And Your OCD Today Will Be…

24 Jul

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For those new to the “me,” let it be known that I sometimes have anxiety issues.  I was diagnosed during a breakdown several years ago, and how it works is: you know how people who have had bronchitis once tend to have every cold they get ever after default to bronchitis again?  Your body has established a weakness, and that weakness is now prone to kick in for the rest of your life.  It happens.  So it goes with the mental stuffs. 

…Where before in times of stress, I would be “stressed,” like every other red-blooded American…now I get stressed for a while and if I don’t check it, bounce over into some aspect of anxiety.  Doesn’t mean I start screaming about the Aliens coming to get us and wearing fashionable tinfoil hats to keep the Feds out of my brain…it just means I begin to manifest slight residual signs…which, thanks to a LOT of money in therapy, I’ve become in tune to and can most of the time work my way out of with good old fashioned reasoning and breathing.

…Also, I make fun of it a lot.  Nothing pisses fear off quite like laughing at it. 

…Anyway, cuz yesterday was specifically a life-stress-event kind of day, with no rising prep of it’s reality…just BAM, right there in m’face, it was sorta inevitable that my old friend Le Freakout would stop by for a visit.  And it did. 

Anxiety is a funny animal, too.  It attacks people in different ways.  For me, some form of physical impediment starts it off…kicking in my warning sectors.  In keeping with the body’s natural “fight or flight” reactions, I go into a kind of very pinpointed shock.  Plummeting temp as the blood is sucked in from all the body extremities to it’s panicking heart-center.  Sometimes fingers and toes will go numb.  I’ll flash in random sweat-waves at the back of the neck and forhead, get the shakes near to a lightly diagnosed Parkinson’s  patient, and either sit in wide-eyed panic or burst into tears involuntarily.  One symptom does not always preclude another…and with very few exceptions has it outstretched my well-trained abilities to shut it down before it’s final manifestation.

…But sometime, it hits harder and stronger.  Sometimes I’m just not prepared.  Sometimes it tricks me with side-stepping the issues until it’s too late.  And I gotta live with that.  For the rest of my life.  Its my superpower weakness…my personal Achilles heel.  It sucks, but I can name it, point at it, make fun of it, and survive it.  I already know this…even when in the middle of a total freak-out.  And that helps, lemme tell yuh.

Yesterday, was a sideswipe on a freeway, kind of day.  Not prepared. And it cost me.

…But after I regained myself…which didn’t take long, frankly…I was back doing paperwork at my desk (excellent for keeping nagging thoughts at bay.)

I thought to myself, by the time I got home, that I was pretty amazing to have dusted the whole episode so quickly.  Which is about when it smiled to itself and shook it’s head.

…”Stupid little human,” it said.  “I’ve only just begun.”

So here’s another fun factoid: Most people with anxiety issues also sport a myriad of cling-ons that suck to it’s host and come along for the ride from time to time.  These cling-ons include things like depression or anger…or for people like me: control issues.  My anxiety’s BFF since apparently childhood, is OCD.  Not the totally incapacitating kind…only types which several people who know me have called, “charming” and “quirky.”  I don’t require anyone else to abide by them, but I feel “bad” if I don’t follow the rules myself.  If you’re going to have an OCD, this is the kind (apparently) you wanna have.  And it isn’t always constant, but it will from time to time make an extra special reappearance.  And it is fucking exhausting.

Guess who decided to pack a bag and show up with Mr. Anxiety on this trip?

“Hi! Straighten that table runner,” it said first. And I did because, well…it needed straightening. Then it moved onto: “That’s chair is in the wrong spot,” and “plate the chicken on the left.”

…”I don’t like how you folded that blanket, ” and “six redvines, not five or seven,” came next.  Also: “re-stack the dishes in the strainer by size,” “stop everything at two a.m. to get the spot out of that table cloth,” “Oh God how can you be such a slob with the bed pillows you aren’t using right now, stacked at total random on the chair over there!  We’ve talked about this!  This is not allowed!  Not in my house!”

…My every little “routine” and “ritual” was magnified and ending in exclamation marks!  Like this!  And as time went on!  I began to finally get wise to it!

Holy crap!  Did I just triple check all the doors for the twelfth time?!  And I think by the fourth washing, that cup is clean now!  And, you don’t necessarily have to  worry about how the blanket is folded when you are in the middle of actually using it!  Also, the fish don’t understand that their rapid movement in scattered patterns is freaking you out!  Stop yelling at them to get their shit together and synchronize their movements like they’re “supposed” to!

…When I finally wound down enough to sleep last night…which was actually at around 3:30 this morning…I had exhausted myself into oblivion.  And though I notice, the residuals aren’t as bad as yesterday…I still had issues with the order of my morning routine, and me and the doornob spent some quality time clicking and re-clicking though I already knew well-enough: it was locked.

…Washing out my coffee mug, starting on my paperwork…so my day began. All a little more uptight than usual.

…Which is my cue to call it out.  And why I am blogging right now instead of the paperwork I should be doing.  Because this is a more important job: calling myself on my own shit.

Hey! Me!  Enough!  Relax!  I know you miss the control!  I get that you feel helpless right now!  But this isn’t helping!  Making sure these things are “just so” will not help you at all in the mainframe of your actual difficulties right now!  You’re just making it tougher on yourself!

…So cut it out, dammit! 

Right.  So that’s done now.

…Back to paperwork.

~D
 

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