Monday, September 27, 2010

And I can't even blame OCD for this one

So last week we officially became members of a Methodist church. And that is awesome. And this week we were going to be officially introduced as new members to the church. Which is why God chose that Sunday to provide the opportunity for us to be the worst parents ever. I think Jesus is totally amused by us sometimes.


Incident 1: church parking lot

Lily: I want to take all my stuff into church with me. I need to take Obi (the decrepit old stuffed cat/bacterial gathering place and unofficial bunker for the Queen of bacteria to hide and plan their strategy to take over the world)
Luke: No. We are not carrying all that crap into church with us. Just no.
Lily: (screaming piercing DHS siren cry) But I want to!! I want to take Obi!!
Luke: NO! I am not dealing with that! You cut it out or you don’t get to go to church! No church do you hear me!?

Incident 2: Home
Me: Lily Cavett! You need to make your bed! I have asked you and asked you. I am done being nice!
Lily: But mommy, I am reading my Bible!
Me: Put the Bible down and make your bed!

Later…

Me: Lily Cavett are you sitting on your unmade bed reading the Bible? No ma’am! You stop reading that Bible right now and make your bed!

Later…

Me: Um, Luke…? I’m pretty sure that Lily is hiding under that blanket on her unmade bed reading the Bible. She has actually resorted to hiding so that she can read her Bible. And earlier you threatened no church as a punishment. Are they going to kick us out of our new church?

But silver lining...She does like church!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

THANKFUL THURSDAY!? Yep.

I’m doing a cheater thankful Thursday and making it short and sweet. Mostly because I am tired and I want to watch TV.

1) We joined a new church. And I love it. We are officially official members of a United Methodist Church. They have accepted us and God has already put us to work there. Walking away from the place we’ve been for so long and leaving with so much hurt made it really difficult to go anywhere. But we had one of those moments when we walked in for the very first time that just clicked. We looked at each other and said “This is the place” And it is. I and love it. And I can’t wait to meet more people and serve in all these great opportunities.

2) I got new shoes. And girl, you know I love me some shoes. I ordered on line AND got a discount which is even better. Silver with nail head trim and a 1 inch hidden platform. Ankle strap with a chunky buckle and a 4 inch stacked skinny heel and rounded toe. Um, yes please.

3) New TV shows came on. I watched the Event among other things. It could be good. Or it could be the next Lost. But I’m in. Also, Chuck. I love Chuck. I would watch Chuck if all it was was him sitting on the toilet reading the paper.

4) Netflix. I got a little sickly this week. I laid on the couch with the grossness and watched Netflix. I love a super scary movie. Or just something highly bizarre. And Netflix is the goldmine of creepy awesome movies.

5) My friends. Yeah. Awesome. I love girls’ night and movies and heart to hearts. I love their kids and their houses and their willingness to put up with me. Cause seriously, I’m not super easy to put up with all the time.

6) My awesome husband. Same goes for this guy. I think sometimes that he should get some kind of “I can handle any crazy crap you throw at me because I am powerful, yet gentle” award (That one might not make sense to anyone but him.)

7) My super dog. Laying on the couch sick with my cuddly dog is about the best thing ever. Plus he isn’t even scared of the movies I watch unlike some other men in this house…

8) My otter box. This week I drop kicked my phone through a parking lot and shut it in the back door of the SUV. Otter box is seriously worth it.

The end. For today.

Hey read this article and my comments about it. Just do it OK. Have I ever steered you wrong? Shutupdon'tanswerthat.

Ever since becoming a shining ray of light as recognized by the medical community, I have been receiving updates and emails and a variety of advertisements, opportunities to help many down on their luck Nigerian individuals smuggle their inheritance into America for only a small fee, and product/information offers for review. Or as I like to call it…my fan mail. Never underestimate my importance inside my own head.


Anyhow, I got this email with a link to the article “10 Common Myths about Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder”  You’re gonna wanna go ahead and go read that because A) it is a great piece of work and answers exactly the kind of questions that people ask those of us who are open about OCD. B) I’m fixin to talk about it and you are going to be all kinds of lost if you don’t at least skim the highlights. Go ahead…I’ll wait…

http://www.mastersinhealthcare.net/blog/2010/10-common-myths-about-obsessive-compulsive-disorder/

Lately I’ve gained several new followers and new friends thanks to the awesomeness of the interwebz and all this business of changing churches. I feel like its about time to reintroduce myself to those of you who are new and remind those of you who stick with me just exactly what it is that makes me princess of awesome town.

I’m Angela. Hey! I make jokes. Sometimes my jokes have been deemed as “inappropriate” by the powers that be as well as the powers that be all up in my business where they found it necessary to be all judgy. Oh, and sometimes my jokes are a defense mechanism to help properly manage life with mental illness (and judgies). Other times crap is just too freaking funny to let slide by. I love God and I try to be like Jesus. Yes, Jesus is aware of my blog, my humor, and my mental illness. We talk very frequently He and I. I have OCD. It’s very complex. I take lots of drugs. I have a safe person. I love to shop online for shoes. My favorite color is purple and my favorite thing to eat is burritos. I am really quite fascinated by body parts and regulary mention vagina(s) and sometimes give a voice to my colon, liver, kidney, etc kind of like really screwed up puppet theater. So back to the article.

If you are a neat freak or just like cleaning, you must have OCD. Also if you have germ phobias you must have OCD. OR you can’t have OCD if you don’t have germ phobia.

Well, this just flat out isn’t true. Here is the major difference. Neat freaks appreciate having a clean home. Hand washers have a healthy and rational respect for the prevention of illness. These are things that they do and receive a level of satisfaction from. “Ahhh…I cleaned and organized. It was hard work but it looks good and I can enjoy the space around me now.” “Hmmm…that picture is a little crooked so I’ll fix it and all is well. I just like things tidy” Ok now look at it like this. “If I don’t clean this I will be a disappointment to my friends and my family. If everything is not symmetrical then someone close to me will be seriously injured or God will punish me or everyone will hate me. I need to stop cleaning and washing because my hands are bleeding and I haven’t slept but if I stop then I will cause harm. I have to keep going and going and going to protect those around me and all I want to do is stop.” “I can’t think or function or take care of myself or my children while things are out of place and I wish I could stop thinking about it.” This is totally way suckier, right? OCD is a very personal and mean disorder that attacks you where you live. Your brain, your insecurity, your peace, your trust, your sanity. Each person’s OCD is manufactured by their brain and is very specific to them. We are similar in some ways, but there are literally thousands of obsessions and compulsions that OCD can create for you. And the real kicker is that sometimes you can get rid of one, and a new one pops up.

Mine is like this. Touching, counting, checking and repeating are necessary for me. I feel like if I don’t do it correctly then I literally cannot function. I will check or touch and KNOW that I did it, but its not enough and I MUST do it again. And again. And again. I can SEE that I have touched or checked and I can FEEL that it did it in the exact right way, but I MUST do it again because I am just not sure if it was enough or if I actually did it or if it worked right or if I damaged something in the process of doing it. The most complex part of my OCD involved/involves ruminations and mental rituals surrounding prayers, chants, “good thoughts”, avoiding “negative” energy and all kinds of other extremely time consuming things in an effort to stop horrifying, disturbing, grotesque, violent, bone crushing images and thoughts. The worst part is that I am afraid that by thinking it, I will make it come true if not balanced by the ritual. And it’s HORRIBLE stuff. Like unimaginable stuff. And it was all the time before the meds. All. The. Time. Day and night. Forever. Yeah. I know, right?

I was so happy to see the myth that OCD is lack of willpower and can be totally cured dispelled. Because…No. Just, no. We learn to manage. We learn to exist. We learn to recognize the feelings and the symptoms and the chemicals and try to differentiate fantasy from reality. It’s like anybody else with any other kind of disorder. Our brains and bodies work differently and we learn to function and lead normal lives. We DID NOT bring it on ourselves. WE ARE NOT being punished because of “unresolved sin” (um, yeah it’s in quotes because I’ve heard it said to me). We ARE NOT free from the disorders once and for all because we “aren’t praying hard enough” or “with enough faith” and we SHOULD NEVER EVER EVER EVER be told by members of the faith community or any community for that matter that we should “stop taking the pills because they are just a crutch and praying harder is how to fix it.” OK, then. I may or may not have had a little personal experience with that. Maybe. So whatever just be nice to me OK? And I love my new church if any of you are reading this.

So basically, I’m not going to be going on any TV shows licking the bottom of dumpsters or running through crowded places nude or shouting out the terrible scenarios that play in my head. I don’t expect an overnight cure. In fact, I don’t even want one. Learning to live a “normal” for real life with OCD has made me a better person. And as for the praying…I KNOW that Jesus could change me any old time He wants to. He rose from the dead for crying out loud. I'm pretty much sure that he could grow a parrot right out of my head (or vagina...?) if He dang well wanted to because I believe in Him and I know that He could. But just because He can doesn’t mean He has to. He's a pretty smart cookie and does all things with a purpose. So I’ll keep on praying and I’ll pretty much let Jesus decide if I’m doing it the “right” way.

I’ll be back with something funny soon…keep after me…sometimes I get distracted by handsome men on TV and shoe shopping and sparkly things…

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The thing that happened at the fair. yadda yadda took pills yadda yadda all better

Ok, so there was a thing that happened a few days ago. But let’s examine why I pretty much should have seen it coming and totally walked right into it.


I’m driving now. Well not just driving anywhere at any time, but I can drive to my piano playing high school gig three times a week all the way across town. Only 2 times so far have I used the “escape route”. The escape route includes getting off the dreaded highway and traveling far less occupied back roads. It’s a pretty big deal and whatever. So this last week I did it all without extra medications. I have also been going a couple new places and meeting new people what with this whole changing churches thing we got going on. I’ve kept my OCD underneath the “intolerable” line that I have set for myself so that is good.

I should have seen it coming because I haven’t really eliminated the panic disorders, I’ve only displaced them. And that’s cool. I can deal with that. But since I have been so busy with all these new things, I haven’t taken the time to release the pressure that builds up in there in a safe and effective way. I spent two nights last week with aggressive nightmares. Not like they used to be, but seriously crappy anyways. So there was clue number one. I’ve not used anti-anxiety during the day but I have needed it at night and I really really try to avoid the extra drugs so there should have been clue number 2. But as usual, I’m kind of a stubborn idiot and walked myself right on into a volatile situation.

I don’t even carry my drugs with me anymore, so I was pretty much screwed when a full blown, knock-me-on-my-face panic attack kicked me in the girl nads right in the middle of the freaking state fair. It wasn’t even just that it was the fair. It was the opening night of the fair and the traffic getting there already had me relying on some serious deep breathing and I didn’t even drive. I actually rode all the way there with my eyes looking down. It was also dollar day so everyone and their flipping cat was already there or waiting amongst the thousands to get in. yes. Freaking thousands. I got all the way to the middle of the fairgrounds when the dizzy started. Then the hyperventilating. Then the heart racing and ears ringing and hands tingling and tunnel vision and that thing where you feel like you are watching yourself from somewhere else. I can never remember the name for that. So I gave into the fight or flight response and took the heck off like the sky was falling.

The best part was when two police officers stopped me as I was literally trying to find anywhere with no people. You know it’s bad when you can get the attention of a fair cop because they see all kinds of crap.

So whatever that was that and its all better and I took pills and went to bed. I’m not like all disappointed or upset or wish it didn’t happen or whatever. It just is what it is. I’m going to start carrying my pills on me from now on. All better.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Thankful on a relapse kind of a Thursday.

Ok so remember those two steps back that some of us have been talking about on our OCD blogs? Yeah... Well, my turn. I feel like I 180ed. And I feel like I should have seen it coming and avoided the situation but instead I walked right into it and now I feel like an idiot for melting down in public. I've got a whole story for you soon. Just not now. Not ready yet. Plus the Xanax is finally kicking in and bringing me back to normal breathing levels.

I'm thankful that sometimes I still get reminded that I have a cross to bear and a challenge to live through and a chance to keep learning how to live with OCD and panic disorder so that eventually whatever Jesus has planned for all this can make sone sense.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The un-prettiest thing ever including much much oversharing and mental pictures

OK, so I know that usually I am somewhat introspective and honest and sometimes crafty with my words and sometimes even intelligible. But I haven't blogged in a while because I have been super busy online shopping/not doing laundry and subsequently having to wash every scrap of cloth in our house at the same time so that I wouldn't have to buy new panties just for something to wear/buying new panties just because they were pretty/eating food/working and teaching and practicing/laying on my couch watching zombie movies/facebook creeping and yes if you post it I read it or look at it/and discovering my prowess for crossword puzzles as practice for eventually taking the Mensa test. You know, the usual.

So anyway...here's something that happened to me today that made me laugh and it has no redeeming value whatsoever and probably will be considered "over sharing".

Today I got all ready for church. First of all, I couldn't decide what to wear because I am lazy and didn't want to iron. I could wear the long dress because I don't need to iron it but I had spent painstaking minutes in the shower with my leg bent all up in angles so I could shave the dang things and also I still kind of have a good tan going and I want to show that crap off. But the shorter dress needed ironing. I went with the long dress because lazy wins over pretty. But the long dress is a total boob popper as in "Oh crap! My boob just popped out right here in church!" and its a new church for us and I don't think they are ready for my boobs just yet. And definitely not my vagina. So I put a lovely yet demure denim jacket with the dress, curled my hair up super cute and there we have it. Lazy: accomplished, Pretty: accomplished, safely stowed female parts upper and lower: accomplished.

OK, so the part that I find funny is this...I'm feeling all pretty and whatnot but i totally need to pee before we leave the house. I drink lots of coffee in the AM and also I am a champion pee-er and can go like every twenty minutes. Like, I could win awards for output. So I run to the bathroom quickly. And then when I already peeled off my fat squeezer undergarments (cause ladies you know what I'm talking about) and set about my business, carefully holding the long dress up, I realized that I have no paper. But then I see the paper...all the way across the frickin bathroom. Like 5 steps away. Not even close to arms reach. This is partially my fault because Luke and I play this little game of how many empty toilet paper rolls can collect on the floor because we never actually put it on the thingy and the actual "in-use" roll ends up all over the bathroom.

So nooooow...I have two choices: let it breathe, or try to get over there and get it. Honestly, I had to think about it for a second (guys you know what I'm talking about). I went for option 2. Up I get, carefully holding my long skirt as so not to mess the dress and try to get over there to grab the paper, but the stupid fat squeezer is wrapped around the upper part of my legs and I can only do this little duck waddle. Not only that, but the 5 steps required me to waddle past the extra long mirror that goes from one end of the room to the other over the double sinks. So now I can see myself waddling, holding onto the dress, and my bare butt is just sticking on out there. And I just thought to myself "This is terribly un-pretty. This is like the un-prettiest thing I have ever seen. I must share!" And I got my paper and worked my way back. I resqueezed the fat, adjusted my dress, retucked my boobs, fluffed my hair, and went to church. And I made sure there was paper in my stall in the bathroom at church. Like I said...they aren't quite ready for all of me yet...

Friday, September 3, 2010

So yeah. I am awesome. I can drive now. Sometimes. And I am sort of like a normal person 3 days a week. Providing that I have pills.

Remember that time that I drove all the way to Missouri and back all by myself for the first and only time ever? Yeah, well I think that was designed to prepare me for a much harder task. Driving all the way across the city 3 days a week.


I am officially the official pianist for an official high school choral program. This is because I didn’t spend all those years in piano for nothing and also because Luke is all “Woman I cannot keep funding your online shopping and massive amounts of psychiatric drugs!” No he didn’t really say that but I do have quite the habit(s). Anyhow; this official high school is on the other side of the city. I know that it seems really really dumb that driving across the city should be harder than a four hour drive, but I had weeks and weeks to prepare myself for the long trip. If I panicked I could stop. If I couldn’t get back I could call someone. But I have to be at this job at a regular time on a regular basis like a normal person. Musicians aren’t really used to this normal work hours crap. And we OCDers aren’t really used to normal anything. Can I get an “Amen” crazy people?!

I’ve already been in the midst of an OCD/anxiety flare up. It’s not like a herpes flair up. You can’t catch it. And from what I hear it itches less. OCD:1 Herpes:0. I tried to take myself off of one of my 3 maintenance meds a few months ago. And that was a fail. Maybe it was the recent religious trauma/enlightenment or maybe I just really can’t deal without ALL of my drugs. Either way, I am spending a lot of time working hard to keep things in check lately. As this new job got closer and closer to today, I started having these little “pops” as I call them. In addition to the regular counting, repeating, touching (For the love with me and the touching. I have to touch flipping everything lately in exactly the “middle”) I have now been getting these fun little pops. You know when you are just minding your business driving or reading or peeing or whatever and someone/something leaps out and startles the actual crap out of you (providing that you are on the toilet) and your heart beats super hard and you catch your breath for a minute. Well that has been happening to me. All the time. For no apparent reason. Yesterday I was laying on the couch almost asleep and there came the pop. It’s not like a panic attack. That is like I-might-actually-be-dying-dear-God-get-me-outta-here-run-for-my-life fear that can last for hours. These are just like fun little buzzes. It’s like when you watch one of those stupid videos where something leaps out at you and you go “Aggh!! Mothercursewords! Why would you do that to me?!”

The other reason I’ve been a little twitchy about this new experience is because high school kids give me the jeebs. I’m cool with them individually or even in small groups, but large groups of teenagers are like these bizzaro, chemically mutated, quasi-humans/adults. There is this strange mob mentality/perpetual mating ritual. I’m afraid that I’m going to get hormone on me and accidently grow my uterus back or something. Freak. Me. Out. You’ve got to remember that I never even dated as a high school girl. I married the boy I grew up with. And we were nerds. So this is all very fascinating/terrifying for me. And sometimes they use words that I don’t understand. And also I forget that they can’t drink or vote and I’m not supposed to accidently curse in front of them. This experience is like one giant exposure-response exercise.

So the good news is that I survived my first week of driving and teenagers and sight reading accompaniments and all that! It only required a bit of anxiety medication and I only almost accidently cursed the one time. And I stopped it. And I got to see this little scene play out:

Girl (sweet girl with a God given natural enhancements): No, I’ll do it again…You do a shimmy like this *shake shake shake*

Boy: I’m just not getting it. I can’t do it! You’ll have to show me again.

Girl (Oh sweet sweet girl who hasn’t caught on yet): Seriously! It’s so easy! All you have to do to shimmy is shake like this…*shake shake shake*

Boy: Nope, I can’t do it. Show me again…

I think I like teenagers more than I thought I did.