Mental Illness! Insomnia! Extended rumination on time-sensitive matters of the heart! Unfashionable Daft Punk references (in my defense, the original draft of this was composed last summer)! The Internet!
As always, it is my fondest aspiration that my suffering amuses you. <3
Hey everyone: with the holidays coming up, I unfortunately won’t have much time for writing, so expect things to be quiet here for a little while. Merry Happy, and see you in 2014!
I’m sorry I’ve been quiet, but I’ve been pretty busy with personal stuff recently and I have a few projects in the works – including one that’ll be on this blog soon.
Anyway, there’s a new Psych Today column. Of course, now that I see it published, it looks embarrassingly sentimental, but I think (hope?) there’s stuff in there that could be helpful for parents dealing with this.
I know sometimes it’s hard to hope, but you have to try.
Hey, remember that time I said I was moving? And remember how much I hate moving, and how depletes my resources and it dangerously exacerbates my mental illness? Ha ha, good times.
So yeah, moving + grad school = very little time to write for my own enjoyment. The good news is, I am still blogging over at Psychology Today, and I’ve put together a couple of pieces over the past couple of months that I’m really happy with:
First up, I wrote a first-hand experience of a recent change in my medication routine. It’s a weirdly personal essay that probably isn’t applicable to anyone else’s experiences, because brain chemistry and the way it interacts with psychiatric medication is so unique to the individual. But you might find it interesting, if not useful. (I like the clip art a lot, too.)
The next two columns actually complement one another pretty well. There’s an essay about how quiet and boredom can exacerbate OCD symptoms, and another essay about how I’ve found that complicated, geeky subjects and stories can provide some relief from the disorder (something I wrote about a lot in Triggered). I don’t recommend avoiding boredom and seeking constant stimulation as a method for managing OCD, but I find these things can be surprisingly effective in a pinch.
So yeah, things will likely continue to be quiet around these parts – though I’ll try to be better about posting Psych Today links, and I am a little more active on Tumblr these days.
Some of you may have noticed I’ve been under radio silence for a few weeks; my excuse is that I recently moved from Philly to Boston for graduate school. Guys, I hate moving. Moving is the worst and I hate it, I cannot emphasize this enough; trying to change apartments when you have an anxiety disorder is basically asking for a two-week long panic attack. Anyway, here are some suggestions for managing anxiety and some jokes, but mostly just lots of complaining.
There’s nothing that can actually make moving enjoyable, short of an electrode that zaps the pleasure center of your brain every time you fill another 1.5 cu. ft. cardboard box from uHaul. And sadly, an anxiety disorder only compounds the problem – but going in with a game plan can help.
I have a new column up at Psychology Today. It’s about something I’ve been wrestling with a whole lot recently – I wrote this while as a way to put my thoughts together, in a way that might help others who are dealing with the same stuff. Here’s an excerpt:
…honestly, there are moments when it feels like I was a different person before my OCD diagnosis and treatment in 2007. As a child and teenager, the OCD permeated every aspect of my life: every birthday and Christmas and graduation, every conversation, every kiss and argument and laugh. Every decision I made, every thought that passed through my head, was tainted by it. I can’t remember a period of time longer than a week when OCD did not find some way to hurt me.
And, even today, visiting my parent’s home, returning to the places where I spent my childhood, can sometimes be especially hard. My years with OCD haunt me. I’ll visit the wrong spot, I’ll see the wrong sign, I’ll overhear a snippet of conversation that will put me in a frame of mind that will bring back a vivid memory – and all of a sudden I’m there again, as a child or a young man, writhing in the grasp of my illness.
How do you live with that?
How do you live with a hurt so big it swallowed four-fifths of your life?