Monday, February 1, 2010

Rrrrrrrrrr!!! That's all I've got.

Ahhh.... I can't even think straight. Today's been one of the hardest days of my life....ever! Only people who know me well will pick up on the "humor" in that last statement. I sometimes have a tendency to exaggerate things because I love larger-than-life experiences, stories, etc....mostly referencing happy, exciting, good things. But when things are sad or bad, I usually feel and describe them as the worst ever, the saddest thing in the world, etc... Apparently it's called "catastrophizing." I'm starting to relax and feel a little better, but the last several hours have been very, very hard......that is the plain, simple truth. My face would prove it..... My eyes are swollen from crying, my mascara has replaced my blush, and my nose is so sore from the EcoSoft tissue that is anything but soft. It's made from "100% recycled paper products".....they aren't lying, cardboard is indeed a paper product.

My mind is racing. I wish it would stop. How do I make it stop? How do I live with thoughts that make me feel like I'm going crazy? With not a whole lot of warning, my thoughts spun out of control today....around 1 o'clock. They still don't seem in control. I feel like I'm going crazy. I started to cry because it feels like all is I've gone backwards and I'm never going to be stronger than my obsessions. My BT constantly tells me I'm not here to get rid of my intrusive thoughts, because that's impossible....I'm here to resist the compulsions. But it seems impossible to resist something that makes me instantly feel soooooo much better when I feel like my world is falling apart around me. It's as though intrusive thoughts ganged up on me to day, drug me behind an alley, and gave me a good a**-whooping. And they're not done.

My BT is relentless. For over an hour I sat on my bed sobbing and describing some of my thoughts as he sat on the floor taking every moment that I stopped talking to gasp for air to ask if I was ready to do some exposures. Are you serious? Are you being for real right now? Don't you see that I'm going crazy and my world is falling apart?

I stopped asking those kinds of questions a long time ago though, because this is how he answers: "Yes, I'm being serious. And no, you are not going crazy. If I thought you were going crazy, would I be sitting here calmly? There is no scientific proof between anxiety and a psychotic break. So, which exposure do you want to get started on?"

Intrusive thoughts even managed to wrap themselves around my desire to do exposures and push my OCD back today. In response to him asking me if I was ready to get started, my thoughts poured out. "That's the problem. I want to do exposures, and as hard as I try I never get them all done. Everybody else seems to get all their exposures done, but not me. Why can't I do this? Why am I not getting better? Am I ever going to get better? I want to be better, I want to go home, I want to be normal and calm, but I can't even do my exposures. And my taxes, I need to get my taxes done. And my car's late. And what about my job? I can't do this. What if someone in my family dies today? I won't be able to survive. I can't breathe. I'm crazy. I'm never going to get married. I need to wash my hands. My hands are dirty. I can't move, because if I move I'm going to get other things dirty. I just want to take a shower, put on clean pajamas and go to sleep. I want to do my exposures, but they seem impossible today. Sitting on the furniture seems impossible today. Everybody puts their shoes on the furniture!" And on and on the thoughts poured out, keeping tempo with my tears. After some time later, my BT and I did go through and complete one full touch list. However, mid-touch list, I was triggered by his sleeve accidentally touching the toilet seat, and fell apart again.

The panic has come in tidal waves today. The goal for the rest of the day/evening is self-care. He suggested I blog because he knows that it's one of my favorite, calming things to do. Even so, I was hit with two big waves while trying to write. But.....doing something I love even when I'm panicking has proved to be helpful. I feel much, much calmer. I'm not crying. And....hopefully after a little dinner and a couple hours of The Bachelor, I will muster up the strength to, at minimum, run through my touch list as a way of giving my OCD a good, swift kick in ITS a**.


  1. Gotta love The Bachelor! I bet there's going to be the most dramatic rose ceremony... ever!! :-)

    Oh, sweet friend. I feel your pain. I wish I could take it away. I wish God would take it away. I will continue to hope and pray that you will be restored and that God will finish the awesome work that He's started in you.

    I know you are so brave. Please remember this and cling to God's many promises. You are loved. You will never be forsaken. This isn't "home". God CAN do what may seem impossible today.

    I love you.
    p.s. who do you think Jake is going to end up with?? Do tell! ;-)

  2. You conveyed your racing thoughts very clearly. You expressed your frustration and anxiety about your progress or as you thought today, lack of progress. You are not crazy. You are working very hard. A bad day doesn't mean failure. Thank you for sharing this glimpse into your life. God is in control not those intrusive thoughts. Jesus is stronger than those things that seem so huge in your mind. He also wants to carry those burdens for you. He wants to make your load light. I pray that tomorrow will be a better day and that you are encouraged once more.

    Love & Hugs.....

  3. "My BT is relentless. For over an hour I sat on my bed sobbing and describing some of my thoughts as he sat on the floor taking every moment that I stopped talking to gasp for air to ask if I was ready to do some exposures. Are you serious? Are you being for real right now? Don't you see that I'm going crazy and my world is falling apart?"

    I laughed for minutes after reading this. It's not funny; it's ridiculous.

    BTs are exceedingly patient and compassionate, but they just don't get it. The fate of the world isn't in their hands. It's in ours.

    It must be easy for Nick to sit calmly on the floor as you disclose to him your frightening and insightful thoughts. You are telling him valuable information; does he not realize that the sky could fall if he doesn't respond appropriately?

    Kristen, your words have conveyed the scene so well. As I read it, I see this: Kristen is sitting on the bed, sobbing to the rhythm of her painfully-flowing intrusive thoughts, as Nick eagerly waits for a break in the river.

    "I'm out of control; my life is ending; your life might end; the world is becoming contaminated; the world is ending," Kristen generously confides. "The dirt is eating me. My thoughts are devouring me. You're next in line: they're going to devour you," she continues. "I haven't slept in weeks. I might never sleep again. Did you know that lack of sleep can kill? What if it kills me? It's killing me. This is killing me. You're killing me. I'm dying!"

    Out of breath, she pauses for an instant.

    "Do you want to go touch my shoes?" Nick asks.

    Is he serious?

    Exposures seem maddeningly trivial when your world is crashing in.

    It's easy for the BTs to remain calm because they are not in control of the fate of the world. We are. Your BT's choice to sit on a chair that is contaminated by someone's shoes may not spread madness and unhappiness to the rest of the world, but Kristen's choice to do so will. My BT's dirty language (Come on, Christine, you d***, f******, a**-draggin' b****! Pick your a** and your d*** c*** up off of the floor, and let's go do some s***ty exposures. You can't just run around in d*** circles all day. You're f****** killing me!) may not corrupt all of the innocent children in the world and subject them to lives stripped of the hope and the dreams and the bright futures that they deserve, but Christine's will.

    It's our job to save the world!

    I guess that we have to find a way to do so without ritualizing.

    [Note: My BT would NEVER use so many cuss words in dialogue with me. That was an exaggeration for comic effect.]

    On a different note, I want you to know of the pure refreshment that I felt after reading your gracefully-flowing prose. Your words bounce and race and hum along the page to the rhythm of your emotion, and then all of your readers can feel that emotion. Our lives are enriched through the experience of reading this.

    Thanks for sharing your words with us.