Healthy Doubt Versus Unhealthy Doubt

This is what I am struggling with now. As I am trying to tackle my scrupulosity through therapy, I am often caught in the obsession of “Is this OCD? or do I really think this?”

My therapist is starting me small and wants me to say “this is OCD” whenever I have a doubt concerning my faith and just sit with that realization. But I am having a hard time with even this simple task because I’m afraid a thought won’t be OCD and I am labeling it wrong. After all, as Christians we are supposed to be inquisitive and curious to deepen our knowledge. I am afraid I won’t be able to recognize an OCD doubt and a real doubt when it comes to say, reading a book or hearing a sermon that doesn’t sit right. Because right now, nothing sits right. Everything feels wrong, sounds wrong. It’s a very lonely feeling that I struggle to share. Because someone who doesn’t understand could take my questions or doubts wrong and reassure me in unhelpful ways.

I have just restarted my therapy after a bit of a break (me avoiding treatment because of the anxiety) and I already feel hopeless. Scrupulosity is so different from my harm OCD. So many uncertainties that my OCD takes and runs with. I am already exhausted.

 

This is a great little article and I intend to look into this book.

ocdtalk

crossing NYC street

This post first appeared on my blog in August 2013….

I’ve previously written about how I used to scrutinize my son Dan, trying to decipher which of his behaviors were OCD related. I finally realized my intense involvement in his life was doing us both more harm than good, and I was able to let go and just trust my son.

What I wasn’t aware of at the time is that sometimes those who deal with obsessive-compulsive disorder aren’t sure themselves if their thoughts and behaviors are related to their disorder. Because those with OCD often have good insight in regard to their illness, I just assumed they knew when what they were thinking or how they were acting was OCD based. However, from reading blogs and connecting with people, I realize this isn’t always the case.

So how do we know if certain feelings and/or actions are related to…

View original post 275 more words

Advertisements

Forest Bathing

Here is all the entries for last week’s flash fiction challenge over at Carrot Ranch. Please take a look at all the diverse takes on the prompt. Join in tomorrow for a new challenge!

Carrot Ranch Literary Community

INTRO

We go into the forest to find quiet, solitude, and healing. It’s something we long to do, and can be healing. Researchers in Japan and Korea have established evidence of restorative benefits from Shinrin Yoku — forest bathing.

That doesn’t mean this collection of stories basks under the canopy of therapy. Writers found many different paths into the forest.

The following is based on the April 19, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about forest bathing.

PART I (10-minute read)

Grandmother’s Giftby Jo/The Creative PTSD Gal

‘I’m going to share something with you, little one. Come,’ my grandmother said reaching for my hand leading me into the woods behind our house.

‘Take your shoes off love,’ that’s when I realized she was already barefoot.

She sat me under an old silver oak and positioned my feet on the earth in front of me…

View original post 4,327 more words

Late Lines

It took all day to come up with lines for #3lineThursday. I saved them so I could run them by my husband before submission and then I woke up Friday morning. My first thought as I opened my eyes was,  Oh no! I forgot to submit my lines!!! What a horrible way to wake up.

Anyway, I will post them here even though I missed the deadline.

 

Photo by: Julie Jensen

Photo by: Julie Jensen

 

 

Hungry, they devoured numbers and set their sights on power

And though they rose and reigned on lofty thrones

They saw no beauty, forever veiled behind their pride

 

 

#OCDweek – My #OCD Story

ocd-awareness-week

Please bear with me as I have never really written down my whole OCD story before, so it may be a bit of a jumble. I’ll try my best. Please also know that I am sharing some very personal things, some of which I have not shared before. If you know me in person and don’t think you can handle knowing these things please, don’t read on.

My OCD started to show itself in my early teens, 14ish I think. My very first obsession was thinking that the water I was drinking was poisoned (only bottled water). The thought just occurred to me one day. It didn’t strike me as odd; it was a perfectly reasonable possibility. To make myself feel better I had to take the first sip and spit it in the sink. One was good for a while, then two, then three. Three was the magic number. It wasn’t a problem at first, then I had to do it when I was out at picnics. I was able to compromise with myself and just pour it out rather than have to spit it out, but I was still “randomly” pouring out perfectly good water. I would usually try to go somewhere out-of-the-way, to do it when no one was looking.

Then, my nighttime routine started. First check the stove, then front door, then back door, stove again, front, back, stove. wait…stove again. This could vary from night to night how many times and in what order. I just had to do it until it felt right.

Then, the intrusive thoughts started. These thoughts came out of nowhere. Horrible things I would never EVER actually do. I was so confused when my first inappropriate sexual thought came. I was just reaching puberty (late bloomer). I didn’t understand these thoughts or feelings. I was horrified. To make the thoughts go away I would repeat over and over (in my head) Jesus saves, Jesus saves. I felt like an awful person. There must be something wrong with me. I am disgusting.

One day when I was doing dishes (I was washing , my sister was drying)  I picked up a steak knife and an image of me stabling my sister entered my head. I dropped the knife and washed a dish instead while chanting Jesus saves in my head. Those thoughts came every time I washed or dried dishes. I began to hate dishes. I would do them really fast, which would cause me not to clean them well and I would get in trouble. My mom just thought I was being a normal teen who hated chores. I never told her. She still doesn’t know.

Thoughts of my family getting hurt continued with fear of fire, gas leaks, and deaths caused by me. My compulsions ranged from the noticeable ones, like checking or gathering clothes in piles by the door for emergencies, to inward ones,  like praying specific prayers before bed, making sure I covered each problem and each person and if I forgot something or started to fall asleep, I had to start all over again.

I never told my mother any of these things. She saw some of the things I did, but she would just tell me to stop or yell at me. Like when I became afraid of touch for no reason and would react when people hugged me at church, she would scold me for being rude. I became obsessed with germs getting in my cup at meal time and would cover my drink with a napkin; it wasn’t a problem until I knocked my milk over during dinner because I was rushing to get it covered when someone started talking. Lunch time at school was a nightmare, all my friends so close to me, breathing near my food.

I became depressed. I didn’t even notice it, I just was who I was. When I was 16 my mother made me go to counseling, but she didn’t know why I was depressed because I never told her anything that went on in my head. And I didn’t realize that those things were the reason I was depressed. The first counselor didn’t work out. She actually made things worse although, looking back, it wasn’t her fault. She didn’t know what I was dealing with because I never told her. My second counselor was great. I still never shared any of the thoughts or things I did,  but she respected my space and helped me through my depression. By 17 I met my (future) husband and with the help of the counselor and his support I got a lot better and she released me from counseling.

But my OCD was still there. I continued to have new fears as the seasons in my life changed. New apartment, marriage, kids. My husband saw my “quirks” but I never told him the thoughts. (Luckily, moving out of my parent’s house  stopped the sexual and murderous thoughts.) After my second son was born I started getting really depressed again. My stress levels were through the roof and I started having panic attacks. I became obsessed with thoughts that my kids were going to die and it would be all my fault. It had to do with any decision I had to make. For instance, I reach for a glass in the cupboard, the first one will cause my son’s head to be chopped off, the next one would be my husband’s death, then the next one would cause my mother’s death. I would have to try to find the one that would be safe for everyone. This would happen with everything. Grocery shopping was awful. There was no such thing as making a quick trip because I had to find all the safe items.

At some point there stopped being a “safe” option. Someone would die no matter what I chose, including me. So, to save my family, I would pick the one that killed me. Of course it didn’t actually kill me. So a logical person would conclude that my family wouldn’t die either, but it doesn’t work like that when you have OCD. (Keep in mind that I still had no idea that’s what I had) So that became my new “normal”. I would have to “sacrifice myself” 50-100 times a day. It was exhausting. My depression and stress was at it’s all time high. I had no energy, and I felt physically sick all the time.

The pinnacle moment when I realized something wasn’t right was about two years ago. I was hanging up laundry (we have drying racks in our hallway) and I have to hang the clothes on the “right” rungs. I went to hang up a shirt but there was no safe rung and there was no sacrifice rung. I had to chose between my kids’ deaths or my husband’s. I started to panic. My husband was in the other room and heard me. When he came out, he took one look at my petrified face and knew what was going on. He grabbed the clothes and pulled me away from the rack and held me tight while I cried and tried to breath again. When I calmed down my whole body got tired and cold and I had to lay down while he finished the laundry. That was not normal. Something was wrong.

Several months later I finally got help and reached out to a counselor. When the label OCD was thrown out there I was stunned. Wasn’t OCD when you counted and straitened and organized and washed your hands ’til they bled? That wasn’t me. But as I researched it and learned more about it, some of the things I read made me stop and show my husband saying, “Woah. That’s me.”

If I was educated in exactly what OCD was, I could have sought help earlier. #OCDweek is a great way to spread awareness so that those suffering can finally put a name to it and get help.

So that’s my OCD story. It’s a scary disorder full of fear, doubt, and dread. It is time-consuming, stressful, and tiring. It is not just the need to have your books in alphabetical order or your house clean and tidy. It is not a joke.

Help spread the word. Consider sharing your OCD story. Let your voice be heard.

 

Conversations with a 3 year old – Fire Safety

Fire hydrant 114 CC2.0 Photo by Barb

Fire hydrant 114 CC2.0 Photo by Barb

“Mom, look what I made!” He holds up a play dough creation from a play dough mold.

“Oh, a fire hydrant.”

“Fire hydrant?”

“See, a fireman hooks up his hose here and then points it at the house and puts the fire out with the water.”

“But the house will burn all down.”

“Well hopefully he puts the fire out before that happens.”

“Yeah, but then we will have to clean up our house because it will be all wet and I don’t want to do that.”

“well then, lets not set our house on fire.”

“Yeah, let’s not,” he says shaking his head.

Conversations with a 6 year old – Freaky Science

SCIENCE CC2.0 Photo by Chase Elliott Clark

SCIENCE CC2.0 Photo by Chase Elliott Clark

 

Son#1: “Mommy, I learned in school that your skin has little, tiny holes in it.”

Me: “Mhmm”

Son #1: “Did you know that?”

Me: “Yes I did.”

Son#1: “It kinda freaked me out. Actually, half the science freaks me out!”

Conversations with a 6 year old: “Bullies”

Photo from Google Images

Photo from Google Images

 

Son #1: “Dad, some girls were being mean to me and called me names at school.”

Daddy: “Oh?”

Son#1: “Yeah! They called me sugarbuns! And G called me cupcake! I’m not going to be her friend anymore because she called me cupcake!”

Six Word Stories: The Challenge, No. 4

Check out the top #sixwordstories for last week’s challenge. After you’re done, take a look at this week’s challenge. Writing a story in six words is harder than it sounds.

A Hopelessly Wandering Mind

It’s that time of the week again, to announce this week’s winners and set a new challenge. Once again, dozens of entries have come to me over the past seven days, all of them brilliant in their own way. The following are just the ones that appealed to me most at the time I read them in the frame of mind in which I found myself at the time, which is I think the only way in which we can ever judge fiction. But, hey, that might just be me…

Anyway, here are the runners up for last week’s prompt of murder:

An “accidental” overdose – my revenge complete. (D.S. McKnight)

With poisoned lips, she kissed him. (Real Momma Ramblings)

Her murder, an accident she planned. (HumaAq)

And this week’s winner:

Everyday, he cradled his wife’s murderer. (Ruminations of an Overthinker)

So there it is, four more great winners among…

View original post 64 more words

Paving Paradise

Post-tornado Mayflower, Arkansas. CC2.0 photo by Carol von Canon.

Post-tornado Mayflower, Arkansas. CC2.0 photo by Carol von Canon.

 

 

Two little girls
tender feet
giggles echo through the trees

Tag! You’re it!

Crackles and pops
the girls dance around the falling ash
campfire light aglow on sun burnt faces

Bike rides and sword fights
falls and bruises
marshmallow wishes under the stars

Summers were once magical
when time seemed to stop
preserving memories in its humid haze

But childhood comes to a screeching halt
as adulthood comes crashing down
like a wrecking ball

Paradise laying crumpled on the grass
forgotten memories scattered
on once sacred ground

Soon to be discarded
paved over
glass and steel to take it’s place

____________________________________________________________________________________

Written for WarmUp Wednesday!