Sunday, November 28, 2010

Back on the crazy horse and how yarn can help you not scare people off: an OCD memoir

Well, what a way to get back to my blog posting. I guess the universe was all “Hey, I think we haven’t screwed with Cavett enough lately and that blog has been all kinds of boring. Let’s get busy.”


So we aren’t really “new” to the new church anymore, but there are still lots of things that take time to reveal about yourself. There’s that initial getting to know you and then there’s the oh-mother-of-a-sideways-frick-storm I was not trying to be knowing you all up in here like this. It started innocently enough…Sunday School is generally a safe place. And then the topic came to air travel. And the various problems associated with air travel. And that led to other topics that were in a “negative” space. And words that I don’t like to hear. And words that I can’t say. And combinations of words that create “negative” images and mind movies and anxiety and things that need to be “cleared” and then “cleared” again. And it was all happening so fast that my OCD was taking over and my mind couldn’t fix things fast enough. Which is when my body got involved. So now my head started ticking and my left hand was going crazy and I started chanting quietly to myself. And that’s a fun little show in front of people you’ve only known for a few months.

Fortunately and by shear coincidence or possibly God being all “OK, just trust me because you’re gonna want this,” I had brought along a scarf that I had been crocheting. I never do that kind of thing at church. But today I felt like I really needed to finish this scarf because it is for a friend and I really want to be able to give it to her. So I was crocheting when the irrational side of my brain attacked my rational thought processes by way of pretty much kicking rational thought in the balls and laughing. As I progressively devolved from “Maintained OCD” to “Publically Mentally Ill” I crocheted faster and faster. I used the counting and the rhythm to help hang onto the thread of control I had left. Keeping my hands moving helped keep them from touching things. Keeping count helped me block out the bad words and focus on making them good. I breathed in and out slowly. I pushed out bad air and brought in good air. I did all the things I have been taught to do so that I don’t unleash my crazy on the unsuspecting public. But that was a pretty solid groin shot to my sanity so it was tough.

I think the part where I started chanting quietly to myself was when Luke became alarmed. He knew that I was either going to pull it together or completely loose my face in a spectacular she-needs-her-own-reality-show-because-people-can’t-stop-staring-at-this-and-what-the-crap-is-she-doing-should-we-lock-up-the-sharp-things kind of way. Seeing my freak out can be kind of startling. Especially if you’ve never seen it before. And then he was all “Why don’t you just get up and walk out?” and I was all “OK OK OK OK OK OK OK OK pills pills pills pills need out need out need out need out OK OK OK OK” And he was like “alright then, so I guess we are just gonna stay here and hang on until we can freak out in private”. Which is exactly what I did. I made it to the end of class. I made it casually to the door. I made it to the hall. And I freaked my crap out. I let that business run the show for a bit. I went into compulsion overdrive. I full on panic attacked. Luke took me home and got me into my safe place. My therapy dogs came to my rescue. Then I took a xanax. And then I felt like I had run a marathon (so I’ve heard because my policy is never to run unless being chased). Panic and anxiety are mother flipping exhausting. But it sure keeps things interesting. God bless my therapist’s ever-loving heart when she has to start all over trying to get me on an airplane.

And I’m back. Ta-da!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Boo holidays. Yay medication!

guuuuugggghhhhh.

I keep starting posts and not finishing them.

This time of year is the absolute worst for me. Not just as a distinguished representative of the mentally ill society, but just as me. It just sucks for plain old me. It it because I have "a cold black heart" as my man so lovingly puts it. (This from the guy who has cried once ever in the nearly 2 decades I've been his best friend and it was at a freaking commercial.)

This "holiday" crap just wears me the frick out. And what is with all these jokers putting up the Christmas lights the day after flipping Halloween. No. Just no. In case you are new here, I am not such a big fan of pretty much anything between October 31 and January 2. Yeah yeah yeah shut up I get it I've heard it all before and no you are not going to be the one to make me have some miracle of holiday Hallmark experience where I run through the streets and give that little crippled kid a turkey. Although I wouldn't argue with the 3 ghosts part because that sound wicked awesome.

So I pretty much just survive during this time of year. I'm not going to lie, finally being on the "maintained" side of OCD makes a major difference in things. This was a whole frick lot worse when I was dominated by the disorder. So I've actually done some things in the last couple weeks (whilst not blogging) that I physically could not have done 2 years or maybe even 1 year ago. Last night we went to a wedding. We stayed for the reception. We sat at a table with people I didn't know. And I talked to them. And I listened. And I didn't ritualize in my head. I danced. With strangers. There was noise and flashing light and all the things that would set me off except that they didn't set me off. And OK, I am aware that this happens because of the medication, but I did it.

But then be it the early sunsets or the cold or the impending mind numbing cheerfulness of the upcoming holidays, I have to go and remind myself of all the things I still couldn't do. Like stay longer than we did. Or go anywhere afterwards because anytime I take steps forward like that, my body responds with intense and overwhelming fatigue that shuts me down. It's like some kind of defense mechanism. Or maybe it really does take that much energy for me to keep OCD in its place.

Anyhow...the moral of the story is that it is time to mobilize my cheering squad. I need motivation to finish my posts! And come up with new ideas! So...let's hear it for me!

Awesome.

P.S. I just spell checked this and OCD was not recognized as a word. The suggestion was COD. Is that like Call of Duty? Because what the what spellcheck?! Call of Duty gets an acronym but not OCD?! Stupid spell check.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

No my blog is not broken.

Yes, I am aware that I haven't posted.

Yes, I am aware that I suck at projects such as posting every single day in a month.

Yes, as soon as I say outloud that I am going to do something by I ceratin date/time I instantly don't want to do it. This is why I sucked at college. Don't tell me when to learn. I will do it on my own time.

Yes, i have been watching Walking Dead and it is awesome.

Yes, I do plan to catch up soon. OCD is a never ending happy fun parade and I've got plenty to say about it.

No, I'm not doing it right now.

Peace out.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Can I just be thankful for "etc." because that would pretty much cover it. And I am all caught up now. So take that calendar.

Thankful Thursday seems to have been hijacked by facebook. Yes, I take credit for everyone on facebook being thankful for 30 days. I’m sure that they are all copying me and this has nothing to do with some “alleged” holiday coming up.


Today I am thankful for a stay at home date with my man. We are kinda living on separate schedules lately. This is because I am a musician and “work” is just whenever and where ever and sometimes “work” involves falling asleep at 8pm while he watches sports on TV. But tonight we are having an at home date. Our house is superficially clean (as in I threw all the crap into different rooms and put things in closets and sprayed around some Febreeze so it was all fresh and cleanish in here), carry out dinner is on its way here, and we have about a bajilliondy programs in our DVR. Yep, programs. Apparently, we are going to be watching Murder She Wrote and Matlock while eating our stewed prunes.

Anyhow, date night is just moments away from getting under way. And what with my new super cool do-it-yourself-at-home-simulated-drunk-cloudy-head-valium-experience, this could be a really fun night. Or possibly I could fall asleep during the Golden Girls.

Also, I am thankful for these silly dogs that now run our house, Dr. Pepper, coffee, finding work as a professional musician, my DVR, my health insurance, online shopping, the rad boots I just got online shopping, the big dolla$ my man brings home so we can have things like unnecessary but very cool boots that go over the knee thankyouverymuch, Netflix on my phone, Jesus being so super cool and listening to me and really hearing me and still sticking around, our new church family, having brains in my head the freedom to use them despite the fact that I am the owner of vagina, the Snuggie commercial where they sing the Macarena, campaign ads are freaking finally over, my pills, my house, your face, Donnie’s comments on my facebook, Luke’s comments on my facebook, my childrens, yoga pants, and…more and more and more but seriously, let’s save some of the fun for later.

Peace out.

Cheap entertainment at the Cavetts. All we need is dramatic temperature fluxtuations that trigger allergies

My head got all clogged up this week. I’m talking literally here. Not crazy full. The stupid weather in this stupid state at this stupid time of year makes my stupid allergies and stupid face that is all held together by stupid surgical pins and plates get all full of business and gives me a stupid headache.


But like 2 days ago all of it relocated into my left ear.

This has caused to distinct things to happen. The first is that I am now deaf in both ears. I’m already all damaged up in the right ear from the tumor and the infection and the tubes and the blood necklace…Oh wait…I don’t think I’ve told that story yet…I’ll get to it sometime this month…Anyhow…deafness in my right ear. Not totally; just enough to screw with me. And now I am kinda suffering with the hearing in the left ear. So I am totally lots of fun right now. Most conversations in my house are going like this:

Luke: bbbbbllllurlurluruffffhgggghgg
Me: What!?
Luke: blergity blah blah baldy rah rah thhhhhhrrrrp
Me: OK, I can’t hear you!? You’re shooting a calendar? Or are you eating salamander? Or perhaps you are just an idiot? That’s it right? You just want to let me know that your face is stupid?
Luke: Gargly TOOOpppandary laitghyth blahgertdidy FRUMP CHEW!
Me: I just see the mouth moving. I think you said “LOVE YOU!” Well, I love you too. Just speak up please.

The other fun thing that has happened is that my already questionable balance is now completely gone. I feel like the whole word has extra gravity on the left side. When I lay my head to the side it feels like I am on a boat. If I turn my head too quickly I feel like my whole body is spinning in circles but my head is still in the same place. It is totally awesome! It is so much fun! It’s like all the fun of being tipsy without any of the giggling or loud talking (wait, I kinda still have the loud talking) or calories. I am totally just riding this as long as I can. I’ve been knocking my head all around just for the buzz. Allergies are cool. Especially the part where I was sitting on the toilet and tipped forward to pick up something on the floor and fell over.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Bringing Crazy Back

Yeah, Ok. So I already missed a day of my 30 day project. I missed day 2. Is anyone surprised? I’m going to claim the “I’m an artist and I’m eccentric and creative and you can’t box me into a deadline or demand my creativity!” argument. But do you wanna know what I was up to instead? I had dinner with an awesome friend! Who doesn’t read my blog?! I know, right? Maybe that is why she is still friends with me. But the good news is that since she hasn’t read my blog I got to share my birth stories with her for the first time. And I love telling those stories. Check them out here and here.


Also, I was having a time yesterday. This time of year does that to me. As I am living and learning and accepting life as a mentally ill person, I can recognize the symptoms and behaviors. I know how to maintain now. But it still sucks booty. Maintaining is freaking challenging. Honestly, it would be so much easier to just go off the rails and quit taking my meds and spend my time clearing and checking and ritualizing. I know how to do that. I’m good at that. Finding other ways to keep my mind and my senses and my brain occupied is hard. I’ve noticed a lot of those compulsions creeping back into my routine. Things I haven’t needed to do in a while.

There are still so many people who don’t get what Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder actually is. I mean, there are still so many people who think OCD=cleanliness, hand-washing, straightening up pictures on the wall etc. Which is why anyone who gets in my car is all “Yeah, there is NO freaking way you are OCD. You are gross. Is this melted chocolate?” I think that the misunderstandings hold lots of us back from getting treatment too. When I was at my craziest (shut your face Luke Cavett) I honestly thought that I must be schizophrenic. I knew something was wrong in my brain but OCD was never really a consideration. I was obsessing over scenarios to the point of visual and auditory hallucinations. I was ritualizing religious behavior to the point of making myself sick. I couldn’t trust my own senses. I didn’t trust my eyes or my hands to tell if things were turned off or unplugged. I could not trust the tiny little part of rational left over in my mind trying to tell me that my thoughts were not actually going to effect the time/space continuum. My body could not be relieved of that horrible feeling of something being “wrong” until I touched it in the “middle”.

OK, I’ll elaborate. I’m about to blow your normal minds. Here’s what I am squashing recently.

• I am having the visions/obsessions again about certain situations/events that are less than desirable. I am forced then to “clear” the visions from the universe by certain mental ritual/”good” thoughts and what not.

• I need to touch the “middle”. Usually this happens I am writing with pen and paper. I need to touch the middle of the paper with my pen. But the middle moves around. And I have to chase it with my pen or my finger. It really makes for odd note taking.

• I’ve got to touch Luke’s face before his face touches me. Now let me tell you how sexy that is. Involuntarily shoving your man away because he came at you too fast and startled you before you could touch his face the right way is one way to say “I’m a sure thing”

• Words and numbers and phrases need to be counted. They need to be “good”. Sometimes they need to be repeated. “bad” numbers etc. signify an imbalance and need to be corrected.

• Are you still, here? Blew your mind a little just now, huh?

But the good news is that the checking is in check. Heh heh. See what I did there? Checking is “in check”. I am clever. Also, my checking routines are really brief. And also, I am regularly driving and going places and interacting with strangers. So that’s cool. Also, good news that even though all these other things are trying to creep their way back into my head space, they obsessions and compulsions are not dominating. Yeah, it takes energy and intent not to relapse entirely, but I have the energy. And I’ve got the time. So there it is then.

Okay so this was "Day 2+" lets call it. I'll work on Day 3 later on.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Everyday in November...because everyone knows that I am super good at following through with deadlines I set for myself

So I figure that since I been kind of a slacker about blogging this past month, I should make up for it somehow. So I’m all Hmmm…what to do? But I figure that I can’t come to all of your houses and hang out with you which would be so awesome for you, so I better think of something else. There’s already “No shave November” going on and “30 days of Thankful” so I came up with “30 days of entertaining you with my fabulous blog posts. Tada!” And don’t forget the “Tada!” That’s what gives it character.


Sometimes I have a lot of business going on. And sometimes I’m kicking it in bed for a few days getting my crap back together. Sometimes really awesome crap happens and sometimes freaky crap comes all out my brain. We don’t know what the next 30 days hold for us folks. I’m willing to take suggestions if for no other reason than to help keep me from running off the track.

So let’s get started…

It’s been a day today. Like I sent my child to school with no shoes on when it was 45 degrees outside kind of a day. But let me explain. This child is a special breed of picky. She won’t wear long sleeves. They make her arms hot. She won’t wear short sleeves because they are cold on the inside. She won’t wear long pants or jeans because they make her feet look funny. She won’t wear tennis shoes because they flop around. She wont wear dress shoes because her toes will get squishy. She’ll wear sandals but only the ones she is in the mood for which usually are the ones that have vanished into the abyss or are tucked inside the pantry or inside the linen closet. So today after approximately one hour of threatening/begging/bribing/punishing/crying I finally decided “Fine. You want to wear a tank top and shorts in the cold. Do it then. You won’t want to wear shoes. Fine. Go to school like that and see how that treats you. So she did. And she froze. I did put shoes in her bag. Apparently when her teacher wants her to wear shoes she’s all for it. And she’s not even a teenager yet. I’m gonna need more pills.