January 29, 2011

Lost

I promised myself that I was going to use this blog as a forum to post progress and positive results.  But – in all honesty – at the moment, I am feeling pretty horrible, alone and depressed. 
I’ve had a few incidents in the last little while where I had the opportunity to practice “skillfully” my reaction to some OCD triggers, and I failed.  Miserably.  And right away I fall back into that horrible anxious state of needing to understand WHY I’m having these thoughts, why they are so graphic, and what they mean about me?
My breakup has thrown me for a loop.  Though, on some levels I am coping really well – it has ramped up my OCD in a big way.  After obsessing about my relationship for over two years, I would think that it would be understandable that I feel incredibly burnt out, turned off of relationships, and yes – even turned off of men.  Not that I don’t still really love my boyfriend, but at the moment I have absolutely no desire to have a complicated relationship in my life – with anyone.  Of course this has ramped up my HOCD like crazy.  “Maybe life would be easier with a woman.  Maybe, after all your failed relationships you are in a process of opening up to the idea of being with a woman.”  That’s just the tip of the iceburg. 
Last week I went home for four days to help take care of my mom (and dad – who isn’t used to being the one taking care of anyone) while she is on chemotherapy.    This was also a very difficult experience for me because though I am so happy to be able to help my parents out – it is no secret that my family is highly dysfunctional.  A four day visit witnessing the unhealthy way my parents relate to each other, and the way they relate to me just left me feeling hopeless, lonely and depressed.  I am not sure, but I do suspect that the “baggage” from my past fuels my OCD.  I am terrified of ending up in a relationship like my parents – and I have analyzed this ad nauseum.  Over the years I have worked through a lot of the “baggage” from my past and have mostly come to forgive my parents for their mistakes (after all – they are human too), but right now all of this seems to be under a microscope for me.  All I could see was how I was acting similarly in my own relationship with my boyfriend, and the thoughts that came to me were “Maybe it’s just impossible to change your past.  You might as well be with a woman because I don’t think you’ll be able to have a healthy relationship with a man.”
And the final episodes came this week.  I was already struggling to deal with my OCD thoughts in a healthy way, and then some things happened, that ramped up my anxiety massively.  I am crying all the time, struggling to get out of bed, not sleeping at night.  My chest is tight, my mind is spinning, my heart is racing, and overall I feel horrible.  Is there any hope? 
I am doing some consulting for a government agency, and once per month, I go into the office to work with some clients.  A few months ago – I was in the office and in between sessions, I was chit-chatting with one of the women who works there.  Suddenly the thoughts came to my mind: “She’s really nice.  Maybe you’d be happier in a relationship with her.”  And then:  “OMG?!  Do I really feel that way?  I better check and figure out what I meant by that.  Could I actually be with her?” And then all the images came and I just felt horrible. 
This past week – I had been in the office meeting with ANOTHER WOMAN about an upcoming seminar that I was going to be teaching.  I was sharing some information about the fact that my mom is sick with inoperable cancer, and she has lost her mother as well – so we were discussing the experience.  After that meeting, she gave me a card and inside it read:  “Try not to focus on the end result – just enjoy the moment.”  At the time – I didn’t think anything of it.  I actually thought – that was a really nice thing of her to do. 
However – I had to go back to the office a few days later, and when I got there – this woman said to me “You look beautiful.” , and off it went.  “OMG – I think this girl likes me.  I think she is hitting on me.  I think on some level she’s attracted to you.  Could you be attracted to her?  She’s been really supportive with you about your mom – maybe you’ll be like Cynthia Nixon who became a lesbian after enduring cancer.  Are you attracted to her?”  And on and on it went.  I even had images of her kissing me.  The whole thing was just awful.  I was reeling in anxiety and thoughts.  I even told myself that I could feel her "vibe" - and I must have great GAYDAR.  I couldn’t get away from her fast enough. 
One would think that would be enough “challenges” for a week, but nope.  Yesterday I sat down to watch Oprah, and the topic was BETRAYAL IN MARRIAGES.  The first guests she had on were Fran Drescher and her ex-husband.  They are now separated because years into their marriage (a very happy one by-the-way) – her husband decided that he was gay.  Of course this is one of my biggest fears.  But – it gets worse from there.  Her husband said that he had had gay thoughts like that for several years and even went to over three psychologists.  They all said that the thoughts were just thoughts and didn’t mean anything.  REALLY?  Are you kidding me?  Someone who was having gay thoughts, that was “diagnosed” as having normal gay thoughts, but not gay, that eventually turned out to be gay???????  Now I know the goal of treatment is not to prove that anything is certain.  I have told myself many times, that just because I have gay OCD doesn’t mean that someday I won’t decide that I’m a lesbian.  But this triggered my OCD so badly. 
So here I am – alone – dealing with all of this.  I feel like a fraud – because no one – other than my ex-boyfriend and my parents (who aren’t exactly in the position themselves to be overly supportive) – knows about my OCD.  I feel terrified.  I feel hopeless, and I feel lost.  I am just so scared.  I am not a religious person, but during times like these I can really understand why people turn to a higher power.  Is this really what life is about? 

3 comments:

  1. I'm sorry. It sounds like a really tough week. You aren't alone; there's all the other ocd bloggers. Of course, we are somewhat annonymous and live who-knows-where, but as my brother told me, we aren't virtual friends; we are real friends over the internet.

    I got quized at work over how a kid's arm got hurt and I didn't know the answer. That was great for my ocd about harm. My feared situation had happened! A kid got hurt and I didn't know when/how. Maybe it was my fault! The kid recovered by the end of the day, so it wasn't a big deal, but I did cry about it with my counselor the next day. It's tough when OCD jumps in at work. I'm sorry it's been interupting you, too.

    I hope you feel better soon.

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  2. Abigail - thank you for your support. And your brother has a good way of putting it for sure. My ex-boyfriend came over today and we had a great talk. He was so supportive - gently pushing me back to my ERP. I'm very thankful to have him and my OCD bloggers in my life!!! I can relate to your OCD fear too about harming someone - I have that kind of fear too on a smaller scale. Thank you for posting.

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  3. I'm sorry you've been having such a tough time. It can be overwhelming when it all comes at once. Hopefully you can pick some small pieces of what you're dealing to work on with exposure, and turn all the stress into a positive. Easy for me to say, I know! :)

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