Living with OCD (no.7)

This one is “just” a photo. I was relaxing at home, listening to music, waking around when at some point, while I was standing in front of the mirror in my bathroom I thought “I should sit down on the floor”.

I ended up sitting with my back on the bathtub. Yes, the next thing I was going to do after my music session was to have a bath (I would have anyway). But sitting there for a couple of songs, pretty calm, next to the toilet was a big step.

Living with OCD and working on more freedom!


Living with OCD (no.6)

The first signs of my obsessive compulsive actions started when I was 17 years old. I started obsessing about my personal hygiene. I couldn’t go to bed at night if I haven’t had a shower. It sounds normal but it’s only one example and there’s this phrase “must do” that its crucial about ocd.

So, I practically suffer from ocd since then. I have been suffering from ocd my whole adult life ( I’ll be 29 on February).
I don’t like the word “suffering” or “sufferer”, because I have reached a point where I’m in control of my anxiety. But it wasn’t always like this. I have been through years of cleaning, of stuck thoughts inside my mind, of panic attacks, of moments (when I had a trigger) frozen in time. Ocd is like a cage, or a transparent box, your mind keeps you there. Until one day… it can’t take it anymore. Too much anxiety. Too many “must dos”. Too many thoughts. Too many “dangers”. I’ve had that day.
And recently I had the day opposite to that one.
I have been living in peace with my disorder for more than a year, making progress all the time. My goal is to be able to control it forever, not getting over it. One of these days I sat on a taxi seat with stains, it was clean, but the fabric had stains. This one is a HUGE trigger for me. The magic happened when my mind was totally cool about it. I wasn’t fully stressed, just a little bit. I was very cautious after that, being careful of where I will sit, what I’ll touch, I was looking forward for my shower time. BUT, there was this new feeling of some kind of freedom. I had a huge trigger and I wasn’t falling apart, my mind was working it out calmly.
It was a moment of revelation, a sneak peak of the freedom that “normal” people, that don’t suffer from ocd, have! And it was overwhelming, I was close to tears of joy, because I don’t really know how it’s life without ocd. But, I’m getting a bit of its taste now; I’m getting to know life without  Obsessive Compulsive Disorder controlling  my existence! 

Embracing (the outside) 

Yesterday I noticed  the “I have embraced” hashtag on social media. I’m in a procedure of embracing who I really am for many months now, so I immediately wrote it down for future use!

So, this morning I was looking at the mirror my so naturally full hair. Since I was little I loved all those bob haircuts that created a sleek hair effect. I have too much hair, so my hair always looked closer to a lion, than a sleek look. But, I have embraced that, and even being proud of it now. Well, I was born with a great quantity of hair, while other people don’t have that. Many women have to add extensions and other trinkets to their hair, so it looks full or in order to create a special hairstyle. I can just do it with my natural hair. 

And one more thing that I think helped in this embracing is all the months I passed next to my mama, while she was in chemo, while she was recovering from her surgery. (I offered to cut some of mine for her, to create a natural wig, but it was too expensive,but I’m planning of donating some of my hair sometime). 
Next thing I thought of as I was looking at the mirror was the mole I have close to my chin. I actually have a couple of them around my face. Since I was little I remember thinking that my moles were the first thing someone noticed when they looked at me. Maybe it was, maybe it is, I don’t know really know. But I’ve always been a fan of embracing yourself, so some thoughts of a future removal never became a reality. 

I’m not 100% cool with them yet, but. I’m really close to it! (Yeah, I used to think that my nose was too big too, but it’s ok after all. A close selfie isn’t doing it justice).

Then, one big thing is the rest of my body. I used to be really really (naturally) thin. Until a couple of years ago, I used to be a size 36 in jeans. I don’t wear jeans anymore, I prefer dresses (a style thing, not a body conscience thing), but I think I would be a 42 or 44 now. 

I started gaining weight a few years ago, been through diets, etc. But for the last year and a half that I’m in therapy for my anxiety, I thought that as well as I’m embracing my inner self, I should embrace my outer self as well! 

Plus, I realized a couple of things while watching my mama going through her cancer period, the sickness, all the times she couldn’t eat, etc. Life is too short after all, to be on a diet. And for what?! A role model that some people decided on your behalf? No, thanks. 

Now, I usually wear a size L and it’s ok. I spent months of takeout food, because I was too tired of cooking something other than what my mom needed to eat. So, I see my body now as some kind of medal for all we’ve been through and won!

I have bought many new clothes, because most of the old ones didn’t fit. I stopped caring about the number on the tag, as much as I did in the beginning. 

I love my body, my body type (thin upper part and wider lower part),  my mind and life! 

The world we live in

Woke up really early today. And my mind woke up too, so couldn’t fall asleep again. I started going through Facebook posts. 

First,  I ended up watching a video about an Auschwitz survivor that managed to forgive the doctors that took part in the killings and the experiments there. Everything that Hitler and his people did is unthinkable and monstrous. And the sadest thing of all is that today, there are still people who believe in his philosophy, his opinions, who hate, who prefer turning against others who are different than them. 

Then, I continued reading an article about the American student who was imprisoned in North Korea and then died. Well, North Korea is definitely one of the places that seems unthinkable that exists in 2017, but another thing about this story that keeps bothering me is why did this student had to steal something from a state known for its cruelty.

The third post I came across (and stayed to study it) was about rape victims and reactions and words by people and police, that they had to deal with. Rape is not the fault of the victim, doesn’t have to do with the clothes you’re wearing, when you say no you mean it; it’s not a game to excite the other person. The shame that follows rape victims makes me so angry every time I think about it!

So, this is how my day started. And I started thinking “in what kind of world do we live in?!”.

There’s so much hate and violence and need for power, ruling the world for decades now…! And all these still going strong and probably will continue to do so…

My second question is “what can we do for this?!”. 

Τime, plus….. 

It’s been a while (one month and a half).

Well, life happens. And it takes time to turn things into words. Yes it does.

If someone asked me right now what happened in my life the last year and a half I would answer “Life”. And life goes hand by hand with time.

This year and a half…. I thought it was time to go, and then it was time to fight for all the time I had lost, and then life told me “you know, it’s time to grow up”, and I did, and then time kept testing me for a while, and I passed all the tests, “time will tell” they say (and time did tell), and now….

Now I keep learning about time. It goes only one way, and you adapt to survive or you end up swirling in time, but if you go with the flow of minutes passing, you can be free; to swim through time, until the end of it. 

Becoming an adult

I still remember looking at adults around me, back when I was a kid or teen. They seemed to be able to make things happen, being capable of solving everyday problems. In my eyes seemed like some kind of magic! 

And basically, when I turned eighteen and officially became an adult myself, things didn’t change much for me. 

Well, it’s been sometime since then, ten years to be exact. Ten years of minor experiences, major/life changing experiences, change of opinions, neurological evolution that comes “with age”, memories that keep spending time with me, fresh everyday memories, joy (a lot of it), sadness (a lot of it as well), problems, the solution of them, highs, very highs, lows, really really lows, etc. 

What passed through these 10 years can be summed up in one word I believe: life. 

Growing up as an adult, maturing, living, made me realize that there’s no magic, the way I thought it existed. Adults don’t heve a magical way to deal with things! They only learn how to live. I’m learning how to live. And it’s very useful to have an open mind through this procedure that practically lasts for decades.

Oh, and by the way, some of the most recent conclusions I came to are the following:

  • Many times life is the balance between breathing and death. 
  • In life,  basically, you can control only a few things. 
  • During your lifetime, you should learn your limits, respect them, show to others how to respect them as well (always talking about your own limits) and work on expanding them. 
  • Much needed things: work and persistence. 
  • A very important thing: perspective.

Well, these are the basic thoughts I have about maturing, life, adulthood, these days! 

To be continued (because I need to do my grocery shopping too, what can you do, adult life….!)….