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The last month

April 13, 2012

I know I need to write. I know that once I do write, I tend to feel even a little bit lighter. But I’m not sure what to say. Nothing is really wrong, per se. Which sometimes makes me feel like I shouldn’t write at all.

Over the past month, I have been undergoing a medication change. It has been hell. The physical side effects of tapering off a medication I’ve been taking for years, and onto a new one, were less than pleasant. But the side effects in my brain – of not having enough medication in my system during this process – felt unbearable. OCD is generally treated with higher dosages of medications. That means that the tapering down of Med 1 and the slow increase of Med 2 takes a long time. And in the middle, I’m not getting that high, therapeutic dosage. 

My brain needs medication to work properly. I am okay with that. So many of my friends hate being on medication, or don’t want to be on it, or refuse to be on it. It doesn’t phase me in the slightest. I need it to be okay, and that’s okay with me. That being said, it’s been incredibly frustrating the past month where I’m doing everything “right,” yet I feel like shit solely because of a lack of medication. I said, multiple times, “It’s just not fair! It’s not my fault!” Not that it’s ever my fault if I’m having a hard time, but it was so frustrating, just knowing I had to wait it out.

I vacillate between depression and anxiety. I used to think those were two separate diagnoses – and for many people, they are. For me, they’re just two points on the same continuum: the OCD continuum. When the thoughts/fears/spins/worries/obsessions/compulsions become too much, and take over my brain and my being, I become highly anxious – butterflies in my stomach, heart racing, on the verge of panic attack, etc. Or, I become depressed – shutting down, cloud of doom, pit in my stomach. But it’s all one in the same, really.

The end of last week and last weekend, I gave in. I voiced what was going on in my head to the two people who would understand and/or know what to do and say. I allowed myself to be hugged and nurtured and coddled. I gave up being in charge and allowed my boyfriend  to truly take care of me. I told him when I was feeling anxious, when my heart was racing, when I had a scary thought, when I needed a hug. He encouraged me and supported me. He’s really the best. I don’t give in like that often – really just give up control for that many days. And you know what? It was really really nice. And it helped so much. I’ve been thinking about what exactly was so helpful and a lot of it just comes down to the fact that for those few days, I stopped fighting it. I stopped fighting where I was at, and just let myself be in it. Without judging myself, or hating myself, or wishing I wasn’t in it. I rode it through and let others help me stay afloat.

The trouble is, it’s now a week later. I have returned to work and classes and writing reports and studying and I’ve had to continue on with my life. But that doesn’t mean I’m all better. Yes, I think the new meds are starting to kick in. No, I don’t feel like I’m totally drowning anymore. But I’m still anxious. My brain is still a little too busy. I’m still a little too afraid. And a little too spinny. But I feel like my “being-nurtured-time” is done. I used it up last week and last weekend and now I have to move on and be strong. I know in my core that everyone deserves constant love and support and that I have a right to ask for anything I need. But what do I say – “No, it’s not an emergency, but my brain is a little spinny, and no, I’m not sure what you could do to help, and yes, it’s much better than last week but I just wanted you to know…?” How do I SHOW that although it’s not where it was last week, it’s still a little tough? Should I even show it? Do I have a right to show it? Or is it being needy?

4 Comments leave one →
  1. April 13, 2012 12:24 pm

    You have every right to feel how you feel. Sometimes ‘being’ strong drains you. Just work on ur pick me ups like smiling even when you dont feel like it, or a chill out moment on your own. Or a cuddle with those you love and trust. Use your imagination. Remember to control your breathing rather than your emotions.

    Since I read your first post you seem more confident to work this through. I’m proud of you 🙂

  2. April 14, 2012 8:06 pm

    I can relate to those questions too!!! Sometimes I think OCD takes over for me in that way. You need what you need, but your OCD makes you doubt whether you SHOULD need it or have a right to ask for it. You can always ask for it. You might not get it, but you can deal with that then.

  3. April 17, 2012 7:40 pm

    I love your writing here. It is so raw and honest! I am so happy for you that you had a week of letting your guard down and allowing yourself to be comforted by someone that loves you. I often say that my husband saved me from my OCD so many years ago. While I still deal with it and it hasn’t gone away, he saved me from the worst of it – the worst of it is being alone in it. I will never forget the moment I told him everything, I will never forget the release of it out into the world and I will never again be alone with it. It helps – to have your boyfriend help you through the ‘not so tough’ days as much as it does the ‘really bad’ days. His support and love and shelter around you with hugs while you are having a tough time can be a miracle and make the hurt and fears and anxiety less enough to be bearable. I have been off and on meds as well over the years, I know the transitions are tough, hang in there! Praying for you and a quick transition over to the new meds 🙂 xoxo

  4. April 17, 2012 7:42 pm

    I also love the way you are describing depression and anxiety and the OCD continuum – wonderful explanation, I completely agree 🙂

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