a) this blog is public,
b) no one wants to continually read my trials and tribulations,
and c) i like to blog only about what I'm passionate about.
So after much debate, I shall share! The life of Elaine took a different turn in May. I know many of you may remember the situation with the job I got at Old Navy: I had NO desire to work there, I was mad, paranoid, and had SOOOOO much related anxiety about the job. After going through cycles of constant paranoia, crying, and off-the-charts anxiety, my family and I decided it was a deeper problem than just new job jitters. I attended the training session and left crying, cried all night out of paranoia and worry, and called to decline the position the next day.
That week was the WORST week of my life I'm pretty sure. Imagine that you have nightmares about every day things ALL DAY LONG. Being frantic and paranoid to tears every half hour... not good. So I went to see my doctor.
I was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder after 4 minutes of explaining my symptoms. This was NOT a big shock to my family, because I've always had several tendencies of this disorder, but having someone say it out loud was a very different feeling. Since the diagnosis, I've had to keep a stress journal, regularly see a therapist, and have my new medication adjusted several times. When my first round of OCD medications weren't working, I sunk into a seriously bad depression. If you noticed that I haven't posted anything physically crafty in awhile, it's because I've been battling intervals of depression since May. During this, I don't feel like doing things that usually make me happy, I don't feel like doing much of anything but staring at the ceiling.
But once they got my medication under control and at a good level, I've been SO much happier, motivated, and less anxious about every day things. Some of the things I suffered from before were:
*believing that my thought were somehow connected to events. for example: if I said my car would crash out loud, I thought it truly would happen. The only way to combat this impending doom was to ritualize over it and repeat things in my head in worry.
*sickening compulsivity regarding things like: locking doors, setting my alarm, saving documents, packing, etc. I would check a door 5 or 6 times before I was convinced that it was locked. it might have taken me 1/2 an hour to convince myself that a document was saved on my computer.
*COUNTING. SOOOOO much counting. Things like: tapping my toothbrush on the sink, putting on deodorant, drinks froma drinking fountain, touching certain things... the list goes on and on.
*escalated anxiety about everyday things like: worrying if I have cavities, planning for my death, separation anxiety, spending, and more.
*Feeling trapped, lost, and overly panicked in an unorganized or unplanned situation like a bookstore or thrift store
I felt truly enslaved to my own thoughts, daily rituals, and worries. I later found out that I was having a HIGHLY unhealthy amount of panic attacks. But now that my brain chemicals are under control, my symptoms have greatly diminished. Things take a lot less time, less stress, and less worrying to complete. My temper hardly exists anymore and I feel like my life has taken a turn for the better. It's hard for me to remember what my mind was like before, but I like feeling ok about what's going on in my life. :) I'm so glad that I've gotten to a point where I feel fantastic, new and motivated and that I'm able to blog about it now!
I don't know if you know anyone with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, but if you have any questions, feel free to ask! I know this was long and potentially boring or uninteresting, but it feels really good to share this! I'm glad I finally did!
P.S. Here's a funny little OCD video about how Howie Mandel and his own disorder. :)