(At the Academy of Sciences Museum in San Francisco)
And for baby girl? She is doing well. The big news is that I felt her moving for the first time two Tuesday's ago. Awesome! Tami says she is moving a lot and, apparently, she is like her brother in that she likes to play on Tami's left side and kick around.
As for me, I started going to see a therapist regularly. I mentioned this in a previous blog. It was my preemptive strike to make sure that panic attacks are not an issue as we approach the birth of our second child. I was told that I have made plenty of progress with panic attacks having learned to deal with the anxiety and having not had a full panic attack in over a year. My therapist said that I am, however, experiencing general anxiety and so I've been working on that. Then, she mentioned that she would like me to see a psychiatrist. So, I did, last week. That's when I was told that I have OCD. That's the big news in my personal psychological epic. The psychiatrist tells me that all of the various anxiety ailments are connected and people who experience one issue often experience more than one. He told me that while he could be wrong, he thinks that OCD is the main issue for me and has been for a while. The general anxiety and other anxiety related issues I experience are the results of frustration and stress as I'm dealing with OCD. Interesting.
I really did not see that coming. I have always referred to certain things I do as "OCD tendencies" but never thought of myself as having OCD. I live a pretty normal and successful life and nothing I deal with seems to get much in the way. I've got my own methods for dealing with my "tendencies." Now, as I learn more that OCD is not just odd actions, but includes thoughts, I understand that my tendencies have been around for a long time and really do have a major affect on my life, thoughts, decisions, and time. The O, obsessive part of OCD, are the intrusive thoughts. The C, compulsive part of OCD, are the methods and rituals to deal with the stress of the obsessive thoughts. And the compulsive part can be thoughts to alleviate the stress caused by the obsessive thoughts, not necessarily physical actions. I use both thoughts and actions to deal with my obsessive thoughts. Okay, I can see that I have OCD. I've been diagnosed for all of two days but everything looks a little different as I try to analyze my experiences through a new analytic frame.
I met with my therapist yesterday to go over the results of that meeting and to talk. I was reminded not to think of myself as having a bunch of issues but as dealing with anxiety that has expressed itself in a few ways. I feel pretty good. I wish I would have gone to a therapist a long time ago. A year ago I would be satisfied to not have panic attacks as a regular part of my life. Now, I find that so many of the thoughts I have are not necessary, that there is a way to learn to deal with them just like I did with panic attacks, and the associated stress that I have taken for granted as a part of being a thinking human being are not requirements for that status at all. Knowing that has made feel hopeful and good. To sum up with a simile; it's like not knowing I had a piece of glass in my foot and dealing with what I thought was the normal pain of using both feet to walk. And then, feeling optimistic when someone says: "Hey, you have a piece of glass in your foot. The pain you feel there, it's not normal, but don't worry. You don't have to accept it. I can help you get it out and you will feel better. It happens to plenty of people and we're really quite good at removing glass from people's feet. In fact, here's a book to get you started." That's where I am at. Hopeful, with a book, and a beautiful kid, and another on the way, with a great family, and two weeks off from work to contemplate and enjoy it all.