Truth is harder than a lie.

(If we’re honest—Francesca Battistelli)

Sorry if this is all over the place…I am all over the place…

So Thursday I forgot I was making oatmeal for breakfast (even though I do it almost every day now)…and pressed start on the microwave again and ignored it. Which led to looking over and giving the microwave the look of “are you even serious right now?” because it was boiling over…again…this is what lack of sleep does to me: make me forgetful and stupider than usual…my brother has always said I am the dumbest smart kid he knows…I don’t really think I am that smart, but I do have to admit that for my level intelligence, I sure do occasionally do some really dumb things and am sometimes found to be lacking in certain areas that might be deemed common sense…

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This is an easily remediable situation with napkins or paper towel and throwing way the cup when I am done eating, except that enter another problem: OCD. Yeah, what a perfect time for that old “friend” to make an appearance…see, brown napkins (and really any food service napkins) are icky to OCD…and paper towel especially from the new paper towel dispensers are also icky to OCD…and my lunchbox has been without napkins for the last month because I forgot to put new ones in since I almost never need them anyway…I cleaned it up because that’s what big girls and/or responsible people do, but it was very unfun…and my left shoe is kinda sticky from oatmeal drips…

So yeah, Thursday morning OCD made an appearance. It was really scary, because it has been gone for a really long time, and there wasn’t really a very specific trigger or anything. In the time since the OCD has been gone, I have only felt any OCD-like anxiety in the presence of a reasonable trigger such as hearing about someone throwing up from someone who was completely freaking out about it, or actually seeing someone throw up. Each time the anxiety quickly went away once the trigger was gone. Even those normal-ish things came only like 3 times over the past year. This time the anxiety lasted from Thursday morning until Friday afternoon. I think that a high-stress week (life?) combined with not enough sleep probably set me up for it, but I know there have been other times I was stressed out and under-slept and didn’t react with anxiety, so it is super hard not really knowing what just happened. It is frustrating, because we are learning inhalation devices right now in APP, and I was having a hard time even touching my inhaler, much less getting it anywhere near my mouth (what if inside the factory where they make them someone was sick so even inside the plastic wrapped ones it is not safe…plus as soon as I open it the whole school will contaminate it)…That was a problem—not to my instructors or anyone around me, but to me. I hate feeling limited like that…and then I looked at the clock later and realized that in the past two hours I had done absolutely no studying—all I’d done was wash my hands, take a break, force food in the mouth without touching it, and use hand sanitizer…not good…luckily later in the afternoon the anxiety went away as abruptly as it appeared and I was totally fine again, but that was kinda scary.

Should I get help for that? IDK, but I kinda think no, because I mean it’s less than 36 hours…and I can just envision that conversation: So what brings you here today? Well, I had OCD symptoms for a little over a day and I didn’t like it. Okay, so how do you want to change this? IDK I just don’t want it to happen again. Okay, fair enough, how will you know when you have reached the goal? I don’t know. Well, have you had any problems since that day? No. Well, perfect! I guess we are done here, because you reached that goal!…okay, so I hope someone in real life would put forth a bit more effort…and maybe not let me get away with IDK for like every single answer ever, but either way, that is kind of a nebulous goal, because like I tried to illustrate in that conversation, how exactly do you know if you have reached “never happening again.” How long is never? First year I defined never as 3 years for the sake of crossing goals off my list…but realistically, the fact that three years had passed was a pretty arbitrary line in the sand to reach…

It did finally make the concept of OCD with an on-off switch click though, so it wasn’t a complete waste…I have heard people talk about how for them OCD was like an on-off switch, one day totally fine, the next for absolutely no reason terrified. I didn’t quite grasp exactly what that was like, and thought perhaps it was a bit of an exaggeration or something. For me, either there was a distinct and definable trigger that caused a drastic problem in the case of the random attacks over the past year, or in the case of when I actually was struggling, falling into OCD was very much a gradual process with a dimmer switch that I just didn’t really realize was being pushed up until it was pretty late into the disease process and I was doing pretty poorly handling it…but this time there really was a distinct on and off, no exaggeration, with the onset and offset of symptoms. Now I get it…and I know how terrifying it is for things to be going fine and then suddenly for no recognizable reason, not. I went to bed one night just fine—licking food off the floor, and woke up terrified of the world, and just as quickly went back to wiping off a dropped pea on my shirt and popping it in my mouth.

Actually, now that I think about it, it is more like a pendulum. At first it swung very slowly from normal-ish to deeply entrenched and then back past normal all the way to licking the wall one day because I could (oops…that wasn’t a wise decision…but it did what is was supposed to and gave me a little on top of the world feeling which helped ward off the person soon after not listening to a single word coming out of my mouth) and then eventually settled closer to the middle. Occasionally a trigger would bump it and it would swing wildly towards afraid but then be gently placed back in the middle. Being tired and stressed out though loosened the pivot point and oiled the joint so that the normal oscillations went a little crazy and it swung a little too freely for a little while before calming back down, but it was swinging so quickly that it seemed more like an on and off because the dimmer moved so quickly.

This week we have had a disability awareness thing set up. I think it should stay forever, because it gave me a chance to be just a student like anyone else. Although I didn’t necessarily have anyone to talk to, it let me just go get a piece of candy without going to a vending machine or someone else getting it for me or just having to watch while everyone else got it and I pretended I didn’t really want anything anyway. You don’t know how good that felt. Inclusion is powerful. I also really liked the toy puppy with a button to make it make noise, and now I totally want a keyboard that pivots, and also I found that the idea I had a long time ago of something that would help me communicate when I had trouble is actually something that exists but in a way more functional form than the one inside my head!…but really the best part of the exhibit was the bowl of candy, because it gave me a chance to be like everyone else. It isn’t about the candy; it’s about inclusion…I don’t even necessarily agree with everything that they talked about in the exhibit/presentation, but I am allowed to have my own opinions and I don’t have to agree with someone to respect their right to their own opinion. Sometimes being just like everyone else feels just as incredible as I always thought it would…being just like everyone else has been a goal of mine for so many years, although in what aspect I wanted to be the same has changed over time…

I have the greatest friends ever. I posted something on facebook that perhaps I shouldn’t have, and one of my friends responded so encouragingly…I didn’t expect any kind of response, and definitely not a positive response…I wish I could hang out with all my friends all the time. That would be my version of paradise. I feel like I had something else I was going to say about my friends, but I can’t remember it anymore…

Isn’t it awesome when quizzes are only a few questions long and not exactly over the mainpoints of the course so that even one question wrong really destroys your grade? …yeah…I am kind of frustrated, because I know what I am talking about and yet can’t manage to make it show through my grades…I work so hard and all I get is frustrated.

On Friday I learned why I always go the same way home from the grocery store…because I am directionally challenged, and that short cut kinda got me a little bit lost and was a longer than the way I usually go…

Also, money can buy a lot of things that I think I want…but some of them aren’t quite as awesome as they seem…like a functional guess gauge…It is really awesome to look down and be like YAY! I must be driving efficiently because I still have a decent amount of gas left in my car…however it is a little less awesome to look down and realize that knowing pretty well what I have left makes it a lot easier to wait until the last minute which means that I am now trying to figure out how I am going to get to the gas station without running out…oops…overall it is a useful investment, but pretty much every good thing has a down side…

There are also some other things I kinda want to write about…but occasionally even I can figure out there are some things that don’t belong on the World Wide Web…

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