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Emails to my Therapist

A Rough Day with the OCD

A friend suggested I might hold off on blogging today.  And she has a point.  What one says online tends to be permanent and I can already imagine writing an apology tomorrow for whatever I say today.

But I regularly claim here to write about coping with obsessive-compulsive disorder, and it seems like dodging the subject and potential usefulness to write only when it's not a problem.

So here's my situation:  In recent days I had to quit taking a drug because it seemed to be interfering with my sleep.  I spent a week cutting down on the dose, and have been without it now for a day and a half.  Yesterday was fine, though I was more emotionally expressive than usual.  Nothing wrong with that.

Today?  Grief, rage, and fear of saying something permanently destructive. My focus, insofar as there is one: the loss of some trees around my house; more were cut down than I thought would be in the process of our going solar, and I allowed this to happen.  Won't dwell on this further just now. Too debilitating and painful. I haven't been willing to say the word tree out loud today.  My maybe-disproportionate upset has alternated today with a sense of unusually calm perceptiveness and capability.  I think I'm cutting myself some slack because I'm having a hard time, and that is relieving and liberating.  I'm  in the latter state at the moment and will not say more about the trees, because I don't want this to change. 

My brand of OCD seems to be largely scrupulosity — fear of doing or of having done something wrong. 

I'm feeling better right now because friends have listened to me at length and I've distracted myself with work and my doc is going to call me back tonight and likely prescribe a new med that I can get hold of tomorrow morning.  Plus there is writing this; writing always helps.  And I'm avoiding any possibility of conflict, for fear of going to extremes.

In the meantime, I've just regoogled scrupulosity and OCD and found companionable resources I hadn't seen before, chiefly and some of the books and links he suggests.  I found myself embarrassingly consoled by learning on his site that Leo DiCaprio has a mild case of OCD. ( My own case is  mild, in comparison to possibilities like repeating an action all day.)   It's helpful to see examples of people being successful and productive while dealing with the same problem.    On the other hand, it didn't help me at all to know that Martin Luther and Saint Teresa of Lisieux tended to be overscrupulous.  I could have guessed that.  And if I wanted to be like either one of them, I'd be having a very bad day.

Anyway, not sure what my point is here except to create a document from a moment in the midst of some trouble.  It seems wrong not to.  I was impressed that "OCDDave" posted on his blog on a day when his mental health was, as he so ably said, taking "a precipitous ride down the crapper." 

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Categories: enhancing creativity

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  • Mamie
    February 16, 2012 at 5:20 pm Reply

    Thank you for sharing this with us today, Peggy.  It's easy to blog when things are going well.

  • Frances
    February 16, 2012 at 5:56 pm Reply

    Well, this is the Boldness Blog, and this is particularly bold. So much easier to show our perfection side, than our vulnerable side, but I found this a richly rewarding read. Thanks Peggy. 

    • February 17, 2012 at 1:17 pm Reply

      Good. Thanks, Frances. It was fairly relieving to write.

  • Leslie Waugh
    February 16, 2012 at 6:43 pm Reply

    Bless your heart, thanks for sharing this. I’m familiar with that crapper in the form of the paralysis of perfectionism and miasma of the subsequent self-flagellation. I hope tomorrow is a better day for you.

    • February 17, 2012 at 1:23 pm Reply

      Tomorrow is already working out better, Leslie. And I hope you’re having a happily imperfect day.

  • Lynnr
    February 16, 2012 at 9:28 pm Reply

    Anderson had a show on it last week with two extremes one very serious case and on the other side hugely successful Howie Mandell

    • February 17, 2012 at 1:24 pm Reply

      Interesting, thank you for letting me know about that. I’ll check it out.

  • February 18, 2012 at 8:55 am Reply

    I am very attached to my trees and would mourn the loss of any one of them.  You have my condolences.  Some people have pets, I have plants.

    • February 18, 2012 at 9:26 am Reply

      Thanks, Beth. I’m the way you are about plants.

  • February 21, 2012 at 5:38 pm Reply

    […] wrestle last week with my bit of obsessive compulsive disorder (see previous post) came to a happy ending.  I got a new prescription.  It's working great and I feel […]

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