Where Has the Summer Gone??

It’s September 7th!

Summer is gone, my kids have started school, and pumpkin spice is threatening to take over the world. (Ahem… can I get apple pie or maple syrup flavored coffee please??)

I do not feel like I have accomplished anything I wanted to this summer. I look at my blog and see the last post was the end of June and I’m like “WHERE ARE ALL MY AWSOME POSTS I WROTE???” Oh, right. They were all written in my head and I never actually sat down and wrote them out.

It’s been a crazy  4 weeks for my family and I wish I had the time to blog through it. With my husband falling ill and struggling with full blown lyme disease I have had no extra me time to sit and write. (Although on a night he was feeling ok I escaped my house and joined a beginners hockey team for adults. Whhhhaaatt? High school dream of playing hockey achieved!!!!)

Honestly I have feet like a horrible wife because my depression, anxiety, and OCD gets in the way of me being a good caregiver. I promised to be there for him in sickness but I have gotten angry and impatient at times and can barely hold it together through this whole ordeal. But really, at the root of it all,  I truly hate seeing my husband so helpless and sick, unable to do the things he desperately loves to do. Some days it’s a struggle for him to hobble around the house. All he wishes he could do is go on a run or join kung fu with our boys. I’m watching him struggle with daily tasks and standing back as he pushes himself to go to work even though his hips hurt, his legs ache, and he can only hear out of one ear. And all I want to do it make him stay home and rest. He is an active person. He hates being still for long but after an 8 hour day at work all he can do is sit. (This past week has been better though, Praise the Lord! He has been able to walk short distances and had energy to do a few things around the house.)

All this to say that it’s been a struggle, that last month of summer really gave us hell. I feel like my family was sucker punched in the gut.

But we are still standing… sorta.

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I Have OCD and I’m not Afraid of Germs

I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

When most people hear the term OCD, a picture of hand washing or a well-organized room comes to mind. I don’t like telling people I have OCD because they automatically assume I’m afraid of germs and am a “clean freak”.

If you were to walk into my house without giving me a week’s notice I’m pretty sure you would be disgusted. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t let it get unsanitary but it’s definitely not company worthy. There are dirty pans on the stove and dishes in the sink always. I have “clean areas” but through out my house I have piles that gather in corners, and on end tables. I have hardwood floors and a cat and three kids so there is always crumbs or cat hair. I have piles of unfolded laundry and a computer desk with piles of opened mail and kids projects. And don’t even get me started on the status of my bathroom. I am not an organized person and I hate cleaning. Cleaning actually triggers anxiety and I have to work extra hard to motivate myself to do it.

My Obsessions and compulsions are currently mostly in my head.

So let’s brake it down a little for you.

Obsessive

Obsessions are unwanted thoughts or fears that you can’t get out of your head and cause anxiety. These thoughts or fears can be about anything.

My obsessions consist of fear of harming someone I love (harm OCD), and fear that my doubts have caused me to lose faith in God (scrupulosity).

Compulsive

Compulsions are something you feel compelled to do that alleviates the stress and anxiety caused by the obsession.

The most widely known compulsions are outward and noticeable. For example: straightening things to make them symmetrical, turning off a light switch many times, touching things, washing hands or sanitizing.

Inward compulsions are less noticeable because they take place in the mind. Sometimes a person may not even recognize these as compulsions because they can become second nature.

Currently my compulsions are mostly inward, although I have had many outward compulsions through out my 16 years of having OCD. Thankfully, through recent therapy (ERP therapy), I have been able to gain control in many areas of my life.

My biggest inward compulsion, which I am currently working on with my therapist, is avoidance. Avoidance is actually very common among OCD sufferers. I reduce my anxiety by not doing the things that cause my anxiety. This has hindered my growth as a wife, a mother, and as a christian.

Disorder

“A disorder is a problem or illness which affects someone’s mind or body”

OCD is not a quirk or character trait. It is not an adjective, it’s a mental illness.  It interferes with your daily life. It can make you lose time, make you miserable, and causes stress, anxiety, and depression.

You can’t be a little OCD. There is no such thing.

 

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*Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or a mental health professional. I write about OCD and mental illness based on personal experience and research online. If you think you may have OCD based on anything you’ve read, please seek professional help. You don’t have to go through it alone. You can overcome it and gain control of your life.

I am an #OCDvocate. I write articles and poetry about OCD to spread awareness. My goal is to help you understand that OCD is different for everyone and can manifest in many different ways. ” In the United States, about 1 in 40 adults and 1 in 100 children have OCD. And according to the World Health Organization, OCD is one of the top 20 causes of illness-related disability, worldwide, for individuals between 15 and 44 years of age.”

I have chosen to speak out and to be heard as part of my healing process.

 

Tomorrow’s Coming

Tomorrow’s coming

I know it to be true

it will be a day much like today

monotony

child tears and laughter

haunted day dreams

piles of laundry

dishes, old and new

job one

job two

kiss from the husband and a quick

I love you

jumbled thoughts

of past events

and future possibilities stuck on repeat

food cravings and warped mirrors

doubt

fear

a little loneliness

nothing new

tomorrow’s coming

I know it to be true

 

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Day eleven for NaPoWriMo.

Today’s prompt was to write about what your future would look like.

 

I Just Need a Moment…or Two

 

I let the water fall over me
not hot enough to burn but turned up enough to hurt a little
to overpower the pain of the voices
the thoughts that pelt my mind
like pea sized hail in constant down pour
puncturing tiny holes in my sanity

 

I let out a whispered scream
don’t want to wake my husband and toddler
napping down the hall
my two boys are playing some game downstairs
but they might as well be right outside the door
their whiny voices

“Get your leg off me!”
“Ow!”

carry up the stairs penetrating my moment of solitude

I scrub at my scalp
wishing I could peel it off and massage my brain
maybe then it would relax
and give me peace, if only for a little while

I crank up the heat a bit more
Stopping at ‘pink skin hot’
I need a few more minutes

 

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This is my entry for day Ten of NaPoWriMo. It’s a day late but it took me a while to get what I wanted to say to come out right.

Prompt:  “write a poem of simultaneity – in which multiple things are happening at once”.

Daily Torment

Out of reach

I lift my arms

To no avail

Lofty, unattainable

I gawk at my mind’s mirror

I cry out

Call out

Stop.

Can’t.

Not good enough

Here I am.

A spec.

A blip.

Take a step

SLAM

Pick the brick from my skin

Walls meant to

PROTECT

KEEP OUT

                                                         Kept in

                                                                              Diminished

                                                                                    Inadequate

 

                                       Beaten down

Get up

Stumble

Get up

Fall

Get up

“Stay Down!

Small.

Insignificant.

Imposter.”

 

I lift my weary head

 

I.

 

STAND.

 

AGAIN.

 

 

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For this poem I use prompts from Day Six and Day Nine for NaPoWriMo.

Six challenged us to play with line breaks and Nine challenged us to write about when something big and something small come together.

This poem is about the daily fight with mental illness(BIG) and self(small).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rise

Photo by Philip Harris

Photo by Philip Harris

 

Tomorrow peaks through, kaleidoscope colors dance upon dead limbs
It’s pleas seep into your skin, prodding you to fight
Unrelenting, it provides hope and solace for a weary soul

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Written for Three Line Thursday

ERP – A New Journey

Yesterday I had my first session with a counselor who specializes in Depression, Anxiety, and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

Confession

One of the reasons I put off going to see a specialist (besides bad experiences and lack of finances) was that I knew that getting better, truly attacking OCD where it hurt, would mean going through Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) therapy. I follow many blogs and have read many articles and they all say the same thing. ERP is the best way to treat OCD. But the thought of exposing myself to my fears and doubts terrified me and thus I used the excuse “I don’t have the money and it’s way too expensive.” So I put it off and continued to get worse.

 

But after these recent dark weeks I knew I had to push through and take the first steps to getting better. I had no Idea how I was going to pay for it as we are currently struggling financially due to some unfortunate circumstances. But God saw the struggle I was in and even though I have been doubting Him and everything He is, (this, as it turns out, is a facet of my OCD) He has graciously provided for me through my church as well as other ways.

Sitting in that room with the counselor and listening to her explain how my OCD worked and how she can treat it was eye opening. I already knew some of what she talked about but hearing it from her seemed to help me come to terms with my disorder and be willing to commit to ERP.

I am so fortunate and greatful to have a great support system. I had my husband, a close friend, a mentor, and a few fellow Christians praying for me yesterday and I could feel it. There was such a peace when she spoke and i felt like I was exactly where God wanted me to be.

This new journey is going to be hard. I know that it may get worse before it gets better, but I have to be willing to go through the pain of demolition before rebuilding can happen.

 

Emptiness

Photo by Michael

Photo by Michael

My heart feels empty
Empty like a cup run dry
Dry like my cracked lips
Lips that want to speak, but only cry

 

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Written for #FieryVerse

Prompt: Emptiness

My Three Lines for Thursday

Photo Credit: David

Photo Credit: David

 

I scream in silence, as ghosts taunt me from within
I’m but a tormented soul, who’s dried and cracked
And with no release for my emotions, I suffocate

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Written for #3lineThursday Year Two Week Four.