Saturday, September 29, 2012

A Good Story Among the Bad

The next few weeks are going to be tough for me, OCD-wise. I know I'll get through it, because I always do.

But rather than fret about that, I will share my story of the dentist appointment. It's not an exciting story, but it does represent for me how I can learn to face things I've been unwilling to in the past.

I've long hated the dentist. I think most people do, but I'm pretty sure my phobia is on the higher end of the spectrum. Growing up I had a lot of cavities and a dentist who didn't use enough novacaine, which I did not learn until I was an adult and got a new dentist and found that fillings were a much less terrifying experience.

But then I got to add on OCD fears as well. Sure, you can't get HIV at the dentist. Except those (very very) few unfortunate people who have. When I'm there I pretty much just have to not pay attention to anything around me, or I completely freak myself out.

My dentist these days is part of a huge-huge HMO. The care is good, but access is terrible. Cleaning/exam appointments are usually about 3-4 months out. But I learned early on that I can call to check on cancellations and generally can get an appointment within a few days. For years that's what I've been doing, since I've been unwilling to handle the stress of knowing for 3 months that I've got that appointment on my calendar. Back in June I needed to make an appointment in order to get a prescription. Sure enough, the appointment was in late September. I fully intended to call back the next week and cancel it. I've done that before.

But then I decided not to. It was time to face the dreaded anticipatory anxiety. So I stuck a giant post it note in my calendar and spent the last three months knowing it was out there. Last week I finally had my appointment. It was uneventful, but I was still pretty excited about how it all worked out.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

This is the Way It's Going to Be?

Sometimes, I just accept that the way my OCD is now is just the way it's going to be. I do fine but not great. I'm functional for sure, but also limited for sure. I avoid dating because it ramps up OCD. I avoid a lot of social events due to OCD.

But my job is good, I can always get myself there, even when stressed, and day to day, I like my life just fine. My family keeps me social even when I shut down friendships.

After all my attempts, and successes, with exposures, I still haven't met my goal of finally pushing through the scary stuff, or even learning to stop being affected by the less scary stuff.

Just this afternoon, I looked outside to see my neighbor filling the garbage can and leaving a extra bag on the side. The last garbage pickup was this morning. Which means there's two more weeks of garbage to overflow before the next pickup. I KNOW I can deal with this, I've dealt with it for a year now. But I STILL find myself ruminating about garbage.

The worst part is that once I start to ruminate, I tend to put aside plans for getting stuff done, and I go into "surf randomly on the internet" mode.

So is the way it's been the way it's always going to be? I don't know. Do I care if it is? I don't know.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Being Forced to Be Patient

Last weekend, I discovered that my neighbor's cat has some matted fur. My neighbor and I do not have a great relationship, and I'm a little scared of her. So rather than just saying, hey, your cat's getting older and it looks like he's not able to groom himself very well, I decided to work on brushing him myself.

He LOVES brushing until he doesn't, and I've already worked out three mats on his sides. But this also means I have to stop after a few minutes. Were this my cat, I'd go at him with a clippers (or take him to a vet or groomer) and be done with it. But he's not my cat, and he scratches me if I don't stop, so I have to go slow.

After he goes back home, I freak out for a while. What if he never comes back, what if the neighbor notices what I'm doing (there some evidence that she already has), what if he has fleas or ringworm and passes them to my cat. As with all my OCD and life in general, I want things to be certain, to be fixed, to be done, and I want it now.

Leo says no to that plan, though, so slowly it is.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Can't Back Out Now: Update

Well, I can, but I'm not going to. I have a massage appointment in a hour. At this point more excited than scared. So that's a plus. My shoulders are so tight! A massage will be so helpful. Will report back this afternoon!

Okay, I had the massage. It was great! It's not really a surprise that this was true. I didn't even end up going with the chair massage in the end, and all was fine. I could feel how "crunchy" my back and shoulders were as she worked on them. I really need to spend less time on the computer.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

It's Like I'm a Plant

Just the other day I contemplated the plants knowing it's turning to fall as the days get shorter. Just the other day I noticed my depression notching back up. Damn.

It's still sunny and beautiful, but my brain can sense what's coming. I'm going to try to put in place a regimen of exercise and massage. Both of which sound good for other reasons, too.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Doing The Right Thing, I Think

About a month ago, an RV showed up across the street. A really ugly, probably from around 1982, RV. At first I thought it was someone's parents visiting, so I didn't give it much thought.

But now, it's been a month. And it's clear it belongs to someone who lives in the house. The registration is both temporary and expired, so I don't know what that means, but it doesn't seem good.

But you know, I was still willing to ignore it, until I noticed the gray ooze that was dripping out of its sewer drain. I think it's just graywater (from the sink), but you know what, it's really not okay to illegally park your illegally unregistered RV and then let it leak sewage on the street.

At first I decided that I shouldn't call it in to the city because my fears were OCD related (and they are). But then I realized OCD was just as related to my fears of NOT calling- fears that moving it would somehow make the leak worse, or that they would find out I called and confront me, etc etc. So this morning I called.

I'm sort of freaking out, but that's for sure the OCD talking, so, nothing much to be done.