Tag Archive | anxiety

Generally Hospitalled

The day was agonizingly beautiful. The sky was an endless robin’s egg and the bright sun bade me release t

Dumpster diving

Dumpster diving

he bonds of my apartment walls for the worthier pastures of mass transit and dumpster treasure. What is 87 F (31 C) for those of us seeking adventure, the Holy Grail, and something besides potato chips in our cupboards? Apparently, 87 F is a lot, as I felt all 220 pounds of my glorious body begin to broil medium well in the afternoon sun. Three huge bottles of dish washing liquid, Lisa Frank magnets, and a squished bottle of generic fruit punch and I began to feel the ill effects of heat exhaustion setting in .  Outrageous fortune beset me yet again when I realized the bus I boarded was air conditioning free.  Once I got home, the effects of my romp, plus the thoughts in my head erupted. And I vomited. In the trash can by my bed. In the commode. In a bucket of Pinesol by my commode. In the bathtub trying to calm down.
“Either I got heat exhaustion or that tooth that had that mild abcess is going septic,” I told my friend.

But back to vomiting.  In the yard waiting  for my friend to come get me. Desecrating a Walmat plastic bag in the car on the way to the hospital.  And once in a nifty vomit bag as the wheel chair I was in made too many jerking movements -but I apologized to the waiting room as any genteel southerner would.  I  vocalized that I wanted my mom, never mind that this section of the waiting room was where I finally was away enough from my mom to shed a tear at her impending demise back in 2011. Now, four years later,  Lisa the Stoic, is replaced by OCD Lisa chanting a mantra of “I’m so scared.”

Then the nurse, while taking my medical specifics gave me a pill, Zofran. Zofran, named for the ancient Greek god of Emesis and Refusing to Suffer in Silence. I was fine in 15 minutes.  Not sepsis. Not this time, Mom. I felt like an idiot as my panic subsided. I’ve vomited many times alone without alerting the media, but the heat exhaustion, sepsis in the tooth scenario weighed deeply in my mind along with other anxieties. I asked the triage nurse if it would be OK for me to go since I felt so much better. “Absolutely!” She said with a trifle more enthusiasm than necessary. But here I am a month later alive and  well, and I see they’ve moved the entrance to the emergency department, probably they’re hiding from me.

Fourth Blogoversary: March 25th

 

Strange fate. Why God, or the universe, or a great nothingness conspires or throws events at random to some and misses others. The Wheel of Fortune keeps spinning. Some folks buy a vowel while others go bankrupt.

There was a blurb on the news yesterday: A fire at my old apartment complex. Then it announced the address. My building. I asked my friend to drive me ‘round the hood. I wanted to see if it was their apartment since their apartment was in the same building as the apartment I shared with my mother. Ye Old Shitville Ghetto Apartment Complex looked the same as ever: dilapidated, half-assed put together, just all that charm of a coastal town sunk into hell. Home sweet home. Roachy, bedbuggy, home. Mom and I lived 9 relatively happy years here. Four Years ago yesterday, March 25, 2010 I started my blog there. In 2011 my mother was taken to the hospital from there never to return again.

It wasn’t their apartment that caught fire, that is, my ex-roommates. Not the man who I miss to this day. My mother’s cook book is still on their shelf, and whatever else I gave them or they kept as theirs did not catch alight in some Waiting to Exhale diva style fashion. I’m glad they’re safe, and I hear they’re moving far away in about a week. 

No, there was the apartment my mother and I shared gutted by fire. So far they say “cause undetermined,” but I’d bet the house (pun intended) that it was shitty wiring. First that wiring was older than I am, I’m pretty certain, secondly if I remember correctly, sometimes it did act funky.
If it was a malfunction in the wiring or appliances, and had my mother lived, I’m certain we would still live there and it would be us left with nothing. Did God deliberately spare us that fate? Why?

In my more philosophical mode, I think, “Did my mother die at 68 to be spared going downhill physically, possibly ending up an oxygen-bound invalid like her mother or near blind from macular degeneration like her father? Did God cut my mother a break, or was he being cruel? My mother’s illness was two weeks total, only one day of which was  in the hospital. Also God knew that as long as my mom lived, my OCD would’ve been at her side trying to keep her alive. I’d never have lived alone were she still alive. I’d be too afraid she’d die. And now our apartment is charred. My mother’s essence burned out of the walls it feels like to me. Would we have died in the fire? Did God kill my mother to protect us from a worse fate? Why didn’t He just stop the fire in the first place and spared whoever lived there.? Ugh, I just don’t get it. Maybe my not being there was just the luck of the draw, and numerous calamities are about to befall me. Stay tuned!

 

Happy New Year!

At the beginning of each new year, at 12:00 AM sharp, I declare psychological warfare on myself. This will be the year of PERFECT ME. NO MISTAKES. NO PISSING OFF, ANNOYING, OR UPSETTING ANYONE IN GOD’S CREATION.

This lasted until January 3rd this time when I missed my appointment at the therapist. I  got winded on my new bike about five minutes from leaving my apartment, gave up, tried to  catch a ride while annoying my friend in the process due to how late I was, and ended up cancelling. My therapist wasn’t upset because she is part of  a place that caters to “special people,” and we miss from time to time. She tried to calm me down because I was in batshit crazy mode by the time I called, the first mistake of the year does that to me. Were my mother able to communicate from beyond, she’d tell you this part of me she doesn’t miss at all. She might even say, “See, sepsis has it’s good points.” Almost every fight my Mom and I had in later years was due to  my rage at my lacking perfection. Sigh.

On the 5th was the worst mistake yet of year 2014. An epic fail of motherhood. I’ve had a new kitten since October. My nurse gave her to me because she knew I’d take care of her for life, because my Oscar is still missing, and she needed to pawn the kitten off on someone.  Among my kitten’s many bad habits is jumping in the refrigerator every time I open it, and I always see her. I’ve even said to her, “Lil Mooky, I guess you never saw that episode of Punky Brewster when that girl got stuck in a refrigerator, huh?”

This time, though, I didn’t see Lil Mooky jump in the fridge with the salad dressing I put inside. I went to play video games when I heard a small meow that became frantic. “Mooky!” I screamed and opened the fridge and there she was crouching on the second shelf.  I tried to get her, but she jumped out herself. Not a second later, she was off chasing Dondee as usual. She seemed not a spec traumatized, unlike myself. 

This was taken when Mooky was a tiny baby staring at Dondee

This was taken when Mooky was a tiny baby staring at Dondee. Yes, my shades no longer “shade”

Lil Mooky’s real name is Mirielle,  but she’s more of a Lil Mooky than a Parisian miss. I got her Lil Mooky  ghetto name from this song:

Fate

Added to my regrettable poetry, this humble offering. My mother would have been 71 today, I sometimes find myself thinking on her birthday, that it isn’t fair she’s dead. I know, just look in a cemetery at all the young folks who croaked, but one can’t help how you feel sometimes.

Whoever said life’s not fair is right.

Trying to stay above water,

not give up the fight.

But the water is murky,

Try as we might,

some of us slip out of sight.

Left to our fate,

no one sees our plight.

Garden Variety

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (Photo credit: schnappischnap)

When I  was younger, particularly before I became medicated, my OCD was garden variety. Blasphemous phrases in the tulips, fear of becoming homicidal pushing up in the daisies, infectious blood in the bleeding hearts.

But the roses in my OCD garden kept my mother. All the years I spent worrying about something happening to my mother, hyper vigilant, trying to evade her mortality, yet in the end she died just the same.

Nowadays my garden variety case  of OCD has died for the most part and is  mulch for another monster, a weed that began years ago.

Now  my mind is a courthouse. Not a Florida courthouse where you can get off for the darndest things, more like “kill ’em all or make ’em wear pink” Arizona. The judge in my head is merciless and ready to throw the book.

My crime is my inferiority complex. I want to measure up to the rest of the world and I fail. My judge hates my frailty. I pray and pray that I can  measure up to normal people, but I keep making mistakes everyday. I keep making people mad. I keep making myself mad. My judge asks me, “What use are you to anyone?”

“Dunno. I take care of my cats.”

I know the truth. If I died tomorrow, no one would be inconsolable. The one person who needed me is ashes in a plastic box. People loved my mother. I was just her quiet daughter, the one folks assumed was ‘slow.’

In a way not being needed is liberating. Being around  people tends to remind me of my faults. I like being around people, but I don’t like seeing the various ways that I fail. I sometimes feel like a leper around humans. I mean well, but as that drag queen I used to live with said, ‘you’re a boil on my ass that I just can’t lance.” Ah, but everyday that boil survives on her own, makes the sun shine where the sun don’t shine.

On a positive note, my eyes are healthy (apart from being blind as a bat without my glasses). I bet it’s been over 10 years since my last eye examination. I was afraid they’d find macular degeneration in my eyes since it runs in the family.

I once had my glasses adjusted at that office while my friend was there getting new glasses. The attendant remembered me because of my award-winning personality….and the super glue prominent on my left lens.

Guest Post: Common Myths about OCD

 

By Lisa Pitts

Common Myths about OCD

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder affects a huge number of people. Approximately 1 in 40 adults and 1 in 100 children in the United States suffer with OCD, to varying degrees of severity. As most of us know, OCD is an obsession based compulsion to engage in ritualistic behavior, often to the detriment of the sufferer. It can cause a huge strain on the lives of those with it, and those around them. Whilst many sufferers and spokespeople are more vocal about the condition than ever before, stigma and misconceptions still surround OCD. So let’s dispel a few of them…

Myth: “I wash my hands X times per day, I have OCD!”

There is a huge difference between OCD and someone who just likes to have clean hands. Whilst obsessive hand washing is certainly one variation of OCD, it goes far beyond just having meticulous personal hygiene. When I suffered from OCD I didn’t just wash my hands because I wanted them to be clean, I washed them because I needed them to be clean – as if my life depended on it. If my hands weren’t clean, everything would go on hold until they were. OCD by its nature makes you think irrationally. If it doesn’t seem like the end of world if you don’t get the opportunity to wash your hands as much as you’d like, then chances are you don’t have OCD of the hand washing variety.

Myth: OCD is all about cleanliness and hygiene

This is one of the biggest misconceptions about OCD. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is ritualistic behavior that can extend to every area of life imaginable, in many ways. The main subcategories of OCD include (but are not limited to) washing and cleanliness, checking, repeating, ordering & arranging, and mental rituals. As such, even the simplest of day-to-day activities can become ritualized by a sufferer. For example, closing a door – the simplest of tasks for most people, but back when I suffered with OCD closing my bedroom door used to take me about a minute. When I closed it, I had to do so with my right finger pushed up against the right hand corner of the top panel. From there, I had to press the door 16 times to make sure it was shut – with four second intervals in-between each push.  This was because 16 was my lucky number, and four when squared was also my lucky number. If I didn’t do this, I believed with every part of my being that something terrible would happen – I’d tell myself if I didn’t do it that my mother would fall terminally ill, that my home would be destroyed, or that I would have bad luck for the rest of my life. Even though part of me knew it was irrational, I wasn’t prepared to take that chance. The urge was so overwhelming to perform this ritual, that performing it felt like a release. Peace would be restored, and I could continue on with my life – or what life I had with OCD.

Whilst numeric rituals are common in those with OCD, the condition can involve anything, be it objects, people or places. What defines it as OCD, is the overwhelming compulsion to do or think. The severity can be minor or major, and it comes packaged in a variety of ways – not just cleanliness.

Myth: OCD is developed during childhood

Whilst OCD can certainly develop within childhood (usually from the ages of 8 – 12 years), the average onset for most people is around the late teens or early twenties; though it can occur anytime. Therefore it’s not necessarily something caused by a traumatic childhood, or growing up in a broken home. Whilst the causes of OCD aren’t crystal clear, research suggests that a combination of genetics, serotonin levels within the brain, and environmental factors can all play a part.

Myth: OCD is a women’s condition

This isn’t true, OCD occurs within both genders equally.

Myth: OCD can’t be cured

Whilst there isn’t a specific cure for OCD, it doesn’t mean that the condition can’t be cured by various treatments. Whilst there are currently no tests to determine OCD, a diagnosis is made after a doctor/patient interview. From there, various treatments and therapies are available, but the one the National Institute of Mental Health and Harvard Medical School both recommend is CBT – aka, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. It’s also possible that an individual can recover on their own, whether consciously or not. For me, I simply decided that I would no longer have my life ruled by OCD and worked hard for years to break the irrational thought patterns. For those who don’t see that as an option however, help is out there – OCD can most definitely be cured.

Pepper to Taste

Ever since my old therapist chucked me due to new Medicaid restrictions, I have a  new therapist named Pepper. It isn’t a pseudonym, her name really is Pepper. I have no idea what her last name is, just that she’s a therapist. I just liked her when I met her during an intake interview and asked if she was taking new clients. So voila. When I think of Pepper, I think of that doll by Ideal from the 1960s. Pepper the doll had red hair. Pepper the therapist has red hair. In fact, if Pepper the doll had an age progression photo done to age her into her late 50s, she could be Pepper the therapist.

ImagePepper

But let me digress a bit. So new Medicaid restrictions were causing dumping of us ghetto/trailer folk all round. The first to fall was my eye doctor. People on Medicaid apparently do not have eyes. They literally cut all coverage for eye exams, glasses, etc. Well OK.  Next was my dentist. Due to the fire hoops all Medicaid providers must jump through, my dentist dropped all Medicaid folks. Then my therapist dropped Medicaid for the same reason. “I’m just not going to play their game,” said she. I don’t blame her. My psychiatrist, though, was the most emotional about it. Her eyes got watery as she said she really cared about her Medicaid patients, and would do her best to try and keep us. She told me before that she  felt an obligation to my  late mother to make sure I’m OK. Well, OK.

My psychiatrist was determined to find the loophole in the needle that was in the haystack to keep her Medicaid patients. I sometimes wonder if it was the specter of my mother urging her on, though I’m sure she has other far  more likeable patients than me. My mother was the likeable one. The shrink should know, because I drug my mother in with me every time. When I came in the first time after my mom died, she thought my mother must just be parking the car. Awkward. I always had been    intimidated by my psychiatrist, she who wielded the power to diagnose my crazy ass on a whim. My shy, awkward ways, my lack of smiling all made her wonder if I had Asperger’s.  I think she later figured what I believe to be true, my lowwwwwwww self-esteem and fear of doing the wrong thing is the culprit. I get social cues, so next diagnosis please.

Dependent personality disorder. Oh swell. I might buy it and I might not buy it. I’d be more apt to believe it if I didn’t do so well on my own, and for the most part want to be alone. But my past is my past. When my mother was alive I depended fully upon her. When I was with he whom I called my Soul Bro, I thoroughly depended on him to the point of sustaining  emotional abuse. Why do I still see him as the great love of my life? I must be a head case.  I’d rather not be dependentocdbloggergirl.wordpress.com, thanks.

 

And back to Pepper. Pepper is great. Pepper is awesome. I even try to take her advice sometimes. Whereas my former therapist mainly did talk therapy, Pepper is big on cognitive behavior therapy, mindfulness, and shit. I preferred talking and my therapist giving me insight, but OK. She is trying to give me coping skills, assertiveness skills, and learn not to obsess on doing everything to please everyone. Learn how to breathe all mindfully,  be aware of other things going on around you. Cool. Sometimes, however, I must refrain from mumbling, “Lady, are you for real?” Such as the Kitty Cat Exercise.

 

Yes, the Kitty Cat Exercise. One day, I showed up in her office flushed from a hurried walk from my apartment, a good little jaunt. I either missed the bus or didn’t have the fare, and I was late. I apologized profusely, though I am the type who will be late to my own funeral.

Seeing my state, Pepper asked me what my favorite type of water was that I liked to visit.

“A pool” said I, so the idea of me thinking of ocean water and hearing the waves was out of the question, I guess.

“Well, what is your favorite sound?”

“There is nothing nicer to me than the sound of a cat purring.”

This Pepper could work with, so she had me relax, turned on a ‘relaxing sounds’ app on her smart phone, set to purr mode. Then she cut the light in her office out and had me imagine a long-haired grey cat with a bit of white on her nose and me stroking her fur.

I tried to do the exercise, but my mind decided to be a smartass as usual.

That cat sounds like it’s on a respirator.

Then the cat I pictured became Nyan Cat, the animated cat with a pop tart body.

When the exercise was over, Pepper suggested I find such an app so I can do this on my lonesome. I said, “Yes, that sounds like a good idea.” Or I could just go home and pet my cats, same results.

 

One last thing though, and I don’t want to be maudlin, but I had the most bizarre dream. It is in my dreams that I remember I once had a mother, and that my memories of her and my life before she died are my memories.

I dreamed that my former roommates invited me back to live with them when I wished for $250.00,  but I still had my own apartment. Things had not changed though, they were both insulting me and I felt a constant threat of making them mad, or being thrown out of Faux Bro’s life which I was paying to be in. Philippe was with me. If you remember, Phil was the cat they wanted to keep as their own, the other two my nurse had to retrieve from the pound.

Then I found myself at the McDonald’s down the street, a place I had gone to get away from that oppressive environment sometimes during the final days. And there sitting waiting for me was my mother, my dead mother, which I kindly reminded her of her state. “Mom, this is a dream. You’re dead. You can’t really be here. Please stay.”

At the end of the dream, I venture back to my own apartment with Phillipe in my arms. 

 

Thanks for reading and I’m sorry I haven’t been around here or at your blogs, will do  better. XOXO