My anxiety/ocd/whatever-this-is has been in overdrive recently. A desperate feeling of being overwhelmed. Unlike depression, the overwhelming obstacles don’t become insurmountable. The feeling is different. Here, they become things that I have to fix/control/take charge of.
Prior to trying to get pregnant, I was on a lot more medication to keep the crazy in check. But, I weaned off of my precious klonipin and nortriptylene last summer. I tried to go off of Wellbutrin and that was not good. Generally, I’ve been okay. But some days….
I know that pregnancy is making it worse with the hormones. But for a while, I was able to keep things in check. Lately, not really.
The lists. The cleaning. The clutter. The nagging feeling that I constantly have to be doing something to fix all of the things that I can’t control. It’s overwhelming me.
This afternoon, while I was on the phone, I realized that I was color coding and stacking Bottle Caps. (Not like caps for bottles. The Willy Wonka candy.) I do this with Skittles, but Bottle Caps… That’s new. And, what threw me off was that I wasn’t even remotely paying attention to the fact that I was doing it. These weird little tics are becoming rote.
I’ve created a routine (I know, I know) of coping mechanisms and I’ve run through all of them today.
Coping Mechanisms when the OCD Kicks In:
- Am I breathing? Probably not. Breathe. Deep breath in, deep breath out. Give in and count the breaths so that the breathing is nice and organized.
- Find a cat. Pet the cat. Talk to the cat. Get lost in the purring kitty.
- Give in and make the damn lists. Different lists have to be on different paper. Always a retractable Sharpie pen. (Although, depending on the topic, a spreadsheet may be preferred.) If the list isn’t perfect, make the list again. Make as many lists as possible until everything feels orderly and less scary.
- Book break. Try to dull the really loud thoughts with someone else’s world.
- Wait. Wait for it to pass. Wait for things to quiet. Stare. Quiet quiet quiet.
This afternoon, I went through all of the list. Nothing helped. It was still bubbling too close to the surface and wouldn’t give me peace. That’s why I’m writing this. (If you see it, that means that I hit publish and not delete, like usual.) The calm is coming. Slowly.
I’m determined to leave this afternoon right here. It’s in these words and it isn’t going to follow me. I am not giving up my night to this too. I’m going to go downstairs and make dinner. I will watch MasterChef and chill out.
[See that? I'm making another list. Removing the bullets doesn't mean that it isn't a list, Danielle.]