I am hoping to get out of my house soon...
Well, I am going on Day 3 of being confined to my house. When my lovely mom came in today and saw I cleaned the kitchen, she looked at me and said, "You are feeling worse, aren't you?"
I know, it's crazy, it's counter intuitive and it wastes energy I don't have...but you can never underestimate the power of OCD. Sometimes the worse I feel, the more I clean. I could be sick in bed shaking and not have the energy to get up to shower, but when I do get up and I see things messy, something takes over and makes me start cleaning.
From a psychological standpoint it is an easy analysis, clearly I am trying to gain control over something in my life, and yes I also have OCD. When I am feeling especially ill, or just worse than usual, there is an underlying feeling of lack of control over my life. I am sure most people with chronic illness easily relate to this feeling. I am also sure it is hard for other people to understand what it is like to feel such a complete and utter lack of control.
When you can't even know if you will be able to get up the next day and leave your house, that is a lack of control. When you don't know if you will have the strength to watch a movie with your daughter like you promised her, that is a lack of control. When you know everyone else in your family is going to a family dinner and you don't have the energy to make it, that is a lack of control.
So when I feel the lack of control, I try to control something, anything, and so I clean. I am well aware of my behavior and have learned to modify it, but I'm not perfect. If I was perfect, I would just allow how I feel to exist without judgement. I would have such self-compassion that I wouldn't feel that lack of control. But here is the kicker, all of the personal growth, learning and practice fall to the way side when I'm not feeling well because I don't have the strength to think clearly.
My chronic illnesses don't just affect my physical being, they affect my mental being also. When I feel like something just sucked away my life force and I am nothing left but a bag of bones, this affects my ability to think. In fact I really can't think. What I've learned to do is recognize it when this happens. It is hard to recognize your own behavior. You can't see the whole picture when you are a part of the painting. But I can rely on my Mom pointing out my patterns, or my boyfriend telling me the emotional despair I am feeling will pass.
So tomorrow I hope that I will leave my house and feel a little warmth of the sun and look at the sky.
- Disabled Diva