Coping with my mild case of obsessive compulsive disorder has long been one of the announced topics of this blog. It is after all an anxiety disorder, and anxiety can truly get in the way of boldness, whether it’s actually experienced as normal fear or instead takes the less healthy form of repeating thoughts and/or actions.
Though OCD is supposedly one of the topics, I’ve very rarely mentioned it here.
Today I’m mentioning it. Today my medication seems to be losing its effectiveness. They all seem to do that every few years. Need to start a new one. And so I’m not having a great day.
My difficulty is generally more obsessive than compulsive, and often of the sort referred to as scrupulosity, thinking I’ve done something wrong or said the wrong thing that has caused someone damage. On some bad days I’ve written or called someone to apologize for something I did or didn’t say decades earlier. In every case, the other person had no idea what I was talking about. Along those lines, I also often have a mini-struggle about where to put something I’m holding so that it won’t trip someone or possibly fall off a shelf onto their heads. This does not grow out of any exceptional compassion; it’s just that if someone gets brain damage from a vase of mine, then the guilt from that will ruin my life.
On the other hand, at my worst, I obsessively cook up imaginary scenarios with some fictional person saying/doing some minor wrong to me. And in this hard-to-put-down story, I sue the person and represent myself in court and spend immense mental energy thinking up my jury argument. (This time and imagination could better be spent on my novel in progress.)
Also, I do a bit of lock-checking and worry unreasonably about accidentally burning down buildings. And if I’m doing one part of my work I too often feel that I should have been all along doing another part: the “right” part.
Today? I’ve been fighting off sliding into a pit of guilt that I spent yesterday doing a multi-hour administrative chore instead of hiring someone to do it and spending my time on work I can only do myself, like my own writing. The phrase “best and highest use.” from zoning regulation often comes to my mind: Land is supposed to be put to its best and highest use. But frequently asking myself if my activity of the moment is the best and highest use of my time –and if I'm the best possible person to be doing the particular task — is a waste of time in itself, and sure doesn’t add to my fun.
Also, I’m feeling down today because I haven’t responded personally to everyone who wished me happy birthday on Facebook Saturday. This is fucking loony. I know this and yet….
My strategy while waiting for the next drug is griping, writing this, praying, eating chocolate, jumping rope, watching TV, working a bit, being angry, staving off most thought, and appearing testy but normal.
This post is the sort of thing many consider Too Much Information — and Not the Sort of Thing You’d Want to Have Out About Yourself On-Line. Well, too bad, and I don’t care. In fact writing and posting it have helped more than anything else.
Which means I should get back to my novel, which is no doubt what I should have been doing all along.