Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Hunger Games & Karin's Head's Game

Bruce and I saw the Hunger Games tonight.  I've been waiting a long time to see that movie.  And it didn't disappoint.  In some ways it was even better than the book.  It kept close to the book, was very intense but not too gory.  And it must have taken some really detailed choreography to make a movie where 24 teens fight to the death look real and at the same time keep the blood and guts part down to a bare minimum.  The actors and actresses did a fantastic job.  The only problem with it is that unlike Harry Potter, where seeing the movie increases my desire to reread the books, and reading the books makes me want to see the movies again, the Hunger Games violence-ness doesn't make me eager to re-experience it. 

While watching the movie tonight it suddenly hit me:  we're going to look at a pair of dogs tomorrow afternoon that we're thinking of keeping.  And up til then I've been excited, thinking of names, finding a place for them to do what dogs do, that I don't want them doing in my house and whether to get them a doggie bed or a cage.  The downside  is that we found out today that the matted fur that I was told came from the dog romping in a swamp (dirty but not contaminated) was in fact dog feces all over her body, according to the vet.  That's when OCD hit and I've been trying to figure out how to deal with it.  Can we bathe the dogs before they come to our house?  Can I just think that the vet shaving her down is clean enough?  What about the other dog?

 Then i got a call from a mobile vet that lives close to our house out in the country.  He does regular vet services at the pet's house.  And no, I can't just bring the pet to his house instead.  Bummer.  Cause memories came back about how I really liked that the chemicals and other stuff  (samples of poop ) was at the vet's place and I could just leave.  I didn't think of it as ocd, just my preferences as i didn't have an ocd diagnosis then.  But on the positive side, not bringing the dog to a vet means I don't have to be where other sick dogs are and possibly infect my dog( Rare occurence but it COULD happen. ) And with the rise in gas prices having the vet come HERE might be a good thing.

So, right in the middle of the movie, during a down time, it suddenly hits me that I'm going to get a pair of dogs that OCD will have a field day with and have a vet that OCD will have even more fun  with.  Not to mention that I will have to take care of these dogs, not just cuddle them.  Someone will have to walk them, bath them and all that stuff and that someone  will be me.  Do I really want to do this?  Should I give in to OCD and find  'cleaner' dogs and a 'safer' vet?  Or do I bite the bullet and kick OCD to the curb and focus on rescuing a really cute pair of golden retrievers???

Why do I do this to myself?  Can't i just keep my peaceful, finally calm life?  Am I nuts, wanting to stir up the pot?   And if it doesn't work out... but I don't return dogs just because I'm bored or tired of taking care of them. That's why it's been 5 years since our first dog, Holly, died and even tho I've missed her and wanted another dog, I knew I couldn't handle it. 

This is normal for me.  I want something and Bruce is kind of lukewarm.  Then after I've convinced him, I get cold feet.  Because I don't know EXACTLY how it will affect my life.  For real.  Not just in my imagination, where only good stuff happens.

After a few minutes of intense guilt ( I've got the whole family excited about my now STUPID idea), other thoughts get thru.  The ones that say, take it slow.  One step at a time. Just go look at the dogs.  I don't have to hug them or take them out for pizza.  See how it goes. 

And so my heart rate goes back to normal and i can return my attention to the movie once again.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Anxiety Group Causes Anxiety!

Things have been pretty good around here lately.  Over the March Break we went back down south for a few days.  Hotel living!! My idea of fun.  Because there is very little cooking or cleaning to attend to and Katrina is getting old enough that entertaining her in a hotel room is getting less stressful.

Things I noticed on the trip:

When we parked things on the tables in the hotel I didn't have to tell Bruce : oh, don't put that here, that spot has ocd" or "  Don't use that/ touch  that' etc.  How nice not only for me (yeah) but for the other 2 who don't have to cater to my weird ideas and orders.

I showered and didn't worry about touching the shower walls, which means that that erp DID really work because last year up in Moosonee, i was freaking out with every different shower at each hotel we were at.  Here at home, I still get the thots:  'you touched the wall/ curtain' which i can then choose to ignore, or do something about.  I expect these thots because i spent so much time avoiding my shower walls, but didn't expect the thots at hotels so i'm glad that's over with.

I didn't worry about touching remotes or curtains etc.  I drove Bruce's van without freaking out about where that steering wheel has been.

Today was my first day of anxiety class.  It's a weekly program where they review CBT techniques.

 So I get into my car and the first thing i notice is the breaks are squeaking.  'Great, another bill'.  But it  goes away as the car warms up.  A few minutes later I smell something odd.  Naturally, I'm now sure the car is on fire except another part of my brain is saying: 'ocd, ocd'.  So which part do I believe?  My sneaking suspicion is ocd is trying to freak me out. I keep driving and the funny smell goes away. When I get to the building I park the car, and check the engine by sniffing around the front wheel and wind shield area.  See, I COULD open the hood, but that would be 'checking' and anyway if I touch the hood I might have to wash my hands afterwards and I don't want to do that.  So sniffing around like a dog is a much better plan. :P

So OCD is now stopping me from doing an ocd check. 

I decide that if the car is actually burning, someone else will be noticing it soon enough and calling the fire department for me.  So I went in for my meeting. 

I first had to meet with the facilitator which meant that it was a half an hour before the rest of the group show up.  And guess what, NO ONE comes in with the news that there is a burning car in the parking lot.  So far so good.

The meeting is mostly talking about how each person dealt with  their anxiety this week.  I was told I didn't have to participate, so I  didn't say anything. Except feeling anxious that I might have dropped some vinegar on my pants yesterday as I was doing the  laundry and then  (after NOT changing my pants ) telling OCD to shut up and the 'fire' episode this afternoon, I didn't have much to say.

The lesson was on doing thought records.  The leader was re- explaining the difference between a thot and a mood (feeling).  Lots seemed confused still.  That's how I felt when I first tried to do them so it's nice to know I'm not the only one!  Then we were to write out a thot record and my anxiety came back.  I've written lots, but they still confuse me .

It was mentioned that thought records help up become our own therapists because we learn to dig below the  feeling or thoughts to get to the 'hot thought' and then give ourselves evidence that it's NOT true.

  Of course, if I could figure out why  it's not true, I wouldn't be having the problem in the first place!!    So I used to ask my couseller for the answers to that section until I finally could figure some of them out on my own.  

When I went into the parking lot after the meeting, my car was still there, all safe and sound.

But my vacation from ocd work is now over.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Life's Pretty Calm

I haven't blogged in over 2 weeks now.  I've been reading lots.  I had 4 interlibrary loans that all need to be finished between Feb. and the end of March.  The second one was Full Catastrophe Living that I  heard about on someone else's blog (or maybe goodreads acct.).  It was long and slow reading.  Very interesting tho.  It was all about meditation in a mindful way.  He described different kinds of meditations, gave  lots of info re why mindful meditation works.  I wrote pages of notes. 

Devil in the Details is a memoir of a Jewish teen's battle with scrupulosity.  It was an ok read.  Lots about the strange things she did, not so much on how she overcame it.  She mentioned therapy but not in any detail.  It seemed to disappear when she went away to college. 

As for OCD, things are going rather well.  I have to decide lots whether to give in or not and i keep reminding myself of what Dr. Tompkins said in his book about recovery- to keep doing erp's to keep in practice.  I don't necessarily look for weird things to touch. I just keep on top of what i already can do so i don't go backwards too much.  It's still in my head( getting some urges) but my outward life doesn't show much ocd anymore. I sometimes give in on the little things that don't matter much but try not to on the big things that would cause a lot of trouble if I gave in.  Even the urges aren't very strong.  Still won't touch the outside garbage cans without washing up tho !  :)

Wed. night we went to the library. Bruce went to pick up my meds while Katrina and I were hunting for books for her.  When Bruce came back and we left he told us to go thru their back door.  I hadn't used that door for a year or more due to some ocd reason i can't remember.  All I recall is that the door handles were contaminated some way.  Bruce didn't know this, so he used the door and expected me to also.  He opened the door for me, so i didn't have to touch it at the time.  But he was still 'unclean'.  I don't think he washed his hands when he got home so i didn't want to touch him.  I knew I should, but was having a hard time.  I know he touched the tv remote but i purposely didn't want to know what else he was touching.  I waited til after 11 at night, just when he decided to go to bed.  Finally i got up my nerve and sat down beside him.  Cuddling on the couch was the funnest ERP I've done so far, better than hanging out with a mop, that's for sure!!   The next night i managed to finally touch the tv remote too.  Usually I'm much faster at saying no.  This was an ocd deal stuck in my head for a long time now so it was harder to get rid of.  I'm glad I did.  Now the whole library is at my disposal.

The best thing I have noticed, is that I don't have any general anxiety hanging around me all day! Yeah!