 1 and 3 to make 4 and then the 9 is safe. If the number of the locker was 147 then I could add that into 12 and that could be OK but I would feel uncomfortable because it makes 3 and I can't do anything with a 3. If I used that locker then something bad would happen while swimming. My husband who normally went with me could dive in but what if he didn't come back up for air. It isn't worth the risk so I would search for the right locker in the right row that is not only the right locker number but the right number of lockers down the row.

I think that along the lines of this post it really shows how obsessive compulsive disorder is anything other than in black and white when it comes to understanding how it all works. I could write so many things about this illness and I will never run out of things to say. I wish that everyone in my life could understand that I don't want to live the way that I do and that I never chose it and in no way do I enjoy it. I get frustrated, depressed and physically sick over the anxiety and the over all stress that I wake up with every morning and go to bed with every day.

From the time that I wake up in the morning I have 'things' that I need to do and come bed time I have even more 'things' to do before I can not only get in bed but stay in bed. I hate it when someone claims that they wish that they could be as organized and so neat and tidy like myself but it is tiring and it makes me angry that I can't seem to stop any of it despite wanting my life back. Well, I don't know if I can claim to want my life back since I have suffered with this illness for so much of my life that I don't think that I ever had a life before. So maybe I should state that I want a life. Yes, I want a life and I want it now.

I have not had treatment in weeks. Having to cancel the last appointment because of the fall and it was the last one for the 2 weeks that my therapist would be on holidays. My next one is on the 19th and I have not made any progress. I feel like I am back to my breakdown stage and I feel ashamed. I am slowly learning the tools but I failed to put them in use. Letting my ocd win at everything like several bad games of chequers and the winners prize is a clear mind. What can I say; I am awful at chequers.

On one bright side I have not had the energy to clean half as much and I have been forced with the thoughts without being able to give into them. I still haven't cleaned out my fridge and it has been almost 3 weeks since I last cleaned it. I would refuse to put any fresh groceries in there until it has been thoroughly cleaned and rinsed and at the moment when I open that fridge door to get out the soy milk for my umpteenth cup of tea in a day I am greeted by the filth, the germs and endless crumbs and I don't know how they even got in there. The celery has dirt on it and my containers of soy butter aren't placed together in a neat row. The top shelf is a disaster zone with every bottle randomly placed in and not all front forward facing in a row of 4 followed by rows of 2. I have uneven numbers of bottles in the door and don't get me started on the fruit and vegetable drawers. All that I can do is close that fridge door in a hurry and walk away. Not give into the thoughts of multiplying germs and catching a deadly food poisoning bug. Trying not to over wash the fruit and vegetables and not putting anything back properly. Well, the ocd way of putting things back 'properly'

I am also going to attempt the bus issue on Sunday if the weather is dry. I have not been on a bus in years through fear alone and it is something that I struggle with. Just thinking about it scares me so I am going stop thinking about the idea of it and I will see how it goes on Sunday. Just considering it alone is a step in the right direction but doing it is another matter. Actually doing it is like man taking his first footsteps on the moon. Even if it is only for a couple of minutes. I will try to just sit with the thoughts and I might even touch the seat or the bars. OK, I have to stop here before I bring on another panic attack.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Migraine City - I don't know if it was worth it

I made it out. I did it and I am proud of myself for doing it.

It was very hard and very stressful and it ended up being a painful night.

I am saying painful because very loud music + flashing bright lights + a headache = a full night migraine partnered with no sleep at all. My ocd just loved the whole scenario, especially another night without getting a decent sleep.

We made sure to get a taxi there and a taxi back. Because of the constant dizziness and everything else it just seemed like the best idea. I had to remember to breathe and once I left the house and I found myself having the beginnings of a panic attack when I wasn't careful. It was constant and it was painful.

The typical me of not watching what I am doing because my mind is so occupied by the thoughts and remembering to breathe I hit my knee on the way out of the taxi. Bruising, redness and swelling were the least of my worries. I was convinced that I was going to have a blood clot and by the time I got to bed that night and I would fall asleep I would be dead. I would never wake up again and it was all because I hurt my knee.

I tried my best to not let that thought get to me. I tried to just listen to it and then I tried to rationalize it and in the end I just tried my best to ignore it. Over all I managed to stay for the entire show. My stubbornness came out and I refused to leave even with my knee swelling up. I don't remember much of the show. My mind was everywhere else and even though I was determined to go for it I forgot to enjoy myself while I was there.

My ocd didn't win. Not exactly. It kept me from enjoying myself but it didn't keep me from leaving the house. My bruises didn't kill me, the migraine was one of many and I didn't give in and I didn't go home until it was finished. I stayed in bed for the majority of the next day, unable to get up for long and unable to tolerate the light.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Plan A Plan B Plan C ...D E F G H I J K ....

I have plans to go out tonight. The plans were made months ago. They were made after my breakdown and they were made far enough away that I thought that I would have been back on my feet by the time it arrived. Tickets are bought and paid for and all that I can do is try. If I don't make it then I will be angry with myself and if I can only stay for part of the show then I will be happy that I at least gave it a try and in the best case scenario I stay for the full show I will be so proud of myself because it will be a great achievement, especially considering what the last few months have been like on top of the last week.

I have every thought running through my mind and still being unwell in every sense I am trying my hardest to get my courage up to get out there and make the attempt to enjoy the few hours that I will be out for.

I worry that I will bump into someone who knows my situation and they will comment and then gossip. Then everyone will assume that I am actually well and that there is nothing wrong with me. I know how inconsiderate and harsh some people can be and I know that some just like to talk to hear themselves. I wish that it didn't bother me but it does. I need to stop letting people get the better of me.

I am also very worried that being out will be too much for me and I will end up in a state of panic. BUT if that happens then I can just go home and everything will be OK.

I could pass out again and instead of being in the comfort of my own home I will be out and surrounded by strangers. They will likely assume that I am a drunk or a junkie and that passing out is my own doing and in some way it is from my own anxiety. If I pass out again then I will have to go back to the hospital. BUT if that happens then I will only receive the care that I need because if I have another incident then clearly I need a bit more help.

I don't know if I just ended up reassuring myself on all of the what ifs but I tried to think outside of the ocd box and it has made me feel slightly better on the idea of going out. The thoughts aren't going away but I think that I have a solution for my worst case scenarios.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Sleep is a wonderful thing - Except at night

I didn't get much sleep last night because I spotted a spider in the bathroom when I was getting ready for bed. I am completely terrified of spiders. I will scream and cry and I will even go in a panic attack over one, I would hate to know what would happen if I spotted two. Nick came in to see what was wrong and he knew the drill. A glass and a piece of paper. Even though I don't like spiders I wont kill them. Well, he wont kill them. In the process the spider lost two legs and I was really upset about it because the spider looked so distressed in the glass. Nick put it outside and insisted that it was walking fine. It is an insect now with only 6 legs and in a few days its legs will grow back. I don't know if that is true about the legs growing back but it made me feel a bit better but not entirely. I hope it is still alive and walking and not hobbling.

I threw back the bed covers several times to check for any more spiders. I had to check my body and clothes for spiders and then I looked under the bed and all around the walls of the bedroom. Then I got up in bed and looked behind the headboard. No spiders that I could see but I kept checking. Nick tried to ban me from checking and complained the he was getting cold every time I lifted the covers to check again and again and again. I didn't sleep so well last night.

I slept in late this morning. Well, no actually. I was up at 7am to iron some of Nicks work clothes, made his lunch and put on a load of laundry to wash and then I collapsed in bed and slept. I vaguely recall him coming in the room to tell me that he was away for work and then I woke up at 11 under the covers. I didn't want to get up but I had to. I had laundry in the machine and apparently the longer you leave it in after it has been washed the more that bacteria will grow on it. I considered to wash it again but I didn't. I hung it up on the clothes horse and shoved it out on the patio. Now I am trying to forget about bacteria on my bedding.

I am trying to be strict with myself on the whole 'resting' thing but it is hard and now I am wondering if my stubbornness on the issue is why I am taking so long to get back on my feet.

I don't sleep much at night and that is probably why I am so tired all of the time. I feel safer during the day but at night when your sleeping, well. It is a dark and scary place and every creak turns into a footstep for me. I get up and peer out the bedroom door and Nick tells me that we aren't getting burgled.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

I just can't sit still

It has been a while since I have updated anyone on my current situation and this is the part where I find it really really really really really really really really hard to stay positive while writing this and yes, I had to write that particular word 8 times and I wont say how many times I had to check that it was written 8 times.

I have been able to move around a bit more with just a little bit less dizziness and feeling nauseated is pretty much the same but I have been able to keep my meals down. I am finding myself eating at least two meals a day and sometimes 3 and sometimes some snacks. If my eating habits were a cause of concern before then by me eating more than my usual you would think that I would be feeling better but I am not.

I am attempting housework because I can't sit still. I feel worse while doing anything but I can't not do the housework. I hoovered the entire flat and it got to the point that I had to lay down afterwards. It took me hours to get it started and at least a half hour effort to get everywhere and everything.

I attempted to go out on Saturday. I made if halfway down my street and I started to feel dizzy. I got to the top of the street and felt dizzy and nauseated. We decided to sit down by the canal that is just seconds away from the top of our street, walking through a dodgy looking path for a few seconds to get there. My husband and I sat on a bench over looking the canal for about 10 minutes. We chatted away and I tried to breathe.

Sometimes I just seem to forget to breathe or I start to breathe short shallow breaths and then I get chest pains and then I have a full blown panic attack because I am convinced that I am having a heart attack. It is even worse when my lips and then face go numb. Apparently that is anxiety.

Anyways. While we sat down I started to feel slightly better but not by much. I really wanted to go down to the supermarket to get the weekly shop done. We decided to try walking along the canal path to get to where we wanted to go but after a few minutes I started to feel worse and the panic set in and I had to go home and I had to get there 10 minutes ago and my feet weren't moving fast enough to get me there. I started to feel like I felt when I was in the shower. Thankfully I made it home without any further incidents but it has definitely put a scare in me along with another fear. I am now terrified of passing out while I am out of the house.

I stayed in today and I felt just as bad as ever. My nerves are shot and I am not coping well. Every thought with every bit of stress is building up like jenga. One bit is taken out but my own failure with cbt and managing my stress knocked me over and I just can't get back up. I am desperately trying to pick up the pieces but I can't grasp any of it and the blocks are falling through my fingers and I feel like I can only look on in horror as every hope and dream I had comes falling down and crashing into a reality that I can't face.

One wrong thing said and my thoughts become even more irrational. Plans to have my mother in law over for a cup of tea with her mother today fell through because of one comment that my mother in law said over the phone to my husband last night. I only heard it because the volume on the phone is too loud. I went to bed last night in a complete rage over her comment. It brought up a past incident that happened almost 3 years ago and I still can't forgive my in laws and I can't find it in me to let it go. I become paranoid that she will try to get rid of me so I don't bring any shame on the family. Maybe her precious son can marry a nice girl who doesn't have any illnesses and they would get along, the new girl and the mother in law. They can go shopping together and have lunch. They can talk on the phone and text. Pretty much all of the things that I refuse to do with mine.

My husband told me that my thoughts were sometimes irrational. They weren't exactly 'right' and that I take some comments in a way that isn't intended. I know that he is treading eggshells when he tries to help and I can't stand these horrible mood swings and what I put him through. I don't see how exactly I am worth keeping around. No matter what my mother in law tries in an attempt to build that bridge I don't trust any of it. Some days I don't think I am being fair and I try to include her in my life and other days I am so angry with myself for letting her in my life. I am waiting for a troll to jump out from under that bridge and I would rather be prepared than to be blinded by her thoughtfulness attempts which are the sugarcoating in her cruel trap.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Another day of bed rest. Have I said how lame it is? Well, its lame.

I am still on bed rest and it is driving me nuts!

My ocd is just loving every minute of it. I want to do my routine cleaning and instead when I stand up for more than 5 minutes I become too dizzy and nauseated and I am forced back to bed.

It feel like it is forced exposure. I can only sit here with the thoughts and listen to them and as far as it goes for the attempts to ignore them it just doesn't work. I have run out of things to do while I am forced by my own body to rest. Body, you are a traitor!

It is at this stage where I am counting all of the things that I need to do and even some of the things that I would like to do. Cleaning the flat is the top priority but sitting out on the patio to inhale some much needed fresh air is badly needed. Having the window open in the bedroom is just not enough but I am enjoying the freshly cut grass smell that is coming into my room. It makes me thankful that I don't suffer from hay fever!

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Today's Events

I felt fine this morning even though we had slept in and started to run late. We had hired a van man to move some of our things down to our in laws and I wanted to get up early enough to get the weekly shop before Mr van man arrived. Looking at the time 9:30 we figured that we should get up and shower and get something to eat, deal with moving the few things and then we would get our grocery shop done.

I honestly felt fine. I was in a really good mood despite sleeping in. I often ignore the alarm clock and drift back to sleep anyways. It is nothing new. I felt uncomfortable with having a complete stranger in my home and every thought came to mind and then I had Sunday dinner at the in laws on my mind. After what felt like a telling off from my mother in law for not attending these meals religiously it had gotten to the point of stressing over being there to show face to make them look good even though leaving the house I can't handle and even though that incident was a month ago it replays in my head every day several times a day and I have grown to strongly dislike my in laws and this became another reason why. I know the ocd will turn the situation worse than it was but I don't think that she understood that my ocd isn't like a common cold. I don't need a text or phone calls, offers to go out for lunch, dinner or shopping. No I don't want any company and no, I don't get lonely while being a hermit. I enjoy being a hermit and that is mainly because it keeps a lot of my anxiety away. The minute people start stomping into my home they make it worse. I have to spend hours cleaning after they leave and I end up in a worse state and for the love of Buddha, stop asking how I am doing because I can never tell how it is because some people just don't get it and wont ever get it.

So, While I was in the shower doing what you do in the shower. I started to feel dizzy and nauseated. I had only washed my hair and body and thankfully managed to shave. I didn't get to wash my face because at that point I couldn't stand up much longer. I shouted for Nick to come through and quickly. I remember being upset that I felt so unwell and asked him to hand me over my towel and help me out. I had the towel in hand and attempted to pat myself dry while still standing in the shower. Everything went black and really loud then really quiet and then I woke up on the floor. The room was spinning and there was a constant buzzing noise. Nick was trying to talk to me and I couldn't hear him through all of the noise and I had a hard time to respond. For a few minutes I could not feel my body and when the feeling came back my legs felt odd. It turns out my legs were in the shower still and the rest of my body on the floor. My chest was tight and breathing hurt, a lot and I couldn't get any breaths in. Apparently before I collapsed I was mumbling words but I don't remember any of that part.

Nick wanted to call an ambulance and I could only mutter no and the waterworks started. Instead he phoned the NHS 24 and talked to them and eventually the phone went to my ear. While I was still laying on the floor unwilling and unable to move. Eventually I had to ask him to put my towel over me because I was getting embarrassed. My body shaking wasn't because I was cold.

I have a really hard time to talk to strangers and even on the phone I struggle. Nick had to do most of the talking. It helped that he made it known that I suffer from severe ocd. Within minutes of hanging up the phone Nick had helped me to the bed and started to dress me and before he could finish the phone rang and it was a doctor on the phone to go over some more details about my incident. I managed to speak to him for a couple of minutes before I was in tears and another panic attack had started and I had to hand the phone to Nick.

I kept being told that I had to go to the hospital to get checked and I really didn't want to leave the house and I didn't want to sit in a waiting room full of people who are sick. It is bad enough that I am not well but I don't want to catch someone cold. The doctor on the phone wouldn't stop trying to persuade me through Nick to go to the hospital. Eventually I agreed when I was told that I would be seen right away and I wouldn't have to sit in the waiting room and I wouldn't be kept waiting. Nick jokes that I had VIP treatment while I was there.

When I had to breathe into a tube thing I had to ask the nurse if it was clean and she replied it was but she would clean it again before putting the disposable bit on it for me to use. When seeing the doctor she had to wash the stethoscope before touching me with it. I felt so ashamed and so scared.

My incident has been put down to the stress of my ocd and the treatment and now I am on bed rest but I can't fall asleep because I don't think that I will wake up. I try to clean the flat but within minutes of standing up I feel like I am going to black out again.

I had more panic attacks today then what I have had in a month. They are constant and it has made me tired. I am exhausted to the point that I don't care if I wake up or not. I need to get some sleep.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Clear As See Through

This is one of my few days that I have that I can 'see clearly'

I am still doing my tasks that I have mentioned in my previous blogs and my anxiety had peaked at its highest today with the hand washing rules but now it is coming down and I think for that reason alone my mood has brightened. I want to write about it because I am afraid that it will soon pass and I wont be able to see past my cruel thoughts that my OCD forces into my mind. I want to remember this calmer feeling and my thoughts about the future. Most days I can't bring myself to think about the future because I would rather not be in it and that is destructive enough on its own and it comes with the territory of my illness.

I spent so much of my life thinking how much I failed because I have not kept up with everyone else and somehow I had this super positive thought go through my head. It went something like this..

'Even though I didn't graduate from high school and I didn't make it through the first week of grade 10 without having to leave school to be home schooled I still tried my hardest under the circumstances with my over all health issues. Dealing with Fibromyalgia syndrome and my untreated at the time OCD made my teen years a living nightmare along with the constant verbal abuse and death threats that I was forced to listen to day in and day out from an older sibling for the majority of my life. Eventually I managed my life and I had plans and I stuck to them. Now, I may not have finished my high school education and that made me feel ashamed for a very long time but now I don't feel ashamed at all. The people that I went to school with; they finished their high school and they went to prom. I didn't. Their life stopped not long after they finished high school and a lot from my own knowledge have done nothing since. I on the other hand have done a lot considering what I go through on a daily basis.

- I met the love of my life
- I moved to Scotland to be with him
- We eventually got married!
- Did I mention that I moved to a whole other country and this was before I turned 20
- I have travelled, I have been to Paris, London, Berlin and Pollensa in the last few years and I plan to travel even more! I never would have had the opportunity to do it when I lived in my hometown.

I can go to college here and I can go to university here. Just because I didn't finish my education back in Canada doesn't mean in any way that I wont get anywhere in life. The world is my oyster and I wont eat it. I don't like oysters. I had to turn down my college interview and my volunteer work at a hospital a few months ago because of my OCD. I know that I have missed out because of it. I planned on going to college since I moved to the UK but I had to sort out so many things before I could apply. I applied as soon as I could and I just couldn't get there but I have a year to do all that I can before I start applying again. Who knows, I might even get back to taking my driving lessons before then.

Now I am starting to feel like I am getting too ahead of myself. I know that my mood is good right now but this is one of my many extremes of high and lows. Sometimes I wonder if there is more wrong with me than just the OCD but then I have to understand that the OCD would like me to think that I have even more wrong with me then what there is. It will follow with me searching online for every mental illness that I can find and within a few hours I will  be convinced that I have schizophrenia, bipolar and impostor syndrome.

Then again I do have this mysterious bruise on my arm from elbow down to my wrist is very tender. I had to take off my sweater through fear that I must have got some all purpose spray on it when I was cleaning the counter tops earlier and it must have infected me and I am having some kind of serious allergic reaction. What am I going to do with these thoughts? Well.. I took off my sweater and ideally I should put it back on but I just put on a very comfortable plush bathrobe and I am too comfy to change.