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Spinning

November 22, 2009

Spin (verb): To ruminate over and over again. To analyze every bit of a thought, encounter, interaction, fear, statement, personality trait, etc.

This is the best way I can define what spinning means to us (though I give Lilah permission to edit the definition as seen fit). If you are going to read about us, you’ll have to understand this concept. Spinning goes hand-in-hand with OCD. For me, the bulk of my OCD is made up of spinning. Imagine, just for a second. Imagine that you could not do anything, think anything, say anything, without spending minutes, hours, days, even weeks or years, analyzing it. Going over and over it again in your mind. Imagine that when you had a dialogue with someone, you analyzed every word out of your mouth. What did you say, what did they say? How did they look? What could they have been thinking? What did you sound like? What assumptions did they come up with about you? How is this going to affect you in the future? Did you just ruin a friendship? Did you look stupid?

And on and on and on.

There are countless spins that can happen. Some are about the super intrusive OCD thoughts that I’ll write about someday. Some are about myself, my personality, my life. Some are about my relationships with others. Many of my spins involve other people. For a long litany of reasons, that I don’t need to get into, I’ve developed huge trust issues over the years. It’s interesting actually, because I do tend to trust a lot in some ways, yet be truly terrified of people leaving me, in other ways. My spinning about those I love (my parents, my closest friends, etc.) has decreased dramatically over the past eleven months of so, and I owe most of this credit to my OCD diagnosis and to a few certain people.

But sometimes when I’m having a hard time, the spinning gets bad again (and I’m talking about people-spins from this point out). I’ve had a really awful past few days. I think I’ve figured out why, but it was as close to unbearable as I can imagine. Actually, the last time I had felt so depressed and so awful was almost a year ago, just before I learned that I had OCD, and the spinning and the fear and the anxiety (all from OCD) was so constant, and so strong, that it just folded itself in on me and I started to give up. So it’s a comfort to be able to compare now and then in terms of feelings, and yet see how drastically different things are.

I’ve been back to spinning the past few days, constantly, about people–namely those who truly have a special place in my life, and in my heart: Is she mad at me? Am I a burden to her? Does she think that I’m just too much and is done with me and ready to dispose of me from her life? Okay well what’s the evidence that she IS sick of me? What’s the evidence that she’s not? Can I be POSITIVE that she meant it when she said that I don’t dump burdens on her? What if she was lying? No, she’s not lying, how dare I even think that. But what if? What if I’m just a horrible friend? What if I’m making her life more miserable by being in it? No, she said that’s not true. But am I 100% positive. No. Let’s analyze this again, then….And it goes on and on and on. Worrying about everyone and everything. Terrified I’m too much for people. Terrified that by telling people I’m scared of that, they’ll get annoyed that I worry too much. It makes it feel like there’s no way out, you know? And it’s so exhausting to spin so much!

Now I’m in a better place. I’m way more in tune with my core–and I could access my core over these past few days but there was that clear split between knowing I had my core knowledge yet not being able to believe it or trust it. Now I’m starting to re-integrate the knowing and the feeling. And it’s one of those things where when you’re back on the other side of it, when you’re feeling real again (OCD is not real, and though it might feel like it sometimes, when I’m in a spinning-funk, I know it’s fake and I don’t feel real, if that makes sense. I know that what’s happening is fog and it’s not real) it all seems so clear. Like, of course I can trust these people when they tell me things. But when you’re in it, it’s a whole different story.

But I guess the moral of the story is that OCD is a cycle. Which I know, but sometimes forget. So even when it seems like the spinning will never stop and you’re doomed to stay in that awful place forever, it doesn’t work like that. It cycles, it goes up and down, and I just have to always remember that it will not ever, EVER last forever. Here’s another dictionary term for you that I’ll have to write more about in a different entry:

frozen (adj): incredibly paralyzed by one thought, worry, or fear, to the point where it consumes you, it’s all you can think about, and you cannot function because it has taken you over.

Well. I am beginning to thaw.


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