Thursday, January 9, 2014

Just Say the Word

For several months I've triumphed over my OCD as much as someone with an anxiety order can do.  I've spent less time Googling, the thoughts on dying have been less persistent.  When I looked at the mole, the same one that drove me to an out of control state to begin with, I looked at it in a whole new light.  Instead of seeing a red, glaring lesion I saw the same ugly yet normal mole I've came to peace with long ago.  This all ended with a routine physical.  As a cruel twist of irony my nurse wanted to refer me to a dermatologist, and my downward spiral started all over again.

I really wish I could describe the anxiety I feel, and that is partly the reason I'm writing this.  I've always been better with the written word than the verbal.  Part of me also just feels better explaining my behavior.  I don't expect to gain any more fans, but part of me just wants people to know why I do the things I do.

It starts with the sleeping and the dreams.  This happens in the times where I can still gave a grasp on my conscious actions.  As much as I fight during the day to not be a total crazy person, my dreams remind me that I'm breakable. My favorite dreams are when I'm back at Snyder's Drug Store, and I'm trying to close up, but people just keep coming in.  Or the dreams where all my teeth fall out.  Or the dreams where I get a regrettable tattoo.

Then comes the obsessive searching.  I could probably have my own Cracked article on my Google searches.  In between search results like "REO Speedwagon tour dates MN" and "Winds of Winter release date" I have things like "What does metastatic cancer feel like" and " Melanoma staging pictures".  Bjorn finally disabled WedMD from my computer, which I told him he was silly for doing, but Google was just making me sicker.

Than comes the physical symptoms.  Sometimes I get a sudden fear reaction.  My heart starts racing, I get hot and I literally (and not the hyperbole form of literally) feel like I'm being hunted with seconds to live.  That is how I would describe a classic panic attack.  Other times it is a feeling of pressure, like I'm I have an elephant sitting on my check.  I've named this pressure Roger, and call them my Roger days.

The obsessive thoughts are the most irrational of my behaviors, a hit on the rationality I try to pride myself on.  On these days I can convince myself that not only do I have a specific illness, but a life span to go with it.  On these days I'm prone to crying spells and anger.  In my head, I'm as certain that I have cancer than I am that the earth isn't 6,000 years old.

When I'm like this I'm not fun to be around.  I hurt the relationships I have with those close to me.  I wouldn't want to be my friend.  When I'm my old rational self though, I tell myself that illnesses never happen my kind of people.  Until they do, or at least of the potential.

In my obsessive state, I rarely come to terms with the actual words but think about them in the abstract.  Though I fixate on a certain illness, in my head I'm thinking "I have cancer and I'm going to die before the year is out". Thinking in this way artificially distances myself from any actual problem I may have.  Now that a real medical professional and not the internet is guiding me to see a dermatologist, and going to put on my big girl pants and say the words, even the dreaded "M" word.  I have OCD.  I have hypochondria.  I am going to see a dermatologist for a worry some mole that could very possibly be benign, but also has the potential to be Melanoma.  

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