And On Into The Weekend

Song: “Swords of a Thousand Men” by Tenpole Tudor

Mood: 5.5

Nightmares: 1

A nightmare (the one with the lifejackets) woke me up just once last night. After how the evening had gone, I was expecting the night to be a lot worse. Still, when I woke up this morning I felt like an old man, and it took a lot of effort to haul myself out of bed and get going.

J had the day off today so we talked for a little while over breakfast and then I went downstairs to do my exercises. They didn’t go that well and I was glad when I was done. I think I may have fallen asleep for part of it – I don’t remember falling asleep or waking up, but the hangy-down thing in the back of my throat was a little sore and that usually happens when I snore. But it could just be a coincidence.

J was on a bit of a cleaning binge today and did a lot of work in the basement, including an ungodly amount of laundry. I worked on the kitchen a bit and gathered up and took out the garbage, so between the two of us, the house looks not too bad. That’s good, because my mother-in-law is coming by tomorrow afternoon for a visit before she goes to a party and then over to her sister’s place to help out with some stuff.

For a number of reasons (most of which are probably pretty flimsy), I didn’t get a chance to do the stove exposure today, but I did get two entries down on the new sheets that Dr P gave me. I think he asked me to do four per week but since I check so much stuff I think I’ll be able to do at least one per day.

This evening, J and I watched Avengers: Age of Ultron to get ready for Thor: Ragnarok. I’ve heard a lot of good stuff about that movie and am looking forward to seeing it. Hopefully J is, too. We also watched another episode of Elementary, and I’m disappointed that Kitty Winter is not there.

I spoke with my mom this evening and my uncle is still in the hospital and awaiting surgery. I hope everything goes well and they get past all of the infected tissue and things heal up quickly. My parents have a bunch of renovations planned and have already started in on them like crazy people. The next time I see the place I will probably not recognize it.

I’ve been feeling anxious all day again today, and I’ve been jumpy and on edge, worrying that another panic attack is coming. Fortunately, that hasn’t happened yet and it’s just about time for bed. I can feel my nighttime medications working and once I’m done typing this out I’m going to head to bed. Hopefully I’ll sleep well and there won’t be any problems and I’ll wake up feeling better tomorrow morning.

Tomorrow may be the day that I get my hair cut. I have a little purpose-made hair trimmer and J has offered to run the machine. I think it’ll be best to leave it at the maximum height that it can cut so I’ll ideally have at least some hair left when it’s all done. Fortunately, I have a baseball cap that I can wear out into the world if things go very wrong.

I think J and I might watch Thor tomorrow evening. That would be great.

Stay safe.

Not A Good Day

Trigger Warning: this post may contain content that can trigger a shift in mood, comfort, or mental status. Proceed at your own risk.

Song: “Get Over You” by The Undertones

Mood: 5

Nightmares: 2

Today has been a little rough. I didn’t sleep all that well last night and nightmares woke me up at least twice. I managed to snooze for about a half hour after J left this morning but after that I couldn’t get back to sleep again.

I was anxious for the entire day, starting in the morning. It caused some problems with my exercises and made my work with the stove this morning a little more difficult.

I kept myself pretty busy today, listening to music and working on the quadcopter (I think I’ve almost got it back to where it was before I wiped everything out), and doing some reading. I’ve been using my phone (a Galaxy S7) very heavily and the battery isn’t quite what it used to be. I’m perfectly happy with the phone, though, so I’ve been looking up places around here that can swap in a new battery. There are a lot of guides out there that show how to do it, and a few years ago I would’ve tried but now my hands are shaky and my self-confidence is pretty much shot.

Speaking of my phone, one of the things I’ve been doing with it lately is trying to keep in touch with people by text a little better. I’ve collected a couple of pictures and have been sending them out as well as sending messages. I still have troubles answering the phone but I find it much easier to receive, check, and reply to text messages. I even sent one of the hosts from the radio station I listen to a text saying I enjoyed his show and he replied this morning thanking me for the message. That was kind of neat. They didn’t play my request today, though.

My appointment with Dr P was tough again today. I had a lot of trouble concentrating but Dr P suggested I record the audio from the session so I could listen to it later, which I think was a really good idea. He has gone out of his way to consult with some of his colleagues about OCD and has some new information that he shared with me today. I really appreciate the fact that he used time outside of our sessions to go digging for more information – I think that says a lot about the kind of therapist (and person) he is. The new information that he mentioned today was how checking things repeatedly moves things from one kind of memory to another, which happens to be less reliable. So repeatedly checking things is actually making things worse from a brain standpoint.

He also gave me more homework to do, which involves me stopping myself before I check something and writing down some things like what emotions am I feeling, my level of anxiety, and what my prediction is for the status of the thing I’m going to check. It’s an interesting approach and I’m looking forward to trying it to see what happens. I’m still supposed to keep doing the exposure with the stove and keep doing my walks.

We went almost 20 minutes over time but he didn’t seem to mind (and he was keeping an eye on the clock, too). By the time I got outside I was worried that J had been sitting for a while but it turns out she was late arriving so it worked out well.

I was relieved to get home and spent a little bit of time calming myself down. After a while, J and I had supper.

Around 8PM we went downstairs to watch two episodes of Elementary. It turned out to be a two-parter that had Kitty Winter in it again, which was good – I think she’s an interesting character.

About ten minutes before the end of the second episode, I could feel my anxiety ramping up. It felt like someone was tightening an inner tube around my chest and my muscles were tensing up. J and I talked for a little while before I kind of interrupted and said I needed to get upstairs to take my evening medications.

I took them then went and brushed my teeth. In the time that it took to brush my teeth, the anxiety had turned into the beginnings of a panic attack. I went out to the living room and grabbed a PRN, then put some music on my computer and turned it up (I was wearing headphones). I tried grounding and breathing but I couldn’t shut the panic attack down and it hit.

J came over and helped me through my misery, and I think that her being there helped keep it to only about a half hour (instead of the usual hour-ish that my attacks usually are) and I was grateful for her help (thank you!). I was embarrassed and frustrated too – I had really hoped that by now I would’ve been past this stuff.

I hate hate HATE panic attacks and how disabling they are. I can’t think, every part of my body and mind is screaming an overwhelming flood of indecipherable messages at me, I can’t move properly, can’t control my breathing, and I sweat like I’m in a sauna. Panic attacks leave me desperate for any relief from the attack, but aside from riding it out or offing myself, there’s nothing that I can do. God, I hate panic attacks. I’d rather have another kidney stone.

This is now my second panic attack in two weeks, which doesn’t seem like much but I went for quite a stretch without having any at all. I really hope this isn’t a sign that they’re coming back – I don’t know if I’ll be able to handle having several of them a day again, and frankly, I’m a little scared.

I hope my viewpoint is skewed because today has been difficult but I really don’t know how I’m going to do all of this stuff. I’m doing my best to do everything that Dr P and Dr W have been telling me to do, but it’s all so difficult. Just going to the appointments is exhausting and makes me feel like I’ve gone through a cheese grater. Something as simple as going for a walk makes me feel terrible, and constantly fighting (or trying to ignore) the chorus in my head that’s telling me that everything is wrong and it’s all my fault is very, very hard.

I know I’ve got to keep at it, but Jesus, it’s tough. I’d do almost anything to make things get better faster.

Even if this stuff gets better, what’s next? My current problems blew up out of… I have no idea, so what’s to say there isn’t something else lurking somewhere in the part of my mind that’s full of cobwebs, waiting for its chance to take centre stage? And what if there’s another one behind that? And another behind that one?

I can’t do this forever. Sometimes I don’t even think I can do it for the rest of the day. I’ll keep trying, though. Hopefully a layer of something will be peeled back and suddenly everything will get a lot easier. Cross your fingers for me…

Stay safe.

It’s Cold Outside Today

Song: “Get Over You” by The Undertones

Mood: 6

Nightmares: 0

I woke up worrying a lot again last night and I couldn’t get back to sleep this morning so I didn’t get as much sleep as I’d hoped. When I finally gave up trying to get back to sleep I was quite groggy and felt pretty down. It took me a long time to get going this morning.

I had breakfast and went downstairs to do my exercises. They didn’t go well at all, and after about 20 minutes of trying, I gave up and put some Undertones on the record player, turned up the volume, and sat in the comfy chair in front of the speakers. I listened to the same side three times (side B of the 1979 re-issue) and it helped a lot.

After that, I went back and started my exercises again. I made some progress, although I had a lot of trouble concentrating and kept jumping whenever I’d hear something. Still, it went better than it had during my first attempt.

My mom called just as I was almost done so I answered the phone and had a chat with her. Sounds like my parents are planning a lot of renovations. She also had an update on my uncle – they’re having trouble getting ahead of the infection so he’s going to be losing his leg just below the knee. He’s in good spirits, though, so that’s good. Mom’s pretty worried about him, and I can’t blame her at all.

I listened to the Undertones again (same side, two more times) and then went upstairs. I sent a text to the local radio station, requesting “I Wanna Be Sedated” by The Ramones (I know it’s overplayed but it seems the only two Ramones songs they have are that and “Blitzkrieg Bop”, which is really overplayed) and had some lunch. I also started up the stove to work on the exposure again.

My request played on the radio (I seem to get lucky once every three or four times) and when it was done I turned off the stove and went outside for my walk. I didn’t bother checking the thermometer before I left and it was a lot colder outside than I was expecting. Lots of ice and even some snowflakes drifting around. I went back inside and put on a heavier jacket, then did my route.

After I got home, I turned the stove on again, put on some music, and got out the quadcopter. I calibrated the motors again, and then noticed there was newer firmware available, so I thought I’d update it and get the latest and greatest. The flash process went worked perfectly first time; unfortunately, I forgot to deselect this item:365-Daily-1So once the flashing was done and I powered it back up, it did nothing. It took me a couple of minutes to realize that I’d completely blown away the configuration, and once I figured it out I felt pretty dumb. That’s how it goes sometimes, I guess.

J got home while I was still playing with the configuration, so I put away my stuff and we sat down for supper. She stopped at the grocery store on the way home and bought a giant sandwich that we cut in half. It was pretty good, although six hours and a tooth brushing later, I can still taste the onion. Might have to take some of them out of there next time.

After supper, J and I hung out for a while and did our own thing for a while. Then we went downstairs to watch some Elementary. This season doesn’t have the same… I don’t know what to call it… “heart”? It’s still a good show but it feels a little empty. I also miss Alfredo, although Shinwell has been an interesting addition.

I have my Dr P appointment tomorrow, and I really don’t want to go. I like Dr P and trust him and he’s been fantastic, but it’s so difficult to go out there and work hard to focus on what he’s saying and trying to ignore what’s going on in my head so we can have a conversation and work on the things that are bothering me. It’s exhausting. But, if therapy was fun then I suppose everyone would be doing it and I’d never be able to get in to see anyone.

Stay safe.

Slept A Little Better Last Night

Song: Music From Lazy Jones (Commodore 64 game) by David Whittaker

Mood: 6

Nightmares: 0

I slept a little better last night. No nightmares or even any bad dreams that I can remember, and I only woke up a couple of times. I couldn’t get back to sleep after J left for work, but that’s pretty normal now I think.

For whatever reason, I’m really twitchy again today. Every little sound or thing moving out of the corner of my eye makes me jump. I’m kind of glad I’m not driving right now – the traffic around me would probably be difficult to handle.

I went downstairs to do my exercises this morning and they went pretty well. I was able to relax and focus relatively easily, and only got interrupted twice – once when the furnace kicked in, and once when the mail was delivered.

I did the oven exposure today. Unfortunately, it was a little more difficult today but I got through it without too much gnashing of teeth.

I started to work on the quadcopter today but got distracted by a link in one of the RC YouTube videos I was watching and fell down the rabbit hole again for probably too long. On the upside, I watched a dog get zapped while he was peeing on an electric fence, and I learned a couple of cool things about myoglobin. I also saw the beginning of a video on centipedes and millipedes but clicked away from that one pretty quickly.

J got home to pick me up to go to the lab at 3PM. There was only one person in front of me in line, and it felt like half an hour but I think J and I sat there for less than five minutes before my name was called. Even the blood draw was quick – just a single vial today. While we were driving home, I said that I thought it would be worth it to go to appointments at that time even if it meant fasting for 15+ hours. It’s not like I’m going to starve to death (it’d probably take a couple of months) and I’d rather be hungry for half a day instead of standing in a room full of sick people for an hour and a half first thing in the morning.

On the way home, J ducked into the grocery store for some food and to pick up some prescriptions (all mine, I think). I stayed in the car and turned on some music and did some grounding to calm down a bit. Going out is still so very unpleasant, even if it’s somewhere close to home that I’m really familiar with. I keep trying to think of some trick to try to fool myself but I haven’t had luck with that yet.

Tomorrow I have nothing planned (no Dr W appointment this week). The kitchen needs a little work and there’s some laundry to do, so I may start there. Other than that, I think I’ll be working on the quadcopter – as long as I don’t get distracted again.

Stay safe.

It’s Been A Year

Song: “Hair of the Dog” by Nazareth

Mood: 6

Nightmares: 0

I woke up quite a few times last night. Thankfully, none of them were for nightmares, but I spent a lot of time worrying before I could get back to sleep. I fell asleep after J left for work but woke up again about 15 minutes later when the phone rang, and I couldn’t get back to sleep after that.

My exercises went reasonably well today. After I was good and settled, I started to notice a soft thumping sound coming from somewhere. At first I thought it was from the outside but after I got up and shuffled a couple of steps I discovered that the faucet in the laundry room was slowly dripping. I tightened the faucets and went back to what I was doing.

I did my walk this afternoon. Unfortunately, there were no friendly dogs (or unfriendly dogs, for that matter) along the way. I have been trying to keep from looking back at the house when I go out. It’s difficult so I try to hustle a bit to get around the corner so the house is out of view. I hope things get better quickly – I was thinking today about how fun it’ll be to go for a walk surrounded by a cloud of mosquitoes.

I worked on the exposure with the stove today and had the opportunity this evening to do it “for real” because I fried some eggs for supper. I’m afraid to say anything but I think it might be getting easier, and J wasn’t home this evening, either (which is why I was frying eggs for supper).

I spent some time today working on the quadcopter, and found a video that showed how to set up the various flight modes on the transmitter. I had initially planned to calibrate the motors but I made a lot of progress with the flight modes, and when I flip the switch the lights on the quadcopter change so I know it’s doing something. More progress!

Two parcels arrived in the mail today. In one of them were my new propellers:

New Propellers

I’ll be able to chop up a lot more plants now

And in the other was the new Thor movie. J and I are looking forward to that one – it’s supposed to be pretty good.

I noticed today that it’s been a year (well, technically a year and one day) since I started this blog. 363 entries, about a hundred thousand words. I’ve had a few other blogs over the years and I think I’ve put more effort into this one than all the others combined. It has been pretty therapeutic to jot down my thoughts and how my day went, and it’s useful to be able to go back and see how things have gone in the past. On bad days it is difficult to concentrate and write out what’s going on in my head, but I think it’s been worth it.

I am also incredibly grateful for all of the people who have helped me along over the past year. I’m pretty sure I’ve said this before but it bears repeating: I have been blessed with an amazing support framework of family, friends, and professionals. Everybody has been immensely supportive and helpful and I’ll never be able to put into words how much I appreciate you all sticking around while I’ve gone through ups and downs and peeled back various layers of crazy. I would not be here if it weren’t for your compassion, time, and patience. Thank you.

Tomorrow afternoon I go for some more blood tests. With luck, the lab will be as empty as it was last time.

Stay safe.

The Weekend Went By Way Too Fast

Song: “Mr. Blue Sky” by ELO

Mood: 6

Nightmares: 0

This weekend flew by – I have no idea where most of it went. I didn’t accomplish as much as I’d hoped, but some stuff around the house got done.

I didn’t sleep very well. I don’t remember having any nightmares but I’m waking up a lot, sometimes because I’m worried about something, sometimes for no reason at all. I should probably put a piece of paper by the bed so I can make a pencil scratch each time I wake up. Could be useful to know how many times I really wake up.

My exercises went much better today than they did yesterday. Yesterday I was fighting against sleep and couldn’t concentrate on what I was trying to do.

I did my stove exposure this weekend, and, for whatever reason, today was markedly better than it has been so far. J was home at the time, which makes everything easier, so I’m interested to see how it goes tomorrow.

I heard from my mom yesterday that my uncle was still in the hospital with his foot. No word yet on whether they’re going to have to amputate or how long he’s going to be in the hospital. I’ve got my fingers crossed that he’s going to be okay. I feel pretty bad for my mom. I wish there was something I could do to help.

I was browsing some Wikipedia articles yesterday evening and one of them brought to mind a former co-worker that I didn’t get along with (and, frankly, tried to avoid). Just for kicks, I looked up the name. Turns out they’re wanted by the police halfway around the world for some nasty stuff a year and a half ago. I kind of regret looking up the name – I’ve felt kind of ill since reading about it. I had hoped that it was someone else whose name just happened to match, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Part of me wonders if there was something I should have done years ago (this person was always… “odd”), while another part of me is relieved that I associated with that person as little as possible. Either way, it’s in the hands of the police, so that’s good.

J and I watched several episodes of Elementary, as well as Thor: The Dark World. We enjoy binge-watching shows because we’re a lot more likely to remember things that happened in earlier episodes or actors that show up in multiple episodes (Columbo was really good for that). We also unboxed, set up, and played a game of Carcassonne this evening.

Playing Carcassonne

J won. It wasn’t even close.

I’m heading back to re-do some of those blood tests on Tuesday, but so far tomorrow I don’t have anything going on. I’ll fit in my walk and more work with the stove, but beyond that I’m not sure. If I can focus enough, I’ll work on the quadcopter. The snow is melting quickly and there’s not much time left before the park across the street will be dry and perfect for flying.

Stay safe.

Videos That Make Me Smile

Every once in a while, I come across a video that – no matter how bad I’m feeling – can help cheer me up, even a little. Sometimes J sends them my way and sometimes I just stumble across them.

Here are a few of them – maybe they’ll make you smile, too.

Sumpstar Jenzino

I have no idea what these guys are saying, but I think their laughter is pretty universal. There’s nothing quite like enjoying a friend’s misery.

Tonight You Belong to Me (Cover) – Me and my 4 y.o.

This one is really cute. I don’t know if they practiced this song together a lot or if Dad just noticed one day that his daughter had picked the song up and decided to play along.

My hamsters in their high-speed wheel ( so so funny … ) ©

This is where hamsters meet physics: THE WHEEL.

Strong Bad Email #45 – Techno

One of the classic Homestar Runner videos, I think this is one of the best Strong Bad Emails.

The Muppet Show: Kermit & Lydia – “Lydia The Tattooed Lady”

This is from the first season of the original Muppet Show. It’s neat how they drew all of the scenes on the puppet.

The Dark Knight Meets Superman

I’ve always wondered how Batman could keep up with superheroes with real powers. He’s just a person in a bat suit – he doesn’t have super strength, can’t fly, no x-ray vision…

The Dark Knight Meets Superman Part 2

Batman meets the Justice League in this one.

True Facts About The Mantis Shrimp

I wish this narrator taught biology classes. It’s true – all of it.

Stay safe.

I’m Glad The Weekend Is Here

Song: N/A

Mood: 5.5

Nightmares: 2

It took me a long time to get to sleep last night. I would force myself to relax, then notice a couple of minutes later that I was tensed up again. Eventually I got to sleep but woke up a couple of times from nightmares, which was unpleasant and took a while to get back to sleep from. One positive, though, was that I woke up when J went to work and looked at the time, then looked at the time again and it was two and a half hours later. I guess I fell back asleep, which I haven’t been able to do for a while.

I had trouble concentrating on my exercises again today, but I think it’s still getting better. That’s good because they’re an important part of my routine and when I don’t do them or they don’t go well, I don’t feel right for the rest of the day.

I had time this morning before my Dr P appointment to do the stove exposure again. I spent time in the basement so I couldn’t hear the clicking of the element and it went about as well as it has gone lately.

My Dr P appointment was kind of rough. I’ve been finding it hard to elucidate what I’m thinking and feeling, and it can get pretty frustrating. Dr P is very patient, though, so that’s good. He also went out of his way to get in touch with two colleagues who are OCD experts and got some information from them, which I really appreciate. He provided a couple of good examples today that showed how irrational some of my worries and checking are, and they made a lot of sense. The thing is, I know that some of my thoughts are irrational, but I can’t reason or statistic or logic my way out of it.

J dropped me off at home and went back to work. Feeling pretty wound up, I went downstairs and did some grounding and mindfulness to calm down. I went back upstairs and listened to some music and sent a couple of texts, then gave my parents a call. My uncle is still in the hospital with an infection that’s complicated by his diabetes and they’re waiting to see if they can knock the infection back or if they’ll have to do more surgery. I feel bad for my mom – three of her brothers have had big medical things going on over the last year or so and she’s dealing with a lot of stuff. I feel very guilty that I’m one of the things she’s worrying about.

A parcel arrived today. In it was Carcassonne. I’m looking forward to playing it with J.

J and I have watched all of the Marvel movies so far (the ones that are out on disc) and Thor: Ragnarok should be here on Monday. We may have to watch one or two movies to remind us where all of the characters were at before we see it, though.

Speaking of reminding us of stuff, J and I (re)watched the first episode of the fifth season of Elementary. Good news – I remember watching it this time. Still not sure what happened the other day.

J and I have a list of things to do this weekend but no concrete plans yet. I think she’s going out to her aunt’s place tomorrow afternoon for a little while but beyond that I’m not sure what’s going on. Maybe I’ll be able to knock another thing off the list of stuff that’s been bothering me.

Stay safe.

I Can’t Believe It Started

Song: N/A

Mood: 5.5

Nightmares: 0

No panic attacks last night, and no nightmares, either. I still woke up a bunch of times worrying about things but that’s… well, that’s what it is.

My exercises went a little better today. Still nowhere near where I’d like to be, but better is better.

I went for my walk again today. I tried to take it a little slower and work in some mindfulness but that’s difficult when my brain is yelling at me that I have to get back to the house posthaste. A couple was out walking their dog and both they and it were very friendly so I gave it a pat on the head. Made me wonder again if J and I should get a dog.

I did the exposure with the stove element. The first time was a little rough but the second attempt went quite a bit better. I still don’t know if it’s getting any easier, but the clicking as the element turns on and off doesn’t drive me up the wall like it used to.

I tried to keep busy around the house today. I did some tidying in the kitchen and listened to some music. I put in a request to the radio station and they played it. Kind of sad when that’s a big moment in one’s day, but I was glad about it. I also went outside and shook out the front door mat and swept the front step and walkway clear of stones and other debris. Unfortunately, I had to open the garage door to get the broom and after I went back inside, I checked quite a few times because I was worried the door wasn’t closed.

Since mid-December of last year, the truck has been parked on the lawn. J and I wait for the snow to fall so we can pretend that our driveway is wide instead of parking on the grass. Well, with all the melting going on lately, it’s past time to move it into the garage. It’s been bothering me to get that done and J offered to do it. Unfortunately, when we’d shovelled the snow off the driveway this winter, it usually ended up right in front or right behind the truck, so even now it was still blocked in. I looked at it for a while before deciding that there was too much snow for it to move, even with 4WD (it was up past the bumper).

I texted with J for a bit and then decided to go back out and do some shovelling so that it’d melt faster. I went into the garage and grabbed a shovel, then started in on it. Having opened the door twice already today, I decided that instead of opening it again sometime to shovel again I’d just go and get it over with. I cleared some more snow and then figured I’d try to start the truck. I haven’t had a lot of luck with the truck sitting for long periods of time – the battery would be dead when I went to start it. It’s on its third battery and this time we sprung for one that was a little more expensive than the other ones.

Still, it had been sitting for three months in the middle of winter so I wasn’t expecting much. I hit the button to unlock the doors and was surprised when I heard the clunk from the doors. I leaned in the passenger side (the driver’s side was blown in with snow), put the key in the ignition, and turned it, expecting (at best) a couple of clicks or some buzzing.

It cranked nice and fast and started right up. I stood there for a couple of seconds, not really believing what had just happened.

I gave the dash an appreciative pat, then stomped through the snow to the driver’s side and got in. I clenched my teeth and put it in gear, and everything worked perfectly. I squished down some snow in the front, then backed up a bit and pulled right onto the driveway and into the garage. I closed the door, made sure it was closed, and went back inside. Tried to keep from checking but didn’t have a lot of luck until after J got home.

Getting the truck in the garage was good – it was one thing crossed off the list of things that have been bugging me lately.

So I spent quite a bit more time than usual outside today. True, most of it was in the front yard, but it was stuff that needed to get done.

J and I are done the first season of Night Court (the only one we have) and are now working on the fifth season of Elementary. We watched the first episode last night but for whatever reason, I don’t remember it at all. I don’t think I fell asleep, but who knows. I like Elementary, Jonny Lee Miller’s snooty “It’s so tiring to have to talk down at your level” acting is great.

I just realized I just wrote 900 words, 460 of which involved me shovelling snow and moving the truck 40 feet. I guess I’m glad I got it off the list of things to do.

Stay safe.

Big Panic Attack In The Middle Of The Night

Song: “Mr. Blue Sky” by ELO

Mood: 5.5

Nightmares: 0

Had a rough night last night. I figure it’s taking me between 15 and 30 minutes to get back to sleep whenever I wake up (and more for nightmares but I didn’t have any last night), and I’m waking up four or five times, usually starting at 1-1:30AM. That’s on normal nights.

Last night was different – I woke up sweating, thinking I was having a heart attack. That’s it, I thought. Here we go. Let’s get this over with. I wasn’t upset or anything like that.

A couple of seconds later, the panic surged to the forefront and I lurched out of bed and spent nearly the next hour on the floor of the bathroom, leaning against the side of the bathtub, trying anything I could think of that would help me ride out the panic attack. Eventually, the attack subsided (as they all do, eventually) and I sat there for a little while longer to just breathe and do some grounding. Eventually I went back to bed.

J got up early today so she could pick me up and take me to my Dr W appointment; unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get back to sleep after she left so between that and me waking up a bunch of times last night, I didn’t sleep very well again. It’s really starting to build up – I’m fishing for words a lot more than normal and I’m having trouble concentrating on anything. Even writing this post, each sentence is taking an inordinately long time because I have to go back and re-read it over and over and make adjustments, which makes me re-read it over and over again…

I did my walk and worked on the stove again today. They don’t feel like they’re getting any easier.

I worked on the quadcopter a bit more but was having difficulty concentrating on what I was doing so I didn’t want to end up doing something wrong.

J stopped by to pick me up for my Dr W appointment. I really, really, really appreciate her changing her work hours so she can help me out. I’m embarrassed that I still need her help with this but I’m very grateful.

My appointment was very difficult today. It also went for longer than normal – half an hour. Dr W was asking me questions about why I feel I need to do some of the stuff I’m doing, and he asked me what I was thinking about right at that point in time. I started to list the things that were worrying me, he let me go on for a while but stopped me when he could see I could’ve just kept going on. Dr W is happy I’m still working with a therapist and says that therapy and exercise are the best things I can do to help my OCD.

One thing I’m worried that I may have not conveyed properly or people don’t understand is that I know the hose to the dishwasher isn’t leaking. I know that if I leave the bathroom fan on when I leave the house that it’s not going to burn down. I know that if the furnace kicks in but the flame doesn’t light that it’s not going to fill up the house with gas. I know the garage door is closed when I’m at the window, staring at it.

The problem is that, somewhere in my mind, I keep thinking but what if it’s not? What if the garage door is actually open and someone gets in and steals something or gets hurt? What if the freezer lid is actually open and the food melts, the compressor seizes up, and a fire starts? What if the hot water tank in the basement springs a leak and the basement drain plugs up so the water ends up everywhere?

If I run the numbers, I know the odds that any of these things will happen are just this side of zero. I know that.

But what if something does happen? What if I don’t check the garage door once when I’m walking through the kitchen and don’t notice that the door is open? It only takes a second or two to check, so isn’t it the more responsible thing to do to check? I mean, if I don’t check and it’s open, then it’s my fault I didn’t see it. It’d be my fault if I left a battery on the charger and went out for a couple of hours and it started a fire.

I can’t handle that.

I used to be dependable. Someone any of my friends or family could count on. I was always the Designated Driver. I was always the responsible kid that people would ask for help or trust me to do things that they may not have asked other people to do. I was the one who stayed awake on the bus at night during school trips, just to make sure everything was okay. I was proud to be the person that others could count on.

Now I have days where I can barely do anything for myself. It’s embarrassing and depressing to have to tell people I can’t help them or can’t do something for them, particularly when it’s coming from someone who helps me all the time and rarely asks for my help in return.

I should probably end this here. I’ve still got a bunch of stuff to write out but it’s getting late and I need to get to bed.

Stay safe.