Wednesday, March 29, 2006

OCD

I have never done anything by halves. Sometimes my obsessions have been good, oft times not. I started with it when I was a child. It has only been recently that I have understood that for me OCD is a way to avoid pain. The stuff I did as a child was damaging to me tho. It started with food. And compulsively checking. And sex. The latter being fairly obvious in light of the abuse. Oh and I used to cut myself.

All of this got way out of hand. I ended up weighing only 6 1/2 stone(91 lbs) in 79, as a 21 year old.
I grew another 1.5 ins after the age of 24-probably due to my eating being much better.

I developed an obsession about the outside world and stopped going out. I would read all the time. And I was obsessional about listening to music. I never had music on for background noise. No. I used to really listen. I'd lay down or sit and do nothing but listen. It shut everything else out.

Later in life I discovered alcohol and drugs. These were a Godsend, so I thought. They let me shut off without exhausting me! I could stop all my OCD behaviour. And best of all, I would achieve what I wanted-numbness-oblivion.

However, this particular friend was a wolf in sheeps clothing and it turned on me. It stopped working. No matter how I tried, no matter what mix I used, it stopped working. And yet I couldn't stop doing it! Even tho I was physically sick, I still carried on. Desperate to stop feeling.

Fortunately for me, this resulted in my own pressure cooker, the one inside me, blowing-finally and the right person was there to help me. Once I was helped thru what I needed to go thru, work thru all that pain I had been unable to handle for all those years, Istopped using and stopped harming myself and stopped with the checking, washing etc.

It's been many years now without all that shit.

However, and this is the point I have been getting to, OCD can be of help! I have come to realise that my obsessional nature is helping me!

How?

Simply, when I am knitting, designing, thinking about doing it, or sewing up, I am away from my physical pain. The same with when I am delivering a litter of pups or bathing and grooming-which to me is like knitting-creating a finished product altho in this case it is just a clean well groomed living being-one of my dogs.

I came to realise this because I had noticed that when I go out I am very aware of the pain. Especially when I go to a meeting. I am sitting. I am doing nothing, I am unwinding. And the pain hits me.

So--there is always a silver lining to everything! My obsessional nature is helping me now deal with this physical pain.

Today, I have been very fatigued and no matter what I have done, can't shake it off. I couldn't nap, I tried. However, I have completed a sweater. Doing this helped me focus on something other than my body.

One of the reasons I have found my disability and physical pain so easy to accept is that it is far, far more preferable to the sort of pain I used to be in. Soul pain is appalling and much worse than this is.

Going thru the necessary to get to the other side is not easy, of course, and much worse than I could describe in words. However, it was very much worth it. I was lucky. I survived. And I was loved.

I know of too many others who didn't survive and I have a very clear memory of my own journey to ever get complacent. I'd rather die than ever go thru any of that again. Today life is good, so much more than I ever dreamed was possible. I didn't get what I wished for because it wouldn't have occurred to me to wish for my present life. I just wanted the pain to stop. It didn't enter my head there might be more to life than that.
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