Numbers ruled my life. Now I take medication.
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
- 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
This Obsessive Thought Thursday is certainly not turning out to be what I envisioned. Today I got nothing. No obsessive thoughts. Don’t cry, this is a good thing. This means that the medication could be working. Although medication is only a small part of my recovery from OCD. Practice at challenging my compulsions is a big part of it as well. I have my own ice cube challenge. For weeks, I have been practicing putting only 3 ice cubes in my coffee or tea. Down from my norm of 4. Today I can honestly say that I don’t need 4 ice cubes anymore. 3 is okay. I do not stress out at the odd number. Great Progress!!!!
But only when it comes to ice cubes. My next challenge is to eat three cookies. I know it is hard work, but it must be done. I haven’t thought about the light switches in my house for weeks. Until last night. I was able to go to sleep without checking their position. More progress. Excuse me for a second.
Okay I am back. and I must say…. Damn they were in the wrong position!!!! and are now fixed…. A bit of anxiety when I saw that they were not correct, but nothing I can’t handle. I may or may not have to keep checking them, but I am voting for not. I will be okay…. Damn, I wish I believed that. Anywho….
Back to compulsions. This clothespin thing has been really bothering me lately. I have tried them in numerous positions. I have come to two conclusions. They are best when positioned in random and utter chaos or if I get caught up in my obsessions, four 4’s. I tried two 8’s and one 16, but am most comfortable with the four 4’s.
So that ends todays OCD lesson from my point of view. Be sure and return next week for who knows what????
Or was I?
Thursday kind of snuck up on me this week. I haven’t been all that obsessive this week. Thoughts or otherwise. I have been busy. I have been challenging myself more and more. Like 3 ice cubes instead of the normal 4. I have plenty of saved up obsessive thoughts stored on this computer. So I am going to go with one from a few months ago.
Uh Oh !!!! I wicked want to shave my head !!!! and yes I am getting to the point of obsessive about it…. Do I mention it to hubby???? yes,,,,talk about it then maybe it will go away…. His haircut looks nice….I just got my haircut but I DIDNT get it shaved….I want shaved….we should talk about it before I just go and do it . Not like I haven’t done it before….One of the 1st night we worked together we got bored and he was involved with my original head shaving….or maybe it was his day off….I would need to get big earrings as Mom will say….if I did it????Oh Look I can do it for charity
We did talk about it. I did not do it. Talking and writing helped it go away.
Fact or Fiction????
My day started like any other. Using an ax to chop down trees while waiting for a tow truck to come jump my battery. Multi-tasking country-style I think it is called? My baby is ten years old this year. I hope she is not going to start having issues.
The tow truck driver was not who I expected, but he did his job just as well. Jumpin’ the car did not work. My car would not start until he locked then unlocked my car doors. I always liked people who thought outside the box.
While he was here I got some great and much longed for shots of the beagle.
I never have my camera ready when he sticks his nose through the beagle proof gate. This time was different. He was so busy barkin’ at the truck that he had his nose through that gate for 20 minutes, I’d guess.
Driver’s orders for my Baby were simple: let in run for twenty minutes, take it for a ride, and if it doesn’t start again, play with your lock / unlock button.
What, take time to leisurely drive along back country roads on a beautiful day like today? With an open sunroof. Sometimes life can be so cruel. I took my little ride and ended up at the cemetery by the brook. As I drove through I noticed my Dad’s flag was ready to be replaced. I should do more here this year.
I drove by a grave where one simple thing caught my eye.
Blowing with the wind was a balloon that said Mom. Any normal person and that would have brought on the water works. Me? I became filled with gratitude. Not just regular gratitude, “wicked powerful fill me up gratitude”. Not only am I grateful I still have my Mom, I am grateful to have the best of all Moms.
My car is feeling better so I get back on track and drive to the neighboring town to pick up a prescription. As I drive to the store I am stopped briefly by a police officer. He is directing traffic at a cemetery. Funny. I didn’t think they used that one anymore.
Any who, I forgot my list so I decided to just get the necessities. Cookies and my script. It was a quick trip, but very good exercise. For my mind, body, soul, and car.
The way home was quite eventful.
And, the blue lights are behind me. “Hello Officer. Mighty fine day today.”
“That it is. Do you know why I stopped you?”
“No sir. I do not.”
“Why yes sir, it is.”
“May I ask why you have an ax on the front seat?’
“Well, Sir. I was in the yard with it when I got interrupted. I wasn’t done using it, so I didn’t want to put it away. I didn’t want it stolen, so I put it in the car.”
“No, I guess you can’t have it stolen. Thank you for your time. You may go.”
“Um, sir. May I ask? Why did you stop me?”
“I shouldn’t be telling you this, but as you drove by the funeral earlier, my dashboard computer was sent an alert. Big brother used your phone to warn us that you had an ax shaped item that could be used as a weapon in your car. Security at the store you were going to was alerted. You were watched by cameras, people, and satellite while you were there. After you picked up your prescription and cookies, we just waited here for you to drive by.”
“Why are you telling me all this?”
“Because it is going to happen to me too.”
I am going to stick with Obsessive Thought Thursday for a bit. and not allow it to morph into How My Mind Works Wednesday at this time.
The start of tonight’s dinner conversation. Well I didn’t really bring it up. I just thought about bringing it up. I thought “the kitchen light switches were not in the right positions.”
To him, the light switch closest to you is the one you flick. Up or down. It does not matter. To me, well I have rules. Up is on, down is off. Very simple rules yet they means so much. Pre medication, finding the light switch in the up position would have caused anxiety and an increase in compulsive behavior. Today, I noticed it was wrong, felt a twinge and thought about it for a while. I did not obsess.
Now that I think about it, the chances of me finding the light switches in the wrong position probably would not have happened pre medication. If it did happen, it would be a very rare occurrence. The OCD crap would not have allowed me to let the rules be broken in such a manner.
Seeing as though it is an hour later and I am still occasionally thinking about the light switches, tells me that this particular obsession is not one I am willing to challenge at this time. It will go on the list. There are plenty of others I can work on. The number of words in this post for one.
I may have accidently hit publish when I 1st started writing this story way back when. That may explain why it says it was published on January 20th, when I published today. It became my First post???? Not my last of writing 101.
With a lot of work I was able to get it to fit with the last assignment. All I know is that I finished it today. and published it today.
Day Twenty: The Things We Treasure Today’s Prompt: Tell us the story of your most-prized possession. Today’s twist: We extolled the virtues of brevity back on day five, but now, let’s jump to the other side of the spectrum and turn to longform writing. Let’s celebrate the drawn-out, slowly cooked, wide-shot narrative. Good luck to all who read the whole thing and I promise never to write this much again!!!! 4189 words
It all started innocently enough. I first noticed I couldn’t feel my fingers. As things progressed and I told my story over and over again I realized it actually started weeks before.
I couldn’t feel the cigarette smoke go into my lungs. I remember telling Jax, “I can’t suck. I suck at sucking.” I was also eating a lot of Tootsie rolls. Every time I generated some Tootsie roll flavored saliva I would cough, sputter, choke almost. I blamed these…
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I have to write it down !!!!
I have to write it down !!!!
I have to write it down !!!!
I have to write it down !!!!
Every time I do, say, or think of something related to me being okay, I have to write it down. I have started carrying paper and pens with me every where I go. If I write it down, it will get out of my head. Unfortunately then I am onto the next obsessive thought. Which then needs to be written down.
I am so glad the medication I take for OCD is working. Can you imagine where I’d be if it wasn’t. I know where I’d be. I’d be very upset with the word count of this post. That is where I’d be. Damnit I had to bring that up didn’t I? I think 4 more words would lessen the anxiety. 143, I can work with 143. Add them together and you get 8. 8 is a good number. Damnit now I have 157. Add them together and you get 13 which is 4 when added together. Four is a very good number. But that leaves me with 179. I can’t do anything with 179. I must keep writing words or deleting ones I already have to make an acceptable number.
See, changing Obsessive Thought Thursday to How My Mind Works Wednesday is sounding like a very good idea. It would be more general than just O.T.T. Less limited than just obsessive thoughts. I could really let you know how this mind works or doesn’t work. Then maybe someone out there could help explain things and fix it.
I think the best thing to do right now (so I can end this post) is to challenge the word count. I have been spending a lot of time challenging the OCD and have survived each and every time. Maybe it is time to challenge it again so I can hit publish. Then deal with anxiety I may or may not feel.
Now if I could just get this picture where it belongs all will be right with the world.
I was taking a day off from writing. I was gonna do nothing, but maybe read a bit. Yah Right. I read a friend’s blog post. I left a reply to that friend. This is my reply.
Sorry I do not have any questions about the hospital, but do need to know more about the chair room. I have never heard of such a thing(It’s been 2 years since I was last in hospital).
Who pays for it? If the insurance pays, how is it billed to them? Who originally thought this “room” was a good idea? Is it just the hospital you went to that has it or are there many similar ones across the country? Could you have left if you chose to? I’m sure if I thought longer I could come up with many more questions, but right now I just have 1 left. Well It is more of a statement.
There is something seriously wrong with the mental health system in this country if you spent 2 days in a chair because there was no bed available to you. I’m not saying they need more beds, I am saying they need to figure out a way to need less beds. Obviously something is not working somewhere. And don’t look to other countries for answers. Their systems are different but just as messed up. I think they need to listen to us. The ones who need the beds.
I was taking a day off from writing and look at me go. Thank you Lily. I just might have to go back to my blog and vent about this. Oh look I already did vent 😀
I hope you have as good a day as you are capable of having.
I kind of have the feeling this is not going to be the end of me talking about “the chair room” and just think I wanted to get drunk and forget today was even happening.
Take that depressive brain!!!! I beat you today!!!!