Where Ladybugs Roar

Confessions and Passions of a Compulsive Writer

Monday, September 28, 2009

Ugh... Monday

I'm having a bad morning which translates into paranoia and feelings of inadequacy. (OCD can be wicked awful some days.) It's a combination of stress, lack of sleep, and just a snark fest I stumbled across this morning. I'm going to go sit in the corner and sing Kum-ba-yah for an hour or so. I usually can put on a face of false bravado and hubris, but not this morning. I might come off as fairly confident, but it's a facade that all people with OCD learn eventually. When you're monumentally different at your core, it's easiest just to fake normal. Anyway, I just have to make it through today and maybe I'll feel more like taking criticism tomorrow. I have a really broad sense of humor normally... normally. It was useful to know that I was wrong about someone, so... yeah....

I didn't sleep last night. Well, that's a lie. I think I got around two hours between snatches here and there. The husband mentioned that I could at least sleep when I got back from dropping the kids off. He said it in this disingenuous way as if he hadn't just spent the last twelve years with someone suffering from insomnia. The rules to insomnia are similar to those for gremlins.

1. Don't feed us after midnight.
2. Don't expose us to bright light... especially sunlight.
3. Don't get us wet. (Okay... so this doesn't apply, but I probably wouldn't like it if you dumped water on me.)

Oh... and for insomniacs, the most serious... the one thing you must never do... is take a nap.

Anyway, so I'm hoping to ironman it through the day. Monday is my official laundry day. (My life is so glamorous, nicht wahr?) Yes. Indeed. So, that should be fun. I also have cleaning, a report for B's former teacher to write, and I should get in a run now that I'm healthy again.

I love Mondays.

T did try to convince me this morning that by wearing jogging pants instead of the pants I'd picked out for him, he'd achieved super-human speed. This translated into him making short sprints all over the house rather than getting ready for school. I admired his enthusiasm.

In a random aside, my parents are home today after two years in France. Woo woo! One of my sisters goes in for an amniocentisis... and between her and my Sister-in-law... we may be crawling in new babies in my family this week.

... which are also sort of like gremlins.


  1. Okay, I came over to join in your alleged gripe-fest. I'm digging it. OCD=bad. Insomnia=bad. Gremlins=Awesome. Laundry=torturous drudgery. Parents=awesome. Babies=awesome. Three awesomes, two bads, and one torturous drudgery (which probably counts as two bads).

    My own semi-related aside: Does everyone who knows that you have OCD think they have OCD just because you do? I don't have OCD but whenever I meet someone who does I feel like I know what they mean, like I've been overcoming a mild version my whole life. I don't tell them this because it seems like it would make me that annoying person, and I must be nice above all things, even though THAT makes me annoying. Anyway, I have an evil internal twin who adores gripey posts, relishes snark and loves a good rant so much she licks the spoon, so gripe away!

  2. Yes! If I tell someone I have OCD, about nine times out of ten they tell me they do too. I think this is partly due to how quirky the spectrum of normal is, but also... people have a misguided idea of what OCD is and the depth it affects someone. The general perception is that quirky needs = OCD.

    Someone with true and severe OCD has the same quirks, but they can't avoid them. Their lives become centered around avoiding or obsessing.

    Someone with true OCD feels trapped by their obsessions and knows what they're doing makes no sense. That is a key point between other mental illness and OCD. Someone with OCD KNOWS what they're doing isn't necessary or sane.

    Another key point of OCD is what you see is the tip of the iceberg for someone with OCD. Chances are... their mind can't shut off from their obsessions and compulsions.

    I'm one of the tougher cases of OCD that my doctor has ever seen. I respond poorly to meds and behavioral therapies won't work on me. If I don't stay medicated, I become extremely paranoid (even though I know it's not real) and I tend to slip into agoraphobia.

    It's frustrating because I know it's chemicals. I know my issues aren't real. It IS all in my head.

    So, on the one hand, everyone has quirks... and possibly what they see as OCD, but only those with significant OCD see it as torture and their own private hell.

    I'm a bucket of sunshine today.

  3. Did that answer your question, Diana?

    There are degrees of OCD. Mine is on the high end but I also can hide it really effectively and sarcasm and levity factor heavily into that. It's not unusual for those with OCD to not be diagnosed well into their twenties because it's something that people with severe OCD tend to hide.

    I guess the answer boils down to the name of the disorder. We all have obsessions and compulsions and some are healthy instincts that keep us alive and well. It becomes a DISORDER when you aren't living, healthy, or well. If you can't sleep at night because of it, or you feel hounded all day... that's when it's a disorder. Otherwise... it's just good sense.

  4. Wendy, thank you so much for answering in such detail and with so much clarity. I feel safe in saying I am probably just wired strangely and not suffering from a disorder, but your description tugs at my heart. You seem to have a lot on your plate without the OCD, and imagining you coping with your disorder as well is gloomy...you have a nice, humorous way about you and I hope some of that gets internalized because you do bring smiles to my face every time I read your blog.

    Just so you know what spurred the question, I have an acquaintance who has OCD and every time it comes up people half-jokingly (or sometimes seriously) say that they feel like they have OCD also, and then they go on to list all the quirky habits that gave rise to this assertion. And I can tell it annoys her. It would annoy me! So because I've heard so many people do this to her I've never wanted to ask about myself, and I really appreciate that now I don't have to. Thank you!

  5. You should check out: http://psychcentral.com/ocdquiz.htm

    It's rare that I think an on-line quiz does justice to anything, but OCD is really the exception because I don't think people realize the specifics linked to OCD. So, even recognizing the symptoms through the questions will give you an idea of what OCD is. I've taken this test periodically, and I typically score between a 28 and a 36. (The highest you can score is 40.)

    I'll admit... it does annoy me too depending on the attitude of the person chiming in. Sometimes, their respons will be "Oh... me too. I like to have a clean house." As if that's all that OCD is.... My internal response when that happens is, "Thank you so much for diminishing my hell." On the whole, though, I try not to make a big deal out of it because OCD is really misunderstood. I think it's generally seen as a discomfort... not a disorder.

    By the way, my daughter was diagnosed with OCD before I was willing to admit to it and stop hiding it. So, while I'm open about it, I wasn't officially diagnosed until I was twenty-eight. It's the nature of the beast. It also comes with a lot of prejudice that I've decided to accept and let the chips fall where they may. Last year, I was set for a job that I would have loved. I'd basically been promised the job and it was mine if I wanted it. One of my "friends" had someone else that she wanted to get the job so she told the person that was over hiring that I had OCD. OCD is classified as a mental illness... as fast at that... the job was retracted.

    In the end, I don't regret being open about it. It was awful growing up with OCD and anything that I can do to help my daughter have an easier time will be worth it. It's a lot more complex than Hollywood would have you believe and being a teenage girl with it... awful. B deserves better than that. I hope that the meds will be better by the time she gets to them, though.

    Oh... and while you might not have the full disorder, the therapeutic process of "Mindfullness" is the best therapy I've found for taming the obsessions and compulsions. You can find it with a Google search if you're interested.

  6. Thanks Wendy. You have an excellent attitude, especially in the face of that hiring experience. Your daughter is so lucky to have your support. If you feel okay with it, here's the email I use for writerly stuff. dianap698(a)gmail(dot)com
    Take care,