OCD Run Wild

I woke up this morning with a major flare up of my OCD. I was in bad shape. My thought loop couldn’t be broken and it was about my old obsession, which I have written about here once, somewhere. (Not that the post does it justice.)

Probable Causes for the Current Worsening:

  1. I’ve been a little under the weather for the past few days. I’ve had symptoms like dissociation, which always freaks me the fuck out, since I used to dissociate 24/7 for a couple of years with no hope of ever recovering (which I mostly did, though).
  2. I have a disc that I would like to access in order to lift off photos of my dog, but it happens to be labeled as containing old emails I wrote to [person of my obsession] and my therapist at the time. I haven’t brought myself to open the disc, yet, although I desperately want those dog photos.
  3. In the past week and a half, I have had a couple of dreams which have become a routine — a few times a year, I get basically the same dream. [Person of my obsession] has, after so many, many years, agreed to meet with me at a public cafe, and have a conversation with me about what happened, so that I can have closure. Sometimes these dreams end up with him agreeing to meet me once every couple of weeks, and always he is disinterested in my company and disappears. But that part isn’t the distressing part. It’s the fact that he’s agreed to meet with me in the first place. It’s so real. There’s so much hope. This happens several times a year (regardless of whether I was on the 20 mg Lexapro or the current 5 mg).
  4. Because of feeling under the weather, my boyfriend and I had a conversation that went badly and I felt untrusting toward him. Whenever I lose trust in a person I’m supposed to be close with, I remember [person of my obsession]. Because I trusted him completely, 100%, as I have not done since then toward any human. Any. Human. And frankly, will probably never do again.

Anyway. I let myself give in to my obsession this morning. I opened up Facebook, which I don’t use anymore. But I did. I contacted one of his best friends. I said, basically, that I am having a really hard time with my OCD right now but it looks like it’s been 7 years since I’ve written to you so that’s pretty good.” He doesn’t know the story, he doesn’t know what’s bothering me, he doesn’t know why I wrote to him 7 years ago, either. Thank god I have a buffer, but it’s still bad that I broke down that way this morning. He was kind in his response. It’s a person I’ve known since elementary school yet we don’t keep in touch (and I’m not sure this is considered keeping in touch, either).

Advertisements

Personal mental illness day

First of all, my breast lump was a benign, liquid-filled cyst, so that’s good. It’s about half its largest size now, and is not painful anymore. It seems to have stopped getting smaller. They say it can last a couple of months or perhaps get larger and smaller for the rest of time. If it becomes too painful for me to bear again, they can drain it, but said there would be a 3 in 5 chance of it refilling. So I elected not to do so, as it is not presently painful.

Preface before the rest of the post: I’m sick today and yesterday. Lost my voice, kind of a sore throat, totally exhausted. Also, a hint of vertigo and a lot of dissociation / out of body experiences.

Today is a wretched, miserable day and yet it didn’t begin that way. It was a perfectly happy morning. Yesterday was difficult. I don’t know what except that I lost my voice and felt EXHAUSTED. So I might be having allergies, flu, and something else as well. Because now my own mental processes have kicked in and my negative thoughts have been spiraling out of control. And since I haven’t had any private time until this instant, which I had to force, I have been feeling blind and like I am swinging around an ax to get people to give me space.

Loosely translated, what I mean is that my partner and I have had some negative exchanges today. It actually got REALLY bad for a while. But come on, I wanted to be left alone and you just wouldn’t. I was already in tears.

Oh well. I am tired. I don’t know if I have a flu or not. Certainly my throat is sore but that could be allergies. Certainly I’m exhausted beyond words. But I wish so much that you would just see when I am sick and not take it all out of control and make it all like we still have to have this serious conversation THIS INSTANT but that I will take like 4 or 5 days to recover and then we can have the conversation. Instead of hurting me and basically forcing me to hurt you, too, because I’m backed into a corner with no other way but to grit my teeth and cry and say shit to get through. Ridiculous. This can’t happen ever again.

So not okay.

So I’ve had like an hour of ALONE time now and that has been a relief. I’m going to take some anxiety medicine, just in case there’s a mental illness element to this yuckiness.

 

Weaning off Lexapro: Days 125 – 136

I have been and am still on Lexapro 5 mg. I will not be reducing any more any time soon. So I won’t be continuing these type of entries after this, unless my dose changes.

I am on the 5 mg, after having been on 20 mg for like 12 years straight. My emotions and perceptions of the world around me are all over the place. In nearly every aspect of life, I am torn.

It’s impossible for me to know at this moment if indeed all of these parts of my life actually need to change, or if the angst and unrest I’m experiencing is a direct result of the decrease in Lexapro. I could make these changes and tear apart my current life. Or I could increase my Lexapro dose. Or I could do a little bit of both. But at this exact moment in time, I cannot know which is the most “correct” choice.

The past weekend was terrible. I was avoiding studying for a Final exam and I failed the pre-assessment. But all of the terror and hopeless that I was feeling inside, I didn’t attribute properly to the schoolwork. I attributed it everywhere else around me and I hurt my boyfriend and I hurt our relationship pretty severely.

When I was Home recently, it felt right. I wanted to stay forever. But if I broke up with my boyfriend and moved back Home, I’m sure I’d be full of anxiety and feel very dark and depressed. I’m sure that I would feel very scared and as though I’d shut a door to a very large world. I’m sure that for a long time, things would feel without purpose, shallow, and hopeless.

I pay [irrelevant] a month. I flip between that seeming like a small amount and an impossibly large amount. I am unemployed. So that money is basically coming from old savings– mostly money from my now-deceased grandparents.

But, many people go into debt for an education. That is socially acceptable and “normal”. ((All irrelevant.))

Logically, I realize other people’s wealth is irrelevant. I made the CHOICE to quit my below-minimum-wage-tutoring job to focus entirely on school. Of COURSE that means paying out of savings for a couple of years (kiss the old money goodbye; I wasn’t very good at Math).

I’m considering reapplying for the tutoring job. They’ve increased the wage to minimum wage now. I’m sure I could get in a few hours a week. It would be really hard because the bus route is not fast, and I can’t have the job unless I’m also taking classes there. So I’d be really splitting up my time to make a tiny amount of money. But it would also be giving me back my self-esteem. I felt good when tutoring people. And it would be good for me to have a set schedule.

My boyfriend and I are thinking of moving. I don’t know if it will help us or not. But I think that we need to feel more like independent adults again. And I hope we can find a place that shortens both of our commutes. But the cost will go up. We pay [irrelevant] rent right now but I don’t think we could find anything that low anywhere near here.

Yep, there is that wave of hopelessness. I just pictured how much effort and energy I will be putting into tutoring and how very, very little money I’ll be making and how it will all be going to rent. I know, this is reality for many people. Maximum effort to not even stay afloat.

I could go back to my parents. I’d be on such a good schedule there. I’d feel so much more at peace there. I’d be with my dog, who has congestive heart failure but is responding well to his medications. Up there, I could get a part-time job again and study. It’s all easier there.

I don’t want to go to couples therapy this week. I’m afraid of what we’ll talk about. And I don’t know my own mind on so many of the topics.

For now, I need to stop thinking. I need to focus on studying today. I deleted my beloved Pok√©mon Go app. If I could just delete the thoughts from my head… I need to get through a lot of readings and practice problems today.

Poem: Why bother? Complacency.

Why fight?
When we can be stressed.

Why run, and change?
When we can stay and do nothing.

Why struggle? Why push and crowd? Why try to get to the front?
When you can find a lazy chair and kick up your feet and relax.

Why get bitter? Why spit venom? Why try to articulate all of the things that NEED FIXING?
When you can burrow your face into a book or newspaper and blot it all out instead.

Weaning off Lexapro: Days 89 – 124

Scraggly trees and a dark sunset with interestingly patterned clouds

Sunset through a pattern of gray clouds

Meds:

  • 5 mg Lexapro, normal thyroid meds
  • Vitamins if I remember (maybe a couple of times a week)
  • Exercise (walking, bicycling, skiing)

Symptoms:

  • ANGST
  • Irritability only with certain people (such as my bf)
  • Insomnia now that I’m back home
  • Longing
  • Feeling that something BIG is going to happen soon (CHANGE)
  • Confused. Torn. Mixed up.

Journal Items:

  • There’s no way for me to remember and write what has passed.
  • But I did go to my parents’ house. And spent time with my beloved, beloved dog, who has heart failure now. He’s living on borrowed time thanks to responding well to medicines. Every day he’s with us has always been and will remain a gift.
  • My dad’s going to turn 70? What? How?
  • Practicing music
  • Studying for class
  • Walking, very short walks with my dog, and longer walks with my mom
  • Skiing with my folks, and my bf when he came

The mountains, the snow, the smells, the sounds. The fresh air, the cold wind. The gravel, I could roll around in it and never get enough.

I miss it all so much. My heart stayed there. I’m a split person as I have been the whole time, but it’s more obvious right now. I’m dissociating mildly here right now. I’m not connected to this place. I don’t like living here.

But life is complicated and I have to let it slide in this moment of time. I believe the reduction of Lexapro from 20mg to 5mg has really made a large difference in me. I *feel* more like I used to feel, so long ago (I’ve been on Lexapro for over a decade). But that doesn’t mesh well with what’s around me today. I believe that the Lexapro put a bubble around me and I was okay with things I would never have been okay with before. It might reach back far enough to say that I wouldn’t have been married in the first place if I hadn’t been on Lexapro and had such drug-thickened skin. Life is weird.

LIFE IS REALLY, REALLY WEIRD!!!

I’m listening to this song all day today:
https://youtu.be/djEg4O3b2IU

Weaning off Lexapro: Days 74, 75

Meds:

  • 5mg Lexapro(crazy), normal thyroid meds
  • exercise: walking and bicycling

Symptoms:

  • Quicker to become irritable
  • Quicker to feel hopeless about relationship

Journal Items:

  • This has been a difficult couple of days relationship-wise.
  • Bedtimes are out of control and I’m feeling extremely passive aggressive over it, which doesn’t help me accomplish anything productive, believe me.
  • I need to redo my resume. I need to apply to jobs again. I need to get a job. I need to earn an income.
  • Because… I need to feel more independent. I’m of half a mind to cut & run from this relationship right now. But I can’t feel objective about it when I’m so financially dependent right now.
  • Rant: I KNEW these things in advance. I TOLD myself I’d be more careful the next time. But that damn honeymoon period, so to speak, locks me into a relationship and I get to know and care about the other person. Then later, when it all settles out and the person doesn’t have the qualities I already know that I need, it’s hard to get out. What are the two main things I’m bitching about right now? *) Not a dog person, which is IMPORTANT to me, and *) Has even worse executive functioning than I have, which is a BIG DEAL for me. And I’ll add another: not fully aware of how poor his own executive functioning is. Definitely blamed ME for avoiding certain conversations, when it was so, so clear that the convos didn’t happen because we’d both forgotten and never got around to it! Give me a LITTLE bit of the benefit of the doubt, would ya? This is all not. easy. [[Note to the reader: this is NOT an unbiased story and it is NOT a complete picture in the slightest. I’m merely venting some poison.]]
  • I’m studying very slowly but thoroughly right now (it’s an important class, so I’m opting for over-studying rather than under-studying, atm).

Weaning off Lexapro: Days 45 – 71

Meds for Days 45 – 70:

  • 10mg Lexapro, normal thyroid meds
  • vitamins when I remembered
  • electrolyte beverage on days when I remembered
  • walking, some bicycling

Symptoms for Days 45 – 70:

  • Pretty neutral (that’s why I had stopped recording for a while — it started to feel like every day was pretty similar to the day before it)

Meds for Day 71 (today):

  • 5mg Lexapro (!!!), normal thyroid meds
  • 10mg Prozac
  • vitamins, chewable
  • electrolyte beverage
  • 22,000+ steps of walking

Symptoms for Day 71 (today):

  • At some point, I had a brief moment of vertigo
  • I got a stomach ache
  • I had a lot of reflux and when I laid down, it [censored]
  • My bf, who I’ve been fine with for weeks now, said one little thing I shot off to instant rage/hatred

I am not looking forward to the next few weeks at this dose. (But today’s walk was lovely!)