Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Wednesday, January 30, 2002

The weather has changed from unseasonably warm and sunny to dreary and a bit colder, so I'm sleepy and achy. I guess it couldn't last. I am so ready for spring. The last few weeks have been particularly difficult, mainly because of things I did that made things worse. Let's just say that some things that I was trying very hard to ignore, have caught up with me, and it's probably about time. (There is, after all, a reason I'm in therapy--I'm having to learn better coping skills.) That's why I've played so much with quizzes, etc.; I've tried to escape stuff going on in life, for just a bit. But I've been taking more responsibility, too, so things will eventually get better.

When I look back at the last year, though, I realise how far I've come. A year and a half ago I was living in an over-priced, unmanageable apartment surrounded by hoards of stuff to the point where none of my friends would come see me. I couldn't go out in public without having major anxiety. I was constantly doubting myself, checking to make sure I'd turned off the stove, that I'd lock the door, etc. In short, my brain chemistry was running amok. People talk about obsessive-compulsiveness like it's some sort of joke. But it's awful. It's like having a tape playing over and over in your brain so fast that you can't even make out the words. It's having awful images of doing things you'd never normally do, like crashing your car, that bother you so much you find yourself counting or walking a certain way, or bathing three times a day. The good thing, though, is that OCD is a matter of brain chemistry--it's neurochemical. It can be treated with medication so that the anxiety and obsessions ease. When I look back at myself this time last year, I realise that I would never have been able to concentrate for long periods of time to do the website I've been working on, or any of a host of other projects at work. I couldn't even concentrate well enough to do yoga. I had trouble talking to people because I was obsessing on certain aspects of the environment, like a certain noise, to the point where I couldn't tell what people were saying. If this sounds like anyone you know, please urge them to check with a doctor--OCD responds pretty well to treatment. I've been on Paxil for almost a year now and it has literally given my life back. It was only after dealing with the depression and anxiety issues that I could start working on the more deep-set problems that have been holding me back. I hope in another year I'll be that much more ahead.

Hmmm...I didn't mean to stray into my mental health, but it feels better to write it down. I guess that's one good point about blogging. I don't know if anyone really wants to read about my psycho moments, but I guess my emotional struggles right now are the main "project" on my plate, so I might as well talk about them. And it's so hard to explain to people in person what my brain's been doing, especially in its less lucid moments. I'm not crazy per se, I know reality from phantasy, etc., but sometimes I have some skewed thinking that interferes with my interaction with reality--like I'll perceive criticism where none is implied, etc., because I expect it. Sometimes I feel like I'm at war with my brain. But it's given me a better view of why people act irrationally (and really, most of us do act from emotions rather than logic a good bit of the time), and a better idea with people who really are struggling with sanity. I'd like to see the movie 'A Beautiful Mind'. I think it'll make more sense than it would have a year ago.

Well, it's late, and I think I'm kind of rambling, anyway. I hope this made some sense. Until next time--:)

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