There are a few other things I have that most medical professionals would term co-morbid.
I get a little crazy at certain points during my hormone cycle. By crazy, I mean mental and psychotic, but I try to hide that so mostly you don't see that.
I have sensory processing issues that sometimes rival my kids'. It's mostly noise. I can't stand noise. I don't like white noise or loud noise or noise pollution of any kind. There are a few other things that set me off, but noise is the worst.
I have insomnia--not sissy, it-takes-me-a-bit insomnia, but lie-awake-for-four-hours-staring-at-the-ceiling and a-week-with-only-three-hours-a-night insomnia.
I also have agoraphobia--which, for me, translates into not wanting to go outside or to any place I'm not familiar with. One example is that I'll never go anywhere that I don't have a plan for where I'll park beforehand. I can't do it. I'd rather stay home. I need to know where my car--which is an extension of my house in my brain--will stop. I also don't like people in my home outside of my husband and kids. That's it. Sometimes, we'll go six months without having anyone else in our house and that's fine with me. I like it that way. I wish it could always be that way.
All of my issues ebb and rise with my hormones and stress levels. They also tend to aggravate one another. If my insomnia is bad, it trips my agoraphobia. If my sensory-processing is bad, it keeps me up at night. They bang off each other and make everything worse.
I don't know why I'm bringing this up... maybe sometimes I just like to talk about it to prove that it doesn't scare me like it once did. I know I'm stronger, and I've always been stronger than this disorder that devours my thoughts. Sometimes I do stuff just to prove who is in control. I go outside just to laugh in the face of my agoraphobia. I jump in a mud puddle just to mock my OCD. Then, I pay for it. In some small way or sometimes in a big way, I pay for it.
Okay, maybe I do know why I'm bringing this up.
Writing SECRETS was hard for me to write, and it'll be hard to rework too. It's going into my dark corners and yanking what roosts there out into the light. OCD isn't pretty. My mind is a dark, dark place that sometimes feels so dark that I can't imagine there ever being light in there. You can't imagine the darkness. I guarantee it. Unless you have OCD or one of its cousins, you can't imagine how convoluted and dark our minds are. You can't imagine how the thoughts build and twist and torque until you're convinced that if you don't do something or if you do it... people will die.
When I wrote SECRETS last year around this time, I remember thinking, "Why can't I just leave these monsters in the corners? Why am I doing this? Why am I trying to show people that inside me is a leashed darkness that I barely keep from eating me alive?"
Then, I wrote SECRETS and I eased up and left some of it in the corners. There were pieces that disappeared in revisions because I wanted to cut the ties to me. Maybe it was gutless, but I wasn't sure how people would react. I played up some aspects and maybe downplayed others, and what emerged was a good story but perhaps not the one I meant it to be in the beginning.
So, now, I'm reworking SECRETS and I'm staring into a cave, searching for a monster I've created, and it'd be easier to walk away. Once I leash that thing and drag it out into the light...
I can't imagine.
OCD is a horror story. It doesn't go away. The thoughts will smother everything if you let them. Your brain is crowded like a loud train station on a hot day where everything is coated with the heat of too many things in a shared space, and the hum is so loud it could make you deaf. My mind is like that every moment of every day for the rest of my life. The meds keep it from bothering me as much and make the noise more dull. I'm not on meds right now, though. They have a lot of side effects so I've been trying to go without them... which feels like the wrong choice this week, but the right choice other weeks.
Out of this madness I'm to craft a story about something that isn't horrific. Something hopeful. Something that will help and not hurt.
That's madness, isn't it?
Anyway, Sarah thinks I can do it. I sent her the revised beginning of SECRETS and she liked it. I just wonder, "If we poke in the dark corners, will we really like what pokes back?" We'll see I guess. I have the rest of July and August to figure it out.
We'll see. I've never backed down from a challenge or failed when I believed in something, and I think I can do this. We shall see.
At the very least, it won't be boring.