Sunday, March 27, 2011

Probably not my most eloquent effort, but honest if nothing else.

It always seems to happen like this. I am making so much progress. In the last few years I have gone from completely dependent Obsessive-Compulsive agoraphobic with panic disorder. I have become an actual representative of this community. I’m getting better. I know that I will always be an Obsessive-Compulsive. But I’m learning how to stay in a pattern of maintenance.

And then the bottom falls out. It’s been a stressful few weeks. You know, just life and things and schedules and responsibilities that people who live and work outside of their home everyday deal with all the time. And Luke had a wreck. Among other crazy things. So suddenly, the thing that had most dominated my thoughts for years had happened. He had the wreck and he was fine. And I feel like there is a huge sinkhole left where controlling that intrusive thought used to be.

I noticed little by little at first. It was getting harder to get to bed at night. I just wanted to check the locks just one more time. Just two more. I needed to walk the routine just one more time. I was ticking again. My body ticks when I am fighting intrusive thoughts or the urge to ritualize. It ticks and I have to count those ticks. 4 times with my left hand. 8 times touching my wrist. 4 more twitches in my left hand. And then all those little things turned into real deal panic attacks. I forget just how much those suck. I can handle the attacks. I hate the attention that the attacks bring. Sometimes I am literally stunned at how I was able to hide and lie and pretend to have sort of a life when I was in fully involved OCD and panic. These 2 or 3 a week are wearing me out. How did I do that everyday?

So then OCD decided that it was bored of the little games and hit me with a surprise punch. If you know me or have read my blog a bit, you’ll know that my OCD has never involved germs or contamination. In fact, that is one of the reasons that it took my so long to get diagnosed. Because I thought people with OCD washed their hands and lined things up by color and carried around disinfectant wipes. I have never experienced this particular area. But there I was in the choir room as costumes and props started coming out of the closet for possible use in the musical. And suddenly, it was dusty. It was so so dusty. And I could feel the dust and the dirt and the germs. I could smell it and see it and taste it and it was getting inside me. It was coating my lungs and my fingers and my eyes. I was dizzy and I wanted to run and I couldn’t think straight. I recognized OCD. But the trigger was entirely foreign to me. And that was scary.

After that episode, I let it go. I had recognized the onset of panic and OCD, maintained and removed myself from the situation without a scene. So then when I was full scale hit with a contamination meltdown a few days later, I totally didn’t see it coming. Let me just say that there were multiple high school girls in a dressing room SHARING MAKE-UP. It was like the whole world started spinning around me and I could feel myself going out-of-body. I always forget what the frick that’s called. Depersonalization or something like that. Anyhow, I have always worked hard to keep my freakouts private around younger people and strangers. It’s scary. And really disconcerting. But I was repeating before I could even stop myself. I repeated “That’s not OK.” And I could not stop. And I counted the grouping of how many times I repeated. And my hand could not stop. And my fingertips felt like they were going to fall off. This was a time that I was so grateful for a friend who quickly removed me from the situation before the uncomfortable glances turned into full on stares and murmurs. I went to the sink and washed my hands. 4 times. I don’t even have words for how odd this whole situation felt.

You see, I know how to count and touch and repeat. I don’t know how to deal with contamination fear. I clearly recognized the power of the disorder but it was like an invader in my mind that I couldn’t get rid of. I washed and washed and my fingers still felt dirty. My self-analysis is this: When one obsession and resulting compulsion is starting to really be controlled, another one springs up in its place. I’ve read about this and talked about this with Therapist and other OCDers, but experiencing it is like having your first panic attack all over again.

I don’t know where it goes from here. I guess I just keep it going one day at a time. I acknowledge my disorder and I acknowledge my ability to live alongside of it. I accept my responsibility as a member of the mentally ill community. I agree to keep going and keep working and keep talking and keep sharing. I might just need some hand sanitizer now along the way.

I didn't die. Or get raped. I was just really busy. I got schedule raped.

So I’m pulling into my driveway last night at about 10pm. As I pull up I see these two high school boys in a truck. So yeah…please no raping. I’m not a fan of the raping. I figure that they are going to haul ass and get outta there because I busted them being weird, but they just still sat there in the truck. Being weird.

So now I’m all freaked out right there in my own driveway with my garage door opened and my car still running trying to decide if I’m going to try and kick them in the balls or squish them with my garage door when one of these kids freaking walks up to my window and knocks on it effectively almost making me pee in my pants. I was really wishing I had a rape whistle or a bat or something but then I realized that the kid still had on his student ID and was very non-threatening (read: Nerd.) I rolled my window down about a half inch. I didn’t even say anything because I was still really jittery and was now thinking of a new defense plan which involved a calculator or throwing my magic potion card or something.

And then he’s all “Hey, um….your door on the truck was opened and I saw that it had brand new tags on it and everything and I didn’t want anything to happen to it because I know lots of cars have been broken into around here lately so I just wanted to make sure it was shut and locked.” And then I’m all “um…OK” because I am totally not sure if I should believe him or expeliarmus him. But he just stood there looking all innocent and nerdy and totally serious. So I was all “OK. Thanks.” And he politely said “No problem. I just didn’t want anything to happen to your truck” and off he went with his friend presumably to for a little kamikaze weed pulling for the elderly under cover of night.

I went inside after making sure the garage door was fully closed behind me before I unlocked my car because I’ve seen Dateline. I know how this crap works. I go in and tell Luke the whole scene what just happened and then as he is hastily pulling on pants and searching for his keys to go check his truck:

Luke: Wait. So they were high school kids?
Me: Yes. The one kid still had on his name thing and everything.
Luke: And they were claiming to be helpful?
Me: I guess. He had this like I’m-a-fourteenth-level-warlock-in-world-of-warcraft kind of vibe so I think he was telling the truth.
Luke: And all he did was just shut the door?
Me: Yes. Because cars have been broken into around here lately and there are new tags on the truck and he didn’t want someone to get in there.
Luke: Well, I’m going out there to see what’s gone. *moments later…* I think they just shut the door on the truck. That’s so weird. And helpful.
Me: I know, right?! Helpful teenagers totally give me the creeps!

Friday, March 18, 2011

I didn't even proof read this. I've got stuff to do.

I have a perfectly good reason for not posting for a while. Well, not a good reason. But I definitely have the truth. I keep thinking “Well, this is interesting/funny/weird/creepy/disturbing/itchy. I should for sure share this…” And then…Freaking. Angry. Birds.

I have seriously developed a problematic obsession with Angry Birds. Every time I try to stop and do something else it’s all “but wait! You only have 2 stars on this level. Don’t you want 3? You need the eagle. Come on…bash in our stupid little green pig faces.” And then I play it for like about 100 hours. It’s such a ridiculous concept anyway. Like, why are the pigs green? Birds can’t split themselves in thirds. That’s silly. I hate real life birds enough as it is. Imagine if they were actually pissed off and possessed the ability to replicate on demand. No, birds. Just, no.

Anywhateverways, I traveled this last weekend. I’m a performer so we do that a lot. The thing is, remember how I’m crazy? Well, I traveled anyways. I’ll say that I did…alright. For a recovering agoraphobic and current obsessive-compulsive, I’d say I did pretty well. It was really the first time in about forever that I have traveled for that many days to that many different places without my safe person. Here’s the rundown: I drove my own happy self for 4 hours to meet up with the others, we went another couple hours, sang, drove some more, and hoteled it up. I did diva it up a little and claim one of the two hotel beds to myself leaving the other two ladies to cuddle up together. I just seriously can’t deal with people in my bed. I barely like having to share with my husband. I’m all thrashy and occasionally still have nighttime panic attacks which are startling to everyone let alone people who have never been in a bed with me.

The next day we sang, drove and sang some more. In the final concert we had more time so I was allowed to speak unsupervised. I’m trying to take every opportunity I can to speak in preparation for the IOCDF conference in July. (Hint: check out the button at the top of the page and don’t be afraid to show a little crazy love.) Then we stayed in a house with a stranger before driving all the way back the next day including 4 more hours of me behind the wheel.

Of course, I was (as usual) all kinds of medicated. So I hung in there. It wasn’t really until the end of that second day that it really started hitting me in the girl nads. Pills, pills, pills, a pep talk from my man, well-rehearsed relaxation ritual, and a lifetime of hiding all of the weird parts kept my head together. But OCD was all up in my head being all “Ooo girl, no you did NOT just walk past that railing without touching it. And I KNOW you didn’t just let that business right there go all uncounted. Child there could be all kinds of bad numbers up in here. This ain’t right.” So I was like “shut your face, you. Aren’t those pills kicking in yet?” and then OCD was like “No you did NOT give me pil… wait. What was I saying? Hey, that thing over there is shiny! I feel warm and blurry.”

And that is the story of how crazy people travel. And also how they get carpel-tunnel from stupid apps on the stupid iphone.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I'm fixin to mention my ovary so if that freaks you out...too bad because I already mentioned it technically

In stuff that happened news:

I played for another contest last weekend. And guess what. The band teacher said that I played very well. So yeah. Suck on that for a while other judges who be hatin/jeaallouuuussss/insecure that I’m taller than you.

Bleeeeeggghhhh. I’m having PMS. Which is totally unfair since I don’t even have a uterus. I got the one ovary so I guess my reproductive system is all “What? Just cause you take everything else apart you think I can’t make you all tired and have a headache and have sore boobs and whatnot? Well, think again. Booya” Yeah. That’s because my one leftover ovary is from about 1992 and still says booya. Also I think it listens to Rico Suave. You’re pushing your luck ovary...

I’m still working all over trying to get my fundraisers going for the IOCDF conference. In case you missed it, they are turning me loose with a microphone and some good stories about lots of crazy. And it costs a dang lot of money to get to San Diego and back for two people. So feel free to donate to the cause of helping spread the OCD story far and near.

If a picture of me with my boo-tay all up in the air and my hands all twisted behind my back turns up on some weird interwebz site, let me just say that it was a long day doing show choir choreography. Also, why the frick are you on that site? Perv. Also, I was greeted at school today by a picture of a placenta and it made total sense to me why that particular student instantly thought of me at the sight of a placenta. I think I need boundaries.

Side note: about half the words I use are not recognized by spell check. Spell check is a NERD. Recognized that one didn’t ya?

OK. I’m done. I apologize for having no coherent thoughts left in my brain. I’m claiming mental illness on that one.

Peace out.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Big News!

Big news! I am officially a speaker at the International OCD Foundation annual Convention!

Pretty much I’ll just be speaking about my journey on the path with OCD. The good, the bad, the hilarious, the unbelievable, the medicated, and the un-medicated. The conference is the last weekend in July in San Diego. I speak at 10am on Saturday. If you are in the area or even not in the area but wanna get in the area then come on and see me! I’ll be the crazy jittery one. Also check out the IOCDF.

But here’s the deal: it’s expensive to get to San Diego from here. It’s also expensive to stay in San Diego. Now I don’t want to be a whore about it, but I’m kinda going to ask you for a favor…IF you can and feel so inclined…you can donate to the “Get-Angela-To-San-Diego-To-Talk-About-Crazy-And-Hopefully-Not-Suck-And-Possibly-Make-People-Laugh-And-Feel-Less-Alone-In-Their-Life-With-OCD fund” then use the ultra handy button I have set up at the top of this page. I am NOT going to profit from this in anyway. If we raise extra money, then all proceeds will go straight to the IOCDF.

We (as in me and whoever else I can rope in to help me) will be hosting 2 showings of “So Now You Know”. A little back story: “So Now You Know” is the cabaret show that I staged a few years ago that eventually led to the creation of this blog. There will be singing, comedy, answers to your burning questions (thus leading me to say “so, now you know.”) and general awesomeness. Once I have more information for you, be SURE that I will tell you about it 444 milliondy times. Again, no profit for me. Just a little help for the cost of the trip and hopefully lots more for the IOCDF.

One more thing, remember how I am awesome with flying on planes. K, well I suck at planes. So I am already sort of processing how that will work. This will be the longest amount of time I have ever been on a plane and the furthest west I have ever been. California gives me the jeebs what with the unpredictable earthquakes and skinny people and all that. I have already become a little bit obsessive about this. When you see me, don’t be surprised if I am wearing my emergency backpack with with water, low fat food, emergency blanket, whistle, etc. I may also wear a hard hat the entire time we are there. Possibly.

Thank you so much for all your support!!