It’s Almost Spring

February 27th, 2014

Wow… It’s been over a year since I posted here last. A lot has gone on over that time frame… a lot of adjustments. I’d like to believe that I’ve grown a bit. I have realized that I did stagnate for awhile in hope that the world would change itself, without too much effort from me. For better or worse that simply hasn’t been the case. In some way I feel that it’s been waiting for me to either decide to take action or for me to simply fade away.

One of the things I have learned is that I need to narrow my focus somewhat. I need to concentrate on the people and circumstances that are around me, those that directly impact me. I can’t worry about what’s going on in Washington, or overseas, when there are issues right in my own back yard. Continuing to strive for such ‘lofty goals’ only fuels frustration and for as much energy as it takes, the results, if any, are rather minute.

This pull back shouldn’t be confused with hesitation or laziness on my part. I’m simply looking at making the most out of the things I’ve wanted to do for a long time. I’m a master at finding or making up excuses and I know that when I get overwhelmed I tend to put off or ignore things. I think this will be less likely to happen if I concentrate more on fewer, less overarching, projects and finding the ability to not fixate overmuch on any one of them.

We’ll see what the immediate future has in store for me. I’ve got a new residence, a newly created business, and hey, it’s almost spring!

The Birth of 2013

January 2nd, 2013

New Postings are imminent….

Almost Aced The Anxiety Test…

April 17th, 2012

Met again with my therapist yesterday and we got a chance to tally and discuss my results on the anxiety and depression tests. According to the anxiety test a 31 to 50 indicates a severe case of anxiety. I scored a 41. This, coupled with the fact that I’ve felt my anxiety increase over the last few years, has led the therapist to diagnose me with a chronic case of severe depression. On the depression front I scored a 16 which is within the mild range of 11 to 20.

With these lasts tests outta the way it’s pretty clear that my mental health is in tatters. Still having a fully worked up diagnosis is a big relief. I feel like my actions and feelings make sense, in a twisted sort of way, when viewed in light of OCD and my level of anxiety. I’ve found a source for my issues, it’s been named, and now I can actually move forward and try to find ways to manage it. It’s like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I even cried on the way over to pick up the Wifey after the appointment. Not because I was sad but because I found a bit of hope that things will get better.

After going over the diagnosis we discussed treatment. The inpatient option was taken off the table first since there is not treatment programs offered for OCD in Colorado. That leaves us with medication, behavioral/cognitive therapy or a mixture of both. I was dead set against simply popping a pill and leaving it at that. The therapist was in agreement with this so she let me decide whether or not to try medication with therapy or therapy alone.

I’ve actually thought about the medicinal stuff quite a bit over the last week so I was ready to pretty much make the decision once the question was posed. Since I feel that there is a physical component that hasn’t responded to coping techniques I’ve learned in the past such as breathing, visualization etc. (learned when finding ways of dealing with IBS) I want to include it in hopes it allows me to tone down the anxiety faster. From there I hope to achieve a baseline which will make the behavioral/cognitive therapy more fruitful.

I’ll touch base with my family physician to discuss the specific drug this week but I’m well aware that it probably won’t have a positive effect until a few weeks after I start taking it.

My homework at the moment is to work on an autogenic exercise to help decrease my overall anxiety and depression levels. At first glance it seems a little hokey but I’m gonna give it a go since I’m unwilling to dismiss anything out of hand that may turn out to make life a bit more positive for me.

So, in short, I’m making progress. One little step at a time.

Currently Contemplating an Old Poem

April 16th, 2012

Action and Reaction (written 2006)

And, when I first met you
Amazed by your sparkling eyes and singsong voice
Infused with the joy of the moment
Laughing inwardly at all my past fears…

And, while I led you back through the rift
Worrying every moment that I’d turn around and you’d be gone
Rushing through the woods, past flowers I didn’t recognize
Away from your mountains and into mine…

And, while we were entering my campsite
I reveled in the look on the faces of my friends
Watching awe spread across their faces
Watching my past certainty find foundation…

And, while we chatted
Drinking our tea and mead
Listening to each others tales of our homelands.
Excited about what our meeting foretold…

And, while I stared at the night sky
To excited to sleep
Worried that I might wake up
To find this simply a fleeting dream…

Our people’s cities burned.

When I was meeting you
There were other meetings.

When I was leading you back through the rift
Others were finding their way.

While we were entering my campsite
Others were entering our cities.

While we chatted
Others were making war.

While I stared at the night sky
Others were looking at open graves.

It’s Official. I have OCD.

April 3rd, 2012

OCD… I have OCD… Fuck.

We, the psychiatrist and I, worked our way through the checklist. The questions seemed so simple. I answered them, trying to keep my emotions in check, struggling to be honest even though I knew what that would reveal to both of us.

It’s official. I have OCD…

Now what? Apparently there are two forms of treatment, medication or in-patient treatment. Medication is the norm but one I won’t do without continued counseling. For me it’s got to be a tool to give me headroom to develop the tools necessary to live without it. Luckily, the doc and I are on the same page regarding this. The second, in-patient treatment, where the obsessive thoughts are triggered and then you’re not permitted to follow through on the compulsion, has proven successful for some. However, it’s apparently agonizing emotionally. I’ve tried to resist the compulsions, sometimes I’m successful, but the struggle is anything but pleasant. Still, I won’t dismiss the in-patient option simply because I’m afraid of the pain.

I have OCD… How severe? Anything else?

We’re still working on this. We only had an hour after all. But I have homework, worksheets regarding depression and anxiety, exercises to reduce stress. I won’t remain idle. Next time I know we’ll go deeper, explore more hidden issues and possibly find symptoms that the OCD has masked. An anxiety disorder is likely to be found. The Doc suspects it. So do I.

I also won’t hide. I won’t be ashamed.

Having OCD doesn’t decrease my worth as a person. It’s doesn’t mean I’m insane. I know that the obsession is irrational, even as I’m feeling the emotions and the tugs of the compulsions. I may not have the strength to ignore them but that doesn’t mean that I can’t resist, that I can’t fight against them. Others have their own issues, this is mine. But, I won’t let it define me.

I have OCD. It doesn’t have me.

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