Sunday, January 10, 2010

Normal turned toxic.

Anxiety is an interesting thing. The best description I can think of is a toxic mix of stress, worry, and fear. You can't necessarily see anxiety, nor any of the three emotions I used to describe it. It's not too difficult to notice the effects of anxiety, but it seems that often anxiety and/or the effects of it are mislabeled, misjudged, and misinterpreted.....and probably a lot of other "" Sometimes I wish that anxiety was as noticeable as a bleeding, infected, open wound. It would be easier to explain. The pain would be given more credit.....the healing, even more. Healing is kind of a funny word in regards to regards to any mental disorder for that matter....mainly because of the way the word is commonly though we need to be able to visually prove something. However, Websters describes the word healing as "the act or process of regaining health." I love the definition because it puts perspective back into the equation, not excusing mental health. I've actually come to find something ironically appropriate and somewhat encouraging about my "condition" being called Obsessive Compulsive DISORDER. It's as if my thoughts and beliefs got a little disheveled somewhere along the way and now I need a little professional help to put them all back in order. It's not impossible, but it takes A LOT of work, if you will, to untangle the disorderly web that was tightly spun over the years.

What's really interesting about this "ordering process".....also know as treatment :) that someone completely unfamiliar with the treatment of OCD would likely walk into this facility and wonder why so many people are "doing nothing." Seriously. The contradiction between the calm persona that one might observe and the psychological turbulence taking place within is astronomical. This is where guilt, shame, embarrassment, depression begin to rear their ugly heads. I look calm...I look "put together." I feel like I'm losing it....I'm going life is ending. Sounds dramatic. Feels real.

So....if you were to walk into this house that I'm living in right now, this is what you would likely see: People just sitting on the couch reading a book or leaning their head back on the rest. Some people having a snack in the kitchenette. Someone using a knife to cut up an apple for their snack. Others watching tv or taking a walk. Someone might even be taking a shower or using the treadmill in the basement. All normal things right? Absolutely. In fact, to someone who doesn't have or understand OCD it might seem as though there are 16 people all "vacationing" in a quiet little house in the snow covered woods of Wisconsin. However, all 16 of us have stopped doing "normal" things because, for one reason or another, we have convinced ourselves that there is something very wrong or dangerous about the activity. We have given more power to our thoughts than to our itellect. Because of that, just the thought of doing normal things, or certain activities normally, induces paralyzing anxiety, not to mention actually doing them. My treatment consists of doing pretty "normal" things. Some days it feels like I'm conquering the world, like my rationale is close to being back in order. Other days I wonder if I'll ever feel "normal".....if doing "normal" things will ever come easily for me.

1 comment:

  1. Way to keep fighting, Kristen! You are sooo right about looking "put together" on the outside, but feeling like everything is falling apart on the inside. It's good to remember what that famous BT teaches...just because we feel something it doesn't make it true. :-) Still cheering for you and missing you! Kim