Nothing bad smothers me

(Nothing bad will happen–The Worry Wizard)

Oh my…isn’t it great when you realize you have 3 minutes to get to the stupid apartment complex you are looking for and have no idea where you are and are trying to press buttons on your phone to figure out where in the world you are supposed to go to get where you want to be…and then you are in a hurry so you abbreviate and just put “Wisconsin” in the search bar…umm…pretty sure that isn’t going to work…luckily I made it just a few seconds after my partner so it all worked out…and then I got lost trying to get myself back to school, but it actually worked out better because when I made a random turn and just figured I’d drive for a while why I plugged in where I wanted to go on my phone I actually found somewhere that I recognized right about the same time that I got the phone navigation going…didn’t stop me from yelling at Angie which is what I named my phone when she told me to turn and I hadn’t found the road I wanted to turn on yet, but that part was more a factor of that I am now on my third unprovoked OCD flare of the year and while on the outside I am still 97% normal, on the inside my tummy feels itchy and the only way to make it go away even just a little bit momentarily is to wash my hands…but as soon as I stop the anxiety comes right back in. And obviously antihistamines don’t work on anxiety…I kind of sort of considered help at 1, but now that I am at 3 it feels like time to tell someone…even if that someone is just the internet…I can trace back exactly what the problem is now that causes the flares, but I haven’t figured out yet how to stop it from happening. They have ranged from one and a half days to three hours, but the best I’ve done so far is to recognize when I am at risk and do whatever I can figure out to push it further out, but when it finally happens it is still like a switch flips and I go from totally fine to totally entrenched…

It is super frustrating because Thursday I kind of suspected it was coming and I really thought I could keep it at bay if I just relaxed, and I justified that if I didn’t really do homework Thursday but prevented an OCD flare from occurring that I’d be further ahead in the long run since I have a lot more free time on Fridays…it is super frustrating that I could only postpone rather than prevent it, because it means I lost Thursday intentionally and I ended up losing most of Friday anyway…I am going to figure this out though. I will not be defeated.

I might have failed my practicum Friday morning before the OCD struck, but it was probably a good learning experience, because I always kind of knew last year that it probably wasn’t anyone’s cup of tea to work with me last year, but experiencing something similar first hand drove the point home about how awkward it is for the chief complaint to be I don’t really have any complaints, everything is totally controlled my doctor just told me to come here and talk to you…yeah, I definitely didn’t know where to go with that and it showed which is why I am pretty sure I failed the practicum. In real life people don’t fail if they aren’t really sure what their role ought to be so it is maybe a little less stressful, but it probably is still pretty awkward when my contribution is I have no problems aside from the fact that I’d prefer to be studying right now so I don’t really care that I am paying you multiple cents per second, I am a typical college student tending to be more pleased when she gets less for her money. Anyway…I think the practicum may have been both the chicken and the egg. Because I was thrown off right at the beginning, by the end of the session the OCD was already kicking in, and because the OCD was kicking in I was distracted and struggling even harder to complete the practicum which stressed me out even more…oops…

Also, can someone please tell me why one of my compulsions is reading about people vomiting? It’s been that way since the beginning that when the anxiety is high so is the number of hours I need to spend reading reading reading about vomit. The stories only add to the fear, but I can’t stop reading…the best I can figure out is that it gives me a teeny tiny bit more sense of control since I know more of what is happening and where and when and what happened, but considering that some of the stories I might be reading could be many years old, I’m sure there must be some other thing going on…and maybe if I could figure that one out then the time I spend not washing my hands could be a little more productive.

…eventually you realize that you are going to need to get yourself home and you might as well do it sooner rather than later since you know it is going to be a production when you get home trying to figure out how to get everything clean enough…but it was a good choice, because at least at home the hand sanitizer is greasy instead of drying my hands out, and I can put the hand sanitizer bottle on my bed if I need to…finally right before I went to bed the anxiety finally went away and I was mentally drained from chasing germs all day, but it was good for at least a few minutes of my day to be back to normal, because I was really concerned about trying to go to a conference with only one or two people who actually know about the anxiety. Some people know how to support me when I am having trouble because it isn’t break time yet but I really feel dirty, but obviously someone I have never met is not going to know that when I am whispering/whining/begging for hand sanitizer that I am not being rude, but am just searching for something to make the next few minutes tolerable. Although, I probably am polite enough that I would never do more than politely ask during a discussion moment and accept the answer graciously if I were to feel like I needed it there…

Also, on the positive side, even though living with OCD again is no fun, it is still a LOT better for it to not be a constant unwanted companion and instead just be an occasional uninvited visitor…and maybe I’ll figure out soon how to make the OCD go completely away again…I mean, I made it past the one year point that is supposed to mean that it is a pretty good chance it really is controlled and it wasn’t until it had been more than a year that this came up so in my opinion that means it shouldn’t be too hard to get rid of it again…

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