Friday, July 16, 2010

Ollie sings a song with Uncle Theo

Oh my goodness. My mom and I are in our hotel room in DC after a long but fabulous first day of the International OCD conference. We just watched the final episode of The OCD Project (which I will write about when I am less tired and more focused) and then were watching silly videos on Youtube. Good times. We came across this one, which was filmed a little over a year ago when my precious little nephew, Oliver, was born. He is three days old in this video and he is a star in the making!!! Oh mom and I watched it twice and could not stop laughing!!!!! Sooooo funny!

Oh, you make my heart happy! :)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Shoes and dried vomit.

I just arrived in Washington DC and my hair immediately went from straight to FRIZZY. Holy moly! I need a shower…..and definitely a shower longer than 5 minutes. :) I am in DC for the International OCD Foundation (IOCDF) convention, and I am excited! I think it's going to be great. My mom flies in tomorrow, which I'm even more excited about!

I’m pretty sure airports and flying are perfect breeding grounds for anxiety…..even for the general population. For OCDers, that anxiety quickly morphs into a chaotic mess of obsessions and compulsions. It’s like anxiety on crack. There are triggers everywhere, with everything. The airport is one of my least favorite places to frequent....unless it's just to people watch. :) Everything seems overly grimy and disgusting, and the hustle and bustle just enhances it all. Going through security nearly brings about a panic attack every single time! The only thing my brain focuses on is all the shoes!!! Shoes everywhere. People taking off their shoes and throwing them on top of their bags and jackets and purses like it’s no big deal at all. In reality, it’s……probably……no……big……deal. That’s hard to say, because I’m still trying to grasp onto that fact. With my OCD frame of reference, it seems terrible! It feels paralyzing just watching people grab their shoes and toss them onto their stuff. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to do that. ……it’s something to work towards, I supposes. Ugh….even just typing that caused my stomach to drop and tense, and my heart to beat faster. I hate this feeling. My mind is spinning. I feel nauseous.

On a funnier note…..

I board the plane in LAX, walk back to my seat….as in the back of the plane, back. I pretty much have the worst seat. Back of the plane, middle seat. My favorite. Having only had three hours of sleep, I am thoroughly looking forward to a nap on the plane. As if I haven’t been triggered enough in the two hours I’ve been awake, I find my seat and as I’m about to sit down I notice that there is dried vomit coating both sided of my seat belt. Oh HELL no! The two gentlemen sitting on either side of me were obviously confused with my half sitting posture which turned into a northbound leap. Still holding my bags, I quickly maneuvered my way around the guy sitting in the aisle seat, and walked straight back to the galley where I calmly informed the stewardess that I needed to be reseated.

I was reseated. :)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Video is up.

The Hollywood Hiking video is finally up! Woot-woot! :) To go back to the post in which it is embedded, click here.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The sani aisle.

I had to run to Target tonight to pick up a few things. As I was pushing my cart toward the laundry detergent section, I glided by an entire aisle of sanitizer wipes and disinfectant sprays. It was almost nostalgic....but a punch in the stomach all at the same time. It was a special moment, really. That sounds kinda silly, but it really was. I looked at all the different colors and sizes of the sanitizer wipes, which have always been my favorite.....well, the sanitizer wipes and the hand sanitizer and hand soap, and..... okay, maybe they were all my favorites. Whatever. Back to my original thought. :) I haven't bought any of those things since last October! A slight smile swept across my face as I looked at all my favorite sanitizing products, remembering how I felt so soothed each time I would use them. I felt myself desiring that feeling again. That soothing, calm, peace.....regardless of its fleeting presence. I wanted to buy just a couple products. "For old times sake," I told myself. "Just a couple won't hurt. And besides, I won't use them all the time. I'll just keep them around, like 'normal' people." When I realized the thoughts I was having, I then felt that punch to my gut that I'm all too familiar with. That flippin' parrot trying to make his home on my shoulder again. AHHHHH!!!! Literally, I felt like screaming......right there in the middle of Target. If I appeared normal before, me screaming while looking at Clorox wipes standing in an aisle in Target was bound to make me appear otherwise. :) At that point, I knew it was time for me to resist and keep putting one foot in front of the other until I got to my original destination of the laundry detergent section. It's weird how I have such an internal and emotional reaction to something so silly, so normal, so good. I didn't like it. I don't want to be affected by the sani aisle. Oh, but it represents such a dichotomy in my mind.

And all the cute little hand sanitizers they sell in the check out lane now. It's like they've come out with a million new versions since I "quit." :) Take them away, just take them away.

BUT....I choose to embrace those moments (and the grimy, unsanitized handle of my shopping cart), and be thankful for yet another exposure in which I triumph over!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Episode 7

Nothing soothes this frustrated female like a ginormous bowl of rocky road ice cream!!! :) Mmm, mmm, mmm!

I know I'm breaking my own rules of blogging about episode 7 before I've blogged my thoughts on episode 5 and 6......but oh well.

Tonight's episode was quite possibly the most frustrating episode yet! Episode six was probably the hardest, but tonight's definitely took the cake for ruffling my feathers. I literally felt my chest and arms breaking out in hives as I watched the part where I was told to spread urine all over my room. And yes, it was real urine. Warm, frothy, smelly urine, served fresh to me daily. Awesome. And even though I specifically asked not to know who the donor was, I conveniently found a picture on facebook of the generous person. Double awesome.

I know I've said this before, but what is sooo frustrating is that my desire to get better was constantly questioned by the person who was supposed to be helping me. It was never a matter of whether or not I wanted help......geez this day, I am sooo grateful and humbled for all the treatment I received. I wanted help, I needed help, but "help" caused me to feel paralyzed.....or at least the "help" that was being presented to me on the OCD Project. I didn't understand, and I wanted to. Tough love is a good thing, but torturous love......not so much. Ok, so maybe that is a little dramatic..... :) but, it felt like torture at times.

Dr. Tolin: "Kristen, Kristen! Your attitude is BS! You need to stop it!"
Me: "This is BS!"
Dr. Tolin: "If it's BS, then fire me, Kristen! You fight OCD or don't!"

That little conversation was actually quite humorous for me to watch, only because of the ironic foreshadowing to a conversation that Dr. Tolin and I would have two months later. I highly doubt it will be shown on next week's episode, but just in case it is, I won't go into detail until next week.

Cody, Arine and I were close buddies throughout the entire three weeks. We looked forward to our nightly, un-filmed conversations that we affectionately dubbed "our closet conversations." :) I miss those conversations......where we all spoke the same language without really having to say anything at all. The laughs, the tears, the deep conversations....such sweet memories. I love that they showed the part where Cody asked if I would kiss him with all the prosthetic deformities on his face. Even though I came across a little biaaatchy, I think I was actually quite supportive of Cody throughout that whole exposure. I'll call him tomorrow and ask him just to be sure. :) We even played a good game of tennis, and he would chase me with his crazy looking fake face, and I would freak out, we would laugh.....and then we were told to stop playing because sweat was making Cody's face melt off. Haha! :) Priorities, priorities!! :)

This has definitely been an interesting part of my journey.....watching the beginning of my treatment on TV. I think the basis of this show is actually quite amazing and fascinating. One of my goals was to help bring about awareness to a disorder that is so misunderstood, and through my own personal triumphs and also my frustrations, I have had amazing opportunities to do that. For that I am thankful. Other things I am so thankful for:

The Peace of Mind Foundation. I loose my words when I try to come up with an appropriate way to thank them. Liz, who is periodically seen on the OCD Project, started the Peace of Mind Foundation and generously offered to pay for aftercare for all six of us on the show. Had it not been for Liz and her foundation, I honestly don't know that my life would look any different today than it did nine months ago. Thank you, Liz!

My therapists at Roger's Memorial Hospital. Bless them! :)

My family. What a loud, boisterous bunch we can be.....but oh how life is sweet because of them.

Most importantly, I'm thankful for Jesus. His gentle grace is truly amazing!