Thursday, July 22, 2010

OCD, Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying... That's A Lie. I'm Worried As SHIT.

I saw my therapist this morning. This was my second appointment with her, and I can't tell you how glad I am to be seeing someone again, AND to have it be someone that I feel actually, oh, maybe knows how to do something besides just let me talk at her? Someone who might actually have some ideas and guidance and maybe, oh, KNOW a little bit something about mental health?

*cough* Sorry. I might be just a little bit bitter about my last experience with a therapist. The last lady was... well, she was very nice. But I probably would have done better paying one of my close friends $100 to sit with me for an hour and listen, for all the good she did me. My friends would have slapped me around a little bit more. (with LOVE, of course.)

So. When I met this therapist last week, the session was me just trying to remember everything I wanted to tell her about in my life that I feel gives me trouble or that I'd like to work on. HUGE list, but a lot of it is interrelated, so I am hoping that as we get some of it sorted out, all of it will start just falling into place.

This week, given the magnitude of the financial crisis we just 'discovered', it was pretty much all about that and how I processed the stress over the weekend (by obsessing and thinking in circles and living on the sheer edge of panic, why, how do YOU deal with your personal crises?) and where I'm at now and what I'd like to accomplish.

At some point I brought out my list. You all just KNEW I made a list, right? Maybe I told you I made a list in my last post, I can't recall. But even if I didn't, I know you know how much I love lists. This particular list has a morning routine consisting of everything I think I SHOULD do in the mornings, an after dinner routine of everything I think I SHOULD do in the evenings, and a giant list of all the things I think I should do in between during the day to make the money I need ($55 a day! my brain keeps screaming at me. FIFTY FIVE DOLLARS A DAAAAAY!). Not on the list are the parts where I have to break for meals, spend time with the kids and the husband, and maybe occasionally stop and enjoy life. Because when you're in panic mode, YOU DON'T HAVE TIME FOR THOSE THINGS.

Panic also makes your hair change color. It's true.
I started explaining the list to her, starting with the morning routine. It's a lot of stuff. She stopped me early on and asked if I thought I was setting myself up to do too much. "Not really," I replied uncertainly. "I mean, look at the stuff that's on there. Each item really shouldn't take all that long, you know? I get frazzled because the past few days I've done it, it's taken me much longer than I thought it should, but these are all things I HAVE to do, and so I do them, but then I don't have time for anything else, but look... this one should only take five minutes, this one's only about ten, I cut this other thing out because I felt like it was taking too long..." She asked if I had trouble with any of the tasks, or if I thought it would be beneficial if I stuck to my routine for a week and identified what parts work for me, what doesn't, what I dislike. "I can do some of that already!" I said. "For instance, feeding the pets and cleaning the litterbox. It NEEDS to be done. I love my pets. But I really dislike those tasks. Probably more than normal. I don't know if anyone LIKES doing them, but take the feeding for instance - ever since I was pregnant with my second daughter, I never really lost my Dog Nose (you know, that mega enhanced sense of smell you get while pregnant), and the smell of even the dry food makes me gag now. It's awful. But it has to be done." She asked if I could give some of these tasks away, for instance to my kids. "Sure! I mean, they're capable. But here's the thing. I have... um... some anxieties about that. Pet food is kind of gross, right? And I have to, HAVE TO, wash my hands after I touch it. My husband, he could feed them and then go make us dinner and never see a sink in between, but it makes my skin crawl. And the thought of my kids touching the pet food really squicks me out. I know it shouldn't be a big deal, they can just wash their hands, and I don't want them to be freaked out by it, but it BOTHERS ME."

She asked if I thought we should test me for OCD. Heh. MAYBE! Maybe just a LITTLE!

So, next week that's ON like donkey kong. My husband told me I was gonna ace that test. I'm not sure what he means by that, exactly.

It runs in the family too, apparently. I picked my kids up from my mom's afterwards and was talking to her and learned about some funny OCD-style quirks she has that I wasn't entirely aware of. And my brother came home from work in the middle of our conversation and he's got some too. It's a family affair, oooo, a family affair...

It would be really nice to get some of my anxieties under control. I'm looking forward to this, believe it or not.

In the meantime, she tasked me this week with just doing my morning routine every day. Good or bad, stick with it. We're going for CONSISTENCY. I am to make note of anxieties I feel, perceived roadblocks, dislikes, issues, whatever. She asked me to ignore the rest of my list for the week. IGNORE MY LIST?? 'Can you do that?' she asked me. "Umm... I don't know?" I said sheepishly. "Can I focus on just ONE thing?" "OK." She said. "But just ONE. Nothing else. I don't want to give you too much this week. I think that's plenty."
But I WANT to do the whole list!!

So that's my assignment.

On the drive home, I was thinking about all the other things on the list and trying to figure out what I can 'outsource' to my husband so more things get done.

I suspect that's probably something like cheating.

So I've done nothing this afternoon so far but think about it and feel anxious because the world is going to BLOW UP  if I can't do EVERYTHING on my list RIGHT NOW.
This is what happened to me last time I ignored my list. True story.

Surprise! This is turning into the CRAZY BLOG! Bet you didn't see that coming!

Step One of my financial repair journey: stop worrying and being so anxious about so many things. It seems this might be a much bigger process than I had suspected. Until I started examining it recently, I hadn't quite realized how badly anxiety has permeated my life over the past few years. I walk around in a near-constant state of anxiety these days, even when I don't have something specific to be anxious about. Even though I am just starting to work on it, I can't tell you how relieved I feel to be addressing it. I am looking forward to feeling better.

Also, I should really see someone about that eye wound.

you might also enjoy reading:
So Basically I Live In A Constant State Of Anxiety No Matter What
Lead Me Not Into Temptation... I Can Find It Just Fine By Myself

1 comment:

  1. Lexapro works wonders in my case. It's a lot easier to live when you're not too anxious to function.



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