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Monthly Archives: June 2012

Finding my Life again…

I wish life had a restart button. A restart button that would allow you to start again all the way from the beginning, a year ago, a month ago, a week ago, etc.

Unfortunately that doesn’t exist, so we have to move forward from where we are at and make something out of it.

Recently for some reason… the OCD has been winning… mostly the Pure O type but then I have the compulsion just to avoid life and hide in my bedroom.

Part of it is that I am overly tired and I’m stressing about my Best Friend’s wedding b/c it really is the only thing that is currently occupying my time. As we’ve discussed before I’m always tired… they think I may have mild narcolepsy but they can’t say for sure… either way though I need a new sleeping regime b/c what I’m doing isn’t good.

I’m at my parent’s house for the summer… who believe in waking up every morning between 6 and 7am… I’m not used to waking up till 9am at the earliest. You think though that if I just went to bed earlier this wouldn’t be a problem… but it is hard to b/c when my parents go to bed is when I can have my “alone time” which I desperately need… especially from my parents. And sometimes I just love it so much I extend it late into the night. I love my parents and don’t want to hurt their feelings by needing my alone time during the day with them… but I think I am going to have to start doing so in order that I actually sleep for 8+ hours at night.

I know I need to start working out again too… I’m just too tired to find the energy… but I need to force myself. I also need to start preparing for my PhD programs by casually reading articles and ardently working on my Spanish skills. As of right now I’ve just been reading and playing video games… which I LOVE TO DO but it doesn’t give me the structure that I need in life… that my OCD needs in life… which I think may have been what made this past year more difficult than it should have been… I just didn’t have any structure b/c I was giving everything up b/c my OCD was in the way.

So I’m putting into writing that I am going to do this and I need you guys to keep me accountable. PLEASE. Also if you have suggestions for anything that I should do I need to know… b/c I really have no idea how one starts to “work out” and eat well and such… so I’m just going with the basic walking/jogging in the morning, trying to eat right, and having things to do throughout the day.

Ok… So I’m publicizing the following…

Current Height: 5’7″

Current Weight: 145    Goal Weight: 130

Current Loose Weight Plan: 3 mile walk/jog in the morning… Hit two birds with one stone by taking my puppy with me for part of it. Also record everything that I eat.. try not to eat over 1500 calories.

Activities: Find Something Creative to do (apparently this helps OCD people to do something creative). Work on Spanish 45min-1 hour a day. Read one to two scholarly articles a day (depending on length) or one to two scholarly book chapters (depending on length). Play with puppy!

I’ll post more as I think of it or if anyone gives me tips!

 

 

 
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Posted by on June 21, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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OCD Conference!!

I’m totally going to this! I don’t care how much it costs (well I do… but I need this lol)! You can look at the schedule and see some of the talks they are having! There are so many that relate to me! Please check it out!

http://www.ocfoundation.org/conference/

 
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Posted by on June 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Musings…

So I know I said that I was going to write about my connection with the Lady of Shalott… but I currently have other things on my mind.

Prior to going into these musings though SPOILER ALERT FOR SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN. DON’T SAY I DIDN’T WARN YOU IF I ACCIDENTALLY REVEAL TOO MUCH ABOUT THE MOVIE FOR YOU. I don’t think there is actually any spoilers but just in case you’ve been warned lol

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So obviously I went and saw Snow White and the Huntsman with my best friend yesterday. It was a FANTASTIC movie. Seriously. I was extremely surprised, especially since it starred Kristen Stewart (which is why my Snow White pictures in this blog is of Snow White in Once Upon a Time and not Snow White and the Huntsman lol). Don’t get me wrong I do love most of the movies she is in (yes I’m a Twilight fan don’t judge lol)… but she can’t act. I’m sorry she can’t. All of her facial expressions seem to say “I need to go throw up now.” lol. But we will save my Kristen Stewart rant for another day. BUT ANYWAY all the other actors, the plot line, the computer animation, and the set were just SO amazing that I couldn’t help but absolutely love the movie and the character of Snow White (let us pretend she isn’t Kristen Stewart).

Snow White (at least in this rendition) is everything I ever have wanted to be: innocent, pure, fair, beautiful inside and out, courageous, fearless, putting others before herself, active, wanting to change the world for the better, strong, willing to love all, gentle, kind… and so many other qualities.

It is characters such as Snow White, Wanderer from The Hostand Edith from The Inheritance that I long to be.

I don’t want to be who I am… lazy, tired, scared, fearful, self- centered, forgetful, and unkind. I want to change and be just like them. But I don’t think I can. Or at least I don’t know how one can go back to “innocence” and “purity.”

I think I was once like Snow White for a period of my life. After I got into a huge blow out with a friend in high school about myself… I decided to change my life around. Care about others way more than me. Put others before me at all times. I stayed that way until the end of my 2nd year of undergrad… then OCD pulled me under its grips.

Having OCD has made me feel like I lost my innocence… my purity… because of the thoughts that plagued me. I became self-centered because I had to be careful of my actions at all times so that I didn’t ever hurt anyone. As I mentioned the root of all my OCD is really my fear of hurting others in terms of something just as simple as hurting someone’s feelings on accident or something ridiculous like accidentally contaminating them because I didn’t wash my hands enough or accidentally poisoning someone because I wasn’t paying attention well enough to the cleaning products I used and got it in a cup or something (ridiculous I know but it is something I fear).

My problem is is that I cared SO much about everyone else that I wanted to take myself out of the game of life in fear that I would accidentally inconvenience someone. So in a way its a bit of an oxymoron I became solely focused on myself, because I became fearful of what I may do to someone else’s life that might accidentally make it worse.

Snow White though… is so selfless that she never thinks of herself and always does good for others. Never does she do something that isn’t for the good of all mankind. And when the evil queen’s small army that went after Snow White after she escaped set fire to the village she was staying in… Snow White tried to stay to help the others, but it was the towns people who needed her to be safe. Needed her to continue on so that she may heal the rest of the world.

Snow White showed love for all. Forest creatures, the dwarfs she met a long the way, her huntsman, and her child hood friend. She even no longer hated the queen but felt sorry for her. Snow White is not one capable of hate.

I don’t think I am really capable of hate either. I think its wrong to hate anyone and that everyone who asks for it should be given a second chance. But there is one person I hate… myself. And I don’t know how to get over it or if I ever will. I’m too terrified to be selfless because what if in trying to help people I accidentally hurt someone?

Plus I’m not someone who people are just automatically drawn too. I read books and watch movies about the type of pure, innocent girl who so many love (both in terms of friendship and romantically) and I have never had that. Even during that period when I think I was most like Snow White… I never had followers or people drawn to me. I was always behind the scenes away from the lime light because I never wanted it (though secretly I think I did want it.. but wanting the lime light kind of scared me b/c that meant I cared too much about myself)… but neither do the “Snow White” type of women, but they still get it.

Taking a quote from A Great and Terrible Beauty 

“It’s not Kartik’s longing that hurts.  It’s my own. It’s knowing that I”ll never have what she has- a beauty* so powerful it brings things to you. I fear I will always have to chase the things I want. I’ll always have to wonder whether I’m truly wanted or whether I’ve just been settled for.”

*I’m interpreting beauty here as both inner and outer

I’ll never be the Snow White type… no matter how much I want it. I’ll always have to wonder if my presence is even wanted because I’m not the type of girl I want to be and other’s want me to be.

I long to be beautiful, to be pure, to be innocent, to be brave, to change the world for the better… But I’ll never be Snow White… I’m just always going to be me… and that isn’t good enough for anyone, especially me.

If I ever was once Snow White… OCD was my poisoned apple… and sadly I will never be woken by true love’s kiss… but forever stuck in a sleep full of nightmares

 
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Posted by on June 14, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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My connection with the Lady of Shalott Part 1

“The Lady of Shalott” by Alfred Lord Tennyson

Part I

On either side of the river lie
Long fields of barley and of rye,
That clothe the world and meet the sky;
And through the field the road runs by
To many-towered Camelot;
And up and down the people go,
Gazing where the lilies blow
Round an island there below,
The island of Shalott.1

Willows whiten, aspens quiver,
Little breezes dusk and shiver
Through the wave that runs for ever
By the island in the river
Flowing down to Camelot.
Four gray walls, and four gray towers,
Overlook a space of flowers,
And the silent isle imbowers
The Lady of Shalott.

By the margin, willow veiled
Slide the heavy barges trailed
By slow horses; and unhailed
The shallop flitteth silken-sailed
Skimming down to Camelot:
But who hath seen her wave her hand?
Or at the casement seen her stand?             25
Or is she known in all the land,
The Lady of Shalott?

Only reapers, reaping early
In among the bearded barley,
Hear a song that echoes cheerly
From the river winding clearly,
Down to towered Camelot:
And by the moon the reaper weary,
Piling sheaves in uplands airy,
Listening, whispers “‘Tis the fairy
Lady of Shalott.”

Part II

There she weaves by night and day
A magic web with colours gay.
She has heard a whisper say,
A curse is on her if she stay
To look down to Camelot.
She knows not what the curse may be,
And so she weaveth steadily,
And little other care hath she,
The Lady of Shalott.

And moving through a mirror clear
That hangs before her all the year,
Shadows of the world appear.
There she sees the highway near
Winding down to Camelot:  50
There the river eddy whirls,
And there the curly village-churls,
And the red cloaks of market girls,
Pass onward from Shalott.

Sometimes a troop of damsels glad,
An abbot on an ambling pad,
Sometimes a curly shepherd-lad,
Or long-haired page in crimson clad,
Goes by to towered Camelot;
And sometimes through the mirror blue
The knights come riding two and two:
She hath no loyal knight and true,
The Lady of Shalott.

But in her web she still delights
To weave the mirror’s magic sights,
For often through the silent nights
A funeral, with plumes and lights
And music, went to Camelot:
Or when the moon was overhead,
Came two young lovers lately wed;
“I am half sick of shadows,” said
The Lady of Shalott.

Part III

A bow-shot from her bower-eaves,
He rode between the barley-sheaves,
The sun came dazzling through the leaves,  75
And flamed upon the brazen greaves
Of bold Sir Lancelot.
A red-cross knight for ever kneeled
To a lady in his shield,
That sparkled on the yellow field,
Beside remote Shalott.

The gemmy bridle glittered free,
Like to some branch of stars we see
Hung in the golden Galaxy.
The bridle bells rang merrily
As he rode down to Camelot:
And from his blazoned baldric slung
A mighty silver bugle hung,
And as he rode his armour rung,
Beside remote Shalott.

All in the blue unclouded weather
Thick-jewelled shone the saddle-leather,
The helmet and the helmet-feather
Burned like one burning flame together,
As he rode down to Camelot.
As often through the purple night,
Below the starry clusters bright,
Some bearded meteor, trailing light,
Moves over still Shalott.

His broad clear brow in sunlight glow’d;   100
On burnished hooves his war-horse trode;
From underneath his helmet flowed
His coal-black curls as on he rode,
As he rode down to Camelot.
From the bank and from the river
He flashed into the crystal mirror,
“Tirra lira,” by the river
Sang Sir Lancelot.

She left the web, she left the loom,
She made three paces through the room,
She saw the water-lily bloom,
She saw the helmet and the plume,
She looked down to Camelot.
Out flew the web and floated wide;
The mirror cracked from side to side;
“The curse is come upon me,” cried
The Lady of Shalott.

Part IV

In the stormy east-wind straining,
The pale yellow woods were waning,
The broad stream in his banks complaining,
Heavily the low sky raining
Over towered Camelot;
Down she came and found a boat
Beneath a willow left afloat,
And round about the prow she wrote  125
The Lady of Shalott.

And down the river’s dim expanse
Like some bold seer in a trance,
Seeing all his own mischance —
With a glassy countenance
Did she look to Camelot.
And at the closing of the day
She loosed the chain, and down she lay;
The broad stream bore her far away,
The Lady of Shalott.

Lying, robed in snowy white
That loosely flew to left and right —
The leaves upon her falling light —
Through the noises of the night
She floated down to Camelot:
And as the boat-head wound along
The willowy hills and fields among,
They heard her singing her last song,
The Lady of Shalott.

Heard a carol, mournful, holy,
Chanted loudly, chanted lowly,
Till her blood was frozen slowly,
And her eyes were darkened wholly,
Turned to towered Camelot.
For ere she reached upon the tide  150
The first house by the water-side,
Singing in her song she died,
The Lady of Shalott.

Under tower and balcony,
By garden-wall and gallery,
A gleaming shape she floated by,
Dead-pale between the houses high,
Silent into Camelot.
Out upon the wharfs they came,
Knight and burgher, lord and dame,
And round the prow they read her name,
The Lady of Shalott.

Who is this? and what is here?
And in the lighted palace near
Died the sound of royal cheer;
And they crossed themselves for fear,
All the knights at Camelot:
But Lancelot mused a little space;
He said, “She has a lovely face;
God in his mercy lend her grace,
The Lady of Shalott.”

From A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray:

In reference to the Lady of Shalott- “I think that the lady dies not because she leaves the tower for the outside world, but because she lets herself float through that world, pulled by the current after a dream.”

Mull over these words as I do as well. For I find that I can relate with this great lady of Shalott.

 
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Posted by on June 8, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Nightmares

I have  written about dreams a lot throughout these posts. I find that I write about them due to the fact hat I sleep way more than the average person does.

I actually had a sleep test done (I may or may not have mentioned this somewhere else) where they couldn’t formally diagnose me (due to the fact that I couldn’t take naps for them), but they think I might have a form of narcolepsy (obviously on the more functioning side and less server).

With that being said I have posted a lot about how I actually like dreaming. It takes me to a new world one in which I don’t have the troubles that I have today. One where I can be or do anything I want.

But sometimes though… like last night I have dreams that are plagued by OCD fears. Dreams that seem so real… I honestly don’t know if they were dreams or reality. Usually about after a couple of hours I can discern what was a dream and what was reality… but within those few hours when I am not sure.. I am frightened..

I guess one would just call these nightmare. But like I will have whole dreams that I have had conversations about my OCD  with someone and/or OCD compulsions are happening such as cleaning my bathroom profusely and when I wake up I actually think these events happened.

I know some people  can wake up and be completely alert, but I can in no way shape or form do that. I’m always in a some what zombie mode.. and the more tired I am the worse it is and the worse it is trying to decipher between dreams and reality.

I’ve always wanted to find that place (as a random quote mentions) the place between “dreams and reality”… but not when they are nightmares.. I don’t like them… at all… and they kind of make me question my mental stability even more…

 
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Posted by on June 8, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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[untitled]

“‘Because you don’t notice the light without a bit of shadow. Everything has both dark and light. You have to play with it till you get it exactly right.’”

“But forgiveness… I’ll hold on to that fragile slice of hope and keep it close, remembering that in each of us lie good and bad, light and dark, art and pain, choice and regret, cruelty and sacrifice. We’re each of us our own chiaroscuro, our own bit of illusion fighting to emerge into something solid, something real. We’ve got to forgive ourselves that. I must remember to forgive myself. Because there’s an awful lot of gray to work with. No one can live in the light all the time.”

“When the music is over, she keeps her head down till she finds her seat again, and I wonder how many times each day she dies a little.”

So I’m not sure how to title this post. I’m a little unsure of how this post will go in general. I’ve been at my sister’s house doing absolutely nothing but babysitting her dogs in a town I’ve never been in and no car to go anywhere. So basically I am bored out of my mind. But it has allowed me to do a lot of reading and reflect upon what I read.

As I mentioned I’ve been reading the trilogy A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray. I read the first book many years ago when I was still in high school. At that time I wasn’t really ready for the book. I found it really dark and disturbing. Obviously I’ve reread it and I’m now in love with the book. I think my high school reaction was due to the fact that I led an extremely sheltered life and I couldn’t relate to anything in the book.

I couldn’t relate to the darkness that was within and the light that hope brought to it. I had never really experienced it before. Of course I had hardships growing up, I mean you can read this blog and clearly see that…. but the darkness inside of me I tried my hardest to hide and so I forgot it was within me.

As I mentioned before, OCD plagued me as a young child… I didn’t understand why I was having such disturbing thoughts. I didn’t understand that I wasn’t evil. As I aged though I found that the easiest way to deal with it was to ignore it. Pretend that there was nothing wrong with me, so there would be nothing wrong with me (even though I did some ridiculous compulsions… but I would just forget about it right after it happened).  But as Libba Bray puts elegantly in her book  “you can’t keep up the illusion forever,” …“No one has that much magic.” 

When I had my OCD melt down in undergrad…when my illusion finally broke… I can’t describe the constant pain I was in. I wasn’t dying a little everyday… all of me was dying everyday… only to be cursed to be reincarnated in the same body the next day and the next… to feel the constant pain and torment from the thoughts that plagued me. Thoughts of harming myself and others… thoughts that I was evil… thoughts that no matter what I did I was damned.

I fought it so hard. And with OCD… often the more you fight it without using the right type of therapy (which I wasn’t in therapy at all b/c I didn’t realize there was anything wrong with me beyond thinking I was evil) the worse it gets, because your brain gets stuck on repeat on the same horrible thoughts. Now that I know it was OCD that plagued my life, you think I could forgive myself… but honestly I still find that I can’t. What in the first place could possibly get those types of thoughts in my head? I had those thought… I couldn’t stop them… and what scared me even more was the constant thought it my head to stop fighting and to give into the thoughts and make them into actions. I’m proud and relieved to say that I NEVER acted on those thoughts… but the idea that I might act on the thoughts was a persistent OCD fear. I couldn’t trust anyone or anything… especially me. So really my OCD was like this: I would have a horrible obsession.. say harm obsession… then I would freak out that I would actually do it.. which would then make me obsesses over whether I was truly an evil person… and then my compulsion was to take myself out of the game and/or ask for reassurance. Confine myself to a life of academia and in my apartment so that I could never hurt anyone, as my obsessional thoughts were making me think I was going to do.

How can I forgive myself for this? How can I trust myself? How do I know that this really is OCD and I’m not evil? What person could possibly have these thoughts and still be a good person?

And knowing that it is OCD has honestly made me feel better… but also worse in some ways… I feel like I’m being desensitized to some of my horrible thoughts. When I realize one is rolling in I’m like “oh this is an OCD thought don’t pay attention to it.” I then begin to think of something else such as the weather outside. I let the “train pass by” trying not to give it a second glance so to speak. The problem is though… is that I realize that I have these thoughts still… and that they are just becoming a normal piece of my life… but I DON’T WANT THESE THOUGHTS EVER IN MY MIND. How can I possibly make them go away forever????? I don’t want to become desensitized, because what if being desensitized is what leads someone to taking action because it “really isn’t that big of a deal?”

Its like I’m constantly fighting the darkness within me. I don’t want to be dark at all. I want to help people. I want to make people’s lives better. I don’t care if my name is remembered or if my actions are known… I just want to bring happiness to someone who has never known it or heal the soul of someone who needs it. ….But… I’m too terrified of myself… I can’t bring myself to get close to anyone b/c what if I accidentally do something to hurt them?

So with the OCD… the obsessional thoughts have stopped thanks to medication.. but… its more like that I now have this haunting thought lying beneath all my other thoughts and motivations “what if my soul is really a dark place? what if I’m not good? what if I can’t ever control my thoughts?… and eventually what if my thoughts take over my actions?”

Maybe I should just continue taking myself out of the game. So that I can’t hurt anyone. Because what kind of life can I currently lead? I’m too scared of doing something wrong.

So maybe this is where I belong… in a city where no one knows who I am… doing a meaningless task of taking care of my sister’s dogs… it affects someone right? so I am doing good somehow right? But I’m out of the game of my life… I don’t want the control of my life nor do I want my thoughts to control my life… but how can one really live that way?

Do I need to do as this book suggests and find the balance between light and dark? Realize that I really am the light… but sometimes darkness overtakes my thoughts? Darkness may lie in my thoughts but I need to fight for the balance so that only light leaves as an action out of my body.

After all  “you don’t notice the light without a bit of shadow. Everything has both dark and light. You have to play with it till you get it exactly right.’”

I can’t stop living life… so I must find a balance… between my OCD and who it is I am and want to be.. a light in this dark world and within myself. I must emerge as something beyond an illusion and become the solid person I am… bringing hope and compassion to the world. Now that I’ve had a taste of darkness… even just in my own thoughts… I feel as though I can now help those more readily who are still searching for some hope of light.

 
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Posted by on June 1, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Thinking…

Quotes from a trilogy that I have been reading. I haven’t finished the trilogy yet so I will probably be adding more quotes soon. These quotes though have made me think about a lot of things about life and my life in particular… I’ll probably write something about one or a couple of these quotes next.

Book 1 A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray-

“Yes, I am, as you put it, quite all right.” I could laugh, its such a lie– I am most certainly not all right. But it works as I know it will. That’s what living in their world is- a big lie. An illusion where everyone looks the other way and pretends that nothing unpleasant exists at all, no goblins in the dark, no ghosts of the soul.”

“My heart is a tight fist in my chest while my lips form words I don’t feel.”

“When the music is over, she keeps her head down till she finds her seat again, and I wonder how many times each day she dies a little.”

In reference to the Lady of Shalott- “I think that the lady dies not because she leaves the tower for the outside world, but because she lets herself float through that world, pulled by the current after a dream.”

“There’s no romance between us. There’s nothing that tethers us but this dark secret neither of us wants. It’s not Kartik’s longing that hurts. It’s my own. It’s knowing that I”ll never have what she has- a beauty so powerful it brings things to you. I fear I will always have to chase the things I want. I’ll always have to wonder whether I’m truly wanted or whether I’ve just been settled for.”

“‘Because you don’t notice the light without a bit of shadow. Everything has both dark and light. YOu have to play with it till you get it exactly right.'”

“‘I change the world; the world changes me.’… ‘[it means] Everything you do comes back to you. When you affect a situation, you are also affected.'”

“‘I’m sorry, Gemma. But we can’t live in the light all of the time. You have to take whatever light you can hold into the dark with you.”

“I’ve heard it said that God is in the details. It’s the same with the truth. Leave out the details, the crucial heart, and you can damn someone with the bare bones of it.”

“And even if I told them all this, it still wouldn’t be a full measure of her. You can never really know someone completely. That’s why it’s the most terrifying thing in the world, really- taking someone on faith, hoping they’ll take you on faith too. It’s such a precarious balance, it’s a wonder we do it at all. And yet…”

“In a world beyond this one, that river goes on singing sweetly, enchanting us with what we want to hear, shaping what we need to see in order to keep going. IN those waters, all disappointments are forgotten, our mistakes forgiven. Gazing into them, we see a strong father. A loving mother. Warm rooms where we are sheltered, adored, wanted. And the uncertainty of our futures is nothing more than the fog of breath on a windowpane.”

“But forgiveness… I’ll hold on to that fragile slice of hope and keep it close, remembering that in each of us lie good and bad, light and dark, art and pain, choice and regret, cruelty and sacrifice. We’re each of us our own chiaroscuro, our own bit of illusion fighting to emerge into something solid, something real. We’ve got to forgive ourselves that. I must remember to forgive myself. Because there’s an awful lot of gray to work with. No one can live in the light all the time.”

Book II- Rebel Angels by Libba Bray

“Because you can’t keep up the illusion forever,” I say. “No one has that much magic.”

 
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Posted by on June 1, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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