Thursday, March 13, 2014

Actively Working This

I've been pretty active on beating contamination OCD for a while now. I've been simply TERRIBLE at fighting other types of OCD, as well as my general "it's all going to end badly" generalized anxiety.
Today, as often happens, giving into anxiety only made it worse. But I'm attacking that "worse" outcome the right way.

I needed to have a contractor out to give me a bid. He was going to come out next week. But I got nervous, so I actually left work early today and had him come out to the house this afternoon. But while he was here, he had to jump down from a height of about 5 feet, and then of course he commented on his bad knee. Ack! Argh. If only... he'd come next week instead, I'd thought to get out my step ladder, etc., etc. I'm imagining him needing surgery, sabotaging the job as a result, etc. etc.

SO, I wrote up a script. I'm reading it. I'm not letting myself (except for writing this) go to the what if place. Instead I'm facing the anxiety and I'll wait for it to go down.

It's not easy, my brain ruminates in a nearly automatic way. But seriously, enough is enough, it's time to double down, triple down, and do this right.

Monday, March 3, 2014

March Update

How's that for an exciting title! I have been using the CBT workbook, although not as consistently as I should. But I've actually filled out worksheets, which I've never done before. So I'll get there. I did start back up on medication a couple of weeks ago. I can't say I'm seeing any difference at this point, but I'm also on a very very low dose. I'm also not having any side effects, so that's a huge plus.

I'm really enjoying seeing the signs of spring. The plants and the warmer weather do me a ton of good. The spring rains, not so much.

I hope everyone's having a nice early spring. I know a lot of the country has been slammed with snow, so if that's you, I hope you're at least staying warm!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Generalized Anxiety

I just got a great workbook about using CBT for Panic, Generalized Anxiety and Social Anxiety. Now, I'm fully aware that I've touted workbooks in the past as looking great, and then I've never mentioned them again. So I'm a little skeptical myself.

I do hope I use this one, because the anxiety has been rough this winter. I dream of quitting my job or selling my house, but my good friend has reminded me that I'll just find anxiety in the next job or the next house. I tell myself that THIS anxiety is different, worse, than what I'll find elsewhere, but it's not true. I've felt that way about a steady stream of things for years: if I just get through this one, my life will be so much easier. Nope, the next thing comes along, usually immediately.

My friend and I have set up a challenge with each other. We've each got a new workbook, so we've committed to working with them before next weekend. Hopefully I'll have some progress to post about by then.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

I Went on a Trip!

Trips are hard. There are hotels. Which may have bedbugs. At the very least, a zillion people have trod the carpet and touched the remote control, and who knows how often they wash the bedspreads.

And I flew on an airplane. In the heart of the cold and flu season. I didn't bring any hand sanitizer with me, and while I was tempted, I never did buy any, either.

Usually I don't really enjoy my vacations. This one, I did. Especially the last day. My feet, which had been hurting from bringing the wrong shoes, suddenly felt fine. The weather, which was forecast to be cloudy, was warm with brilliant sunshine. I looked down and saw a monarch butterfly, for goodness sake. While they're not rare where I was vacationing, I'd never seen one outside of 5th grade science class, so it really just felt like a magical day.

That's some positive conditioning for stretching my comfort zone.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Happy New Year

Well, that was a giant posting gap, wasn't it? Nothing major caused it and nothing major has brought me back.

My OCD is doing its thing. As I have been for a while, I'm pretty good at doing exposures related to health/contamination issues, less good with my general anxiety stuff.

For the last 2 months, everyone around me (it seems!) has been sick with something. I've done a surprisingly good job at not avoiding anyone at these times, and not worrying much after I've spent time around them. Despite this, I still flinch (not visibly I hope!) whenever I hear someone's sick.

I had an interesting experience a little while ago. I'd been waiting a LONG time for a medical appointment. I worried about weather, I worried I'd get sick, I worried the doctor would get sick. And SHE DID. My appointment was canceled a mere hour before the appointment because the doctor got sick. This is one of the few times in my many years of OCD that something I feared actually happened. Were the consequences huge? No, but it was still jarring. I've held the totally irrational belief that my worries actually do help keep trouble away, and this is just more evidence that it isn't true. I was surprised how much that point freaked me out!

Anyway, hope everyone had a good holiday season. I'm not sure I'll be back to frequent posting, but probably won't skip an entire 6 weeks either.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Of Course It Went Just Fine, Plus a Bonus Exposure!

Lunch was fantastic. My friend is a great person, and we really have plenty to talk about. So as always, anticipatory anxiety was worse than the event.

And I even got a nice (and very successful) exposure thrown in. We went to lunch on Thursday. I don't work Wednesdays. My coworker works just over the cubicle wall from me. So when he arrived on Thursday, I heard, via his office-mates, that he'd called in sick the day before. Ack!

I was about to beg off, coming up with some (false) excuse about meetings/busy-ness/etc. But then I thought, nope, that's avoidance. If he's here at work, he's well enough that you can go to lunch.

And so I did! Once we were there, I wasn't nervous about him or his germs. Love it when that happens.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Working On Being More Sociable

I'm pretty sure I've written this year about how socially isolated I've become. I'm not quite sure how it happened.

I'm especially glad I didn't end up quitting my job this summer, because if I had, I'd probably only ever leave the house to go to the grocery store!

Tomorrow I've got an appointment to go to lunch with a coworker who coincidentally is a friend from high school, and for some reason I've got a lot of anxiety about it. I'm not even sure what the anxiety is about. He's super friendly, and I've known him since I was 11, so it's not like we won't have anything to talk about. I guess I'm just out of practice at doing much of anything outside my routines.

Usually the things I worry about like this turn out much better than anticipated. Here's hoping. I'm trying to start doing something sociable at least twice a month, so I'd better get started!