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“My thoughts are racecars running round my head”

November 11, 2010

I’m so overwhelmed. Thoughts are spinning and I don’t know how to slow them down. I can’t tease apart what I’m thinking about. I could probably give a few general categories but that’s about it. I have so much work to do and don’t know where to start. That leads to spinning about failing out of grad school, failing myself, etc. It’s a general sense of anxiety that has been with me all day and I can’t shake it.

I tried reaching out to a few people today but I didn’t know what to say or how to say it. “Hi, I know you have so much going on in your life right now but I’m anxious and need to talk about some things but I’m not sure what, so can we just do that right now, and can you push your important things aside for my spinnings and anxieties?” Not so much.

I am in one of those places where I don’t feel that I have the right to ask for help, ask for a listening ear, or ask for anything if a) someone else’s issues/life circumstances are bigger or more important than mine, b) I don’t have a clear problem or issue going on at the moment, and c) it’s nothing new or seemingly important.

Yes, that is probably a whole lot of OCD right there, setting rules and telling me to be SURE that I don’t fit into any of those categories. And, as we all know, it’s damn near impossible to be SURE of anything.

Thus, enter more spinning, more anxiety, and more confusion.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 25, 2010 1:21 pm

    I understand how you are feeling. My thoughts are always running around like racecars too. I compare OCD spinning to this: picture sitting in front of a very fast train and trying to focus on just one rail car passing by, it is impossible. As hard as I try to organize and command my eyes to focus on only one rail car inside the blur – I am never successful, just the same as trying to keep your spinning under control. I understand how exhausting it is and how much it can wear you down. But do not let yourself believe that your dilemna is not as important as anothers, it is only a different kind. The OCD likes to make you think so but we must learn to trust ourselves. It is okay to reach out to those you trust to talk about it, because if we can’t do that we are alone in this. I am here if you ever need an understanding listening ear. Sometimes just by having someone to talk to about it helps the thoughts calm down. When all else fails (which happens often for me) the only way I can truly calm them down is to listen to loud music and breathe deeply. My OCD symptoms consist almost entirely of thought based spinning and counting and grouping and re-organizing and pretty much anything that can be done and contained inside my thoughts alone. It is extremely draining and I hate that it is all contained. At least if I was hand-washing or something else I would have an external outlet to pursue. Hope your Thanksgiving day is great and your spinning has calmed down :) Take care – Erin

    • November 27, 2010 11:17 am

      Thank you so much for your compassionate response; it truly means a lot! I love your analogy to spinning thoughts, and while I am sorry you deal with them also, it’s nice to know that there are others out there who get it. Sometimes I have to picture a big stop sign and give myself a big reminder to STOP spinning, and just decide that it’s not an option to continue going…because the more I spin, the harder it is to pull out of it, you know? Hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful as well!!

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