Sunday, March 18, 2012

Britney Spears, a Book, and Contamination

I'm kind of obsessed with Britney Spears for the past few years. Not because I'm a fan or anything, and not in a stalkerish kind of way, but because this beautiful girl who was on top of the world had such a public breakdown in what had to have been an unimaginably painful way for most people to comprehend. My life began to crumble not long after, from ocd, and since it is speculated that Britney has bipolar, it's made me feel as if no one is immune to the cages our brains can lock us into. And I have to admit, I still keep hoping the "old Britney" will re-emerge, because that would give me more hope for myself. But I look at her now and see a shell of what once was.

Of course, I have no idea what goes on in her own world, what her everyday successes look like, or if she even has bipolar disorder. But, maybe because we are so close in age, I compare myself to her a bit. I'm certainly not famous and would never want to be, but Britney shows us that we all struggle. I choose to learn from that. And I will continue to hope that she makes it through whatever it is she's still obviously dealing with and finds real happiness. Everyone deserves to have some happiness, and I think she's suffered a lot.

Or maybe I'm projecting. Because I've been suffering deeply with the ocd lately. I am currently reading a great book called Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life: The New Acceptance and Commitment Therapy by Steven C. Hayes, PH.D. with Spencer Smith. I have read a lot of books on ocd, and this one is not ocd-specific, but it is absolutely the best self-help book on any topic that I have ever read. If you're struggling with anything, from anxiety to addiction to ocd to just things in life that drag you down, this book is life-changing.

I feel a bit odd saying that since I have really been dealing with some major ocd junk lately. The past three weeks have been some of the worst since contamination ocd began. I've been absolutely convinced that blood is on multiple things, which led to multiple rituals, which led to me feeling contaminated, which led to me not sleeping in bed and eventually me sleeping on the floor without so much as the comfort of a blanket or sheet. Life basically sucks right now.

Also, I'm convinced that I have an infection on my thumb, which has not changed much in the past year and a half that I've been convinced it was there. But I am afraid of doctors' offices, because sick people with diseases and infections go there, and I might come home with something worse than what I went there I don't have any confirmation on the infection. Or lack thereof. But if I could get past the stupid thumb issue, which creates a plethora of bullshit side issues (keeping the bandaging clean, the HOURS it takes to re-bandage, the fear that the infection will somehow seep out and infect the whole damn household...I swear, I should make a site called Crazy Sh*t OCD Says), I think life would be pretty sweet.

But that's the problem, right there. If only and What if are the two phrases that prevent me from living fully. I want to sleep in my bed, take normal showers (instead of going through an hours-long disinfecting process), and get outside. All the time! Like I used to. Sigh. Why can't I just stop?

Okay, something mildly positive. I've been able to get to sleep the past three nights without a massive handwashing ritual. Just a quick wash or no wash at all. For about three days prior to that, I had spent approximately 3-5 rolls of paper towels, 1/2 a bottle of soap, and 4 or so hours washing my hands just to feel clean enough to go to sleep on the chair in the living room. Before I found blood on the back of the chair (seriously, wtf was that from!?) and started sleeping on the living room floor instead.

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