more of Snoop E & looking up

Who? Me? Looking Up at You?                   Birds tend to hypnotize me

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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.

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

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.

cheating a bit today

Day Eleven of Photo101: A Pop of Color and Last Thursdays OTT

Life has gotten in my way recently. I am trying to get myself back into this Blogging thing. Also, I missed O.T.T. again last Thursday. I did think about it. I just didn’t do it. I am also wicked far behind in Photo101.

So today, Monday, I am going to combine O.T.T. with photo101.  I am going to challenge my OCD by getting back into my assignments, but I will mix things up a bit and do the assignments out-of-order. I obsessed a bit when taking pictures of this Pop of Color I found. A bit more when it came time to edit.  But, It was not to the point that I felt out of control. Just some minor anxiety that was easily managed.

This is progress.  The big test will be whether I can stick with doing the assignments out-of-order. Please note that there are 3 pictures.  Not 4 (down from 8).  This is a big deal to someone with my kind of OCD.

Now that I think about it, had I ventured down to the water I could have taken care of Day Seven: Big & Point of View as well.  Next time I will go to the bottom of the dam and look up.

 

I missed O.T.T. again

I have done it again.  Or not done it depending on how you look at it.  I have been 100% distracted by life this past week or so. I thought about writing my Feature yesterday, but chose to lay down on my couch and rest instead. I have even neglected Photot101 as well.  I hope to catch up with that this weekend.

What has me so distracted that I am neglecting my blog, You ask?  I have been taking notes for a future story I may or may not write.  That story might be about euthanasia.  I only have notes so far, so i do not know where the story will lead me.  I have experienced euthanasia 3 times.  The first time I barely remember.  The second time upset me. It is the third time I may write about.  The third time was so very different from the first two.

So this is all you get for my Fridays version of Obsessive Thought Thursday. I am so very sorry I could not get you to laugh today.

This picture was originally published in Serenity Found Me, but it works so well for todays post.

solitude and peace Goodnight Sweet Prince.  I know longer have to worry about you.

solitude and peace
Goodnight Sweet Prince. I no longer have to worry about you.

I missed Thursday :(

I totally was obsessed with other things that day therefore i completely forgot about my feature Obsessive Thought Thursday (OTT).  Please forgive me and as punishment (yours and mine), I will post my latest song obsessions. Once in my head, they will not leave. Hope they do the same for you.

at least there are 4 of them….

someone said “that is the spirit” and wham this song got in my head 

this creeped in on its own

very old, constantly and forever in my brain obsession 

very new obsession that just started today. I should have the lyrics memorized shortly 

Thursday Already ????

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….

44sBack 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????