Category Archives: OCD

The best laid plans can go upside down if that’s lady luck’s intent

 

(Accidents Happen – Thomas and Friends)

 

Things don’t always go how they go inside my head.

 

I was going to do a video with a teacher…instead I got pulled into a meeting about background checks and discovered that it is finally going to be a lot less expensive for students now than it has been for me. Then I got pulled into helping with looking through preceptor of the year awards.

 

I got out of my last event of the day super early and I had the great idea that I would go swing on a swingset….umm…yeah…it was thunderstorming and I didn’t get very far on my way to my car before I realized swinging in a thunderstorm was a Very Bad Idea.

 

So instead I decided to go find someone to talk to…except everyone was busy…

 

It is easy to forget me…especially when I never made it known I needed anything…

 

But some things do go right. Sometimes God answers prayer with yes. There was a garbage truck that happened to turn onto the road in front of me. Oh c**p oh c**p oh c**p are the last words coming out of my mouth before trying to hold my breath as long as possible…then I forced myself to breathe while thinking about if there was anywhere I could get some bleach and clean myself and all my things. And I was frustrated because clearly if I can barely touch the steering wheel while I drive because everything is contaminated then eating is going to be super difficult…so I did the only thing left to do. I prayed my heart out the rest of the way to school…usually I’m also singing myself songs (usually inside my head…), but not today, and shortly after getting to school I was actually doing okay again!! Maybe I don’t have a job and I’m still alive because I’m not a good enough Christian.

 

I’ve been listening to the book “In the Water they can’t see you cry.” As a former swimmer and loving the title SO much, it was totally worth the fact that it was like 10 hours long. Amanda Beard was the topic of my french paper in seventh grade. I was a little disappointed at first because the book wasn’t like I thought it would be, but it actually is pretty good. It is so familiar that I feel like I’ve read it before in like actual words, but I’m pretty sure based on the publication date that I haven’t read it before…I suppose there is probably a good chance that the majority of the story I read from the Splash magazines a little at a time. I read those things religiously cover to cover until they stopped coming. Anyway, I am so glad I read the book this week. It was something I could totally connect with. Someone else who had very similar problems to my own and experienced it similarly…and she got through it and ended up with a BABY!! Mostly it was just me having someone to commiserate with who wasn’t going to be overwhelmed or anything seeing as how it was only a person on a recording, but there were tiny bits of hope that if she could do it maybe I could too.

 

Sometimes life is frustrating. I wanted to go to yoga today. I had lab until 6:30, so even worst case scenario I’d make it to the second half. Then the teacher for the class I had before lab said unless I wanted to be in class that I might as well leave because there wasn’t going to be anything useful for me in class. I took that invitation and left. I probably should have done something useful with my life, but instead I went on a walk…a five-mile walk. Yeah…that was stupid. And that is why I am unable to go to yoga. I don’t think it is safe for me to be there. Either it will be slow stretching yoga in which case I will be tempted to pretend I am totally able to do what everyone else seemingly can and intentionally do things that will leave me in physical pain to drown some of the emotional pain, or it will be some type of fitness yoga that will similarly be bad for me because I really shouldn’t be doing anything that is going to burn extra calories when I am trying to gain weight…especially seeing as how I am already having trouble with my dinner today. I was super efficient in lab moving people around and grading papers and alphabetizing at top speed so that I’d have plenty of time and I was pretty proud of myself for finishing at 5pm. But then I realized that it wasn’t a good idea to go to yoga. But I also couldn’t go home. I already said I wasn’t going to be home for dinner and it is always awkward when I say that then show up at home…especially because a lot of times dinner when I’m not there is fish and so people feel bad that I can’t eat with them, because that is one of the things they are aware that I do not eat. Besides, I had enough food for two meals in my lunch box and extra snacks in my car. So I started getting dinner ready, but I didn’t really want to eat it. So I went to my happy place so that I wouldn’t be tempted to show up to show up at yoga. Now I am trying really hard to finish dinner. It is frustrating, because I feel like I should be over this by now. But I’m still struggling. How long does this last? I’m tired of holding on.

 

Umm yeah…so we’ll just end with some good lyrics:

“When does a scar become a tattoo? When does the sky turn back to blue? When will this heart that’s broken and bleeding beat again? When do I stop feeling this burn? When will it stop? When will I learn?…I’m right here, standing in the pouring rain; tick tock hours all feel the same.” (Say your name – Plumb)

Is it so wrong to be who we are? ‘Cause all that she’s done is fail…If you’re still there hang on

(Nice Naïve and Beautiful – Plumb)

Just a few random thoughts…

Lesson learned: there are parts of what I consider remnants left over from OCD that are actually serving me well and do not need to be eliminated. So there are places that for a reason I really can’t identify don’t feel clean even if they have recently been cleaned by me. Because of that I usually wash my hands after touching those areas. It isn’t a huge hindrance or anything – the vast majority of the time even if I couldn’t immediately wash my hands it wouldn’t be the end of the world or anything. I could move on with my day. So this morning I touched the bathroom counter and decided I should be a big girl and not wash my hands…especially because I was going to take a shower in like 5 minutes anyway. Well, I’m not sure if the cat touches that surface but even if the cat didn’t, people who touch the cat touch the surface. I got distracted doing something else and forgot about wanting to wash my hands. Then I touched my face and a few minutes later when my eyes were itchy I learned a valuable lesson…apparently allergies are for real and what I thought was immature excessive hand washing was actually protecting me…oops…

Some things are less protective though…OCD doesn’t make sense. I have no problem picking up and eating the cheerio I found on the floor of my car this morning, but I saw a portapotty truck and even 15 minutes and 5 miles removed from the situation I still was internally yelling at myself to stop being a baby because I still wanted to hold my breath to protect myself from the germs. Yep, I am WAY phobic sometimes of portapotties still…It is moderately okay to be a baby and hold my breath for the first two minutes while I am getting away. It is not okay to not grow up and realize it isn’t a big deal when you are 5 miles away from the offense.

So I took this survey on the internet a few days ago. It was labelled as supposed to help you find a job, so I thought I would put in my interests and it would give me links to jobs…haha…yeah…a few questions in it became very apparent that was not what this was for, but I figured I was far enough in I’d just see what happened. As it turns out, it was an MBTI. I got the same thing that I got in high school. ISFJ, but this one gave percents. That was cool, because it really explained why I felt like it was only like 47-64% accurate in high school (I don’t remember the exact percent, but I do clearly recall taking the entire paragraph description the stupid system spit out and underlining or crossing out each phrase and then counting and dividing to determine the percent accuracy…then getting frustrated that the multiple choice for percent didn’t get very close to the answer I had figured out…yes, I do realize they just wanted you to assess a general sense of yes this is me or no this is not me, but I am not a forest person. I am a trees person. I think this survey did a good job nailing down the introvert/extravert domain. Internally I am extraverted. I require contact with people. But on the outside you might not be able to tell that because while sometimes I am overflowing with bubbly energy, there are also times I need to be WITH, but don’t need to talk. I just need to BE. That is why I really needed the place I studied years ago – I could have WITH all day, but could go an entire day with minimal words leaving my mouth.

LOL, plastic bags, not just for holding things anymore (good because the bag is a little bit ripped). Also for protecting the blanket and sheets from the salsa spill that would definitely happen if there weren’t a plastic bag to catch spills. It might have taken around 90 minutes to finish this for lunch on Sunday, but I did it. (And yes, I do spend much of my time every day on my bed…yes I know that is bad sleep hygiene…ask me if I care).

Little did they know he’d turn their cry day to good Friday

(Good Day on a Bad Day – Fish Tales Musical)

So I was trying to find a video on youtube with clear enough audio to get the correct words to good day on a bad day…I failed at that, but did find one that made me smile…there was one with a kid in the back who likely had “special needs” and started jumping up and down when they sang that Christ rose again. It was super adorable. Also, I hate the term “special needs.” I mean, doesn’t everyone have special needs because everyone is uniquely gifted and everyone has their own weaknesses? How come my needs aren’t special?

So last night I realized that my nutrition has been missing one food group for a while…the calcium group…At home I only drink milk at dinner and I wasn’t home for dinner a lot of nights…and here I haven’t been to the grocery store because I hate the ambiance at grocery stores and I hate grocery shopping…and I don’t drink the same kind of milk as the people I live with so I can’t just share…and someone offered to buy me milk but I didn’t feel like drinking it right then anyway so I said no…

And to add to the problem, yesterday I got permission to leave school like 3.5 hours early…okay cool, right? Except, that meant I left around 3pm so I had no reason to try to get dinner in my mouth yet. The plan was that I would go to church, hang out, do homework, go to a meeting, then go back to school and eat and go to FCA. The plan was a decent idea…except I felt like I was going to fall off the swing and someone was already sitting at my other favorite spot so I was totally enthusiastic when asked about walking to the park and I didn’t do homework…or right the letter of intent that I should have also been writing. Then I wasn’t ready to leave church until like 15 minutes after FCA was supposed to start and I was exhausted and decided that I should probably just go back to the house. I am 90% sure there is a microwave at church I could have used…actually, I know where two of them are, but both of those are in places that I didn’t feel comfortable inviting myself. Side note…how many days can a raw egg stay in my lunch box before it goes bad? Assume that the lunchbox is not left in my hot car and that the egg goes back in the refrigerator from like on average 8:45pm to 5:05am…’cause there may be an egg in my lunchbox going on 3 days now…So yeah, I had a handful of rice chex for dinner. I had an egg and a couple rice chex and a starburst and a chips ahoy cookie for lunch. I had apple juice and 5 cheerios for breakfast…and so I got home and had most of my calories for the day in the form of chocolate and buttercream frosting…and even I am smart enough to know that it is not sustainable to get most of your nutrition from multivitamins and most of your calories from dessert…even if that is sorta similar to what I’d love to do all the time. Side note again that the biggest reason I take a multivitamin is because my counselor second year thought it would help my germ issues…yep, I as a pharmacy student took my medication advice from a counselor…but sometimes things stick and even though it took me a couple years to be ready to try taking a multivitamin (hello, germ issues), now I’ve done it pretty consistently for a while. I’m almost out and not sure that I’m going to buy more unless I can’t get my eating back on track, because thinking realistically, I don’t think I really need it. Mostly I eat kid foods that are already fortified with a bunch of stuff.

So anyway, all that to say that this is what success looks like:

Yep, that’s an empty yogurt pouch. I hate yogurt except the kind with the m&m’s in it and the froxen kind which is definitely NOT the same as regular yogurt frozen. Once I mixed coffee with vanilla yogurt and put it in the freezer thinking I’d have coffee frozen yogurt…umm, no. That might have been more gross than the time I forgot there was sprite in my cup and poured vanilla milk on top. So anyway, I gave myself the option of eating the pouch, stopping at the grocery store, or texting people that I was too irresponsible to take care of myself…and I picked the pouch. Plus, the pouch was going to expire soon so I was either going to need to eat it, find a way to use it in a recipe, or throw it away. And I am finding that I am a lot less picky when my body is hungry even if I am not hungry. Not even just the yogurt. Monday for dinner was chicken (okay, I can do that) with some kind of sauce on it (oh no…how do I be polite?!). At first I probably had less than the 6-year-old, but when offered more, I accepted. It wasn’t my favorite, but it wasn’t really so bad…

Sometimes my brain doesn’t process and respond to information the way I would hope it would. I’m kinda argumentative sometimes. On Wednesday I was asked about whom I was talking…and was like NO, it wasn’t (name) the (occupation), it’s (name) (other name)’s friend…umm, yeah…those are the exact same person…but to me it was totally different. When I talk to her in her occupation role, I act more professionally – smiley faces and doodled flowers are okay but that’s the limit to the cutesy-ness. When I talk to her in a friend role I can just be whatever me is in there whether that is the excessively introverted version or the bouncing off the walls version – I can just be me, whatever that means.

I am always me, because there ain’t anyone else I can be. I am the me who limbo’ed under the guard rails at the metro station because I didn’t hear a train coming and didn’t feel like waiting (success, I at least listened instead of just going and assuming there wasn’t one). Not everyone thinks like me. In class a couple days ago I was trying to explain why a water-based product will be drying…and I start talking about running water over your hands…and everyone looks at me like I’m crazy…yep, OCD makes you learn things that are very relevant to derm management…I am someone who knows what it is like to essentially have no skin oils on my hands for so long that feeling it on my skin was a trigger as the skin healed enough and washing frequency decreased enough for skin oil to come back…so yes, wet and dry are things with which I certainly have plenty of familiarity.

Yesterday I got two packages. One was my grad announcements…with the wrong name on them. Umm, yeah, not even close.

The other was from my parents…got a pair of headphones and a charger that I needed from my room at home. The headphones aren’t the pair I would have picked, but they probably were the most obvious because they are biggest since I use this pair for biking, but they work and now I can have music without bugging other people. Well, actually I guess I don’t need the charge so much anymore, because yesterday the library was giving out chargers for free…but now I have the same number of chargers as things to charge whereas before I had one charger and four things to charge.

There was another thing I was going to write about but Imma save it for later ’cause this is already getting too long and my homework isn’t getting done.

I ain’t like no one you met before

(Sold Out – Hawk Nelson)

So today I realized that I graduate in 92 days and my intern manual (required to get a pharmacist license) was lost again…if there were a prize for the most lost manual, I’d be the biggest loser and therefore the winner…on the positive side, it is found again…but I also forgot to get my hours form signed for this rotation…and I seem to have lost the precious few hours forms I actually did remember to save and therefore may still have some difficulty getting licensed…someday I will be a more responsible adult…
See, if my memory serves me correctly, I got my intern materials in the mail the summer my life was spinning out of control. I didn’t really have the brain space to read and process all the paperwork in that envelope and it all sat in the envelope it came in for months on the back burner. I got as far as remembering that the manual existed and that there were forms that needed to be signed. It wasn’t until this summer that I actually went through that paperwork and learned that I was supposed to have been saving a copy of each pre- and post- experience hours form.
I don’t have much of an excuse for my manual continuing to get lost aside from the fact that it is really hard to keep track of anything when you don’t consistently live in the same state and are constantly packing up and moving multiple times per year…
So I now have a half completed manual and two hours forms which add up to 400 hours…of the 1600 required hours…Yeah, we better hope the board of pharmacy keeps track of the forms too and really saving them is only suggested for disputes over hours…I admit that I shouldn’t have let that stuff stay on the back burner so long.
As for the form I forgot this rotation, I think that should be an easily excusable offense although it truly is idiotic from the outside. See, last Monday I had an interview and was out a little late getting home from that. I gave a case presentation on Friday and was mostly caught up on sleep then I flew out to another interview that took place on Monday. Sunday night I was up like 15 minutes late because I fail at telling time. Monday night I was up late because my flight got in a little late and so by the time I got home it was after midnight. I usually go to bed at 9pm. Tuesday I left my rotation a little a lot early to head back to the airport. That flight got in on time, but it was scheduled to arrive at 8:57pm so obviously by the time I was at my location for the night it was after bedtime and by the time I got to bed it was between 30 and 60 minutes past bedtime. Then Wednesday night I had a super tight connection. At the airport I started at I learned that the gate my connection was leaving vs the gate my first flight was arriving at were the two most distant points in the airport and my directions were to run, get on the moving sidewalks, and push people out of my way. That was before my flight landed (2-3 minutes) late. I ran like my life depended on it. It was like the mile run in school where there was no way of knowing how long you had been running but they threatened to fail anyone who couldn’t finish within 12 minutes and even though I knew they probably wouldn’t do it, I was terrified and ran my little heart out despite how much it hurt. So there I was, running full speed through the airport on the moving sidewalks, gently pushing people out of my way, heart and lungs burning so so badly. I made it to my gate with probably less than a minute to spare before doors closed and showed the dude my boarding pass (which at this point was a little crumpled and sweaty). He looked at me and I half asked/half demanded to board. The airline dude was like we aren’t currently boarding. Inside my head I was freaking out because I thought I missed my flight and was super frustrated, because control freak that I am, I was sure maybe I could have pushed just a little harder and gotten there a few seconds sooner and gotten on that plane. Luckily, while my brain was catching up and processing what to say to get my butt back home ASAP, the dude saw my confused look and asserted that nobody was boarding anywhere because the computer system went down.
Y’all, there are a lot of idiots and jerks in the airport, but there are also some really compassionate people. Some people offered me a seat and encouraged me that I worked really hard and didn’t miss my flight. Eventually I did board the plane and get home. When we arrived, the flight attendants made a very important announcement that this was the very last flight in for the night and therefore do not forget anything anywhere because everyone will be leaving behind you and no one will be available to help you retrieve lost items…hearing that I was super thankful that I was on that flight and not stranded in an airport far away. I may have been wearing a top that was just barely more than a tank top and the temperature may have been approximately 0 degrees, but luckily the towel in my backpack was clean, dry, and easily accessible, and became my cape to stay warm. I finally got home. Let’s just say that when I was already crashing on top of my computer before the first flight started that by this point I was so extremely sleep deprived that there was no hope of organized thoughtful processes occurring.
By the time I got home it was around 1:30am. I was getting read for bed when of course the sleep deprivation started sparking a level of anxiety I couldn’t ignore. See, my overactive imagination determined that someone might have thrown up on the last flight I was on and I was terrified and my fried brain couldn’t process that there really wasn’t any good evidence that had happened and that even if it had that there was a good chance it was just motion sickness and no more dangerous than the person coughing a row in front of me. I wanted Lysol and didn’t have any. Instead I had to compromise with myself and use a Clorox wipe on my hair and skin before I could go to bed. By the time I had done this, brushed my teeth, put on pajamas, I had about 3 hours before my mom woke me up (because of course I slept through my alarm). I raced through showering and throwing random food in the mini-lunch box I’d left on the table on Tuesday afternoon that had previously been used for a frozen dinner and apple and pepperoni on Tuesday when I was also in a rush trying to catch up on a few minutes of sleep. I got to rotation on Thursday and had a preceptor I didn’t click well with and was so frustrated that a couple times during the day I had to excuse myself to the bathroom to cry and calm down. I gave my journal club presentation, and as you can expect, it didn’t go super well when I had almost fallen asleep during the other student’s presentations. I also hadn’t remembered to bring handouts. That morning I’d been so tired that I had trouble leaving because I couldn’t remember where the door was (and my parents have lived here since I was in second grade)…I went to bed at like 6 or 7 on Thursday, but it wasn’t enough and even with more than one alarm set I managed to sleep through them and be in a rush again. And that is how after having a few pieces of pepperoni an orange, and some cheerios I was too tired to eat for lunch on Thursday, having the rest of the cheerios for dinner, then having skittles, pepperoni, rice, almost pudding (I didn’t have cow milk to make instant pudding appropriately), and a pecan pie flavored sucker for lunch, I failed to even remember that there was a form that existed that needed to be signed much less to actually ask to have said form signed…my lungs still hurt at that point from running through the airport, and I was still fighting to stay awake. Finally today my lungs and heart don’t hurt anymore!! (And this is why I will never ever ever have any interest in becoming a runner. I like my bike. I like swimming. I like rollerblading. I do not like running).
On the positive side, as I was getting ready to take a nap so that I could safely drive home without risking falling asleep, I realized that it was only legal to park where I was parked until 4pm and it was currently 3:40pm, and somehow that triggered me to remember to turn in my nametag before I left, because the original plan a week ago was to park not to sleep, but to have somewhere legal and free to put my car while I was turning in my tag. So I did at least turn that in so that I don’t automatically fail the rotation for failing to turn in my nametag!! Unfortunately that used up all 20 minutes of my legal nap time…so I came home, luckily with only almost running into other big iron things, and napped and it wasn’t until now that I realized I had other responsibilities that had not been performed.
And with that, I am going to sleep now, because I am still desperately short on sleep hours.
Maybe with some sleep it won’t feel anymore like no one is going to want me for a residency…I try really hard, but I am lousy at interviews and I know it. I feel no one is going to want to take a chance on me. Because of that fear, I also plan to rank every program I applied to even if I am not a super fan of the people there or the program. I am desperate to just get SOMETHING.

hand up worries down

(love and the outcome—God I know)

BTW, I LOVE this song right now.

So I just realized I have about a week left of this rotation and a lot of work left to do, so I’m gonna try to write all the things that I have half written on scraps of paper and stuff but do it FAST…lol…

 

You know you are still a social learner and still using scripting when it is 8:01 am and you wish someone a good night. Yep, did that. Well, on the positive side, I did use words that were not strictly required, which is a lot more than I used to do. After that experience I tried really hard to modify my script to a good DAY rather than a good NIGHT. Once I practice it into a script it is hard to change, but mostly I have switched over to a more appropriate greeting for the morning. Also on the positive side: one of the pharmacists at my rotation site told me that she thought my social skills were fine!! Y’all, that seriously means like the world to me. Every preceptor so far has given me the feedback that my clinical skills and other knowledge are great, but that my communication and social skills need some development. I wholeheartedly agree, and am very thankful that so far each of them has been willing to modify my grade so that it didn’t hurt my GPA. I don’t think anyone has ever told me before that I had reasonable social skills!! The closest I’ve ever gotten to that was first year when my friend literally got out of her chair and jumped up and down out of excitement when I used the phrase “I haven’t thought about that” instead of “I don’t know.” So yeah, a comment that there wasn’t a problem in that area was one of the most amazing things someone could say to me. It was a recognition that my hard word was starting to pay off. Sure, I am still practicing conversation with myself in the car and I am still doing a LOT of observing and mimicking and watching for cause and effect to figure out how to communicate, but I used to do all that and still be obviously impaired. Now, apparently, I do all that work and it makes me seem like a normal girl. Yay!! I wish someone had realized there was a problem and gotten me help before I became a college student who fended for herself and when necessary communicated primarily in writing, but I can’t take that back and can only move on from there. In the past few years I have learned to talk on the phone, text, email, and speak normally enough to pass as a normal college student. There is still evidence that I used to struggle, but it isn’t glaringly obvious anymore, and rarely does anyone see the deer in the headlights girl when there is the potential for words being necessary. Occasionally I do kinda avoid answering the phone when I am on rotation, but that is stemming more from knowing that there is a 95% chance I won’t be able to help the person on the other end rather than the pure terror of the phone that fueled my pretend inability to locate the phone in the past.

 

Speaking of improving social skills, it is sometimes unfortunate, because as I’ve learned to enjoy in person social contact, I have begun to crave it. No longer is looking at a facebook profile picture enough to satisfy my social needs. It also means that when people leave my life it actually matters a lot more. Which makes it hard when I am moving every five weeks and therefore leaving behind friends constantly. I hate goodbyes. Sometimes I wish I could crawl back into my shell where someone leaving my life didn’t matter very much because I never knew how to get overly connected to anyone—even my best friends. Now I connect and have to let go.

 

Change in subject, I found out this morning that I am not the only one who has ever had physical manifestations of anxiety. In high school there were a few times I vomited because of test anxiety, and even since then I do sometimes have stomachaches because of anxiety (which is unfortunate, because the anxiety is usually surrounding fear of getting sick…). Not that I ever would even wish my enemies would feel sick, but it was good to know that my friend had a stomachache because of anxiety, because that normalized it for me. Okay fine, and it made the whole situation a lot less scary because my OCD decided to flare this week. I know exactly what happened: I was still super sensitive because of the recent move to a completely new environment. On Sunday someone had said she had just thrown up. A few hours later someone said it was flu season and they were pretty sure someone was going to start vomiting. At the hospital I think it was on Monday but it might have been Tuesday I saw and heard someone throwing up over and over and over and over. That is what broke me and I almost didn’t eat lunch that day. I took my lunch break because the anxiety was so high that I was struggling to do the basic task of alphabetizing and dispensing prescriptions. I went and got some food because I know better than to skip lunch and was determined that OCD was not going to win. I stared my food down for a few minutes before putting it into my mouth, but I was wildly successful. I started putting food in my mouth, and as I did, the anxiety dropped far enough that 95% of the food made it to my mouth. Food is my drug.

 

Speaking of anxiety, I know that lack of sleep can make me vulnerable, but I learned yesterday that if I am exhausted enough then it is like I don’t have the energy to feel anxiety and the mute button goes on. It makes it a lot easier to give presentations that way. I am not saying that intentionally not sleeping would be a good idea for presentations…in fact, it probably makes the presentation worse because I can’t track what I am saying long enough to even get to the end of a sentence and know where I was going with it when I was at the beginning of the sentence, but it is really nice to be able to give a presentation with no fear. I will note that it was not intentional that I didn’t get much sleep. I was up a little late because two of my friends were going to leave soon and I wanted to get in as much time as possible. Then at midnight I woke up to a lot of beeping. I thought someone was texting. Then I realized I was the only one in the house and if someone was texting then it must be an intruder, so either there was an intruder or there was an unidentified noise that I should probably ignore. I decided I would get out my computer and look up the number for security just in case I needed it then I would try to figure out where the noise was coming from and if I could get it to go away…well, as it turns out, the sound was my computer. It apparently had come open in my bag and among other things was trying to send an email without the recipient filled in and therefore continued to beep about an error. Craziness. So I solved that problem, reset all the settings that had gotten screwed up on the computer, plugged it in because it was now almost completely out of battery, and tried to go back to sleep. Hahaha good luck with that. There were train whistles almost constantly until about an hour before the alarm went off. Needless to say, I turned the alarm off and went back to sleep, waking up in just enough time to my rotation on time but not enough time to do any of the practicing I intended to do in the morning.

 

Fear is a funny thing. I am scared of a lot of things…but not the things I should be scared about. I drove around with my gas light on not knowing where I might find a gas station and I stopped half asleep in the dark at a gas station in a city that may or may not be overly safe. And I had no fear about this process…yep…I can be terrified of things that shouldn’t matter one day and have no fear about things that do the next…my mom has always said that normal is a really low standard, but I still really believe that I’d like to be normal some day.

If I told you my story you would hear life

(My story–Big daddy weave)

Two stories from this weekend:

Story 1: You know, I never expected the service part of going to church to ever be terrifying. I really like how friendly everyone is at the church, so I don’t intend to leave over it, but that was not a comfortable experience.

So everything was going okay…awkward pre-service community time that is honestly a hard part of church for me even at my home churches which is a piece of why I prefer to serve at every service at my home churches…then worship…you know, all the usual pieces of going to church…

Until they stop worship and ask people to come up if they want to heal people or teach people or just know Jesus more. Although, I mean, I would endorse those goals, something held me back from going up even though seriously 90% of the church was up there. It was a little frustrating at first because it felt like anxiety coming back, but as I saw what was going on up there, I realized it was really God protecting me.

There were a couple of people up there touching everyone’s faces. It wasn’t like a quick touch, but like a multiple minute thing. I have no problem with physical touch, and I am even okay with people touching my hair, but my face has a personal bubble. Maybe it is just me, but there are very few situations in which it would feel okay for someone to touch my face. It isn’t even a germ issue—just a personal space issue.

And it became terrifying when they stopped to announce what they were doing and it looked like they were going to do it to everyone instead of just the people up front. Luckily that was not the case and I escaped unharmed, but for a while I was questioning whether this was some kind of cult and if it would be safe to come back again next week.

If it weren’t for how friendly they were, I would be so outta there, but since they won my heart first, I am willing to overlook a really strange occurrence and just make sure I assert my needs if anyone tries to invade my personal bubble.

 

Story 2: I had an experience of feeling anger about someone’s depiction of OCD today. There is one particular blogger who I know will rile me up (because she has never had OCD and is not any kind of mental health professional yet writes as if she knows everything about it and how to appropriately treat it, but very much does not) so I don’t read that one, but this was just some random person on The Mighty and seemed like it’d be good—looked like a blog on building community to bash stigma…all was well and good until I got to the last paragraph where the author states his/her child climbed a tree, and doing that cured him. Really, I guess it was jealousy—perhaps it worked for her kid, but I doubt it is a solution that will cure many (if any) other people. If only it were that easy. I was angry that she would spread the concept that freedom is so easy when for me, it wasn’t so easy…so in other words, I was basically a hypocrite because I claim that I think everyone’s story matters….except apparently the ones that are too easy. Fail.

Live and learn?

And the last words you’ll hear tonight will be ‘I love you.’ Love takes us all of a lifetime to tell

(For he grants sleep to those he loves—Michael Card)

(written at church as an excuse to stay where I feel loved a little longer…posted at home after using the drive time to make sure I wasn’t posting something that was going to get me into trouble later)

I’m not as think as you dumb I am…lol

So last night I wrote on my to do list, “directions.” This morning I saw that and was like no problem, I totally know where I am going, I probably just was super tired and needed to remind myself to bring my directions notebook to my car in case I need it.

Lol, story of my life, as it turns out, I remembered why that was on my list about the same time that I noticed the “road closed” sign. Oh no…so yeah…and that is how I got lost…and how I ended up running down the sidewalks as I realized that I had parked a mile away from where I was currently sitting and could not apparate into the drivers seat…

Luckily, I miscalculated how long it took to get to church from where I was parked, and it worked out. All is well that ends well.

Except, now I should leave church, but leaving is hard because I have friends Tuesday and Thursday and Saturday, but Sunday and Monday and Wednesday and Friday I am alone. I know that changes starting tomorrow, but that is more stressful than a relief of stress, because I tried really hard to be an adventurous eater, but the most adventurous I got was mandarin oranges. And even that was still a challenge as of last week when I was eating them not to cringe each time one went in my mouth.

And then in a week I will be driving to another state where there aren’t any days that I have friends.

I get to have a million friends here at church, and I never want to leave, because I go home to no friends.

In the past, I was still going home alone but it was a needed break after having friend time all day 6 days of the week and I was totally ready to go home and have Sunday all to myself. But then I became a big girl who doesn’t spend all her time at school anymore. I don’t like the real world. Actually, I probably do like the real world—I don’t like moving every five weeks and therefore not having friends at the place I spend most of my time. I miss going to work in the morning and having a million friends there and stuff.

Finally, two quotes that have been sitting on my list of ideas for a while.

“It’s like being on the 100th floor of a building with only stairs and needing to sign an important document. The problem is, all the pens are on the first floor. You know you need a pen, and you know how to use one, but when you’re up at the top, it’s difficult for you the access the pen and therefore, the skill of using it.”

I love this quote. I can’t remember where I found it or to what it was originally referring. I love the analogy. It is so true that sometimes I have the skills and knowledge but not the ability to use them. There are a lot of directions I could go with this. I think the biggest one that I run into on an unfortunately somewhat regular basis is in the arena of communication. Because I was a little late to the game in learning these things, a lot of the time I am completely at a loss as to how to handle things that are in that arena. I studied really hard on the mechanistics of conversation, but studying for one, didn’t tell me the details that I really needed, and two, flies out the window when I am faced with a situation that feels over my head, because I can’t really take five minutes working on my “correct response” to a friend’s wave or conversational comment. A lot of the time once the instance of needing to respond right now is over, I know exactly what the right thing to do would have been, but in the moment I was on the 100th floor, and the pen was on the first floor. I didn’t know how to get myself there.

“Damaged people are dangerous. They know they can survive.”

This quote was channeled from Kati Morton youtube’s best online therapist and just a really awesome and caring person whom I would love to meet in person some day…not in the context of therapy, but she is actually awesome enough that I could probably feel safe in therapy with her without a warm up period to make sure she wasn’t another one out to hurt me. She got the quote from Mark Suster who has adult ADHD. And probably child ADHD he just didn’t know about it yet.

Oh yeah. I hate the term damaged people. I just think it sounds kind of derogatory. Damaged things get discounted because they aren’t worth as much—no one will pay full price for damaged goods. The pain in my life doesn’t make me worth any less than anyone else. Being hurt deeply by someone doesn’t mean that I deserved it or was less than in any way. Fighting my way out of severe OCD, and social anxiety that bordered on selective mutism means that I do some things a little differently in life, but different isn’t wrong. Experiencing how people responded to the girl who was often on the sidelines but not often by choice gave me a lot of opportunity to learn how to do the same for others. I might not reach everyone, but I can reach someone. Like that starfish story, I might not be able to make a difference for each of the millions of people who need someone, each one counts. “It made a difference for that one.”

So anyway, the point is, at first I looked at that and was like, what?! As I thought about it, it is true. I totally do know that I can survive. I can’t be destroyed by hurtful words and actions or other adversity because I know I have made it through some pretty tough stuff (things way worse than anxiety disorders). I know I can survive. Bravery isn’t not being scared, it is doing it, scared. Because I know I can, I have developed tenacity and resilience. I still see more trees than forests, but I know when I see the tree that a forest is out there. Lol, speaking of forests and trees, I can recognize first that my rows of straightened chairs have a little zig and zag in them, but I can also recognize that when I walk into church I absolutely do not notice the chairs that aren’t quite straight until I see someone straightening them, because I don’t come to church for the chairs, I come to church for the people and to worship my wonderful Father. Doesn’t mean the church should look like a tornado came through, because in the eyes of a visitor that would probably be super confusing, but also doesn’t mean that I am a failure of a volunteer because I can’t make the chairs look perfect like everyone else does.

I got something the devil don’t want

(run devil run–David Crowder)

First off, I heard this song for the first time on the radio like yesterday…but it might have been the day before yesterday, which is very different from the day after tomorrow when the world freezes in a really cool way…but anyway, I loved it and y’all should look it up on youtube even though the video isn’t nearly as awesomesauce as the description of the video made it sound like it would be…

This section written yesterday:

Lol, I suppose from last night’s post, you can see A) how (not) well I do with staying up late and B) what it is like to occasionally have remnants of OCD come back…

Yep, I’m totally fine…I was exhausted because…you guessed it, I hadn’t slept in a while…funny how that works…

But I woke up in the morning still in need of more sleep, but otherwise just fine and no longer freaking out…and not sick…lol…

So: things I have the devil don’t want: OCD, and resilience. Oh, and God. The devil doesn’t want that either…

I love life…well, at least the times when I am not going off the deep end over something really stupid like that…

This section written today and totally unrelated aside from the fact that it is also written by me…

It is a lot of fun to be me sometimes…and embarrassing, but mostly fun. Last night after FCA when I was walking to my car, this guy with long black curly (or maybe dreddy I didn’t get  close look?) hair kinda laughed at me…which was embarrassing but also kind of a good thing, because I was so entertained by pressing the button for crossing the street that I had totally missed the fact that the light had turned green…if I hadn’t gotten laughed at I would probably still be standing there hanging out pressing the button…(mild exaggeration…but I was having enough fun I would have been there for a while).

Also there are some things I don’t like about school, which is probably true about anyone who is being honest…but one of the things I actually do like is that especially if I go South of school, I can walk wherever I want whenever I want and not worry about it being dark because I would guess that although I have never been awake at midnight to test this assumption that even at midnight it isn’t dark outside. I do know for sure that around 8-10pm it definitely is not dark. It is awesome first so that I don’t need to bring flashlights or anything like I used to bring to work with me a long time ago when I had to walk home in pitch black on Sunday nights, and also because people tell me it is dangerous to be outside in the dark…there might have been something about being alone in there, but the other thing about being in a big city is that you pretty much can’t be outside alone…there is ALWAYS someone else sharing the sidewalk with you.

Also, I learned this week that reading a church’s statement of faith is kind of important…so I decided I wanted to be in the car less than 10 minutes to get to whatever church I picked in the state I am moving to next. That meant that despite the promise of awesome treats, the church I picked out was on the ixnay. I was going back through my list of 2nd choices that hadn’t originally made the cut to be the one I was going to the first week. The one that was originally number two seemed super awesome…until I actually read the statement of faith…umm, yeah, all was well at first with statements that went way over my head and sounded nice and church-y…but then there was a statement that I read and went “um, pretty sure I actually understand that AND am 99.999% sure that it is NOT in the Bible.” So yeah…I guess having a really awesome logo which is how that one made the cut isn’t a good reason to pick a church.

So the one that is now number one doesn’t have a cool logo, but also doesn’t have weird stuff in the statement of faith. It also doesn’t promise me awesome treats, and doesn’t have a sample of their music to let me know if it is good okay or lousy, and doesn’t have much in the way of pictures or details at all, but it does meet the criteria of not being very far from the hospital (and therefore will be close to where I am living though I don’t have an address for that). Plus, the lead pastor’s cell phone number is on the “I’m new here” page and that made it seem like somewhere welcoming. So unless I come up with some new criteria or uncover something else I don’t like, I now (again) have picked a church for my next rotation.

Lol, I suppose if anyone has any ways to choose a church that don’t involve evaluating logos and treats which I realize are pretty superficial ways to pick, I am all ears…actually, that is not true. Regardless of whether or not anyone knows anything, I still have only two ears and also have a head, eyes, feet, arms, etc…I am definitely not ALL ears…LOL…

I wish I could just be in charge of the nursery at a church somewhere…’cause then it wouldn’t be a huge deal if the church was very good as long as they gave me enough latitude that I could love on infants…but something tells me people probably would prefer to have someone as a volunteer before putting them into a position of leadership whether formal or informal…particularly if said person moved into town that week…but seriously, I go through child withdrawal constantly and crave an infant in my arms…

Another option, I suppose, is if anyone wants a FREE babysitter so they can go on a date night or something and I can have some kid time…my age preference is the 5 and under crowd, particularly the birth to 6 months crowd, but I totally can (and have) been in charge of older kids…I just find it less rewarding as they get older…my happiest place is a room of infants where I am outnumbered (but not by so many as to make it stressful) and if anyone else is in the room then they are a good person to be around (AKA not someone who is super stressed out by there being one more kid than adult, and not a my-way-or-the-highway person).

Also, I poured my milk two hours ago and it is still sitting on my dresser, so it is time to stop writing and actually remember to hit post this time and then drink my milk, because it is not the shelf stable kind…

Goodness you have in store

(Thy Will Hillary Scott)

I don’t really like how much time I spend driving, but there are some positives. By leaving my room, I have seen some really incredible skies that I would never have seen otherwise.

I also have a lot of opportunities to pray for people that I wouldn’t have ever encountered to pray for. Like yesterday I saw one of those trucks that holds lots of cars and someone was laying under it like trying to fix something or something and I could pray for him that everything would work out, because that has got to be stressful. I saw a car with a flat tire and could pray for the driver of that vehicle. Also I have lots of chances to be very thankful that those situations are not me. Also I see some hilarious things like a guy holding a cell phone to his ear while listening and to his mouth while talking…like dude, it’ll pick up both things from one location…

And being directionally challenged gives me a lot more chances than most people to see awesome signs. Like one that said “Jesus changes things at 10:00 Sunday morning” to which I thought yes, and any other time he feels like it. It also gives me lots of chances to be proud of myself. Yesterday I might have gone west when I needed to go east, but I was able to piece together how to get where I was trying to go. And today, I didn’t need no stinkin’ directions to get to the hospital. I did it all by myself…with what I thought were the directions in the passenger seat next to me, but were actually not the directions…

I want this to be a positive post, so I’m going to end it soon, but please pray. I am very afraid that I am getting sick. I didn’t wash my hands at all between all the things I was doing at the hospital and then all the things I was doing at school and then eating. I even used a paper towel from the bathroom as a napkin because it was closer. I used the same spoon for everything I ate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And on top of that, I stayed up way later than I intended to stay up because there were some awesome people at Cru AND someone brought a baby! So lack of sleep both contributes to my ability to think logically and to a weakened immune system. And someone called out sick today at the pharmacy. And I feel like I am getting sick…and I know there are so many other possibilities for why I feel like I do, but with my past, I am terrified of getting sick. I am not currently moving from the fear to compulsions or to researching…mostly because it is bedtime…but I am super scared, which just makes everything worse.

And now I really have to end it because I am starting to think even with the logical side of my brain that I might be getting sick, and either I really am and should go to bed, or the writing about it is giving it to much credence and I should stop and go to bed…so either way, I need to go to bed…’cause either way it is definitely bed time…

LOL…I suppose if I am actually sick and can’t make it to the hospital in the morning there is a very good chance you’ll hear from me again…I have learned enough communication now that it probably wouldn’t happen, but in the past I definitely have had mornings where I threw up and went to school anyway, and that is basically what the hospital is for me is school…

…although most of those times I am pretty sure in retrospect that the issue was stress so even though my stomach hurt and I was scared of getting sick and therefore babied my stomach, in all reality I was fine and just needed to suck it up buttercup…lol…I suppose that is another sign pointing to testing anxiety since it was always big test days…

I see you dressed in white every wrong made right

(Oh So Priceless—band name here?)

 

Don’t read this if the V-word is a trigger for you. Don’t do it. I promise you will regret it, and I promise you aren’t missing anything too exciting.

 

So we’re playing a game right now called can Wiggle Worm type this post fast enough to get it published before the computer runs out of battery, because *someone* didn’t think she’d use her computer much today and therefore didn’t pack a charger…okay fine, that someone was me.

 

I feel frustrated weeks like this because I feel like it is my fault how things went the bad year. I know that it is never the abuse victim’s fault…I at least should know that with how many times I’ve listened to the book “The Healing Path” by Dan Allender (and I’ve listened to a lot of his other books which are on similar topics), but getting it from the head to the heart is challenging at times.

 

But in retrospect, that added so much stress to my life that it almost definitely impacted the OCD…and the OCD decided to remind me this weekend that the marble rolled through the sand a few too many times and the ridge is still there for more marbles to fall into, and fall they have.

 

When it takes a day and a half to open up your wallet to look for your intern licenses because you keep getting almost there and then have to wash your hands or have to look up how to kill germs in such and such location or whether this thing can go in the washing machine and then it is suddenly time for a meal which comes with more challenges…you know that you have an uninvited visitor…to be fair, the sink was LITERALLY covered in someone else’s toothpaste smears, and there was cat vomit covered in blankets and also just on the floor, but I also know I overreacted to that.

 

I was far from COMPLETELY over it, but I was doing really well—definitely at a level I would be able to live with long term if I had to—until I started walking to school. Part of the sidewalk was covered in like five puddles of something which may have been vomit…I know it very well could have been something else, but because of my past with OCD, every wet spot anywhere is assumed to be likely vomit. Wet kitchen floor? Probably someone vomited and cleaned it up poorly and the germs are everywhere. Wet carpet? Likely from cleaning up vomit. Wet puddle on sidewalk? Probably from hosing off vomit which means the entire city is contaminated from runoff into water systems, and this particular street is definitely dangerous. In my defense, these puddles were definitely not just water, and there were no visible food wrappers to indicate a simple case of spilled food. I was not doing awesome after that, but I was managing…and then I got to school, and even though I was pretty sure that nothing bad was going to happen to me (on the non-germ front anyway), the anxiety came on and tried to take over. It is a Very Good Thing that I have friends who insist on me eating, because eating dinner was an accomplishment today. I didn’t know if it was going to happen. Even once the food was in front of me, getting the food into my mouth and swallowed seemed like too much. I was overwhelmed. Lol, yesterday I was watching a few face your fear videos on youtube (youtube is great for some human interaction when you feel lonely…), and today I was thinking how ridiculous my face your fear video would be if someone did one of me. Here is Wiggle Worm. Here is her food. Will she eat it? That would be a lame video. I did it though, and that made me feel proud. Anxiety might creep in, but it will not have the final say on my life. I have a God who is more powerful that anything that is thrown my way.

 

I love how really facing a fear can be so powerful. Now that the food is in my stomach, it seems so silly to not eat dinner—especially since I now know that I do sometimes experience low blood sugar (but it isn’t dangerous, because I am not diabetic so my body knows how to compensate), and anecdotally I can definitely tell that eating something to more rapidly correct the low can help me to avoid a lot of anxiety. It is insane how a single jolly rancher is enough sometimes to take me from like a seven and rising to a two and falling. So clearly, not eating when I feel anxious makes absolutely no sense, but try telling that to anxious Wiggle Worm. Not only that, but even though I still feel too anxious now to eat something just because it is in front of me, eating something did bring me to the point where I do not feel imminently in danger. While that might not seem significant, I can guarantee that there is a huge difference between imminently in danger and “just” in danger. Neither feels good, but the latter is a lot better than the former. Right after I conquer a fear, I feel like I am strong—a feeling that is missing when I am deeper into the fear cycle. I know in my head that I am very strong, but being not strong is something I was told enough times the bad year that I internalized it, and sometimes knowing I am strong doesn’t get back into my heart.

 

So yeah, all that to say I hope tomorrow is a better day, but currently I’m on a boil order, which you can imagine doesn’t bode well for someone who was struggling with germ issues when water was supposedly safe…I will not be defeated. Like the song “Dirt Don’t Hurt” says, “dirt and germs help make me stronger by building immunity.” I struggle to believe that sometimes, but I am really proud of myself. Even in the pits on Sunday and Monday when things started going downhill, the things I didn’t do are definitely noteworthy. I didn’t pour vinegar on the floor even though someone on the internet said that would kill germs (good because I hate the smell of vinegar so it would probably have increased my anxiety level and the idea of vinegar killing germs seems pretty shady to me), and I ran an empty load in the washer with just a splash of bleach, but I didn’t wash my hands with bleach or try to bleach anything else—not even the sink or my water bottle or my shoes or anything! Umm yeah, side note that I have never owned bleach before despite how attractive bleach is to me, BECAUSE of how attractive bleach is to me. I love how bleach smells, I love that bleach kills germs, I love bleach…which is why I have decided that the best plan of action is to pretend that I have absolutely no access to the bleach and am not allowed to use it. I don’t want to be wasteful and throw it out—especially since it isn’t actually mine, but just the bleach being there is such a temptation to me…I adore bleach even when germs aren’t on my radar whatsoever, and since it is not usually a necessity in life, owning my own bleach is not probably a good plan for me ever…’cause clearly if I love it without OCD, I love it even more with OCD…another good reason for me to be at cru tonight even if it does mean a super late night. Although lack of sleep is also bad…but keeping me separated from the bleach is probably a good thing…

 

Well, I didn’t make it before the death of the battery last night, and now it is tomorrow and I have to be ready for a meeting in 5 minutes so this is still going up 100% unedited…lol…I guess I’ll proofread after rotation if I get a chance…oh, and today is a much better day. I showered and ate and even took care of the trash and recycling bins (my nemesis)…up this evening: the litter boxes (which should have probs been done this morning, but that would have required getting out of bed  earlier and I was running very short on time). Also, I told myself yesterday I am probably going to get myself killed someday and then I will laugh and then I discussed with myself whether or not one could laugh at herself after she was dead…totally important when tripping over flat ground and walking in the city in the dark in darker colors are my activities du jour.