Friday, January 20, 2012

You'd Think I'd Learn My Lesson..

You would think that after hundreds of spikes I would eventually learn my lesson. Definitely not the case, unfortunately. But. In my defense, I really don't think the OCD will ever allow me to learn my lesson. Basically, I have been on cloud 9 since vacation. Everything has been going incredibly well and I have had no unmanageable spikes with either R or H. But, this is lesson I clearly haven't learned.--It will come back--. No matter how clear you are seeing things on the good days and no matter how much you know your OCD notions are ridiculous on these days--the OCD will show its face again at some point in time, and no matter what kind of clarity you were feeling in the past, everything will become blurry and clouded again. The last couple days have been a clear example of this. It started with exposure therapy about two days ago. I had met with my therapist and we decided I had made so much progress that we could start meeting everything week--woo hoo. Just the next morning, however, I started feeling a little "off". Things were bothering me more than they had in a while and I just didn't feel like myself. I decided to use it as an opportunity for exposure, since it had been so easy recently. I basically thought it would just be a challenge, especially since my therapist and I had just talked about how I was at the very top of my hierarchy and exposure was going to have to be more hands on. The next step in my hierarchy was getting online and reading coming out stories. Horrible Horrible Horrible. I think I finally learned what exposure therapy was really about. Anxiety=10/10 and my head started reeling immediately. It totally knocked me off my feet and I haven't quite gotten back up yet. I went into a panic for the most part and called my therapist to schedule a meeting for next week instead of the week following. I also went into major reassurance mode. I immediately got on StuckInADoorway...reading post after post after post. I also went into reassurance mode with my boyfriend. I skyped with him the night I tried doing the exposure and told him what I did and how crappy I was feeling. He was incredibly tired that night and not super talkative. He was also incredibly busy the next day with interviews and school. I of course went into catastrophe mode and started assuming that me telling him about my exposure the night before had completely freaked him out and he probably thought I was just a lesbian, and didn't want to be with me anymore and wasn't talking to me much because of it. Typical. After texting him more than one time in reassurance mode I had to get through the day while he was doing interviews and family stuff. Of course, that night he texted me just like normal and everything was fine. Had the stupid reassurance I needed.

The thing I am most confused about is why I had this random spike. I had JUST talked to my therapist about how I made it through an entire period basically without even knowing I was having it. I had zero physical side effects like headaches and ZERO OCD flare ups. Usually my period is hell and I know it is coming days ahead of time. I was so amazed...then three days AFTER my period finished I started feeling exactly like I do during that time of the month. I am assuming, and hoping, the explanation is the ADHD meds I started last week. My doctor put me on a non-stimulant med called Intuniv. Definitely not the right drug for me. I was sleeping 16 hours a day, started getting horrible headaches and 4 days in I started going through this with my OCD. I have already stopped taking them and am going back to the doctor next week to discuss other options. So, like I said, I am HOPING that is the simple explanation...especially since it is a slow release capsule and the OCD flare up most likely wouldn't have started until a few days in...which is what happened. I am heading back to the therapist on Monday, and am planning on doing my exposure in the office instead of on my own. I am going to print off several stories from the website I was on and go through them with my therapist. I know anxiety and fear is what OCD is all about, but you don't realize how awful it really is until you're back in the middle of it again. Ugh. Hoping to wake up in the morning without my OCD glasses on. We shall see. Goodnight everyone.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Lots of Catching Up to Do

Phew. I feel like it has been months since I have written a post, and there has been so much to write about I don't even know where to start. Well, first and foremost, I made it back from vacation with my boyfriend...I am alive, well, and still in a relationship so I have already exceeded my expectations! ;) We left on vacation the 26th and I arrived home late last night, so it was a full 10 day adventure. Our little trip started with a 9 hour road trip in which I told my boyfriend about my HOCD. Until now he only knew about ROCD and I had told him I would tell him the other part once I was ready. Let's just say it was even harder than I thought it would be. I have never been scared or nervous to share ANYTHING with him...but the whole lesbian fear thing was terrifying to relay. It took me a full 10 minutes just to spill out one sentence. But, I did end up telling him, and explaining things to the best of my ability. We both agreed he definitely needs to do some reading on it so he can gain a deeper understanding, as the whole notion was still quite confusing to him, BUT he of course took it well and we continued on our little vacay. I talked to him about exposure therapy and we actually had a pretty fun time with it while on vacation. Anytime I saw something somewhere that would usually cause a spike I would just say ET and we would comment on it and move on while usually making a joke about it. Who knew Exposure Therapy could be so fun? ;)

While we did do work on ET, the first three days were really rough. I didn't have ANY issues with HOCD, but my ROCD was kicking me in the face. I felt completely disengaged from everything. It was that "faking" feeling, and it accompanied everything thing I did and every word I said. I constantly had the nagging thoughts I was having last week related to narcissism. "You don't really care about what he saying right now", "You are selfish and don't care about him so taking part in this conversation is just a lie". It even goes as far as telling me that if bad things happened to him I really wouldn't care and be bothered by it, because I don't care about him. While riding in the car I would constantly question and test if the experience "was enough" and the feelings were there. The worst part about all of it is that it KILLS my self confidence. I feel so incredibly worthless and undeserving of him. There were so many times I almost asked for reassurance about why he put up with me and why he had hung around for so long. The person I am when my OCD is flared up is not me, and I feel like he's spent 90% of his time with that person. I am so stuck in my own head that I can't engage in anything with him or take part in conversations with his friends. In a sense I just feel like a huge buzz kill. I hate the person that OCD causes me to be at times. I am hard to get along with, high maintenance, reserved, and flat out boring. All of these things are so far from what I am when I am just plain old me. I used to have no trouble being happy, have been told I am incredibly low maintenance and get along with everyone I meet. The other crappy thing about the ROCD is the cataclysmic thinking. We got into a bit of a battle on the second or third night of vacation. We were disagreeing about plans, I was incredibly grumpy and difficult, and getting things to go smoothly was just not working. This happens to everyone though. It should be no big deal. Not for me. We were sitting in the car in the middle of our little argument and all I could do was concoct world ending scenarios in my head about the fight. Things like, "Well, you should just let him go with his friends tomorrow and stay home, because he probably thinks you're incredibly boring anyways and would  rather spend his time with them than with you"...This then leads to more catastrophic thinking and I come up with ways this one fight will probably ruin our relationship and obviously gives reasons for why things won't work out. This whole "mood" or spike lasted the first three days for the most part.  On top of struggling with the OCD, my prozac has been causing me to have horribly graphic and disturbing dreams that I can go through step by step when I wake up. I HATE THEM. This is the one side effect of the drugs that really bothers me. So, on top of the nagging feelings during the day, I was not sleeping well at all throughout the night. I had told myself that I wasn't going to do any reassurance seeking on the trip, but I gave in on the third day. I woke up on the third morning and shed a few tears in my pillow then got on the internet and resorted to one of my favorite Dr. Grayson articles. It is unreal how much reassurance seeking helps. We all know it is a love hate relationship, because as much as you shouldn't do it..the benefits are hard to pass up.

I am not sure if it was the reassurance seeking or not, but I kid you not when I say the fourth night I slept like a baby and woke up a completely different person. We spent our first three days skiing so part of it could have been that I was completely exhausted, but either way, I have never been so happy to get a good nights sleep...and not remember a single dream I had all night. Incredible. I honestly feel like I woke up the fourth morning a new person. The old me. I was talkative, engaging in conversation, smiling, laughing, the whole shibang. Every hour that passed I could feel the dark cloud lifting and the questioning and doubting fading bit by bit. We took a flight that day to head to our second part of vacation and when we arrived to our second destination I had the best five days I have had in a long long time. I am not an emotional person in this sense, but thinking about it almost makes me teary eyed because it has been so long so I have been able to feel the way I did. I was not analyzing every thought that went through my head, I was wholeheartedly laughing at things my boyfriend said, I was able to act like a normal girlfriend and be the person I know that I am when I don't have OCD flare ups. For the first time in months the feelings that I have known the OCD was suppressing came flooding back. I also did not have a single comparing type thought to my past relationship the last five days of the trip  which is a biggy. It may sound crazy to some but I was able to sit down on the couch, take a nap, and enjoy watching TV with my boyfriend like a normal person. This is something I couldn't enjoy a few months ago. I would have been constantly worrying that I was not in love and that we should be out doing something or going somewhere. But this time, there were no worries. I could lay down, close my eyes, and relax. So, you know what OCD, thankyou, for making me appreciate the good times in my life so much more than I used to. I will never take for granted feelings I have for another person ever again. I had such an unbelievable time during those five days, and there is no way in the world they could have been better. So, I guess you could say I'm making progress :)