Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Big Decision


Two and a half years knowing I have anxiety issues. Less time knowing
about OCD. And it makes sense. I can see the patterns even into my
youth. I always thought about it as everyone having issues to various
degrees. If an undesired quality can exist in a psychology then I
pictured it as a quality that everyone has to a certain degree as with
desirable qualities. I just hadn't thought of myself as diagnosable.
It's been worse lately. My average anxiety and the number of times
intrusive thoughts come in has increased in the last months. It
doesn't stop me from having good experiences but it does take away
hours of my day. OCD does not provide positive intrusive thoughts.
I have said no to medication several times and both the psychologist
and psychiatrist were ok with that as I was very successful with
cognitive therapy alone for panic attacks and the hope was that I
would continue as well with OCD. It's not happening. I've been wearing
down. I contacted the psychiatrist and said that I am ready to try
medication. We will be talking this week about treatment options. It's
not been easy for me. I worry about addiction though the medication is
not addicting. I worry about becoming dependent on it though I'm not
sure why that would matter. I judge myself negatively for not being
able to do this on my own and I'm not sure how to make myself leave me
alone on that one. I don't judge others the help they receive in life
and am happy to help others. I even love it when I receive help so
long as I believe I could have done it on my own. For some reason I
have created a double standard for myself. This applies to everything
from help with a vehicle to help with hanging Christmas lights to help
with dishes and definitely with medication.

I'm worn out fighting to cope with my conditions lately.
When I was younger I decided that I will only live this once so it
would be desirable to experience as much as possible and to live as
many life styles as possible in my time. I thought of this when it
came to taking jobs and when it came to adventures in general. I
remember when cigarettes and alcohol became the things to experiment
with in my friend group. I was there. There was the time when cigars
and pipes became the drug to try. I tried. I remember when marijuana
was the thing to try and I tried. I remember when other drugs became
the focus of experiment and I stayed sober or had a drink instead. I
was a little jealous of my friends who tried while I stayed on the
sidelines. Sure, drugs can take over a life but for many many people
they do not. My friends will probably be just fine though some have
experimented with ecstasy, shrooms, acid, and more. It's a part of the
life experience that I will not likely ever experience as it makes me
too nervous to think of my body on those drugs. I have come to terms
with the fact that even with only one life to live, a glorious
opportunity, I need not have every experience. I can be happy to know
that there are many humans out there and be satisfied to know that a
huge range of experiences are being had by the collective humanity. I
don't need to live them all myself.

And then there is my fear of medication for OCD. Well, I tell myself,
here is your chance to experience a class of drugs that are
experienced by many. This is just another life experience while I
live. I can better understand a human experience that I otherwise did
not think that I would ever experience. And so, I am ready to try. I
am ready to try a medication, to accept a help for something I am
having trouble with; something I do not seem to be able to handle by
myself.

I don't know the particulars yet but it sounds like the prescription
will be for Zoloft. From what I have read there is a very high success
rate with using it in conjunction with cognitive therapy for OCD and
then phasing the drug out after about a year. Perhaps my experience
will be as such. Maybe it will be convoluted and messy. I'm going to
try and not worry about it too much.

I'm a little stressed. And a little more hopeful. I would love a
single month reprieve, a month of clarity, a month of eating without
images and thoughts of suffocation, a month where wondering thoughts
are not gruesome, a month where breathing is not strained, a month
where variations in heart rhythm does not cause an adrenaline rush, a
month where watching my children eat does not cause my muscles to
tense, a month where freedom from one fixation does not cause a new
fixation, a month of relaxation. I would be happy with that month. I
would be so appreciative of that month. I'll take a year of much more
work towards a life more neutral than my thoughts provide. But oh, how
I would appreciate such a month. In the mean time, it can't get much
worse. And when I can be aware of the moment, I have so much to
appreciate.

1 comment:

  1. I am so proud of you for looking at your situations and deciding to do something about them. What a wonderful example you are for your children, Randy. Keeping you in my thoughts a prayers.

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