Are Ya Ready for Tomorrow????

Obsessive Thought Soup ====
Start with Numerous Random Thoughts
Add 4 dashes of Fear and Worry
Stir 16 times
Let simmer for exactly 64 minutes
Breathe and Let it Go
REPEAT

I’ve been Wicked obsessing again.  I can’t really focus on random obsessive thoughts today because it is so much more than just thoughts right now.  My brain feels like a family size pot of Obsessive Thought Soup, anxiously simmering on the wood stove. OTS should not be confused with LPS or Llama Poop Soup which in itself can be obsessive, but is a completely different kind of soup.

Okay, my most prevalent recent obsessions are as follows….

  • obsessing over never having finished Photo101.  Life got in the way of that and it was put on the back burner.
  • Obsessing over last weeks Photo Challenge (Close-Ups if you missed it).
  • Obsessing over this
  • that
  • all those other things.
  • And now I am Obsessing over how many cooking references I can accidentally have in one post.

I tried sitting with the thoughts and letting them go. I tried distraction as a way to rid myself of these thoughts. Old negative coping techniques no longer work so I shall not even go there.  I could verbally rant, but I don’t feel like bothering anyone else with my batshitcrazy way of thinking right now. Maybe if I take each named obsession one by one and rant a bit, they will lessen.  If I do this right, I should be able to rid myself of these obsessive thoughts, complete Obsessive Thought Thursday (maybe a day early even), do some work on Photo101, and release from my mind the other close-ups I’ve been obsessing over.

I do believe I am feeling an increase in anxiety which may be causing an increase in obsessive thoughts which definitely is causing more anxiety which leads to compulsions…………….OR did the obsessive thoughts start first which led to the elevation of anxiety which led to more obsessive thoughts which in turn led to compulsions……………All I know is I am obsessing.  Other coping skills did not work, so right now I am attempting to rant them away by writing. I shall write those obsessions right out of me. Write and rant about obsessions in order to rid myself of those same obsessions. Is this making sense to anyone???? I think I may have confused even myself.  I refuse to add to the anxiety by starting to obsess over the # of times I just wrote “right” and “write” or obsess over those run-on sentences I let stay.

Ah, I just took a break for breathing.  Breaks for deep breaths are good AND I completely forget about them almost all of the time.  How come the stuff that is the best for me when I obsess and feel anxiety are the last things I remember to try?  If I didn’t mind bothering other human beings, the very 1st thing they would have told me to do is BREATHE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Each and Every One of them would have said in a firm, yet tender voice, STOP and BREATHE!!!! and not in a loud voice either.  I have been doing very well with firm, yet tender prompts. “No, buts, just STOP and BREATHE.” They may have to repeat it. And possibly repeat it again, but it helps.

Close-Up of Toad that kept jumping out at me

Close-Up of Toad
that kept jumping
out at me

Time to stop ranting and writing and hit save.  This breathing thing is calming me down.  I am obsessing less and think that I just might be able to stop writing for now and maybe eat supper. Who cares when I finish Photo101?  I can’t just pull photo’s out of my ass, I mean hat, to match the subject of the assignment in the order they are assigned. Look at this past weeks weekly challenge.  It just happened to be close-ups.  To start, I went looking for close-ups. After I published my 1st attempt, close-up opportunities kept popping up everywhere. Inspiration can come from anywhere.

Day Seven of Photo101 Big & Point of View.  Ah screw it.  I am feeling better. Less obsessive, and no anxiety. I am no longer obsessing over finishing Photo101.  I also did tomorrow’s regular weekly feature today. So that leaves time open tomorrow to work on last months Photo101 assignments. and I forgot my 5:32 PM Ativan again.  So here’s to Obsessing or to Not obsessing.  I much prefer not.

First Evah closeups

closeup3Just wondering if it against the rules to do the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo closeupagainChallenge twice????  I found these and felt a bit of pride. and an obsession to share….

My original close-ups I took the other day.  These new ones I just found on my computer.  Facebook is so good at reminding you of things.

I took these quite a few years ago. So they would be my first evah attempt at a close-up.  Maybe there is a little bit of a photographer in me yet.

I never did find out if the cocoon was related to the caterpillar or not. I just loved the colors of both.

Close-Up Purple Style

I obsessed over some of these flowers the other day.  Thursday to be exact.  Obsessive Thought Thursday.  Afraid I wouldn’t get pictures in time.

Today I discovered them all along the brook. Both sides, up and down. Just in time for this weeks photo challenge.  They are everywhere. I am looking forward to see what pops next.

If I got any closer, I’d be in the Brook.

3rd Leibster award nomination

I have again been nominated for an award.  I do not usually accept awards because I can not follow the rules that come along with them. I do like this award in particular because I love answering the questions that come with it. The questions become part of my “about me” category.

I was nominated by Suzanne(FindingHerVoice)

Eleven Questions For You:

1. What ultimately got you motivated to get started and how long have you been blogging? I have been blogging since February 2015.  My archives say January, but that was a minor mistake on my part.  My therapist encouraged me to write because she thought writing would help me see things clearer. She also thought that the way I was able to express my thoughts and feelings via writing might be beneficial to others.  I met a woman on a web site who had a blog. lily pups life – bipolar and recovery. She encouraged me to try one myself.  I did and here we are.

2. Do you prefer to write best in the morning or at the end of the day?  I guess I  prefer the morning.  I like it when it is quiet and no one is home but me.  I like to sit down with my iced coffee and just write. Kind of like what I am doing right now.  Thank you for helping me write today Suzanne.

3. Do you give like that it’s somewhat anonymous or do you give your blog URL the friends or family? Such a simple question that is going to get a most difficult answer.  I like that my blog is somewhat anonymous.  My husband has the key, and one very old friend. I let one friend in because I hadn’t seen her in 30 years and thought it would be an easy way for her to see what I have been doing.  No one else in my real life knows where my blog is. Although if they truly wanted to, it would not be hard to find. I have shared a few stories with a few other relatives, but am not ready to say “hey here it is!!!! Read it all!!!!  My Mom and I discussed giving her access, and we both agreed it would be better if she didn’t have it.  Some things she would prefer not to know.  When I write something I think she may enjoy, I print it out for her.

4. Did you keep a journal as a child/teen? I did keep journals when younger.  I probably still have each and every one of them stored somewhere.  Journals were different from blogging for me.  Journals were for me and me alone. I shared them with no one.  I do not know what I would have done had blogging been an option when I was younger.

5. Are you an emotional writer? Do you write more for your heart or your head? I like to think I do a little of both.  I definitely start by writing from the heart, but then my head always seems to get involved somehow. I have tried doing it the other way around, start with my head, but it just doesn’t seem to work out as well. I think my heart is a better motivator than my head.

6. Do you have more blog posts that you have begun (in draft mode) or that you have completed)?  I am going to guess and say that the number of published posts and drafts are about even.  I have one particular draft that is full of random thoughts and ideas.  I sometimes take these ideas and turn them into published posts.

7. If you could/did write a bestselling book what would it be about? I did not have to think about this question for very long.  Angels!!!!  I would love to write about angels and how I believe they have touched my life and others. Since I started this blog, I have written a bit about angels, but only published one so far. The hardest thing Evah would be my brief introduction to writing about angels. Also, I mention angels in a couple of my Relationship posts.

8. What is the best feedback you’ve received on a blog post?  All feedback I get is important to me.  I have 2 bests though.  1 would be acknowledgment that something I wrote made a difference in someone’s life.  Especially if that meant making them laugh. The other is constructive criticism.  I asked for it once so I could improve my writing. I got it and it helped me see how I could make my writing better.

9. Where do you get your ideas for your blog posts? I get my ideas from my daily life. For example, I was cutting down tree saplings in my yard and had to go to the store.  It turned into a post called Has the Future been written already ????

This must have been a good day as you can see the crab rangoons on the left

This must have been a good day as you can see the crab rangoons on the left

10. What is your favourite food? This is an easy question to answer and it comes with a picture. Buffalo chicken tenders with Jojo’s.  If we have extra cash, we will get either onion rings or very special crab rangoons on the side.  The crab rangoons are very special because I will only eat them from this particular restaurant. They are 128% better than anything you might find in a Chinese restaurant.

11. What is the best advice you can give your fellow bloggers about how to get new subscribers? The best advice I have is the only advice I have.  Engage with other bloggers.  If someone likes a post of yours, visit them and see what they have written.  If you like what you find let them know that.  Even if you think their blog is just not for you, at least let them know you were there. The feeling I get when someone acknowledges something I have published is a darn good one.  I like knowing I might be able to help others feel the same way. 

Whoa.  I am done already.  That went quicker than I thought.  It took a while, but it did not feel like awhile.  Thank you again Suzanne for the nomination.  Maybe if I can ever figure out how to follow rules, I will start accepting awards.  For now, I will just have to go back and answer the question I missed.liebster-award

Didn’t forget this time

No, I did not do last weeks OTT .

I did not forget.

In fact, I thought about it a lot.

I just didn’t do it.  So there….

I did work on a draft called CahParking%203Driving Lessons, but it needs much more work and a lot more editing. I will post it when I am completely and totally satisfied with what I end up with.  I have found that if I just sit down and write, things flow quicker, better, a bit easier.  I am better off not thinking when I write. There is always time to edit so it makes a bit of sense later. So, I am sitting and working on today’s OTT.  Not thinking, just doing. Obsessive Thought Thursday for those who don’t remember or never knew. Trying not to think about obsessive thoughts while writing about obsessive thoughts can be tricky. I have faith in my ability to handle it.

An intrusive thought is an unwelcome involuntary thought, image, or unpleasant idea that may become an obsession, is upsetting or distressing, and can feel difficult to manage or eliminate.

Okay,,,,What do you call those intrusive thoughts that are an unwelcome involuntary imagethought, image, or idea that starts as pleasant?  Some of my intrusive thoughts are not specifically unpleasant until they become obsessive.  Like yesterday I had the thought that I had to get pictures of some flowers before they disappeared.  I considered it an intrusive thought because I was busy with something else and didn’t have the time to take a picture. Not stopping what I was doing to take a picture, and the thought would take over my brain until I could not stand it anymore. I would be unable to concentrate on anything but those damn flowers. Taking a picture would have helped this thought leave my brain.  Noticing pretty purple flowers is a pleasant thought, until it becomes an unpleasant obsessive thought.

imageLuckily, I have a lifetime of experience with intrusive thoughts.  My experience is that if I deal with them head on, acknowledge them, talk about them, write about them, take some sort of appropriate action, they may go away. Medication helps too.  Odd, as I write this I came to the realization that another thought I have been experiencing lately might be nothing more than a regular intrusive thought (according to the description I found). One of the unpleasant ones though.image

Now I wonder, what came first?  The chicken, the egg, OCD, MDD, GAD????  I am pretty sure it was the chicken.  This recent unpleasant, unrelenting, intrusive thought might not be the reemergence of depression.  As I initially thought. It just might be the OCD kicking up a bit.

So, where does that leave us???? With the knowledge that by writing, talking, sharing, expressing, feeling, etc. I will be okay. Now that I really think about it or not think about it, maybe intrusive thoughts for me are not truly intrusive until they become obsessive. Just a thought.

Damn, another thought.  Should someone with diagnosed OCD even be writing?  Never mind writing about OCD, writing in itself can become obsessive.  I can hear my husband’s voice in my head, “Just freakin’ hit Publish!!!!”

I totally forgot again

I have managed to find someone other than myself to blame for my inability to get my weekly feature published on time.

My husband is to blame.  He has had an extra day off each week this summer which totally messes up what day I think it is.  Therefore it is his fault I cannot write about obsessive thoughts on Obsessive Thought Thursday. I do not know when Thursday is.

So glad we got that squared away from the beginning.  I continue to challenge OCD in some way every day. The more I challenge it, the more I reinforce the fact that it is okay to do something once. The more times I eat three skittlesimage at a time instead of four or 2 cookies instead of four, and nothing bad happens, the more I believe nothing bad will happen.  The more times I successfully challenge this disorder, the stronger I feel. And No, not every challenge is a successful one. Twice recently while in a store, I had an incredible increase in anxiety which was directly related to an opportunity to challenge the OCD.  I felt it in my body, just like my new Therapist wants me to.  I can hear him now, “What does it feel like?”     “Easy, It feels like I am going to puke.”

We have been experiencing a lot of ‘firsts’ the last few weeks and I am happy to note that in no way could I make them into fourths. It was stuff like the 1st time you peel and cut up potatoes without saving some pieces for the beagle. The 1st time you forget your water when leaving the house and realize you can go back in without disturbing the dog. There is no dog. The first time you cook and realize there is no dog to step over no matter where you move.  The first time you sit in your dog’s favorite spot on the loveseat and realize just howMattNoMoreFirstsWords comfortable it really is.  The first time you have sirloin tips for supper and realize there is no one to share the juice with. The 1st time your husband leaves when the dog would normally ‘think’ he shouldn’t and you both realize he doesn’t have to sneak out of the house anymore. The 2nd time you sit in your dog’s spot on the loveseat, only this time you recline back, totally enjoying how comfortable you truly are and think, “that little shit has had the best spot in the house for 15 years, and I can see the TV better from over here.” Done with firsts for now.

Okay, O.T.T., obsessive thoughts, Thursday, No its Sunday, Obsessiveness, you started this Saturday…. Lately, I have found myself obsessing over depression.  I have been obsessing over being aware that the depression may or may not be trying to get back in control of my head. I am obsessing over doing everything I can possibly do to stop the depression from taking over my brain. I am thinking this might not be a bad obsession.

Because I am constantly on the look out for signs that depression may be returning, I see the signs rather quickly. I see them before they can get a hold on me.  I can then do what I need to do to prevent it from getting worse.

For example, I have been neglecting my blog.  I enjoy my blog, I have fun with my blog.  The more I neglect my blog, the less joy and fun I have and the easier it is for depression to strengthen itself inside me.  There is more room for it to grow.

Sometimes depression tries to sneak up on me in other ways.DepressionStronger  It likes it when I feel irritable and get snippy with my partner.  I know this, I am aware of this, I can apologize for this and not do it again. Depression hates it when I do this, it loses power. One thing depression loves is alcohol.  If I have to do something that makes me extremely anxious it wants to convince me that it will be easier to do with a drink. It will be better with a  drink.  To someone with a history of depression, alcohol is just FFD (Fuel For Depression). Depression lies. It lies to me all the time. You don’t need to eat today. You will only get fatter.  Eat tomorrow. Depression wants to be that gut wrenching, motivation sucking, all-consuming monster it has been in the past.  And if that means lying to me, that means lying to me.

Today is different though.  I have had time away from that major, debilitating, dark depression. I like to think I have used that time wisely.  I have been able to work on ‘other stuff’.  I have learned how to get through some incredibly anxiety provoking situations unscathed.  I have learned and am still learning that unpleasant feelings just are. Everyone has them.feelingsEmotions  If I feel them and let them be, they will change or leave altogether. The more I fight unpleasant feelings, the stronger they become. Which opens the door for depression.  I need to allow myself to feel stuff like fear, or sadness, or even anger. That way when I feel things like joy, peace, and happiness, I will enjoy them that much more.

I do not know where I am going with this story and I barely know where I’ve been, so my suggestion to Myself is to end it here.

THE END

Day Thirteen: Moment & Motion

I had to suffer and sit outside for a very long time to capture these.  It was a horribly, beautiful, sunny, summer day, but I suffered through it.  All just to capture some motion. It was time well spent.

This time I totally forgot

I missed Obsessive Thought Thursday again.  This time I completely and totally forgot about it.  It wasn’t until Friday that I even thought about Thursday.  This could very well be a good thing.  Maybe I am forgetting about it because I am not having constant, unrelenting, obsessive, intrusive thoughts.obsessiveNot

I made homemade chocolate chip cookies on Thursday.  The number totaled 1 cookie short of 5 1/2 dozen.  I thought about the number briefly.  I was okay with having such an odd number.  I did not stress over having that odd number.  I did think about it, but I thought more about the fact that I was okay with the odd number.  In the past I would have had to figure out how to get a much better total number of cookies.  In fact I would have started my baking with the final number in mind.  I would have made some cookies bigger or smaller to get to a decent final number.

12 cookies per sheet = 24 cookies each time I put the sheets in the oven.  That gives me 24 each time.  If I squeeze three extra cookies onto each sheet each time, that would give me 30 cookies which is closer to 32 than 24.  Then I only have to worry about 2 cookies not 6.  I do this twice and I end up with 60 cookies.  This is much closer to 64 than 48.  48 is not a bad number it is just not as pleasant as 64.

If I do this 2 more times, which is 4 times, I end up with 120 cookies.  8 more and I have 128 total.  That is a great number.  Very easy for me to work with.  I did not do any of this.  Yes, the number of cookies was always in my mind, but it did not bother me too much or cause increased anxiety in me.  I did count the cookies as I baked them, but my only goal was to bake a lot of cookies.  The total number I ended up with did not matter to me.  I just wanted a lot of them.

I ended up with 65 cookies.  So close to 64, yet so far.ocdRELIEF

I sat and I pondered.  I felt.  I sat and felt whatever it was I was going to feel. I felt okay with this number.  I liked the number better when I called it 1 short of 5 1/2 dozen, but 65 was okay too.  Eat one and I am at the magical number of 64.  I did not do this.  Instead, I thought about how cool it was that I was feeling absolutely no anxiety over the number of cookies I baked.

Yes, I thought about the number of cookies, but that is okay. It may have even been normal to want to know how many cookies I ended up with. I have been obsessing over numbers since I knew what numbers were.  I can’t expect to completely forget about them all at once.

What do I attribute this amazing feat to?  A few things come to mind.  Medication being number 1.  Without the proper medication, I would not have the opportunity to even attempt to challenge my obsessions and compulsions. But, medication did not fix me.  It helped me.  It gave me the ability to really take a look at the obsessions and compulsions that were left.  With medication, the battle of challenging the OCD seemed possible.  A battle I believed I could finally maybe win.  I had hope that I could beat this illness.  Before medication, I was completely controlled by the obsessive thoughts and behaviors.

Many of these compulsions had become habit.  I never thought about putting 4 ice cubes in my drink, I just automatically did it.  I learned in childhood that if I did not do things in 4’s, I would feel uncomfortable.  When I got older I learned that this uncomfortable feeling was called anxiety.  I learned that I could prevent or lessen this anxiety by doing things in 4’s. lifestronger

So although medication has helped me, I have had to do a lot of hard work as well.  I have had to force myself to do things differently.  I have had to be willing to experience those uncomfortable feelings I’ve been trying to avoid my whole life.  I am challenging OCD and I am winning.  Each and every time I challenge it, I get a bit stronger.

Treasure/Close-up Photo 16

Day Sixteen: Treasure & Close-up

This is a treasure I found on my Dad’s headstone shortly after he passed away. It has been there ever since.

Guardian Bell

A Guardian Bell is a small metal bell attached onto a motorcycle to ward off evil spirits or gremlins. The bells have more of an effect when they are given as a gift.

Legend has it that evil road spirits/gremlins have been attaching themselves onto motorcycles for as long as bikes have been on the road. These spirits are responsible for mechanical problems and bad luck on a journey. They enjoy causing trouble for bikers.

To stay safe, all one needs to do is to attach a little bell somewhere on the bike. Legend goes on to say that by doing this, the gremlins, curious as to where the ringing comes from, put their heads up into the bell. They become trapped. There, the constant ringing drives them insane, making them lose their strength and power until they fall to the ground and die.

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There are many different variations of the guardian bell legend.
image

Photo one oh one Day 15

Day Fifteen: Landscape & Cropping

My landscape is actually a waterscape.

I took these pictures expecting to use them for Day Thirteen: Moment & Motion.  Looks like I get to go back out tomorrow and find some motion.  Better yet, I have a humongous Family Party on Saturday.  I bet I can find lots of motion there.imageimageimage