What’s the point in telling anyone how I really feel if they are going to dismiss it or not believe it? I told Kathi I’ve been feeling more anxious and depressed lately and she said that she thinks that I only think that I am– that I’m really not. How do you respond to that? I’ve led my whole life feeling like I wasn’t believed, especially by my parents. I called Kathi and left her a message Monday morning because my boss was sick and I had been around her Friday. I’ve been pretty upset about it and haven’t been to work at that job because she said she doesn’t want to get us sick. I asked Kathi to call me back, but she didn’t. Why do I even bother reaching out anymore? We all learn that reaching out is the best thing to do when you’re going through something. I don’t know, sometimes I wish I didn’t; it always seems to bite me in the butt.
The OCD, the anxiety, the depression…they are all invisible illnesses. You might look fine on the outside but inside your body is at war; at war with itself nonetheless. It’s "game on"…there is no preparing yourself for it, no time outs. I’m on this invisible battlefield fighting day in and day out to make it through the day and get a hold of all this, but sometimes, even my strength isn’t enough. The hospital is not just a fear anymore; it’s yet another obsession that I am overtaken by. I hate the hospital. I’ve hated it both times I was in it. It’s lonely, it’s terrifying, it’s way out of my comfort zone and I am still paying off and getting bills from it. It’s astounding how 5 days in that place costs you 16 grand. It’s insane. How can someone get help if they aren’t millionaires? The mental health system is so screwed up but I don’t want to get into that. As much as I never want to go back there, inpatient or outpatient, there is a part of me that does wants to go back as silly as that sounds. That’s the part that is intense and overpowering right now. I miss the therapists in outpatient and despite all the negative things about the hospital; I kind of want to be back in there. It makes no sense and I beat myself up over it. Some days I am completely taken over with thoughts about the hospital; just the experience within itself. All my senses are taken over and that’s all I can think about. Sometimes the bullets are piercing you despite your best efforts of dodging them. On a good day they come flying by and just miss you but you still spend the day trying to dodge them. It’s amazing, sometimes I think about how much of my life, how much of my energy I have wasted on this. I have missed out on so much of life and I continue to miss out on because it runs my life, not the other way around.
Sure things aren’t nearly as awful as they were this time last year, but I live every single day in fear that they will get like that again. I’ve said it before, but I mean it, if things get that awful again I don’t know if I can get through it again, but it’s not like anyone believes me on that either. I didn’t have the time to get up, dust myself off, dislodge the bullet and prepare for the next. I was laying there, one with the dirt, feeling the bullets pierce my body without reprieve. I tell people this. I try to articulate to the best of my ability how beyond fearful I am. Do they just not get it, or is there nothing anyone can do to help make these fears go away? It’s like reliving your worst experience over and over again in your mind. It’s so vivid…so real…so intense…so painful. It hurts so much to think about this time last year, but it’s become an obsession that I can’t run from. It’s like my obsessing over committing suicide. It’s gets so intense and so big sometimes that there is nothing you can do to make it stop. Now, currently with things being difficult with my OCD, my anxiety and depression, I constantly worry that this is the start of what happened last year. I know I almost talk myself into it happening with all the worry, but I don’t know what else to do. I don’t know how to not automatically obsess over the fact that it’s all starting again. It’s terrifying and I feel there is nothing to do that will stop it from occurring. I feel like I’m one step away from driving myself back into the hospital just from the mere fact that I am obsessing about it so much and so intensely. I don’t know why it suddenly got so bad this time last year so how am I supposed to stop it from happening again? I fear that it will come and go at that intensity my whole life that I will be in and out of hospitals throughout my life, and the thought of that makes me want to kill myself because that is not a life to me. When I look into my future, I see one filled with pain, one I cannot get through. It has nothing to do with positive or negative thinking; I believe it is just a reflection of the past. Change is very hard for me; every little itty bitty change. Life is constantly changing and if I can’t cope with that, how am I going to make it? This “test” or whatever someone wants to call it is not showing me anything, it’s not teaching me anything, so how can it be beneficial? I’ve kind of given up on praying over the last year or so because what is the point? My prayers seem to always be ignored and it takes more faith than I have at this point in my life to keep praying for something that God doesn’t want to give me.
Kathi mentioned that being in this state is comfortable for me, and to a degree I think she is right. It’s by no means “comfortable” like most people think of the word, but it’s all I know, so that in itself is comfortable, right? Maybe comfortable isn’t the right word, maybe “used to it” is better. How can you not get used to a life that you have known your whole life? I’m still searching for that one thing that will change it all…still hoping after all these years that it’s out there but I just haven’t found it yet? That has been something that has kept me going- the thought that the answer, the miracle, the “something” is out there and I just haven’t found it yet. As the years go on and the pain and suffering gets more and more intense, the reality of it all seems more and more doubtful. What is so wrong with me that I can’t find the answer? It just plain wears you down. This is the “me” I know and have ever really known. God knows I want to know a different me, but will I ever?
I know that my worrying about Kathi going on vacation at the end of July isn’t going to change the fact that she’s going. Why worry then, right? If it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen and no amount of worrying in the world is going to change it. I know this intellectually, but that doesn’t matter. I just plain can’t help it. I can’t help but feel like I’m going to lose it completely while she’s gone and I won’t have her here to help me and I’ll hurt myself or be forced into the hospital.
My obsessions with getting sick are getting more and more intense. I’ve had these obsessions since I was 9, so what makes me believe that they will go away now. The thoughts run my life. I just don’t worry about getting sick, but I worry that other people will get sick and then in turn I’ll get sick from them. I even often have dreams about people getting sick. I can’t even escape it in my sleep. Again, I know there is nothing I can do so worrying does nothing, but I can’t control it. I fear that I will get sick and then my anxiety will sky rocket and I won’t be able to handle it and I’ll hurt myself. No one will go around me when I’m sick so I can’t get help or comfort.
I have come to realize that I do have compulsions. My compulsions would be constantly telling someone how I feel over and over. I don’t know what I hope will happen when I do this, but for some reason it gets it off of me for a second and out. For one split second I don’t feel so alone. I’m so afraid of losing Lenny, Kathi, Deacon Bob and Carole. So very afraid.
I feel like everyone is sick and tired of me—like it’s old news, I’m like old news. Sometimes I feel like if I were to get better would certain people even communicate with me or care about me? Would the dynamic of our relationship change?
Saw Dr. Frankel yesterday and it was very emotional for me. Nothing completely out of the ordinary happened but some things he said just saddened me greatly. I already knew the things he said but it just kind of hit me hearing it this time. He said that OCD is one of the hardest disorders to keep under control and meds and therapy can only do so much. He said since the symptoms wax and wane it’s hard to be stable. That just hurt to hear. I just kept thinking to myself, ‘why do I have to struggle with something that is unresponsive and hard to keep under control?’ I guess another thing that made it emotional is that I try so hard to not think about what I should do about my meds. I try so hard to not think about it because it is one of the biggest life decisions I will ever have to make. He wants me to try some medicine that he heard has helped OCD from some doctor at Yale. It’s unconventional and used to treat patients with Alzheimers and he isn’t sure it will help but he has suggested it to me the last couple times I have gone in. I can never make a decision because I have so many reservations about what to do regarding my meds. I really don’t want to be on the meds I’m on now, let alone adding another one to the mix. I just don’t know what to do. To try and get off the meds is going to be the hardest thing ever because some of them are really difficult to get off of. Do I just try it or do I stay the way I am now? I don’t know. All my money goes towards doctors and meds…I’m so tired of it. I don’t have any more to spend on yet another med. I’m stuck in this state of limbo and no one can give me the answer, but the problem is I can’t come up with an answer myself and I’m not sure if I will ever be able to.
I just want to sit with Kathi, Deacon Bob or Carole and cry because it’s just all too much, but I’m scared that will open up a “can of worms” and I will start to feel even worse. I’m so guarded because I don’t know what will set me off…what will make things worse. Things are getting worse and I woke up with pretty bad anxiety this morning. I just don’t see a future for myself. I’m so sick and tired of fighting what seems to be an impossible fight. The thoughts and obsessions are just too much to bare.
I’ll close with what Scott said on episode one of “Obsessed” because it’s so true… ““People with OCD are alone. We are really really really lonely. You can’t fit anybody in that little box with you- nobody can come in, so you have to deal with this completely by yourself. And I was leery of Dr. Shannon in the beginning, ‘cause there surely can’t be anyone that understands the crazy thoughts that go through our heads and how much pain this causes us in our lives. People want to make fun of OCD, that it’s really actually a funny disease, but if you knew how lonely it makes us feel, it’s really not that funny…”