Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Can I Take Away Your OCD?

During a recent chat with a fellow OCD-er the thought came to mind and it ended up typed up during the conversation. If I could take away everyones burden of OCD I would, even if it meant that I would have everyone else OCD. I hate to see others suffer.

I think that it is the most heartbreaking when there are children out there with OCD. I was one of them a long time ago and it was such a horrible place to be. I didn't know that it wasn't normal to have what I can call now compulsions, rituals and magical thinking. Apologizing every time I had to use an odd number, including stepping on the odd number stair whether it was at home or school. The constant fear of losing my dad. I am sorry mom but dad was my favourite parent since he never gave me into trouble.

The fear of losing my dad became all too real when he was in the hospital with what thought to be a brain tumour, eventually misdiagnosed as damage from a stroke and then re diagnosed with Alzheimer's. At 7 years old I blamed myself and I tried to tell my mother that it was my fault. I couldn't get the words out to tell her why. Maybe I forgot to do something, maybe I did something that I didn't do and for that reason my dad is ill.

I wish that I had the ability to cure sickness, even if it meant taking years off of my own life. My dad is still alive. I am 24 now and I still have OCD and he still has Alzheimer's. For me, my dad is an inspiration and without the OCD I still have a constant fear of losing him but the OCD likes to make it that much more worse.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

The One Thing That Quiets My OCD - What about everyone else?

After my last post I am wondering what other fellow bloggers like to create?

I have met so many other sufferers and they all seem to have a really creative side and it is so inspiring to see what others can make and how relaxing it is. Sometimes I find it difficult to focus on something for a long period of time, or half way through I am desperate to start another project and I end in an argument with myself over it 'No, I am not going to start another project!' and then a few days later, 'Okay, Just one more project for now, but I will finish the other one while I work on this!'

I think that it is addictive but in a good way to make something, especially for gifts. I love to see the expression and it makes all of the time and effort worth it. Last year I took out my crochet needle and about 15 balls of yarn and a few months later I had a blanket that was gifted to my husbands grandmother. I am just in the process of putting together another blanket for my newly born nephew. I will only post photos of the previous blanket once it has been received, I don't want to spoil the surprise.

I would love to see what others create, although it is an OCD blog, crafting really pushes aside my OCD, even just for an hour. The quiet in my mind is bliss. I think that crafting deserves a place on this OCD blog, mainly because I find that it helps to get through some days.

Friday, 26 August 2011

The Glitter Incident Was Worth It - Even though this card has no glitter on it

This one is the first of my creations and I think it is not bad for a beginner! Although.. I think something is missing but I don't want to clutter the card. Should I leave it as it is or is it missing something? Any suggestions or thoughts?

I have to admit that this arts and crafts thing has been very relaxing but I end up making the biggest mess in the history of glitter incidents. I don't know if I should stick to knitting and crocheting? No chance of knocking over the pile of card that knocked over the glitter that knocked over the glue :)

The best part of this was that for a little while I felt alright. I didn't have thoughts, compulsions or worries. I felt calm and I listened to music until the battery on my ipod died and then noticing that it was after 9:30pm and that I completely lost track of time and we had a very very late dinner. Not a good idea to eat late at night, worse than drinking an extra large coffee moments before bed! Lesson learnt.

Bill, Bill, Junk Mail, Package, Confidential Letter???

When this mornings mail came through our door I was really happy to see that the c.d that my husband ordered for me for my birthday had finally came through the post but there was a little brown envelope too 'strictly confidential' written on the front and below, my name and address.

I was nervous to open it. I decided to open the package with the c.d in it first so I could feel happy before the dread of what the letter could hold. I thought the letter was another demand to attend a back to work meeting that I have been harassed about attending (even though I can't get out of my house to attend, or have anyone come into my home to hold the meeting)

Any who, it wasn't that! It was actually the letter through for treatment!

September 1st is the big day and I am in complete shock. The idea of 10 weeks was unbearable but I just tried to stay positive and somehow lady luck came through with my mail.

I am full of the 'what ifs' at this point though, all negative what ifs. It is just like OCD to turn around something good into something that has every awful scenario in my mind but I am still happy that I finally have an appointment. Finally getting somewhere, as long as this therapist knows what she is doing.

I don't know how to change the time that shows up when I post these blogs, but it is after 1am and I really should get ready for bed.

Oh, and I also made my first Christmas card, I will post photos of it soon! I think that it looks awesome.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Ouch, it has been a while. Well, a while for me as all I seem to do is write. I meant to update this all sooner but I started a task of making my own Christmas cards to send out this year. Anything to keep me busy and my mind busy and in all fairness, I am actually having a lot of fun designing these cards. I will have to post some photos to share with everyone. It is such a great way to relieve some of the stress, who knew that glue and glitter could be as good as Prozac!

Oh and I know that Christmas is still a long ways away but I love the holiday season and maybe I am getting a little to ahead of myself, I have not even thought about Thanksgiving yet.

Things have been pretty crazy lately, crazier than I feel. Can I say that?

I have been having a rough time trying to stop doing routines and the depression has been hitting hard. I feel I am depressions victim and I am trying to not let it all get to me.

I had a few hours out of the house today and it was nice. A visit to the new transport museum and with a few photos and sore feet later I am back home and just in time too because minutes after we walked through our front door it started to rain, well.. if you can call it that. I would say something along the lines of .. The gods were flinging buckets of water down to water the earth, they made a bloody mess!

I should have had a doctors appointment today but I could not stand to see that new doctor again. I never took my prescription in to get filled and I have no intentions on taking the medication. I guess that I am afraid of what she will say to me, or accuse me of wasting her time and the sort of mean things that people can say would be said to me and I will end up coming out of her office in tears. Not that it happened anywhere other than my head. I will make an appointment to see her again next Wednesday and hopefully I can just explain that I appreciate her seeing me but I just don't feel comfortable with her and with her persistence to the medication route and me not being able to feel safe talking to her about my fear of medication that maybe I should try another doctor in that practice until I find someone that I do feel comfortable with.

I don't know if its the whole warning bells or just me being silly but I think that I would like another change in doctors.

Roughly 8 weeks to go until I should be back in treatment. The countdown has begun!

Friday, 19 August 2011

OCD Didn't Show Up For Cake

I don't usually celebrate my birthday but today I found in my own little way how much I enjoyed a day that was just about me.

I just stayed at home, ate endless slices of cake and drank endless cups of tea. I just relaxed, wrote a letter to a dear friend and drank some more tea. I had so many birthday wishes, more than I ever had before and I feel happy inside. It was a very good day. It turns out people do care and I have to remember just that and this feeling. In case my ocd tries to rob me of this little bit of happiness I am just writing this out. You are wrong ocd, people do care and now it is printed. I wont be forgetting this.

I am trying not to feel guilty for doing just what I wanted to do today. Stay indoors out of the damp weather, do some laundry and I went a step further and tore apart the closet in the bedroom. It was a very nice birthday indeed! Now I just have a lot of other cleaning to do and I am going to go against every temptation of sorting it all out. I am leaving it and I will deal with it later! This feels nice, relaxed .. you would almost think that I could be on some medication already but I am not.

I didn't see any family or friends today but that is ok. I will see them all at some point but today was just a day for me. I would like more of those please!

So the rest of my plans, well it is just after 11:30pm so I am going to go put the bath on, pour in a good amount of bubble bath and find a book. A midnight bath to finish off my birthday, bliss.

Does it count that I was born in Canada, so I technically have another 5 hours of birthday left after midnight, with the time difference and all.

Hello year 24, nice to meet you. Maybe this year could be a productively fun one. I will shake your non existant hand or is that just me shaking my own hand? Either way. Nice to meet you!

Thursday, 18 August 2011

A Very Merry UnBirthday To Me To Who? To Me!

So today is the big day. My last day of 23. I already forget how old I am most days, just let me double check my numbers .. yes 23, 24 tomorrow. Maybe I can say something alone the lines of, here is to my year 24, let us hope it is better than all of the others!

I think that it was spent well. I was determined, really determined to go out and we did just that. My husband and I spent the day out in town and looked at so many shops. It didn't take me long to feel tired and by the time we got home I was worn out and had to have a nap.

So, town was busy and I felt uncomfortable before I even went out my front door. I kept telling myself that everyone I was looking at was doing just the same as us, shopping. As for shopping I might be a bit of a lame shopper to some as my first step was two more books to add to my never ending collection and can I just say that I am running out of room and I am considering clearing out a space in my closest to fit more if that needs to be. I enjoy it though, every moment looking through the next book that will have my attention, even after I have read the last page. It really is the anticipation from browsing, to buying to reading and then remembering.

We took our time walking around and I noticed this shop, selling tea and tea related things and I fell in love! I bought some loose leaf teas and I was so happy because I was on the look out for just that for so long but all that I could find in the grocery stores were loose powdered teas and it just isn't the same quality. I got the plain old black tea and green tea. I am going to have a cup of green tea tonight and it is the anticipation that comes with preparing something that you will enjoy that makes it taste all the more better!

Also got a few new pieces of clothing but I am hoping that I can wear it. I have the worst body issues and it seems to show in everything that I wear at the moment. I have a ways to go but maybe I should look at my body in art form, wearing things that express how I feel and who I am and maybe even the kind of person that I would like to be. I suppose that at the moment I am already showing how I feel with what I wear. Completely covered up = self conscious.

I never did fill my prescription for my happy pills. I was in the store and I could have done it but I backed out and said that I wanted to think about it some more. I don't feel able to get up that step just yet but I am going to keep looking up what exactly fluoxetine is and what is does and maybe when I know it inside and out it could be more possible to give it a try.

Over all it was a good day and it wasn't an ocd filled day for once. Now for some pre birthday cake before actual birthday cake! What can I say, I have a terrible sweet tooth and in a way I hope that ocd can ruin that for me so losing weight can be a possibility!

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Hello Doc, We meet again and again next week this time, yes?

The main outings are doctors appointments and I feel almost like a real freak for it. Ikea attempts on Saturday were really just a disaster and thankfully Sunday dinner with the in laws was relaxing, even though I was making the dinner and I am sure that it was the first vegetarian Sunday dinner in that house or actually, the first vegetarian dinner in that house and it was lovely.

I did hide myself away in the kitchen the entire time, even after the meal just trying to focus on the clean up but the main thing is that I was out and staying relatively calm enough through out the evening.

So today it was another doctors appointment. Once a week every week says it all doesn't it? severity and all. I felt slightly pressured though to give the medication a try so I now have a prescription of a months worth of fluoxetine. Whether I start taking it is another matter. I am not keen at all and my monster of ocd is just filling my head with a ton of nonsense and I am aware that it is just that but I have moments where I give in, give it some thought then I start to obsess and then it cripples me some more.

Other than the medication the actual appointment went alright. The doctor seems alright but I don't know how keen I am with her, with being really persistant on me taking medication. I don't think that I want to take it. ugh, when the decisions in my life revolve around pills I must be mad! as mad as a hatter! Clean cup clean cup move down! Why is a raven like a writing desk? Careful, She is stark ravin' mad! Well, after this I should think nothing of falling down stairs.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Every Noise At Night = An intruder? No, just another panic attack!

I went to bed feeling exhausted last night. The last two nights I have felt tired and went to bed on my own, ignoring the usual time that we would go to bed.

The only things that had tired me out was leaving the house for a few hours two days in a row. I know that can sound awfully sad but the reality is that I struggle to leave the house and quite often I only make it to the top of the street before I turn back and rush to my front door. I don't leave the house often and when I do it has to be planned and it can't be for long and I need to know that I can go home at any time, how long it should take to get home and that even if we go out I can turn back at any time.

I am worried that I actually do suffer from agoraphobia. It isn't one of those things that OCD had convinced me that I might have but when reading up on it, it just clicked. Maybe I should speak to my new doctor about it when I am in tomorrow for our second appointment.

Back to the lack of sleep last night. I tried so hard but I could not calm down. I was feeling anxious when I got into bed and I really didn't want the light off. Once the light was turned out I just kept thinking that I was seeing things and it was frightening. I ended up asking for the light to be put back on and when I started to feel a bit better I then asked if it could be turned off again. Then I heard the fridge creak and some other noise in the living room so I was convinced we were being burgled. The light was put back on and my husband had to go out and check, which I know that the reassurance isn't allowed but what do you do when your on the verge of a panic attack?

When my husband got back into the room and told me that everything was fine I was left wondering if he checked behind the doors, in case if there was someone out there they just hid and now when we turn off our light again we will be trapped in our room and shot or stabbed once we fall asleep.

The hall night light had to be turned on and I still could not sleep. Eventually I became so uncomfortable with that light on, in case a fire would start that it had to be turned off but I was too frightened to get out of bed to do it. So, in complete darkness I eventually started to nod off, only to begin shouting in my sleep, waking myself up 'no no no this isn't right, I'm really scared I'm really scared' By the time the light was switched back on I was having a panic attack.

So today, I am very tired and my head is very sore and my chest feels slightly bruised but there are no marks. My previous doctor suggested sleeping pills but I don't think they are the answer to this problem. Even though they would calm me down before I go to bed, if I have another bad dream I could be left in it and left in a worse state if I cannot wake up from it! I don't want to not wake up.

No idea what to do but I would like these kinds of nights to stop. I would do just about anything to make this all stop.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Meeting The New Doc - The Update

It is the end of the day here, coming onto 9pm and for me that is close enough to the end of the day because my bedtime is fast approaching, yes I know that it is a Friday night and I plan to be in bed before midnight. I have OCD and that also means I have no life to speak of at the moment, unless you want to come over and leave you shoes at the door and put on a clean pair of socks before you walk around in my home. Anyways. To think that this morning at this time this morning I was writing on here about how nervous I was about meeting this doctor and with every thought running through my mind I was convinced that it would be a horrible experience and I would be looking for a new doctor for a while. I think that it is typical of my OCD to make every thing seem worse than it is and looking back to this mornings appointment it wasn't horrible at all.

The doctor that I had the appointment with is an older one then my last doctor and she seems to be the 'get right in there and sort this out' She seemed very hands on and she was so helpful and very reassuring. I don't think that being reassured is the wrong thing to do when someone suffers from OCD. We are still people and if something is bothering us that is about our own well being, our treatment and the possibility of getting back on our feet then we should be reassured and told exactly where we stand instead of my therapists last part of the treatment where I didn't need to know - Says the woman who disapproved of support from other sufferers.

She let me take my time and she understood how difficult it was for me to talk about everything and the moment that she took out the pad of paper for a sick line I was quick to tell her that I didn't need another just now and that I just wanted to have this appointment to meet her and to hopefully carry on where I left off with the previous doctor. I had asked a few questions, if I am back into crises mode can I come in short notice and if I can't get out of the house can I be assured that she will return by call. She did assure me that on the days that she is in that she would ensure that I can come in short notice or have a call returned but the only problem is that she is only there 4 days a week.

I said to this doctor, that I didn't want to sound rude but I really need to know that I can be supported at the moment. Since I am not in treatment and I have been having intrusive thoughts about harm and suicide and that at times I am very suicidal and I don't have any professional to speak to when it becomes a crises. She then gave it a thought and suggested that I stick with her but she knew of another doctor in this practice that would be helpful for me to see or just to talk to if there were any days that she was not in.

It still makes me feel uncomfortable but I need to do this. I don't know how many changes I will have to go through with doctors so this is an experience and knowledge and I need this.

I also explained how I have not been in treatment in weeks. How the situation with my last therapist went sour. I had a hard time to explain what had happened but I suppose that is expected. She explained that treatment can be successful but I need to be given a therapist that understands OCD and the treatment involved and the therapist that I was seeing didn't sound like she knew her stuff, and she didn't.

I watched this doctor print up the information for the clinic that I will be going to again for treatment and stuck on a yellow post it with a note to chase them up on when I should be starting treatment and she also added to speak to this other doctor in the practice to let her know about me and in case I need to contact her.

I was also asked if I would like to try the medication approach. She explained that it wasn't a cure, it would take the edge off of it and make things easier and she also asked if I was still having trouble sleeping at night and I told her that I am waking up about 7 or 8 times a night. If I am in bed for 8 hours I only sleep for about 4 and that is a good night. I also brought up the severe pain I have been in from the damp weather. I suffer from fibromyalgia syndrome but I am unable to bring myself to take anything for the pain because of my fear of medication but also my new fear of overdosing.

It was suggested that I could have a small amount of medication at one time, but because I struggle to leave the house it would be unlikely that I would venture out for a refill. Also because of my number issue I felt embarrassed that if I had taken the medication that I would have to ask for it to be given in even numbers. I asked if it would be OK if I think about the medication and then decide. I have a lot of worries about it and I need to feel OK about it all first and that was OK with her. No rush and if I decide that I don't want the pills then that is perfectly fine and it isn't a problem, we are going to tackle this the best way that we can.

With the now severity that my OCD has taken my doctor assured me that she would push for me to get back into treatment. The last time I left the house on my own was my last doctors appointment with my previous doctor and that was on the 1st of this month. I went out a couple of days ago for a walk with my husband. We were out for 40 minutes at most.

I also explained how the previous doctor had me come in once a week to update and that I found that it was helpful so I am going to do just that but it will be a different day of the week that I go. My next appointment is on Wednesday. I am really pleased that I will be getting out that once a week to do this and hopefully it is a push that I need to maybe go for a little walk on my own or get something from the store that I need when I need it instead of relying on my husband to pick it up on his way home from work.

So, the outcome of it all. I feel much more relaxed with her but I am still just a bit nervous. Just a bit and I am worried that the days before the next appointment my OCD will turn this into a whole different scenario and I will be back to how I felt in the first place and then a bit worse than that.

I also had a phone call just before 5pm tonight. She had contacted the clinic to find out how much longer that it will be until I get in for treatment. Unfortunately I am 18th on the list and that is an estimated 10 weeks longer. It is really frustrating because I was assured that it wouldn't be long until I was seen to again but I have already been waiting several weeks as it is. It would actually take an attempt on my own life to be moved up on the list because what I am going through isn't severe enough.

Lets just see what happens. I can't change the 10 week wait but I can try to say no to these compulsions while I am waiting and if I say no then maybe I can also try to resist to check that door is still locked, the gas stove isn't on and that I did actually turn that bathroom tap off.

Meeting The New Doc

So this is just a quick blog. I am up and almost ready to go out in some of the dampest rainiest weather out there and meet what could be my new doctor.

I had one of the best doctors and unfortunately she finished up at the practice and I need to find someone to replace her. I don't feel like I will find someone half as good and to be honest .. it is really hard to talk about your ocd all over again to another doctor. It is a bit frustrating and thankfully there are my records that she will see before she calls me into her office, also a note of me calling the practice yesterday because I was a bag of nerves about meeting her for this appointment. I still am.

There is a lot about today that I feel uncomfortable with. The main one being the new doctor and I am really hoping that it goes well and the receptionist that I spoke to yesterday was lovely and very reassuring and told me what the doctor was like and what I should expect. I know that it is said that we shouldn't be reassured but if it wasn't for that yesterday I would have likely done what I did last Monday - Cancelled. I wont cancel again though. I really need to do this and I need to know that I can do this.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Support groups?

I had noticed a while ago that there are support groups for OCD sufferers. Actual places where one can sit in a group with other sufferers and do what it is that they do.

I didn't like the idea of it when I first noticed that there was one a couple of times a week not so far from here. The idea of meeting a bunch of strangers seems frightening enough without my OCD adding a new set of fears and bringing up every past fear in front of my eyes. Maybe it is only frightening because the OCD got to the idea and planted the seeds of fear before I realized what it was doing.

Maybe the only way to get rid of the fear is to attempt to attend just one or two of these meetings and who knows maybe it would be helpful. Worst case scenario in my mind at the moment is that it is just as helpful as my last therapist -snickers-

Thursday, 4 August 2011

I Know You From Somewhere Don't I? Oh, Yes. You are my ocd and we aren't allowed to be friends.

I know more about ocd now then when I ignored that it was a problem and I know a lot more about what I want in life now that I have a problem getting there. Having ocd is like being in one of those hedge mazes but your not on your own because fear has become a friend. The friendship isn't a good one, no. In fact its not even a love hate relationship, it is purely a hate hate relationship. Any wrong turn in the maze could result in death and this is just strictly speaking of the fears and if you don't turn back to walk back into where you are trying to go ultimately you believe that something bad will happen. The levels of frustration could be viewed like a 3 dimensional world of its own. If I could view my ocd in its 3 dimension then maybe I could understand which way to escape the maze and I would run and run as fast as my short legs could take me to make the escape successful.

What would I do though once I escape? I don't think that I am the only one out there with the utopia dream of the life that could be had without the ocd. The ideas, the fantasy and the ultimate dreams of how I could live my life. Why can't I live it now? I am alive aren't I? I am alive but I feel dead, a zombie like creature doing the everyday tasks in set numbers with set words running through my mind like a broken record. I want some quiet but how do I get quiet. I know that I have a few ways to quiet my ever running so fast train of thoughts. Yoga is one of them and afterwards it feels like I have overdosed on an instant happy pill. Writing is another, Maybe it is my concentration or the pure enjoyment that I get out of putting words on paper or screen or when I imagine putting them on paper in my mind to save for later but it always ends up lost in the imaginary drawer where I hoard all of the good thoughts away. One other way is music, oh I love listening to music. I'm not even fussed over what I listen to some days but I love the days where I crave a specific artist and I can't feel at ease until I have the lyrics swimming through my mind and then I am in another world all together and it is lovely and peaceful and it's my own. My thoughts aren't allowed in when I have these 3 things to occupy my mind but I can feel them bashing at the door with screams of 'let us back in' or 'I am going to get you and make you pay for shutting us out' They become more horrible than that but what they say just isn't appropriate to write on paper, screen or even on an imaginary scrap of paper to store in my overcrowded desk drawer for later.

I think that once the problem ocd is acknowledged then recovery it inevitably ready to begin. It's a long road and I want to think that we all make it to the end of and although we wont receive a medal that you can hold we could actually hold our own mind, own it and listen to it when we want to have a think and not be forced to listen to thoughts that cause nothing but unease, anxiety and trouble. I would like to think that if I want those feelings then I will go visit my in laws and at least at that point I can make the choice to feel like those feelings and listen to words that upset me and at least by then those words aren't in my head, they are real just like that door and I can use it for my means of escape. To why I entered the door in the first place confuses me but it goes to show that we can't avoid nasty situations but it would be nice to get out of them and we can, can't we? The door is real so let's go out and get some fresh air.

I want freedom. In the country I grew up in and the country I moved to, they boast freedom. Freedom to live how you want, freedom to choose and freedom to have your say. Although how much the government listens is another matter but maybe for a moment I can compare my ocd to the government. Need I say more?

With a life filled to the brim of ocd my mind causing my brain fluid to spill out of my ears like the bathtub tap that has been left on and forgotten about while watching the newest episode of QI I can take some moments to enjoy it but I am left cleaning up the mess and sometimes I can't face the mess and the ones around me who love me are left with the horrendous task to clean up my disaster. I am going back to the idea of freedom because ocd took away every ounce of freedom I had and even though I didn't have much it took it away and spent years taking away the freedom that I deserved to have as I grew up. Well, I want it back. Please.