OCD & the pandemic

What it’s like to live with OCD through a pandemic?

Well, it’s like an episode of The Twilight Zone basically. It’s like that for everyone I think, but if you have OCD it’s one of the hardcore episodes, the ones that the world as the hero/heroine knew it is coming upside down.

It’s weird seeing everyone doing what you usually do because of a mental condition; doing routines and actions that you have mastered through the years of (unwilling) practice.

Now everyone washes their hands regularly; I wash mine countless times daily, for years now.

Now everyone keeps their distance from others; I try to keep my distance from others all the time, I basically hate it when strangers come too close (aka approximately 1 meter).

Now people use antibacterial tissues, which are basically one of the top 3 essentials I always bye from the grocery store and I use them even inside my own house (and, yeah, now I can’t seem to find any).

Now some people clean their phones, their cash, the groceries, all these things that I always clean.

Now some people throw their clothes to the laundry basket straight after they enter their house; well I have been doing this for years (only wear something once and after I wash it).

Now people pay attention to where and what they touch; this is a constant thing for me.

Normally I’m the odd one out of the norm and, now, my “abnormality” is the new norm.

I have been living with obsessive compulsive disorder for years now. You know that fear you feel nowadays, that you’re going to get sick, that something bad is going to happen if you’re not careful enough? I feel like this each single day; I create through this, doing everyday chores through this, live through this. And it’s not easy at all.

Now, during this weird and hard period we’re all going through, I am cool about it, because this is life for me, I do what I always do, keeping the pieces of balance I have managed to create for myself over the years. And because it’s all these repercussions are second nature to me, I’m quite sure I do my best so I and the people around me won’t get sick.

Think about it, how you feel with the coronavirus pandemic. Imagine having all this pressure and paranoia 24/7 inside your head. This is exactly how OCD feels like.

The madness of this epidemic is like being inside the mind of an OCD patient. And the virus is like every fear and obsessive idea that someone with OCD has. It might not always be so real as this virus, but it’s 1000% real for the brain and the body of the patient.

Maybe all these words are food for thought… something to think about if you’re in quarantine and you have so much free time in your hands.

Take good care of yourself and we’re all going to be just fine in the end!

Diary

So, I haven’t been writing a lot lately here. A lot of things have been going on:

* I stopped creating for @daily_art_by_angelina (I was making colorful boho-inspired jewelry). The shop that I was providing closes soon, the Etsy sales weren’t good lately, so I felt it was time for something new. But, 8 years with this brand I have created it’s a long time, the decision took time.

* Alongside the previous thing, I also decided to stop making art as @drawing_tales and art photography and digital collages as @a_mavrogianni_photography and create a new project with my original drawings, my photography, my digital art and new kind of art jewelry. Under my own name this time. This was also a big decision, having the courage to do this step. Ptomote myself from now on, as an artist, and not under a brand name. You can check my Facebook page at Angelina Mavrogianni or my IG profile at @angelina_mavrogianni for updates and blings on this project!

* The decluttering project I have started in autumn has been delayed, a lot. Kind of postponed, cause many things came up in my personal life, one of the biggest is that my grandma and her husband who live right next to me have taken a turn for the worse, my mother (grandma’s daughter) lives in a different city, so I’m the “lucky” one that lives next to the grandparents and has many things to do (they also have help, but still there are many things to be done for them) and apart from the rising anxiety levels, a big part of my energy is drained by all these.

So, that is a small update. I’m going to write more about it in the following posts. Especially for the ongoing roller-coaster of my OCD (before all the latest events with the grandparents happened I was on a mission to get rid of it, which mission is actually postponed now).

My photography project with the one photo a day for a year is still going on, you can see the whole project so far in my parallel blog amicrocosmof366photos.wordpress.com, which I use as a gallery for all 366 photos (today is going to be photo no.72/366).

Take care, talk (write) to you soon.

One photo a day

So, as you may have noticed, lately I haven’t been posting my #onephotoaday project here.

This year I’m taking and posting one photo each day, and from the January 1st I have been posting my entries here, until I noticed that the blog started to get a bit overcrowded with all the photos.

So, I created a separate blog that I use as a portfolio of my project. You can check it out at “A microcosm of 366 photos”!

That girl (who cries on her birthday)

I don’t just love birthdays, I adore them. 2/2 is my day!

But this year… there’s something off about my birthday. I don’t actually cried because I’m turning 31, but I can definitely feel the stereotypical girl in the movies that cries because she’s getting old (plus, it makes a very good title for the post).

This year, I’m feeling a bit sad in between the cheer of my birthday celebrations.

Last year, the number 30 was a new era, was fun. This year, 31 seems weird, like it’s someone else that’s turning this age. It seems like time starts passing by faster.

Things have been happening lately, I have old relatives very close to me, relatives that start getting too old, I see first hand the way time passes. And I realize how fast time passes for me as well (how did I reach 31?!). And I’m wondering how much time I have left, and what’s going to come.

And I realize how precious time is, and I’m brainstorming about the best ways to live a good and happy life.

And I bought myself a very “adult” gift this year: a coffee maker. That’s one good and wise idea. Many more to come!

A new era for my OCD

If you follow the Microcosm for a long time you already know that I live with OCD for 13 years now (since I was 17, 10 years undiagnosed and diagnosed for the past 3 years). Actually it will be 14 years this year.

I started therapy during a very critical point of my life, when I had a mental breakdown, after all the years being untreated about it my mind had enough, I had depression and reached the point of suicidal thoughts. And that’s when I asked for help (not recommending asking for help when you have reached your limit, if you need help ask for it before things get too hard and before it’s too late).

For the past 3.5 years I am in therapy and for 2.5 years out of them I was in antidepressants. Life hadn’t been easy, not only because of my mental health issues, but also because I had to move back in my family home for some time due to financial reasons, had to care for my mother while she was sick, while in the same time my father almost died. Now my father is weekly doing dialysis and my mother is healthy again. And me…, I keep having OCD and keep working on myself, with ups and downs.

One of my resolutions for 2020 is for this year to be the last year with OCD as a huge part of my everyday life. Of course you can’t be sure what’s coming in the future, and it’s not easy to overcome something that’s a habit after so many years, but it’s time to let go of the coping mechanism that was created so long ago.

One of the things I’m keeping from previous posts is the “good” relationship I have with my OCD.

I believe it’s a bad decision to go against it, and a very wise one to become a friend of it, show compassion towards it, there’s a reason it’s been created in your brain, and you need to take it easy with it, until it’s time to move on.

And that’s where I am right now!

First post of 2020!

Happy/healthy/bright 2020 everyone!

A great chance for a new beginning starts today, with a brand new year (and decade).

Lately I haven’t been so active here. There was a lot of working and creating going on (my art and jewelry mainly) and a lot of working with myself as well.

For some time now I wanted for this blog to enter a new era, refresh the content a bit. And I finally came up with a couple of ideas (and many more to come)! I will continue sharing my mental health story and add some more personal stories as well.

Plus, I have many more creative projects in mind for the new year. One of them being the “one photo a day” project/challenge. Each day, I will be taking a photo and posting it here! 2020: 366 day, 366 photos! I won’t go with a prompt list, I want to be a diary of everyday things. And maybe I will add a little caption to each photo/post.

So, that’s all folks, for now!

Have a great day & a wonderful year!

P.S. The cake in the photo is the traditional Greek New Year’s cake. A cake that has a little coin inside and is considered a good luck charm for the one that gets to have it in his/her piece! It wasn’t in mine, but the cake was very tasty!