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State of Mind

Originally posted on Blogspot 12/5/18

I want to love December.  I really do.

But every year, without fail, I find myself counting down the days until it’s over. 

For most of the past ten years it’s been because it’s the anniversary of the tumultuous month of my cancer diagnosis where I was in and out of doctor’s offices and no one could tell me why my mobility was decreasing day by day until I had to be cathetarized and doped up on morphine.  And they were like “oh ya my bad, big tumor, so sorry.”  Sad story, tiny violins, how traumatic yadda yadda yadda.

This year I was like hey cool, I’m gonna enjoy the Christmas season and be like “oh look at the lights” and shit, and peppermint lattes, and pretending to be mad about the 24 hour Christmas radio station.  I have a new job that I’m enjoying, more money that I’m enjoying…

However, no amount of holly jolly bullshit has been able to cover up the fact that I’m in the midst of one of the worst OCD flare-ups I’ve had in years. 

You may not have realized I even had OCD because I’m usually going on and on about one of the other things wrong with me.  Even I forget sometimes.  It’s a phantom illness that I can’t pinpoint as easily as I can my kidney issues, or other impairments left over from the cancer.

But right now—man it’s bad.  There’ve been a few clear triggers over the past few weeks that have brought it on but truthfully, I don’t give it the proper attention it deserves.  I don’t check in and re-evaluate it’s status in my life as often as I should.  Maybe if I did, when triggers came on, I wouldn’t be so susceptible.

You may be wondering where all of this is going.  But I don’t really think it’s going anywhere.  It occurred to me I hadn’t written in a while and that maybe my struggle right now is something I should get down in writing.  And then I thought, “no, wait until you’ve gotten the proper help and are through it and feeling better.  Then write about it.”

But—and no offense at all to the brave people who step forward to talk about mental illness—I feel as though that is often the approach taken.  People suffer through something and then come forward to speak about it and shed light on it and shit.  When it’s all over.  Which, yeah, is important for people to see.  It’s important to see people who’ve come out on the other side of it and gotten it under control.

But maybe the way I can make this post helpful to both me and maybe to someone else is to show you my real-time struggle.  It’s rightnow.  I’m in the thick of it guys.  I’m so stressed out that I wake up in the middle of the night covered in blotchy hives.  Therefore I’m not well-rested, and can barely sleep—but it’s easier to keep trying to sleep, because at least if I’m sleeping, I’m not obsessing.  I’m not picking at things, overthinking things.

Iknow logically when thoughts I’m having or compulsions I’m partaking in are irrational.  I KNOW these things.    But it’s like there’s this whole chunk of my brain that just doesn’t give a flying fuck.  And right now, I can’t seem to talk it back and keep it in check.  I normally do a pretty good job…but lately I just can’t remember how to do it.

So what’s a gal to do?

Well, yesterday I went home to Syracuse to see my old therapist and make a plan.  Although “making a plan” actually means coming up with a solution that has many steps and takes time to complete.  I know it’s necessary, of course.  But it doesn’t supply immediate relief.  Yes, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate my medication and yes, it’s way past due for me to find a specialist in the city where I can go talk about my feelings.  But like…what can I do right the fuck now?  That doesn’t involve taking more pills?

Mental illness, folks.  It sucks to talk about.  I hate talking about it, which is why I’m making myself talk about it. OCD is no joke—please consider that the next time you use it as an adjective to describe yourself as “organized.”

I’ll be okay though.  I’ll get it under control—I have before.  It’s been a part of me since I was ten years old and could only sleep if everyone and everything in my house was carefully placed in the room of my choosing.  I just figured I don’t write in this blog nearly as much as I should, and maybe it might be helpful for me to share my current struggle.  And maybe if you are currently struggling, you will feel better knowing that life is hard and others are struggling, too, right at this very moment in time. 

I’m here if anyone needs me.  In return, you just might have to listen to a laundry list of my current fears and look at pictures of my hives.

By Jesse Pardee

Stream of consciousness blather about my blackheads and mindfulness quest.