The Big 3 (OCD, Anxiety, Panic) Bully


Oh how long it has been…. Yet it seems that the keyboard always beckons me with the unparalleled experience of writing (actually typing) my feelings out into cyberspace.  If you have read any of my previous posts you are aware that some of my continuous thorns in the flesh are panic, anxiety, and OCD (Big 3 for short) Any one of these things can feel humiliating – the inability to trust your own internal experience or to believe in your inner wisdom. Yet I have the privilege of dealing with ALL THREE and sometimes they are all on  at a level 10 at the same time.

Unfortunately, that is where I am tonight. I want to say that I feel humiliated by my “lack of control” — more accurately phrased “lack of perfection”.  Yet rising through the humiliation is a large dose of humility.  I am human, I have OCD, Panic, and Anxiety, I hate them, yet I am not perfect. I cannot will them away, I cannot wish them away, I cannot power through them, I cannot avoid them, I cannot make it through life without them.

As much as I hate all three of those UGLY words (OCD, Panic, Anxiety) they have taught me so much through my life and have helped shape some powerfully good qualities in me.  One thing I have learned is that what you see on the outside of someone does not mean it is an accurate representation of what is in the inside.  You can’t judge a book by it’s cover.  Look at me…to most people I look like a well put together, intelligent, person who has her #*@^ (you know what) together…. a nice home, decent vehicle, beautiful children, a hottie for a husband, a good job, money in the bank, and a great family. Yet here I am a sobbing mess because I am afraid to do what most people do everyday. The real kicker is that it is not just the sheer terror that brings me to my knees, but the disappointment, anger, and irritation that I can’t “just get over it”.

Most people would think, if I can explain to someone like me the illogicalness (is that even a real word…not sure, oh well we will go with it) of my thought, that I could move on with that knowledge and no longer be scared.  That is the point….I don’t need anyone to explain to me that what I am afraid of doesn’t make sense….I KNOW IT’S ILLOGICAL. I’m actually one of the most logical people you would probably ever meet…weird, right? I COMPLETELY intellectually understand the lack of reasonableness in my fears yet the FEELING of risking my life, risking making others feel emotional pain, squeezes me into submission (by following fears rules of staying safe) … even if that means giving up some of my own happiness.

I feel like I am at another crossroads with my Big 3, I know I have serious work to do so that I can go to battle and defeat their latest threats. But, they keep weaving their stories, shouting their dark deceits, replaying my previous failures, pointing out how much I have to lose, stealing my motivation, and hijacking my body with alarm of imminent danger.

They look so big and powerful and I feel so small and weak. However, I know the truth… I know they are like a cowardly bully that needs someone to stand up to them and tell them; you can humiliate me, hit me, kick me, spit on me, make me bleed…BUT I WON’T GIVE IN…I will stand up for what is right!!

I know there is a flicker of that flame inside of me…I am just having a hard time accessing it right now… In this moment I can only hope that  it will once again burn bright and I will once again stand up to that bully!!!

Logically Illogical with OCD

Don’t Poke a Sleeping Bear???


male_kodiak_bear_face

 

I have recently been talking with a friend about my OCD/Depression/Anxiety/Panic and how I feel like I need to set some goals and begin working toward them.  I have began reading some of my dusty OCD and panic books again looking for the basic truths that have helped me in the past.  I have also picked up a few more books to add to my list.

I can see that I need a perspective shift… not that changing my perspective will change reality but it will change how I deal with it.  I see challenges that lie ahead and I see opportunity for growth.  It feels that what I have been doing is trying to be okay with being functional.  What I mean by that is that I am able to function with most day to day things while my OCD/Panic…etc.. is there but it does not have me completely at ground zero.  Therefore it has been hard for me to really get excited or extremely motivated to push myself through the pain of OCD by actively engaging in ERP or to carve out time to work specifically on my struggles.

I know thought that each time I don’t take the opportunity to work on it OCD takes the opportunity to bother me just a little bit more.  It is so easy when things are going well to say, great I can live life and not have to spend time on OCD.  I think that is where the roots of trouble begin to grow.  This is a lifetime chronic illness, there will be good times, bad times, and okay times.  It is something that we must keep notice of and make choices everyday to keep our mental health up to par.  I liken it to exercise we can have a spectacular routine of going to the gym and get ourselves in the best shape of our lives.  However, no matter how hard we worked or how long we were in the routine of exercise, if we stop to just forget about it and relax for a long period time we will quickly be out of shape.  Yes we can get back in shape with more time and effort but the point is we WILL have to put in more time and effort.  There will be more pain and sweat and maybe even tears but you have to put in the effort to get the desired result.

I am needing to choose the work, pain, sweat, and tears to get myself back in shape mentally and emotionally.  I know that it is possible to be better than I am now but it is scary to try because….well the same reason it is always scary to try something…because what if I fail.  That brings to mind a quote “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”.

Another one of my friends uses the expression of not wanting to poke a sleeping bear.  That is where I am at in feeling like I am not the worst I am, definitely not the best I have been, but I am afraid to poke the sleeping bear.  What it really wakes him (OCD) up and I am not able to get away from him.  Essentially the idea of my OCD has me in an OCD trap.

The need for change is here and the time for change needs to be now.  Yes I will feel horrible, I will cry, I will feel guilty, I will wish everything was different, I will be upset that life is not fair, I will panic, I will sweat, I will shake, I will feel like running outside screaming at the top of my lungs for anyone to help me, I will awaken old fears, I will give voice to new fears….BUT I WILL TRY.

Another one of my favorite quotes is “in any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing”

-Logically Illogical with OCD

The Assignment–results in allowing feelings to surface


So today I am writing because it is my assignment from my therapist this week…..

I am not writing because I have had some cataclysmic thought or idea that I felt would help the world in some way.  It is a duty a responsibility that I must fulfill.  While I tend to be a person that could be easily described as hyper-responsible.  The truth is I loathe all the feelings of responsibility.  All of the analysis that goes into decisions, the thought processes to try and figure outcomes for a,b,c,d and if a meets d and then comes in contact with c or what if c comes first and must be followed by d.  Each and every small decision, action, of even lack of, will somehow affect the future in either a positive or negative way.

It is not that I spend days or weeks making every decision in my life though at the lowest points in my rollercoaster of my life it was torturous to even try and decide what to eat.  I long to free from these feelings of responsibility for everyone and everything.  I sometimes wish (yes I know it can be a compulsion) I could be one of those people who wake up in the morning and look and see only what is around them and in what way they can enjoy themselves without thought of how it affects everyone and everything else.  To get up, feel joyful, ready to face the day and find all the enjoyment in that they can. Yes, I know being someone that only thinks of their enjoyment and not of anyone else is not really who I want to be.  But not all dreams are logical…. dreams are a break from this logically illogical brain of mine.  (Although my actual nighttime dreams are the weirdest things ever, lol)

You may wonder why writing this post would have to be an assignment and not something I do just because I enjoy writing.  The simple reason is this….It is just another thing that I have somehow allowed my ever present feeling/thought/belief that things have to be “just right” to complete. The more I think about it the more I realize and must come to terms with is that I am sorta stuck in a rut looking/waiting for the “just right” feeling to come along.  Do you remember that children’s game of Red Rover?  You know the game where kids form two lines, link arms, and call the name of another child from the other line to run towards them and try to break through the line to the other side.  Well my “wait til it’s just right”, “if you are going to do it, it must be 100%”, “what’s the point in trying if you cant be sure to succeed”, “life is hard, learn to be content”, “why do you think you deserve to enjoy life when so many others have so many horrible things to deal with”, “hold on, don’t feel”, “it’s not fair to hurt others by letting them see your hurt”, “it’s your own fault, your not doing something right”, along with others seem to be linking arms and taunting me to try and break through yet I am scared to even try.

To try and break though means I must admit I feel awful right now.  I am scared to admit to that feeling and allow it because somehow I feel I can hold it at arms length by reminding myself of all I have to be grateful and thankful for of all that I love of all that I have.  I hate the idea of being a burden because I can’t get my crap together.  I am scared of my mind and how it reminds me how much I have taken from others with my problems and how it scares with me with the scary memories of my worst times in life.  How it taunts me with the idea that I couldn’t handle it again and terrifies me with reminders of an old OCD fear that I will completely lose control and take my own life because of the great pain even though it is not what I want to do.

Suicide is an OCD fear that I have had for a long time and it follows along in the dark corners of my mind to remind me that life is hard and sometimes people can’t handle it anymore.  The feelings/thoughts/sensations that come along with OCD/Depression/Anxiety/Panic are HARD and I tend to be the type of person that continue going despite hard until practically impossible.  I am scared I will make wrong decisions and push myself to the feeling of impossible and lose control and make one single wrong choice and that is the end.  No way to go back and undo that choice, no reset, not second chances after that.

The biggest irony in my great grip on staying “in control” is that the supposed function is to stay alive to live life because it really is a wonderful gift, yet I give up precious time of that gift by not living life because of trying to do it “just right”.

Isn’t that the story of my life as Logically Illogical with OCD.

The Hardest Words… I Need Help..AGAIN!!


First I want to say sorry to all my followers that I pretty much fell of the face of the blogging planet.  I was still here but I think I was trying to stay involved in my “nonocd” life.  I kept so very busy in “normal” everyday life (working, taking classes, complaining about not having time to do what I want, cooking dinner (sometimes…lol), etc.) that I “almost” felt “normal”.  Feeling normal doesn’t just mean that I felt like I fit in, but for me it means the majority of my life/activities is on the outside of my brain “doing” things.  When OCD/Anxiety/Depression comes back in I feel enveloped/trapped back in my own mind. It almost feels as if during “normal” periods my brain functions at a surface level, I go about everyday life, think about things in the current time frame, get things done that is needed in that time frame. Nothing feels SO IMMINENT that i get it done right away which means I also slip at taking care of myself correctly.  I do take me medication but I slip at staying on top of taking my vitamins, supplements.  I know they help me and I have even been instructed by my psychiatrist that I need these vitamins (vitamin D, and Fish Oil). But life being busy as it is..I forget..and it doesn’t’ feel crushingly important.  In fact, in my ‘normal” medicated times nothing really feels crushingly important.

At my “non-normal” (OCD, anxiety, Depression) times so many things are going on in my brain, so many feelings are racking my body, everything feels immensely important. I have many of what I call “thought bursts” some good, some neutral, some unpleasant.  It feels hard to think in a proper line.  I am going in one way and something pops up and I follow that line of thinking, then something else pops up in the middle of that so I follow that line of thinking.  Never really getting anywhere.. no conclusion.  If I get to a conclusion on something I then find 15 other reasons for that to not be the conclusion to the issue and then follow those 15 reasons and their subsequent bursts and come to another different conclusion.  Then I am confused and scared because I have two different conclusions with equally good arguments as to why each conclusion should be the end of the story. Once in the heat of an argument my husband called me “very fickle”…while it was not a cutting or horrible remark it has stuck with me and hurts to know that is the way I appear to others. I am not upset at him for the statement because it is probably an accurate assessment of how I sound and look to the outside world.  I can’t make my mind up… I swing towards one decision and then look at the other side and decide to swing there and then say no maybe the first was the “best” go back to the first and the question again.  I “know” it is ridiculous… I guess it is that constant looking for “perfection” and “what feels right” and I can’t find it so I keep looking.****Wow Moment…writing does really help me see somethings in myself from a different light…perfection and feels right OCD is back at it****

You might wonder where am I in my life? What am trying to figure out? Well long story short…I am in school full time for a health related career.  My basis for choosing to enter school for this particular subject was once I got all my prerequisites done I could take a program that would only take 2 years and graduate with a degree in something that I could do PRN (as needed) and make enough money to take the pressure off my husband who works extremely hard and multiple jobs.  It would have allowed me to theoretically only work a few days a week and be home with my kids…or just doing something that made me happy and feel good.  This subject is not something that I felt I would love to do but I thought I would love the end results of making good money, working in the healthcare industry with my husband, and having some freedom with my scheduling.  However,  I am now in this school program (after a few years of working full-time while taking pre-requisites) and my OCD/Anxiety/Depression has all ramped up to becoming an intolerable level.  I feel like this profession is not for me and I want to quit the program because of multiple reasons. 1. I have always been anxious in a hospital setting 2. Working with sick people is depressing (and I have depression problems) 3. Spending my whole day dealing with people’s health in a move them in and move them out type of way adds no meaning to my life. (I also deal with Health obsessions so I begin to worry about their problem and I enjoy people, so not making meaningful encounters with people bothers me) 4. I want to do something that makes me happy, important, and useful.  5. I want to do something that inspires me.  6. I want to be around people that are generally happy (do you see most people going to have a medical procedure done as happy) 7. I want to do something that feels like me… not something that I feel like I am “trying” to see the positives so that I can make it through to get my “perfect” end result of working less, having more money, and time.  8. I feel like my mental health is slipping in the wrong direction and I need to quit and make myself a priority again.

My reasons for wanting to stay in the program are: 1. I worked SO hard to get into it. 2. I’m not a quitter, I’m a fighter 3. I don’t want to prove anyone right that thought because of my OCD I couldn’t do it. 4. I want to make my husband and kids proud of me 5. I want my husband to not work so hard and be home with me more. 6. I’m very competitive and I feel like if I quit I am weak and everyone is better than me. 7. I am SCARED of the horrible things my mind will tell me and I will be prone to believe…you are weak, you are a quitter, you are worthless, you messed everything up, it’s all your fault you can’t have what you want, you wasted time in the years you took those prerequisites that you could have been spending time with your family and kids that you can never get back, you are a burden to people especially your husband, you have messed everything up AGAIN, you will never be strong enough to do something without ocd/anxiety/depression, you are a great big liar you said you would do something and now you are backing out of it, everyone is looking at you and talking about you, why can’t you women-up and just do it, you can’t handle not having a big goal to keep you getting up and out of bed, if you give up on this your depression will completely suck you to the bottom of the barrel and your kids will have to see you institutionalized. (I guess to be honest my mind is already telling me all these things and more, but I feel like I can tell them I am proving them wrong by forcing myself to continue even though I really don’t want to)

I ended up in the Emergency Department yesterday because of gallbladder spasms due to stress and basically a large panic attack. There is no more denying I need help AGAIN. I hate it… I hate feeling helpless… I hate feeling like I have to depend on others….I hate being the source of others pain (watching me this way)… I hate that I can’t be who I want to be… I HATE OCD/ANXIETY/DEPRESSION!!!!

To Write..PANDAS and Rheumatic Fever?


Today is one of those days where my mind is full and I have emotions that no word can adequately describe.  I seem to be overflowing with frustrations and unanswered questions, along with hurt, pain, and feelings of helplessness.  The only way I know to try and allow these raw thoughts and emotions to spill forth in a constructive outlet is to write.  So here today after many days of not doing so, I come to you…cyberworld….TO WRITE. (or type…lol)

It has been too long since I have written that I cannot remember if I have mentioned before that I have children.  While this may or may not be new news I’m pretty sure the information coming below will be new.  My DD is a wonderful “normal” child who has had many medical “issues” her entire life.  I at a time, in my medication-free and obsessive-compulsive-full time of my life, had been entirely focused with “figuring out” (yes compulsively) how to fit the pieces of her “issues” together to get an answer to what it all meant.  However, I with hard work, medication, and time had allowed these issues to exist without them consuming me.

Today was a very hard day though because the worries, unanswered questions, frustrations, and sadness that plagues me when I am face to face with my inability to make everything all right for her came flooding back.  We had an appointment with yet another “specialist” (in her lifetime she has seen multiple) and I had been a little nervous about it ever since we made the appointment.  Even through the nervousness I had allowed myself some hope that this would be the one that fit some of the pieces together and told me that they knew what the problem was and that they were with us on this journey.

My hopes came crashing down when meeting with this doctor and when I left I felt even more defeated and crushed than before.  While he did give a new angle to what could possibly part of the problem and did seem somewhat knowledgeable in where to at least start treatment if that ends up being the problem. (I believe she has PANDAS…Pediatric AutoImmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections.  This Dr. believes she may also have had undiagnosed Rheumatic Fever.)

He was very curt and in my opinion landed right on the border of being right down rude.  Don’t get me wrong….I appreciate a straight shooter.  But by the time I walked out of his office my DD was crying and I felt as if I wanted to tell him off and then go in a corner and cry too.

to be continued……

Holding on to OCD advantages.


I am sitting here trying to think of what to write about……

It has been so long since I have written because in OCD terms I have been doing fairly well.  What that means for me is that I have been out of the house living life.  Is it the perfect life? Made with the perfect decisions? Foreseeing all possible bad outcomes “before” they have a chance to happen and preventing them? NOPE it’s not, It is just the simple everyday things…work, school, kids, husband, keeping  a household, paying bills, etc.

Does this sound boring?  If you have ever been incapacitated by OCD it probably sounds like a dream.  A dream that feels you will never accomplish…just feeling stable and “average”.  My life has definitely taken a change since I began this blog.  While there are good things about this change I also sometimes feel there are some disadvantages of my mind allowing me to direct it.  You may wonder how could there be disadvantages to becoming more mentally stable???  Hmmm, this is kind of hard to explain, but I think it is an important topic to discuss because it may help others understand why some hold on tight to their illness.  So here goes nothing..lol

While I am in OCD hyperawareness it can feel as if every sense is magnified.  I can smell danger, I can hear danger, I can feel danger, I can taste danger.  Well that doesn’t sound like fun does it.  Definitely NOT fun!!!  However, with what feels like my entire brain lit up with activity comes some advantages.  My learning and memory capacity seem to be on fire.  I remember as a child I would never study for a test and almost always walk away with A’s if I heard the information once   that was enough for me to know it. I also remember beginning taking medication as an adolescent to help control my OCD and that ability not being so strong anymore, I needed to study in order to keep up my grades.  I could also remember so many insignificant things, how much something cost, a phone number on a billboard we had passed while driving down the road. I loved jewelry and would always buy something for each trip we made I knew exactly where I had purchased every single piece and for what price.  It seems as if every piece of information had equal importance…top priority.  I know that this could seem entirely wrong because it seems in a “normal” setting having so many intrusive thoughts and so much mental energy going towards trying to combat the OCD that it would leave little room for learning/memory.  For whatever reason this was not true for me, in fact it was as if my brain was constantly searching for more and more info, more and more stimuli.  In order for me to study I had to have the radio on at the same time.  It felt as if I needed something for my background brain to be doing while I used the other part of my brain for studying.

During my flare-ups of OCD (usually attributed to lack of medication) I have so many thoughts…. I literally think millions a day. While every person alive has tons of thoughts each day, these periods are not the same.  Each thought comes in what I describe as a firework.  Imagine watching fireworks and as you see it begin to go up into the sky you see just one single line (one single thought) which quickly turns in to multiple lines (multiple thoughts) being dispersed throughout the sky all at the exact same moment.  What I imagine most people without OCD experience is many single line thoughts that can then easily point to another thought and another so that there are infinitely different thought paths, they come in a row and one starts after the other or in response to the one before.  However, the thoughts I would experience was in bursts of fearful thoughts all day long, there was no stopping and starting.  The fireworks continued all day long with so many lines in my brain I had no way to know which line to follow so that I could try to appropriately respond to.

The good thing about these  thought explosions is that with so many thoughts constantly running through my brain it was inevitable I would have some pretty spectacular ideas too.  I am an artsy type person and new creative ideas would pop into my head.  Inventions of how to make something new and improved.  A great business idea, Beautiful things to make, etc.

These good thought explosions though would lead to no where because I was too busy inside of my head to actually make these great ideas come to fruition. That being said….were these spectacular ideas really an advantage to having my brain in overdrive? Probably not, but at least it was a fun distraction for a moment from the never-ending terror that kept my mind prisoner.

I imagine though that these “strokes of genius”, “creative spaces”, “easy learning”, etc. could be why some people hold on tight to where they are because as we all know with every negative if you look hard enough you are sure to find a positive.  Unfortunately, many are too distracted to see all the negatives of holding on to their illness and instead focus on the one or two things that seem advantageous in order to continue to justify taking the huge “risks” associated with breaking free from OCD.

Hoping for increased understanding,

Logically Illogical with OCD

Where am I?


Well to start off I am ashamed that I just realized that I have not written a post in six months!!  Really?  I cannot even begin to count the times that I have had a Flash of Light in my head (you know those lightbulb moments) and I’ve thought I need to write a post about that.  And then time came and went and here it is six months later.

I realized one of my big reasons for not posting is that I want to be able to do it perfectly (not really PERFECT because I know that does not exist in this lifetime)….but in the VERY, VERY, VERY BEST way I am able to.  In my mind that means I need to have everything in line (not symmetrically) but in my mind and in the moment…It needs to be “Right” I need to have enough time, my thoughts together, not distracted, etc.  basically it needs to FEEL “Right”.

WOW!!! After typing that out I had another Flash of Light…. So MANY things in my life that I do or don’t do is because of whether it FEELS right or not.  Don’t get me wrong I am not talking about it in a full-blown OCD obsession of “Right” but more in terms of I’ll wait until X,Y,Z..I’ll wait until everything is lined up,  I’ll do it IF this and WHEN that, etc.  However, in this moment that seems so ridiculous.  I need to start doing things even if it isn’t the “right” moment or not.

Okay back to the subject…sorry I seem to go off on tangents frequently.  So as I was saying I have decided that I want to post more often.  When I was slowly coming out of very dark times when I first started this blog it was so cathartic to write.  In my writing I see myself escaping outside of my mind and a new sense of looking at myself in another light takes place as my fingers quickly type out the thoughts.

Another portion of writing the “right” way  is in the “right” time intervals.  Translation: I should do it in an evenly consistent basis.  So that would be 1x a week, 2x a month, etc.  It’s not the number that matters but I FEEL it should be the same that I shouldn’t do it 3x one week, 0 the next 2 weeks, and then 1x the next month….in my mind that just seems “Wrong”.  Hmmmm so maybe my Homework ( I haven’t actively done any homework for my OCD for a while, although I definitely feel it is super important in recovery)  will be to post “wrong”.

Yay! I am excited to have some homework. I actually enjoy recognizing something “wrong” so I can fix it to make it “right”.  Wait…maybe I am “wrong” to try to do something “wrong” in order to make it “right”?!?  LOL

Whatever I don’t care….I’m gonna roll with it and do it anyway.

So look out for my either “Rightly Wrong” or “Wrongly Right” posts coming soon in some sort of unevenly spaced fashion. 🙂

Signed,

Logically Illogical with OCD

What is Ignorance and Empathy in relation to OCD?


This post comes with more than its fair share of emotions, hurt feelings, irritation, and I am just  plain dumbfounded. So readers beware!!  LOL

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines Ignorant in this way:

1
a: destitute of knowledge or education <an ignorant society>; also: lacking knowledge or comprehension of the thing specified <parents ignorant of modern mathematics> b: resulting from or showing lack of knowledge or intelligence <ignorant errors>

With that being said when someone says a person is ignorant it does not mean it is a put down of the person it is possible for it to be a statement of pity (or wishing it wasn’t so) that a person is unaware, uniformed, or destitute of knowledge, or comprehension (ignorant).

The reason for this post is because I happened to be involved in a discussion where it seemed to me that a person was ignorant to different types of OCD and the anxiety/fear they produce and lacked empathy to the plight of people who it affects.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines Empathy in this way:

1
: the imaginative projection of a subjective state into an object so that the object appears to be infused with it
2
: the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner; also: the capacity for this

And for that reason I felt it important to stand up and let people know that statements that are given off in an air of authority with a Black and White connotation and with a level of 100% certainty is NOT acceptable.  I stand beside my comments because they were made with others in mind and their emotional health and well-being as well as the emotional health and well-being of their families.  My intent is not to move my own agenda forward (or prove my point) but to truly help people who are suffering with OCD to move forward toward health and happiness.

I am sure after all that rambling you are wondering what exactly I am talking about.  Well I will explain in shortened form what transpired.  An unnamed person made the statement  “It is clear in my mind that when a person with ocd involves their kids in the rituals that this is child abuse and child abuse is illegal”.  I do NOT and will NOT ever agree with this statement and I am proud of myself because I felt strong enough to stand up and say such.  However, with my standing up I have had comments made to me that are not so nice.  I accept those comments because I put myself out there knowing I could have backlash.  With that being said I am not saying that there are NEVER cases of parents who have severe OCD that could allow the manifestations of their disease, obsessions and/or compulsions, to disrupt a child’s life to such an extreme degree that it may be in the best interests of the family for the children to receive care from others while the parent with OCD receives the appropriate level of care needed.

What bothers me is not only that the statement was made but the way in which it was made.  It was made as a blanket statement in a black and white way, 100% certain, with a lack of empathy for others.  When I voiced this and gave an opportunity for an apology to be made that it sounded that way (I mean I could have just read it wrong or the person could have just phrased it wrong) the response I got back was that there are things in this world that are black and white and that involving children in rituals IS child abuse. (capitilization is added by me)

I just don’t understand! So EVERY ritual a person has that would somehow involve a child is child abuse??? Really?? That would mean that every parent with OCD commits child abuse every single day.  Let’s think about this logically. Here are a few examples, you decide…child abuse or not?

Contamination Fears:

A person with contamination fears makes sure a child washes their hands EVERY single time they use the potty (some parents without contamination fears may easily let it slide sometimes) so that parent has committed child abuse because with them there is no if’s, and’s, or but’s you are going to follow the CDC’s recommendation of washing your hands EVERY single time you use the potty?  Goodness let’s all phone the Child Protection Services right now…we may have a child that won’t get sick from not washing his hands and not make other children sick from not washing his hands.

Safety Fears:

A person with safety fears has numerous obsessions involving their child being harmed so their compulsion is to make sure they are safe by not allowing them to do certain things.  Such as bicycle, skateboard, rollerblade, etc. without appropriate headgear, knee pads, wrist pads, elbow pads, pants and tennis shoes.  That sounds like good common sense but because not every “normal” parent would do that and because it is tied to a fear it is considered a compulsion/ritual.  So is this parent committing child abuse?

Health Fears:

A person with health fears has an obsession with their children’s health, making sure they are not sick.  So they keep track of their child’s poop schedule.   They know what day they went if they child said it was fine or their was an issue with going.  Again this could be a healthy habit, in fact I had a doctor recommend creating a chart to keep track for my children.  Anyway because this is tied to a fear of the parent with OCD this would be a compulsion or part of a ritual.  So is this parent committing child abuse?

Morbid Thoughts:

A parent with obsessions of doing something sexually inappropriate may make sure from the day the child is born, that the child NEVER sees the parent undressed or anywhere near what could be construed as not fully dressed.  Do some “normal” parents do this? Probably.  Do some “normal” parents walk around naked in front of their children? Probably.  But again the actions are based on an obsessive fear so the actions are considered a compulsion/ritual.  So is this parent committing child abuse?

side note: Morbid Thoughts in Parents with OCD doesn’t seem to be talked about much so here is an article that describes it well by Dr. Fred Penzel that is posted on the International OCD Foundations website:  http://ocfoundation.org/EO_IntrusiveKids.aspx

There are so many more examples…. way too numerous to expound on.  My point is this no one should make a blanket statement such as “when a person with ocd involves their kids in the rituals that this is child abuse and child abuse is illegal”.  To say this, is in my opinion simply illogical without ANY sense of logic.

While I am sure it can be True in some cases it is not fair to say it is true in ALL cases.  It is not fair and it also can be harmful, hurtful, and almost poisonous to someone struggling with OCD/Depression.

So once again I will state that:

I would like to apologize to others  for what I feel are ignorant statments that others may voice as 100% true such as “when a person with ocd involves their kids in the rituals that this is child abuse and child abuse is illegal” .  PLEASE do not feel horrible because you have OCD and are a parent but use you children as a catalyst to help you move forward to keep working.  OCD presents many challenges..both for the parent and for the children.  But every single family has their own challanges to deal with.  Ours may be different in form but serve the same function…a challenge to work through and be stronger for it.

I really wish the world was full of empathy and free of ignorance.

I truly believe an apology should be made although it seems that will never happen.  So I must use all my training from therapy and move on with these unpleasant feelings.  I am hurt becuase I hurt for others and how it could make them feel. I am irritated that someone that has OCD could not empathize with another person with OCD who has different fears than theirs.  I am dumb-founded that many people as a whole will go along with another person stating things such as this without speaking up and letting the “truth” be known.  I can move on and I will move on.

Signed with Empathy and lack of Ignorance (on this one subject),

Logically Illogical With OCD

Can I become a leader in OCD research or treatment…maybe..maybe not….


So the time has come; I have mustered up enough strength to push through the OCD barrage of worst case scenarios, doubt, questions, bullying and have enrolled to take some classes at the local college to begin my quest to help others with OCD to the best of my abilities.

My ultimate goal would be to become medically trained with a concentration in natural medicine.  That is not to say I do not believe that current conventional medications don’t work for OCD, such as SSRI’s.  (Because they clearly help me) And more and more people are coming to understand the importance of good CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy), specifically ERP (Exposure Response Therapy) However, I feel there is a huge gap to be filled by more natural approaches to help our bodies and minds function better which will in turn help our OCD.  My own journey has been helped by listening to simple advice of how to feed my body with good nutrition and some specific supplements.  And help is needed from all angles to increase awareness and to decrease the suffering of OCD.

Good things did come from the horrible storm of my last OCD crisis.  I decided I would take charge of my treatment to the best of my ability, I would really try to help myself.  I searched for a well-trained therapist, read tons of books on OCD and its treatment, practiced ERP, and learned to step away from my internal processes and look at the big picture.  Each and every one of these things was huge for me to do because while they were all necessary they all had “bad things” surrounding them….obsessions.  For example, reading books on OCD. What if…I read about another persons obsessions and they made sense to me so they now became mine too.  Basically I would introduce a “bad thought” into my mind and I would be responsible for making myself worse with more “bad thoughts” because I decided to read a book about OCD.  Not only would it be my fault that I would have another “bad thought” to deal with but it would never go away…it would be in the ginormous filing cabinet in my mind of never-ending thought records that play again and again and again.

Anyway….Back to the point, GOOD THINGS. I learned to face some of my fears and by facing them I have uncovered new paths to travel.  I have read and heard so many others stories and it has really moved me to realize, I am not alone.  There are many people faced with the ugly feeling of your own mind turning against you and I want to help.

It breaks my heart to realize how many people have to live with OCD before getting a proper diagnosis and then when they do get a diagnosis they end up not receiving the correct help.  And then to think of all the parents that are dumb-struck when they see these behaviors because of PANS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Syndrome).  To get a diagnosis is incredibly hard and then when they do receive a diagnosis finding someone to give treatment in the correct manner is almost non-existent.  There is so much to be learned about OCD and PANS and its implications it is mind-boggling.  More work is needed!!

So I have decided I want to help and I am going to “choose” to move forward  with pursuing a career in the health field even though I am incredibly fearful.  (I will have to write another post about all the stuff I went through to get to this “choice”)  I have enrolled in my first two classes, Anatomy and Physiology; and a Math Course.  I only enrolled in two for many reasons…1) Money 2) ChildCare (which could probably be solved with more of number one…haha) 3) I am moving forward BUT still fearful….I’m not cured and able to throw all caution to the wind..lol

Will I be able to accomplish all of the great intentions of my mind and become a leader in OCD research or treatment?  The only answer to I know to be 100% certain is….maybe….maybe not….

Where to Begin and What to say Next about OCD


It has been so great to learn how much I enjoy writing!  It is great to get some stuff out of my mind and on to the page.  But as with everything my OCD and perfectionism has to come along for the ride.  So I am stuck inside my mind trying to decide what to blog about.  I have so many things I want to say and share, yet the question I continually have is Where to Begin and What to say Next about OCD. 

I just came back from the OCD conference in Chicago.  It was fantastic!  Any my mind is telling me that I shouldn’t write about anything else until I have properly written about the conference and shared all the wonderful information that I received.  However, while I want to share all of the information…it just isn’t what I feel like sharing now.  While my OCD tells me I “should” write about the conference in order to make the most sense to everyone so that I can debrief the “right” way.  I am saying back….I don’t want to do that, and I am NOT going to do that.  I will write about what I WANT to write about when I WANT to write about it.  Now don’t get me wrong I am not what I would call OCD Free…there was a fair amount of struggle getting to that point.  But the point is I made it there, AND I am learning to make it to the point of doing what I WANT to do much more often now.

Writing has proven for me to be therapeutic and I don’t want to let OCD take that from me.  I refuse to allow it to impose its rules on my writing.  It doesn’t like to take NO for an answer so it keeps trying…. and it may slow me down, but the important thing is that OCD doesn’t win.  I find a way to make a choice and do what I WANT!

There are so many things about OCD that I want others to understand.  I want EVERYONE to understand what it really is.  It is not important just for sufferers, or their families, or health professionals….but for EVERYONE.  I know I may be living in a dream land to imagine the majority of people understanding what this Mental Illness is all about, but a person is allowed to dream once in a while.  Even I am beginning to give myself permission to dream.

There is so much work to do in educating people about OCD and what is really is, a whole lot more than just the stereotypes you see on television.  But I wonder do people really want to know?  Are people more comfortable not understanding and going about life with their blinders on…ignoring people who do not meet their standards of “normal”?  Why is it so hard for people to get it through their heads (including myself sometimes) that OCD is a  mental illness and is exactly what it is called…. mental ILLNESS!  It is not brought on by something a person did or didn’t do!  It does not equate to being lazy and not trying hard enough to get past it!  It does not mean you are unintelligent or just plain daft!  It does not mean you should be taken away from society as a whole, left to be abused by the horrific images and thoughts of your own mind!

What it means to me is that you need to accept help from others sometimes.  You need to be willing to accept your limitations sometimes.  You need to know you are worthy of whatever you strive to do with your life and to live your wildest dreams.  You will have good times and bad times (just like every other human being on the planet).  You will have an empathy for other people who the majority of people will never experience.  You are one of the most courageous people on the planet… (someone without OCD could never imagine what we endure with the crap of our mind and yet still continue to live life).

Yet we trudge through the muck and keep on walking…….Logically Illogical with OCD.