Posts Tagged ‘OCD’

working out of my house if I had an episode again?  Wow.  That’s a doozy of a question.  I’ve never worked a full time type of job with other coworkers while having an episode.  How the heck would that go?  Would I be able to balance it all?  Or would a particular part of life suffer?  I would really hope I would be able to summon up the strength to manage throughout the day but not at the cost of not managing at home.  The episode I had a few years ago was quite manageable since I worked from home and the boys were so young.

I really hope I wouldn’t feel so drained by the end of the workday that I had nothing left for my sons and Hubby.  I really hope I wouldn’t try to process all of the feelings and energies of the episode in the few hours I get with them each day.  I hope that I wouldn’t be walking around angry with my coworkers all day, but I also know I couldn’t be that way.  Not quite what you want at the office.  I know that they are standards and protocols that are easy enough to follow at work, even in an episode, I think I could keep up appearances until it passed.  But would I then be so exhausted by the time I drove the 30 miles home?  (Another thing I don’t handle well when in an episode is driving-avoid it if at all possible, which clearly would not be possible since I would still have to go to work!)  Would I be  so tired that I would lose my patience with my sons?  Would the adage of hurting the ones you love come true?  Would I put so much energy and effort out during the day that I would have nothing left and have a quick temper?  Would I not be able to listen to their stories of their days with an open ear?  Would I be in zombie mode?

How would I handle sleep now?  I could sleep whenever before, but now I would have to be awake at work.  It’s a friendly environment, but I think napping on the desk is frowned upon.  I suppose I would just have to let certain thinks go at home to get the extra rest.  Oh, but then the OCD of not doing things at home could possible drive me up new and exciting walls.  Some semblance of normalcy would have to be maintained!

Anyway…the brain clearly wants to wonder about this stuff right now and the best way for me to handle that is to let it wander in the wonderings.





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OCD can be a blessing and a curse.  My talent for alphabetizing is truly neat and I catch little mistakes that probably wouldn’t make a difference in the grand scheme of things, but in my line of work these two things do come in handy.  Catching the little mistakes more so, but if I do ever decide to pursue the “woulda, coulda, shoulda” path and become a librarian, both will be truly purposeful.  I am glad that my boss really appreciates my ability to catch most errors (not all, I’m not perfect).  When I do miss one, I actually question myself-how could I have missed that? It was so obvious!

It’s a curse when you live with the three stooges who do not possess the same affection for order or organization.  But on my journey for self-improvement, I try to remember it is me stuck on this need.  It does get in the way at times because sometimes you simply cannot be ritualistic about order, which is my natural desire.  A place for everything and everything in its place.  I also like to keep to the schedule I set forth each day.  Obviously with two young boys, I’ve had to adapt.  I have a few new things I do that I can control and they help.

I get an everything bagel four days a week at work.  I don’t get the bagel on Friday because it’s early closing at the moment (so very nice) but also I prefer things in even numbers.  Messiest bagel out there, but I always check for poppy seeds after I finish and I’m mindful not to get seeds and such on my desk.  I put the cream cheese on it the same way each time and cut each half in half the same way.  It sets the day to a pleasant tone.  The nice ladies in the cafeteria set one aside for me now Monday through Thursday in case I can’t down till a little later in the morning.  I also found the bagel balances my blood sugar nicely throughout the day.

I’m following a regular bedtime.  It’s really early for me…11:30…and it’s starting to feel like that’s late!  It helps me to let go at night.  I’m no longer staying up randomly trying to finish one more thing.  It’s helped with simplicity-setting simple goals for each day and accepting that they may not all be achieved.  It also helps me to enjoy my time after I get home from work more.  It relaxes me knowing that the day will in fact end and I’ll be able to rest.

Another ritual that has returned is reading Stephen King again before I go to sleep.  The old friends are nice to reconnect with and a reader always brings something new to the text, so many are like brand new stories.  I’ve also been reading at work.  It’s been a goal to read research articles and such and I’ve actually been doing it.  Today, my head was simply swimming with wonderful information, but I then had to follow it to some kind of end, which there wasn’t a neat and tidy ending to get to and this created frustration.

The newest obsession is developing my personal philosophy, theology, understanding of my place in this world, and the calling put out for me.  It’s stalled at the moment, or it feels stalled.  I’ve plateaued and I’m not sure where to go next.  I’m in the zone of proximal development and I need the More Knowledgeable Other to scaffold me to the next level (yes, my inner geek comes out!).  So I will read the good book and see what I can discover in the Word.  Then I will read Uncle Stevie and fall asleep around 11:30.  Compulsive rituals are not always a bad thing.

Something I have noticed as I tweak my use time from fungible to epochal (yeah, go look ’em like I had to) is that I share so much more with my family.  My youngest was out in the back yard the other day, using nothing but pure imagination.  It was one of the most beautiful things I have been blessed to watch.  He was talking away to the trees, the dirt, or himself.  I don’t know who he was talking to, but he was having a grand time.  It was pure childhood joy not being interrupted or interfered with.  In letting go of the human constructs of time, I saw these moments he was having in discovering himself within the world.

I am finally finding a balance and a positive way to use the OCD.  Like Bob in What About Bob?, it’s baby steps.  Baby steps every day.

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Here’s the thing, I would like to have lunch with a fictional television obsessive compulsive detective. We would have so much to talk about and we could share wipes and antibacterial hand-soap.  The ideal day for this lunch would have been on October 10 last year, so that’s when this would have taken place.

I adored that show and I still do. I can catch any episode that is on and I will sit and laugh myself silly, or weep depending on the story. Obviously this lunch would be with Tony Shaloub and first I would ask how his wife is (I adore her too!). I want to ask him how he made Monk so wonderfully real and then maintained the character for eight years without making him a stereotype. There’s an episode where Monk finally takes medication and we learn why he doesn’t choose to use medication-because he would be putting a drug into his body. A chemical that would alter his mind and that rocks his world too much to wrap his brain around. Plus, once he is on the medicine, he isn’t as good at solving crimes.

I have walked that road. When I was on the meds, I was never quite me. I was more of a zombie version of myself. I could function, but I wasn’t living. I use a different therapy now, and it works great, but it is way more work and it’s harder to maintain. I still struggle with the resentment that I need anything at all to live like a “normal” person. There have been times when I have chosen no treatment because I can do more when I’m not being treated. I don’t need as much sleep or food and I can get more done. The days are literally longer because I can stay up longer. Granted, this is not as healthy for me, but sometimes I think to myself I only have this one life. I want to do as much with it as I can.

The biggest worry with the whole thing at this point is whether or not either of my sons will inherit this lovely part of me. One has gotten my vision and wears glasses and the other has gotten my blood sugar issues and is hypoglycemic. I pray neither gets this part of me. I can see aspects within each that remind me of it, but they are both still so young it’s probably nothing. My youngest is a bit OCD and is rather fond of wipes, actually saying “no, there are germs!” It makes me just a bit proud, a little smile dancing on my lips when he asks for a wipe.

Monk always treated the OCD as a blessing and a curse. He’s so right. There are benefits to what I have-heightened senses for one and they come in handy (sometimes in very weird ways and sometimes in unfortunate ways…amazing sense of smell, need I say more?). A lot of foods have too much texture for me, but it’s easy enough to live without them. It’s the big things in life that I’ve not done that bother me.

In one episode, Monk doesn’t catch the bad guy because of his OCD (the one when he finally takes the meds and calls himself “The Monk”). There are so many things I haven’t done because of it without having a valid reason, only excuses. Then there have been things I have done because of it, without valid reasons, only excuses. Like Monk says, it’s a blessing and a curse.

In the end, my life is so overwhelmingly blessed that I can’t complain. I’ve come to a point where I really don’t focus on it. For eight years I got to enjoy watching Monk, empathizing with his daily tasks, challenges and celebrations. The whole show was a hoot.

There are so many moments that were acted so beautifully. The one I can see in my mind’s eye is in the episode with the garbage strike. Stottlemeyer pulls some strings and gets Monk into a clean room at some facility-a super clean room. He says to Monk something along the lines of “there are no germs here at all.” Monk gets this smile on his face that is pure happiness. The smile shot is in the opening credits in the later seasons-he’s wearing a white bio-hazard type suit and that smile of pure contentment.

And the cast was fantastic. It took me a few episodes to realize that Stottlemeyer wanted us to “put the lotion in the basket.” I think they handled the Sharona/Natalie switch beautifully. They respectfully treated the sad passing of the actor who played Dr. Kroger. Hector Elizondo was a great addition-love him! Ambrose was the perfect sibling and Dan Hedaya as their father was brilliant. The casting and writing was superb.

I still have not found a new show to watch now that this one is only in syndication. Plus, my fabulous hubby has been getting the series on dvd so I still watch it regularly. Slowly but surely I am running out of shows to watch. So, Tony & company, you left it that Monk was still doing his thing in San Fran. Feel free to bring him back. I always thought the series should have been on for ten years…it’s a nice number.

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