I’ve been laying low for the last few weeks as I try to get accustomed to my new medication for my OCD. I’ve found that it is helping in keeping the Monster at bay. The only down side is the exhaustion and the zombie-like feeling over the last few weeks as my body adjusts. I feel as though I am coming out of a coma this week, as I have felt more alert the last week than I have the last 3 weeks. In all honesty though, after about 6 years of not sleeping well due to my obsessions waking and keeping me up, I’m welcoming the extra rest.
Most of what I can tell you about the last few weeks is vague. I mostly slept and tried to rest when I wasn’t at work. Unfortunately, I wasn’t in the right mindset when I began the medication and ended up only making myself more anxious in the beginning. Once I saw my therapist again and we had a chance to discuss, she explained it very simply: STOP. Being on medication means you need to let it do what it’s supposed to and stop focusing on whether or not it’s working. This shift in thinking has made all the difference; well that and an increase in the dosage.
I did have a pretty large victory over Labor Day weekend. My husband and his friends went to a bachelor party overnight and I spent my first night in the house by myself since we moved in a little over a year ago. This was a huge victory. I don’t have codependency issues, I just hate being alone with my brain. When there are no other distractions, my brain takes control and goes immediately to worst case scenario. I end up plotting where I’m going to hide if someone is peaking in my windows, where I’m going to go if someone tries to break in, what my move would be if there is a tornado – even if the forecast is for 0% precipitation. My brain gets out of control very quickly and my anxiety remains very high until someone comes home. It’s awful. So I had the opportunity to have a sleepover with the other wives of the men who were on the bachelor party trip, but I decided to test myself and see if I could stay alone. Mostly, this was because my husband is going to be in California for 3 days for work in a few weeks and I wanted to have a test run before he left. I had dinner with my girlfriends, did a little shopping, and returned home. I watched a favorite movie of mine and then took an Ativan and laid down in bed. I closed my eyes and just told myself to relax and that everything was okay. I woke up at 7:30am the next morning – I actually jumped out of bed and did the happy dance! I was so proud of myself. I was even more proud to tell my therapist who was simply amazed at my progress.
Another victory is that I was recently promoted at work, which for a person with perfectionist issues, is exactly what I want to hear! I’m always striving to do the best job I can but I feel like I often fall short because I’m not “perfect.” But I’ve realized lately that there is no such thing as “perfect,” which is a hard pill to swallow. I struggle with that fact daily and I struggle to not let the perfectionist in me get in the way of me doing my job. So being promoted forced me to recognize that I succeed at my job, that I’m worth it and that I deserve it. Again, hard to believe but I’m working on it.
Overall, things are starting to look up. I have been feeling better, had more energy, my anxiety has been better controlled, I spent the weekend with family in Chicago, and my best friend is flying in to spend the weekend with us this week. I hope this trend continues because it’s so great to actually feel well again.