Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I'll have an order of Social Anxiety with OCD and a Diet Coke on the side, please?

Hello. My name is Sharon, and I have a problem.

Well, a couple lol, but let's not go there. The first step to help is admitting there is a problem. so here it goes. :P

I can be a little obsessive.

And by that generalized term, I mean, I have obsessive compulsive tendencies (which means not full blown OCD) accompanied by Social Anxiety Disorder. The OCt manifests at times of high stress or anxiety. When my life is chaos, and it feels like the sky is falling, I can be found in the deepest darkest corner of the basement (or Dungeon, when I was working at Flo Bo) cleaning, sorting, packing, organizing, purging, etc.

Who wouldn't love a mental illness that leads to clean basements, labeled containers or mass purging? There are times when I embrace my "disorder" (which, when you think about it is a funny term for it). Going through college, I earned extra $ by helping my S-I-L clean her house which gave her more time with the baby. Awesome for both of us. My midterms coming up? no, I do not want to join your study group, but.. I will come to your house and re-fold all your bathroom towels so that each is folded 3 ways (i like 3's).

Luckily Hayden seems to only exhibit few OCt markers. His toys and books are scattered everywhere, but his OCt seems to be in routine. DO NOT change Hayden's routine. It will lead to a major melt down! Change in general seems to be something he does not handle at all. If we know something big is coming up, Shel and I will start talking to Hayden about it MONTHS in advance... as soon as something is decided, we need to start telling him, and walk him through it. I guess with MANY different aspects of mental illness in his genes on his other side of the chromosome, I will gladly take a the resistance to change.

But back to my OCt. Having it manifest most prevalent through anxiety means that as a student, I was the kid who had 3 weeks notice on my paper for "Cognitive Therapy vs. Alternatives" but didn't start it till about the day before. (And still managed to get an A- on it) For me, a healthy level of anxiety is actually very beneficial. So why am I telling you this? 2 reasons.

The first is that this weekend is possibly one of the best weekends of my life. (I'm not telling why!) I have a LOT to do before Saturday comes. My room is... messy. VERY messy. My living room is FULL of boxes that are waiting to go to good will or be sorted. My laundry room runnith over with CLEAN clothes that I am not motivated to fold. There is a LOT to do. and Saturday is FOUR days away. I'm not panicked yet. I know I can get it done. So I walk around, and do a little of this, or a little of that. I've put all our shoes in the shoe container. I've cleaned the bathroom 3 times, I've sorted through a couple boxes. But my heart is not into it. I am not in panic mode. YET. So as much as I try, its just not happening. However, when Friday hits, and the countdown to Saturday has made it to hours instead of days, you may want to keep your distance, because my anxiety will be through the roof, which means it should take... about an hour and a 1/2 to get the house in order. You may think that's an exaggeration, but ask Shawn, Krys or Shel. They've learned to just step back and enjoy the show.

The second reason is that eventually Shawn Krys or Shel are going to tell you the following, and laugh at me (as I am as I type this), so I might as well get it over with.( :P ) I have found at times the best way to ward off an anxiety attack is to embrace my coping mechanisms (my OCt). Not in a vast clean the house way, but in a way that allows me to feel "order" and distraction. Sometimes that will mean I call Shel and say "Tell me something", which is his cue I may soon have an attack, and he'll tell me about his lunch, or a silly story from work, or even just ramble about a news story he saw. It distracts me enough to feel like I'm re-gaining control, and lets me get to my handy bottle of Rescue (homeopathic treatment for anxiety that I keep in almost every room of the basement). But that's not always an option. But on to the reason I thought about this for my rambling blog today.

The other way I deal with my anxiety through distraction are believe it or not, through computer games. Specific ones that feed my OCt and help me focus on tasks enough to not head into a full blown attack. Let me introduce you to my friend Flo. She owns a diner. and with my help, she can raise enough money to keep the diner from going under. Or meet Sally. She is taking over the family farm, and needs MY help to grow and harvest the crops, collect the honey, milk the cows, make the cheese, process the ketchup, sheer the sheep, bottle the jam AND feed the ostrich all within 5 min while filling specific orders. Keeping count of items, doing repetitive tasks in a specific order, and marinating a balance all help keep the anxiety fairies at bay. Saturday afternoon my nephew and I were both playing Ranch Rush (or rancho relaxo as I like to call it for all you Simpsons fans), and I was trying to organize my farm to increase productivity, and my nephew was trying to beat the clock on his round. They will laugh and tell you how my OCt taught me some great tips I could share with Joseph so he could beat his game. And the three of them, Shawn Krys and Shel, will also tell you that they each got a message from me this am saying some variation of the following: "I'm stuck on week 2 of DQ Tycoon and the Blizzard Machine is mocking me!"

Hmmmm. That means my anxiety IS starting to climb, and the house may be done sooner then I thought.


1 comment:

  1. the employees ... They do nothing!

    And why does the Mark IV blizzard machine STILL crawl?

    No, kid. You can NOT have a banana split! Take this Dilly Bar and get out!