Friday, May 30, 2014

Struggling With Emotions and Loss

I began this blog in profound pain, hoping that one day I would find my freedom from the grips of OCD and this blog might serve as hope to others if I did.  One thing I never did find much of in my journey through OCD hell was success or recovery stories.

Life has become a lot easier.  Some of the rituals that literally defined my existence are so long past that I forget some of them until I am reminded by my blog or other various things.  I thought I would be happy when I got to this point, but I'm not.  OCD is such a brutal bitch of a disease that, if you do make it through, it leaves indelible scars on you.  On top of that, I have the added physical and emotional scars of my husband's abuse - which he blamed on my OCD.  I was difficult to live with, so natch, abusing me was the logical option.

So, here I am, doing better with OCD without meds or therapy than some of people do with both, but covered in scars, 20 pounds heavier than I was, uncomfortable in my own skin, and back into the clusterfuck of eating disorders.  I haven't really learned how to manage eating as little as I used to, especially with alcohol in the mix now, so I have resorted to my old tried and true bulimia.  Beer is great for this; I get the alcohol buzz, vomit up half of the calories, and the carbonation helps bring the food up.  Win.

Randomly, one day about 15 or 16 years ago in the kitchen of the apartment I shared with my ex, and best friend to this day, I discovered the ability to vomit without shoving anything down my throat.  Truth be told, I was never really good at making myself puke otherwise; on-command vomiting was so much easier.

I do not advocate this.  I really don't.  I would never wish this fucked up relationship with food and self upon anyone, but consider the fact that I had a very bad relationship with myself, my body, my mind, and food long before I ever hit OCD's rock bottom or endured the soul-destroying effects of being heartlessly, cruelly, emotionally abused by the person I loved more than anyone else in this world.  It's kind of funny, the very same person who helped me find my worth was the very same one who destroyed it.

Lesson: Do not let anyone define your worth except you.  And, god damn it, judge your worth on something other than the shit I judge mine on.

Is it wrong to blame Husband?  Partially, yes; the OCD was not his doing, it is a fundamental flaw in my psyche and I denied it in its infancy when I could have nipped it in the bud because I did not want anything in common with my mother.  My mother has OCD.  On the other hand, he chose to abuse me.  He chose to use my disorder against me by designing his abuse around what he knew would destroy me with the greatest ease and efficacy.  And he has stopped doing this, completely, since November of 2013.  That's six months, half a year, of him not being abusive.  And that should make me happy, right?  I certainly wished desperately for it during the days, weeks, months, years, that he put me through a hell that I could not wish upon my worst enemy.

Instead, I feel angry.  Very angry.  He could have made the choice to change at any time, obviously, but he didn't.  Because, as he put it years ago when I asked why he would do this to me, "it feels good, and it works."  What the fuck?  I've kind of been the one losing my shit since, getting enough wine in me to allow my inhibitions to let my mouth speak what my heart feels.  I tell him how he hurt me, how horrible he was.  I break down into racking sobs.  All he ever says is, "I'm sorry.  I said and did some stupid things when I was angry, and I shouldn't have."  Disarming, yes?  I can't tell if he means these words, or if the sight of my face bleeding all over the floor, myself, him, and everything else in a 10 foot radius of the incident that evidently prompted his desire to stop abusing me has scared the living shit out of him and made him realize that he could actually go to JAIL for what he's done to me.  I sadly suspect it's the latter.

So I have all of that to process, plus my own OCD recover, plus my obvious eating disorder relapse, plus the hideous and severe scarring of the cutting I used to cope with the aforementioned abuse.  Why cutting?  I could never heal the words he said, the hurt he caused.  That was inside, and it still is.  But the cuts?  I could clean them, bandage them, watch them heal.  It made sense to watch something heal from my efforts.  And sometimes I left them untreated.  I watched the infections turn my flesh bright red, watched hypertrophic scars form, and that made sense, too.  It was tangible, if awful.

Yes, I'm broken.  You might read this in absolute horror, and that's okay.  This story is horrific.  It is awful.  If nothing else in the world, maybe it will tell people of the power of their words.  Words hurt.  Sometimes, words even kill.  Bullies come in all ages, all forms, all relationship types.

I'm so very torn.  I know I need forgiveness, as we all do.  Husband is trying.  Does he deserve a chance?  I guess that depends on how honest his intentions are.  I'm trying to repair myself, my body, my mind...and this fucking relationship.

Before OCD, I was a recovered anorexic/bulimic/cutter.  I had a GREAT life.  I was happy for the first time in my life.  But I wasn't good enough for him to love me through OCD.  Yeah, it was hell, but what he did to me was worse.  And now I have fallen back into the arms of the comforts I used to help me through the hell that my life was before I met him.  And why not?  What is the point?  I've lost so much, missed so much.

Today is a rough day.  I'm trying, but my god it's so hard sometimes.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Tired of Giving 200%

I'm angry.

I went through hell and back alone.  It wasn't that I just didn't have help or support, but that I fought while having the exact opposite of what I needed.  I came through OCD while living in a severely abusive relationship where my husband blamed me for the abuse because I didn't correct my OCD fast enough or fully enough for his liking.  While already feeling that I was a failure, he reinforced those thoughts by telling me, "You should feel like a failure, because you ARE a failure."

He would use my OCD fears to torment me; if I didn't do something fast enough, he would, for example, rub his hands inside the garbage can and then rub them all over the furniture, walls, counters, etc.  I once stayed awake for a marathon 72-hour ritual of clean-up after one of those, and thought very seriously about ending my life because I was so deliriously exhausted and anxious that I simply didn't want to go on anymore.

My husband has changed; he doesn't do those things anymore.  He controls his anger.  He apologizes for all of his past mistakes and the "stupid" things he said and did.  He admits it was wrong and he shouldn't have done it.  He has held true to those statements for six months now.  The problem is, he obviously could have changed by making different decisions.  And he didn't, not when I needed him to the most.  He chose to torment and abuse me.  His cruelty was so severe that a domestic violence counselor of 30 years told me that the things he was doing were some of the most heinous, sadistically abusive she'd ever encountered in her career.  Sadistic because, when I asked him why he treated me that way, he said, "Because it works.  It makes me feel good."

I've done my best to forgive him, though I still struggle with whether I can…or even should.  I miss the man I married.  I want that guy back.  I don't think it will ever happen.  It's like torn pieces of paper that I'm trying to tape back together, or a shattered glass that I am trying to glue back together; no matter how much effort I put into fixing it, I don't think it can ever be beautiful or functional again.

And still I am the one who puts forth the effort.  I am the one who offers the hugs and kisses.  I am the one who tries to find new, good things.  Yet, I am also the one whose hurt bubbles up to the surface occasionally, and loses her shit yelling and screaming about how badly I was hurt and how angry I am and what a horrible person it would take to do and say the things he did and said to me.  He makes no effort beyond saying he is sorry.  I get the impression he wants nothing to do with me.  And, you know, maybe I don't want anything to do with him, either; the thing is, he abused me.  He put me through hell that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy, or the most evil person alive.  He should be making the majority of the effort.

And he doesn't even make half.

Indelible: The Scars of Abuse

I haven't felt the need to write in a very long time.  Part of me wanted to, to let people know it IS possible to take your life back (though it takes time and I'm still working at it a day at a time) from the thief that is OCD.  The other part of me wanted to distance myself as far from this fucking mess as possible.  After all, it stole my life, my confidence, my hope, my marriage, my security, and a couple of very important, precious years with my children.  While I was still here, I was not present, if that makes sense.  If you're reading an OCD blog, it probably makes a lot of sense.

During one of our "arguments", I sustained some injuries that required medical attention.  Having given up on doctors four years prior to this incident, it took me five months to convince myself that I needed to go.  This injury is dental, and not something I could ignore for much longer.

The dentist I went to has been my dentist for 13 years, and I always regarded him as a decent guy.  I had not been to him, or any dentist, since a very bad experience with an oral surgeon in 2005.  I look much different than I did the last time he saw me; I've gained weight, about 15-20 pounds, from all the drinking I did to numb my pain.  I have very extensive scarring from the near-daily self-injury I was doing to cope with my husband's profound verbal abuse and my own feelings of loss, pain, inadequacy, anxiety, and intense frustration that only those who have suffered with OCD can fully appreciate.  Since I refuse to buy "fat clothes", I wasn't dressed very nice (nice enough, but not meticulously put-together like he remembers).  I cut my own hair now instead of going to a stylist, another bridge I burned when I wanted to the the house, but couldn't.  It took me years to find that salon.  Sigh.

I was jumpy in the dental chair.  This is my first medical experience of any kind in over five years.  My body has been damaged, my psyche has been decimated, and I learned that I'd become far more vulnerable and broken than I ever realized.  Things hurt me more physically; I swear to you I believe the hygienist doing my x-rays was a sadist.  I have TMJ, so my face feels like it's been hit with a truck since the appointment.  When the dentist explained the extent of my injuries, which was far more severe than I imagined, I took a few deep breaths and accepted it.  I would need a lot of work done.  It wouldn't be pleasant.  He took a few additional x-rays to be certain of what he was seeing, as there was a lot of damage.  While he was out of the room, I had to fight a tidal wave of emotions which threatened to reduce me to a pathetic, weeping mess right there in the office.  I resolved that I would deal with my emotions later.

When the dentist returned, he explained that what he saw was correct, and what would need done.  He said he would have to go over everything and write up an estimate.  Then he said, "But to be honest with you, I don't think I can work on you.  You're practically jumping out of the chair.  Everything hurts.  You may need a specialist, and possibly some sedation to do the extensive amount of work that needs done."

I was simultaneously crushed and terrified; it had taken so much just to trust someone I had trusted before, and now he was going to dismiss me?  I understood his reasons, but from past experience, he knows I am capable of handling the work that needed done.  I'd been through far worse!  So I said, "Look, I know I'm a basket case today; I'm having a rough time and I have a lot going on.  But I know I can do this.  Please don't send me elsewhere."

He agreed to attempt starring small; I have a tiny cavity that needs filled, and he said maybe that would get me used to having work done again.  I agreed that it was a great idea.  He said something to the hygienist, then simply walked out of the room.  It was so…dismissive, so lacking in any sort of compassion, kindness, empathy, sympathy, etc., that I almost couldn't believe it.

I've been reeling from this experience for three days now.  I hate myself for the way it went down, for the way I cannot speak confidently anymore, stuttering and stammering and unable to put my once-articulate speech together in a way that doesn't make me look and sound like a complete fool.

And it made me angry all over again.

I feel like my interaction with my dentist was much like my interactions with my husband when he was being so verbally abusive.  Please don't give up on me.  Please just understand that this isn't a character fault, I'm genuinely working hard to deal with something here.  And the dismissive way he walked out, without a handshake or a goodbye or a "see you in a few weeks".  Just like my husband so many times turned his back on me after saying hurtful things when I needed him the most.

My experience with OCD was a brutal one.  Sometimes it still is, though nothing like it was when I was confined to my house for two years, unable to even stop onto my front porch.  I no longer feel I "need" to do laundry with gloves, or wash my hands for up to five hours a night.  I don't have to sleep on the floor anymore, for fear I'll "contaminate" a bed.  I still don't like it when strangers touch my things, but I'll allow it.  I still struggle with brining germs home, but it no longer takes me all night to settle back in after a lengthy cleaning ritual.  Mostly, it was how I was treated - err, abused - during the absolute depths of my disorder that has caused the most damage.  I've been hurt, both emotionally and also physically.  Damage has been done to my body and my spirit, and I don't know if it can be repaired.  It feels as if this indelible agony has become a part of my being.  It is a place from which fear and lack of trust continues to spew forth.

OCD took almost everything from me for a while.  My husband took the rest, and then some.  I have gotten to where I am not simply without him but in spite of him.  People still don't understand.  I've lost friends, connections of all kinds, and myself as well.  I don't look the same or feel the same.  It's like I woke up after a period of years inside someone else's mind and body, but I still have my own consciousness and want it back in my old body and my pre-catastrophic OCD mind.  But I'll never have that.  I'm scarred, both mentally and physically from what this has done to me.

And I'm not sure how to cope with that.

Friday, November 8, 2013

You Can Recover Your Life From OCD

When I was at the absolute rock bottom of my OCD battle, I began to wonder if I could ever climb back out.  I tried everything I could think of, from reading all the books I could find about people who had recovered their lives, to doing the OCD Workbook, and everything in between.  While there were helpful bits and pieces, I think most of it really failed to address the situation in the way I needed. 

Counseling was not an option, as I could not leave the house at all; I couldn't even retrieve a package from my own front porch unless I could reach them by leaning out the door.  It struck me that there really needs to be some sort of phone-based counseling service for people who suffer from the truly debilitating, confining form of OCD that I went through.  Because no such thing exists, at least that I could find in my area, I was truly, utterly alone.

I turned to alcohol at one point; I couldn't handle the pain of what my life had become, of what I was putting my family through, or the way my husband dealt with his frustrations about OCD by blaming me, shaming me, and using my fears against me.  That was a bad idea.  Not only were my problems still there in the morning, the rebound anxiety as you recover from drinking the previous night is a major bitch.  My anxiety was already over the top and I effectively made it worse by trying to escape.  Alcohol is not an escape. 

At the absolute worst of my disorder, my rituals started the moment I woke up and culminated with a handwashing ritual that lasted anywhere from three to five hours nightly.  I dreaded going to sleep because of what I had to do to get there.  When the ritual became too much and I didn't want to contaminate anything by not going through it, I finally started sleeping on the floor.  No blankets, no pillows, often shivering through the night in pain from having no comfortable position.  My life was a living hell.  I cried everyday.  I considered suicide constantly.  The longer it went on, the more distant "normal" seemed to be.  I would watch my neighbors come and go, envious that they could and that it was so simple for them.  While my husband thought I derived some pleasure out of my OCD (otherwise, in his assessment, I would have stopped what I was doing), I wished that my life was so easy that I could make such an asinine statement as he did and actually mean it.

Laundry, a point of serious arguments for us, was my nemesis.  I had to wash every load many times, and I could only handle it with plastic baggies over my hands.  I destroyed so many clothes from the constant, relentless hot water washes.

I bleached the absolute shit out of every corner in the house, to the point the baseboards were destroyed, the metal registers were completely rusted and crumbling apart, and there was a constant latent odor of Clorox in the air.  I even washed my hands in bleach.  Yes, my hands.  Bleach.  I would clench my teeth in pain as my hands bled.  My nails were gone.  I could barely type or touch anything because my hands were raw.  I looked like a burn victim who had fallen hands-first into a fire pit and stayed there for a few seconds before moving away.  I couldn't bend my fingers.  There was a distinct line above my wrists which marked the frequent washings and chemical burns I had inflicted upon myself in the pursuit of comfort and feeling clean.  That comfort never, ever came; it was only exhaustion and a tearful submission to accept the fear that ever brought an end to a ritual.  I wondered if my hands would ever be normal again, if I would ever regrow fingernails, if I would ever leave the house again.

All of the books tell you to sit with the fear and let it be.  Feel the fear.  Don't try to avoid it, because if you do, it'll fucking drown you.  That's the truth.  I knew it, in theory, but I didn't know it.  "Take a normal risk, and simply don't do the ritual.  You will realize that nothing bad happens, and you will get better the more you do this."  Yes, and no.  This is what is always spewed, almost verbatim, by people who want to help.  Thing is, what they fail to address, at least in my own situation, is that OCD will have a "yeah, but..." for everything.  My fears were not the "simple" ones I used to say recovered OCD sufferers must have had.  If I don't flip this light switch exactly 247 times, my dog will explode tonight.  When the dog hasn't exploded by morning, it's all good.  Most people can make it 24 hours without totally losing their minds.  But what about those of us who are afraid of some far future consequence?  Kevin from the OCD Project comes to mind; he was afraid he was going to go to Hell for doing or not doing something.  My fears were not religion-based, but also future.  What if I unwittingly do something today that has a negative consequence weeks or months from now?  Better safe than sorry...was always the way my mind was attacking me.  That fear was crippling; literally every waking moment of my day was about making sure to take every precaution.  Even my dreams were infiltrated by this monster.  There was no escape, not the way I was doing things.  It was a lot like anorexia; there was no such thing as thin enough.  With OCD, there was no such thing as clean enough.  And ironically, the very things I was doing to protect myself were making me more vulnerable!

At some point, I realized I did, in fact, have a choice.  While I couldn't choose to not have OCD anymore, I could choose to adopt a new mantra: do it anyway.  It was a slow start.  I started by attacking things I knew would be easier for me, like switching my cleaning fluid of choice from bleach to something less caustic and destructive.  That was extremely difficult at first, but I did it.  Feeling a bit proud of myself, and with renewed hope that I might be able to climb out of the abyss after all, I tried new things.  What I learned is that I cannot get complacent with OCD.  To conquer it, you must do something every single day that scares you.   The moment you don't push through something fear-provoking, OCD is fast at work weaving it's vines through your brain and tightening its grip on your thoughts.  Do not get comfortable.  Comfortable comes later.

I no longer do laundry with plastic baggies on my hands.  I mop my floors every couple of weeks, and sweep as needed.  I wash my hands before bed, and sometimes I do it more than once, but it's five minutes, maybe ten on a really bad night - which is fortunately rare.  I can retrieve my own packages, take out the garbage, run to the grocery store - even if there is no self-checkout, pump gasoline.  This past summer, I took care of a garden, mowed the lawn, spent time outside with my kids, went hiking through the woods, bought and rode a new bike, and visited with some friends.  Recently, I started doing volunteer work for a local animal shelter.  There are no elaborate rituals when I come home; just a quick hand wash and I usually even stay in the same clothes I went out in until it's time for bed.  I'm living a fairly typical life.  I do still have OCD, and I always will; the difference is that now it doesn't have me.

When I used to search the web for OCD blogs, I always desperately hoped to find one where someone who had been at the absolute bottom of rock bottom came back and actually did normal things and had normal thoughts again.  I wanted to come back and say that, yes, it IS possible, you CAN do this, and please, please do not give up your hope.  OCD occupied probably 95% of all my thoughts for a very long time.  Now, it's more like 5-10%, depending on the day.  I'm here to tell you that if I could do this, YOU ABSOLUTELY CAN DO THIS.  My OCD was extremely severe and completely debilitating.  I did not have counseling, I did not have medications, and I did not have support from my husband (I had, in fact, quite the opposite).  I still have things to work through and I probably always will to some extent, but I enjoy my life now.  I want that for everyone who is suffering through this.

Every time we give into a ritual or an OCD-related fear response, we're rewiring our brain to give OCD control.  Giving in to the fear tells your brain that the fear assessment was correct.  Humans are excellent learners, especially where fear is concerned.  By not responding to the fear, you tell your brain that the assessment was inaccurate, and you wire your brain to give you back your control.

Another thing I learned through this journey is that, when you take a break, delay a ritual, sit with your fear, you absolutely cannot just sit there and think about how you are sitting there thinking about it.  The OCD will take advantage if this time to build your fear up to utterly intolerable levels.  The key is to outwit OCD by going and doing something else.  Take a walk, read to your kids, play with your dog or cat, anything that will actively engage your mind and leave little to no room for the previous fear.  Much of the time, I no longer feel the need to do whatever it was I was concerned about, and this is true for most people with OCD.  It may take a few tries, and it will not work perfectly every time, but it will be victories here and there which ultimately win the battle.

I don't know how often I will update from now on.  I wish everyone success, happiness, peace, and freedom from OCD.  Again, you CAN do this.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Do It Anyway

  • I haven't kept track of the exact number of days, but it's been weeks since I've done one of my hours-long hand washing rituals. While I have, probably 3-4 times, washed my hands for longer than a normal person would, the longest I've done that is less than 10 minutes.
  • I've been putting all the groceries away as they come home. Nothing has stayed on the floor for a very long time.
  • I've been having a healthy breakfast and taking a multivitamin every day for a while now, and I'm feeling better.
  • I'm exercising much more regularly.
  • I'm doing more things I enjoy.
  • I finally got that blanket out I was working on for my daughter, the one I was afraid to touch because it was "contaminated". I'll continue working on it now.
  • I've allowed a visitor to stop by twice now. That's huge, and a first since 2009.
  • I finally got the living room arranged just the way I want it! That's also been on hold since 2009.
  • I've been asking for less reassurance, and almost never asking for a "spotter" to watch me do things. Major improvements on that front.
  • I'm cooking more! And eating healthier in general.
My fingernails are growing - not just back, but kind of long! I have not had any length to my nails in years. Kinda makes me want to paint them. I just might.

My mantra, as I press on through this week, this journey, this fight, is: be afraid, and do it anyway.

"Courage is simply the willingness to be afraid and act anyway."

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Medications, Me, and OCD

At the risk of potentially offending some people, and I sincerely hope I do not, I felt it time to address the issue of medication as it relates to me and my ocd and my beliefs. I emphasize my because I do not want people to think I am forming opinions of what they do, casting judgment on what works for them, doubting their success, or suggesting that anyone stop or avoid the use of medications for the treatment of ocd or any other psychiatric disorder. However, due to the frequency at which people are recommending I go get myself on some medications (every time I post), it's something I need to discuss.

First, I know the people who suggest this to be are doing so out of kindness and compassion, so I hesitate to even post on the topic because I do not want anyone to feel that I am being dismissive of their genuine, caring attempts to help me. I take these acts for what they are, as an attempt to offer me a beacon of light and some hope on this very dark journey through ocd. We know this road, we walk it together, and I believe we all only want the best for each other.

Second, I realize there are people for whom life would be unbearable without certain medications. Medications have their place, and undoubtedly there are situations in which they greatly improve lives and are a necessary tool in a person's quest for health and wellness. I would never try to convince anyone otherwise.

And finally, your life is not mine to live. I have no right to say what you should or should not do. These choices are your own, and I respect them - particularly when they are part of a desire to improve your life.

Now, with all of that said...

My stance on medications is that I will not use or try them unless I have completely exhausted every other option.

I do not like SSRI medication. I think they are profoundly over-prescribed. I think we, as a society, are far too over-medicated. I've had everyone from doctors to friends to strangers trying to shove SSRI medication down my throat for everything from anorexia to restless legs during my pregnancy to PMS and cramps ever since they gained major popularity back in the 1990s. But I have studied these drugs, I know what they do, and I realize that they are truly a last resort.

I have seen far too many people overuse and abuse medications. I also realize that the bottom line remains the same; at the end of the day, I will still have to do my exposures, feel the fear, and press on. Also, I have managed to get through, sans medications, everything that people have tried to cram SSRIs down my throat for. This does nothing to bolster their case.

All feelings aside, there is also the matter of my spiritual beliefs. I am a Buddhist. The fifth precept advises that we should abstain from intoxicants. Now, I do have an occasional drink. Clouding my mind for a mere few hours versus weeks or years on a medication is a huge deal-breaking difference for me. Alcohol also does not chemically restructure my brain. SSRIs do. I believe that my faith and the use of psychotropic medication are mutually exclusive in all but the most unavoidable cases. I'm not saying that good people who follow the Buddhist way of life cannot take necessary medications, I just find it far too difficult to take SSRIs seriously considering their copious overuse, the kickbacks received by the medical profession, the endless indiscretions of Big Pharma, and the fact that (as I stated before) I've been offered SSRI medication for so many things that I find it more than a little disconcerting. The lawsuits spawned by the prolific "popularity" of SSRI medications is enough to scare anyone to their bones. I encourage you to Google this, only for informative purposes. I believe many people are far too uninformed about what they ingest daily, be it medications or even genetically-modified food.

I hope that clears things up about where I stand on medications for me personally. As I said before, I do thank you for the concern and kindness. I realize these things come from a positive place. I hope you, too, will understand that we all think and do differently. This is the path I've chosen to go.

Monday, May 28, 2012


I am just getting back into the groove here, so forgive my if I haven't given your blog any attention just yet. I like to read them when I can take adequate time to consider the words you've written and respond.

Yesterday wasn't too bad. I realize much of this comes down to choices I make. Some of those choices are extremely scary and painful, but only until I adjust. The rewards are substantial. This journey must be taken one step at a time, as much as I would like to jump to the finish line and be done with it or refuse to acknowledge that this is a path I may be on for a lifetime - to one degree or another. Acceptance is crucial, I think, not of allowing ocd to ravage my life but of myself as someone who has ocd. Yes, I still struggle with that.

Sunday, May 27, 2012


I took an unintended break. Things are much the same with most of my issues. I think the laundry might be taking a backslide. Scratch that, I know it is. But my hands! I went without washing them at all for several nights. It's been weeks since I did one of my hours-long pre-bed rituals. My hands have shed layers of dead crap which had basically created a shell. I have feeling in my fingertips again! The backs of my hands are so incredibly soft. They have no bled in weeks. My nails are beginning to thicken to a point of near-normal, and some of them even look...dare I say pretty? But I still have redness. I don't get that. I no longer have the ring at at my wrist, clearly indicating where I repeatedly and painfully wash to to many, many times per day. That makes me feel like I've conquered at least something.

However, I am on the floor again. I've been taking the easy way out. I've been letting the bitch ocd win far too often. But I didn't really want to be in my bed. Not after the things he said to me at the beginning of this month. Hell, I didn't even want to exist after that. Sure, sure, he followed it all with sometimes I feel that way, but the damage had been done. Those words had been etched into my very freaking soul.

It's a slow climb, and one I'm not completely sure I want to make. I feel like I have done this so many times, only to have the rug yanked out from beneath me. There's only so many times a person will run after a 10 mile goal, only to get to 8 miles and have the marker moved to 30. Lather, rinse, repeat. I'm tired, people. Tired. Bone tired, and mentally exhausted. I ask what the hell I am fighting for when (a) it seems like everything I thought I had is gone and (b) it never seems to really matter anyhow.

I've been in a dark place, not suited for blogging. And yes, I know I have potential. I know I could do great things. I know I could have a good life. Thing is, half of me feels like it's missing. I feel shattered and broken. It's an effort to summon the desire to live every day, let alone do anything else.

But, I got up today and ate a healthy breakfast. I took a vitamin. I ate a healthy snack. I started thinking about healthy recipes. I forced myself to tackle a couple of chores that scared me. I guess I am trying again. However, if I am to be honest here, I am so close to breaking point that I don't know what will happen if this all falls apart and something like what happened at the beginning of the month happens again. At that point, I think I'd like to crawl up my own ass and die. It usually takes days to a couple of weeks for me to find my center again. It took a month this time, and I can't even say I'm really there even now. I'm forcing myself. I have to. I keep hoping there's something to all of that "fake it 'til you make it" shit.

Monday, May 7, 2012


Today was difficult.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Meat Blood and Skin Pieces

I woke up today feeling pretty good and clean. Which is, with ocd, a bad thing. The urge is to stay as clean as I currently am, and that gets me nowhere but into a fearful avoidance routine.

On the menu for dinner tonight was a roast, which I was to make in my newly-cleaned slow cooker. The slow cooker had spent the past couple of years in a cabinet beneath a drawer in the kitchen which previously was home to many a band-aid and thus it and anything in the cabinets below it was considered "contaminated". The other day during my mass cleaning spree, I said screw it and got my slow cooker out and ready for use.

Now, I'm not a big fan of meat. I don't care to eat it, and I really don't care to touch it uncooked. Red meat is much worse because it looks all bloody - and if you've been reading my blog for more than a day you know that blood and I don't get along particularly well. But even that is something I can usually deal with; I slice open the bloody meat package with a knife and use said knife to stab the meat and lift it ever so carefully into whatever thing I'm cooking it in. But today, as I was rather confidently slicing the package open, I noticed wet blood on the outside. The out-freaking-side of the package.

So shit. I have a difficult enough time dealing with meat blood on the inside of the goddamn package. At least when it's on the inside, I can be reasonably certain that it is from the meat and not an injured human being handling the meat. The fact that it was still wet blood didn't matter much to me, because I'd had it stored inside of the plastic grocery bag in the fridge overnight. Conceivably, this could have kept the blood wet if it was not from the meat. Likely? No. Probable? Unlikely. Possible? The ocd can make anything seem possible. And the way ocd works is something like this:

Most obscure, tiny possibility, no matter how remote ---> It's possible, therefore it is not 100% safe ---> Possible means probable ---> Probable means likely ---> Likely means almost certainly ---> Almost certainly means the risk here is about 99% ---> BAM! PWNED by OCD

I wanted more than anything to throw that meat away. I didn't. I put it in the cooker, added all of the veggies and seasonings, and moved on. I didn't change clothes, I just washed my hands for about 2 minutes. And because I already felt pretty freaked out, I went ahead and got some things done that I'd been procrastinating about touching.

Earlier this morning when I washed my hands, I had a ton of dead skin come off. This happens occasionally, being the massive user of soap that I am; every week or so, the skin on my hands all sheds like a snake. I rubbed off the extra bits which remained after I dried them, and didn't think anything of it...until I returned later and found pieces of skin all over the sink. And of course my mind starts running races around the potential disasters this could bring about. I mean, sure, I saw a ton of dead, dried up skin come off of my hands - but what if it wasn't from me!? You know, because that makes all the damn sense in the world.

I'm really getting tired of ocd living rent-free in my headspace.