Sunday, October 28, 2012

Fall Freak Out

Fall is not my favorite season. Sure, in theory it's nice: cool crisp days, the leaves turning. But I live in the northwest, so it's really more about rain and raking up soggy leaves before they clog the sewer grates.

Fall has always been the worst time for my OCD, and I often get a slug of depression as the cherry on top. I've gone on medication three times (or is it four?) and it's always been in the fall.

This year it's been mild, but it's definitely still there. Late in the day at work I started crying for no particular reason. Luckily it was REALLY late in the day and I think only one other person was still around.

For some reason I also often start dating people in late summer or early fall. I don't think it helps the situation, as it adds a whole extra layer of stress.

I've gone on two dates now. Before the dates, I find myself hoping they go badly so I can just get back to my regular old life. Then they go pretty well. Then afterwards I can't really remember what it was that seemed good and then I find myself wanting to tell him I'm not interested. That's adding it's own extra layer of stress.

Ugh, fall.

Monday, October 22, 2012

My Subconscious Knows

The last few days I've been feeling really good regarding my OCD, making the right choice when faced with the chance to avoid.

Then last night I had a dream just full of OCD themes. It's all sort of vague now 12 hours later, but I know it at the very least involved an accidental pregnancy and dealing with my mom contaminating my environment.

Then of course today I was reminded that my OCD isn't magically gone in real life anyway. Oh, well, it was still a nice couple of days.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Dating, Part 3,4,5?

As a fairly anti-social woman who's getting older, I get asked out about once a year. Or lately I should say literally once a year. In 2010, that turned into a 6 month relationship. In 2011, the guy was creepy and there was no date. In 2012, well, not quite sure yet.

A coworker asked me out yesterday. He seems very nice. He's also quite a bit older than I am. Plus, there's the whole, boy do I hate first dates thing. But "you might be too old plus I'm bad at dates" didn't seem like a reasonable reason to say no. So I said yes.

But oh, how I hate first dates. And I don't know about how I feel about potentially sharing my OCD with someone at work. Because within about 10 minutes of him asking me out, at least 5 people at work already knew that he had (before I said a thing to anyone), so that's a bit disconcerting as well.

But just as with travel, I don't want to put it off for so long that it looms larger and LARGER out there.

I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Classic OCD Moment

Last night was a classic. After 90 straight dry days, yesterday we had more than an inch of rain. Yikes! I knew it was coming and replaced my old wiper blades. Or did I? On my way home, in the dark and rain, my brand new driver side wiper blade flew off my car! Now, my OCD could have latched on to whether anyone was harmed as the blade flew behind me into the road, but it did not.

I managed to see well-ish out the right side of the windshield, and thank goodness my route home took me right by an auto parts store that was open until 9.

The nice clerk at the store installed the wipers, I gave him a nice tip, and all was well, right? Wrong! As soon as a drove away, I thought, did I give him $5 or was it actually a $1 bill? Ugh, a $1 tip would have been insulting. I ruminated, I opened my wallet to try to mentally remember what I'd seen and done. I watched TV, where I kept seeing that stupid ad for McDonalds' dollar meal that features, you guessed it, a $1 bill.

The best thing to have done would have been to have imagined that it WAS a $1 bill. That the clerk was mad, that I ruined his day, that he told all his friends about the stupid tip he got, blah, blah.

I couldn't quite bring myself to do that. Instead, I went with trying to accept the thought as it came through my brain, but not stew on it. I also distracted myself with some fun craft activities.

It wasn't perfect, but I actually found as the night went on that NOT ruminating about it led me to feel more confident that of course I'd tipped what I intended (and not in a reassurance kind of way).

But it also pointed out, yet again, that when you give OCD an inch, it will take EVERY opportunity to make you feel uncertain and waste time that could better be spent on just about anything else.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Sitting With Anxiety

Can't help but think that's been the title before on this blog.

I'm currently sitting with something that is causing me a lot of stress. Not going to list it, because I know I'd be doing that as a form of reassurance. It's not a big thing, but I've already been ruminating over it for an hour now, so I'm moving on to trying to let the thought float into my brain and then right back out.

This is not easy.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A Solid Exposure Week

Yesterday I learned that my office's health fair was to be held right next door to an event providing outreach services to homeless veterans. I spent the next hour thinking of why I didn't really want to attend anyway, before realizing that this was a great opportunity to "run toward fear." Not to mention that the route of the bus I ride all the time ends at a homeless shelter, so it's not like I'm ever going to avoid hanging out with lots of homeless people.

But then in the end, I had meetings scheduled during the whole event. So, oh well. But as of this morning I had expected to attend, and wasn't feeling any anxiety about it, so I'm going to count it anyway. :)

Over the next few days, I've got lunches planned with a former colleague and my mom. I'm feeling a high level of anxiety over both, as there's some uncertainty and newness involved in both plans. Today I found myself trying to rearrange schedules and plans to pick things/times/places that felt "safer." So my goal for these few days is to let it play out however it does, without stage managing it.

In terms of causing impacts in my life, my fear over social events is probably the worst aspect of my OCD. I avoid them because I can't control the schedule, and there may be sick people, or people that I could get sick, etc, etc. Between ruining my social life and causing hours of anxiety, it's worth focusing my efforts on. Especially as we move into cold and flu season.