Numbing and its After Effects- Emotions and OCPD

I've never liked the dentist, but some times it seems like the whole thing is a test of endurance.

You have to wait and look at all those nasty looking metal instruments, alone in a room with soft rock playing.

Then, you get hit with the Novocaine. The worst part is- the only way to tell how numb you really are is by drilling. If you feel throbbing, awful pain - well then you arent numb... and you get another stabbing shot!

Numbing my mouth certainly was awful - but how many times have I wished I could numb my feelings?

If I am anxious or upset, wouldn't it be nice to jab some novacne into all those mixed up feelings in my heart?
But I only feel this way when it hurts. Just like the tooth- we only recognize numbness when we drill deep.

Well, you can either take the shot or deal with the pain.

At the dentist, all choice goes out the window. It hurts so much that you pretty much demand as much Novocaine as is possible pumped into your jaw.

Then, you are finished, and you try to say "Thanks for the memories" to the white gloved dental hygienist.

But... your lips are numb. Your jaw is swollen and cannot you feel anything until your neck.

Try to talk, and drool comes out.

Yes, the Novocaine make the drilling dental work bearable. But it doesn't disappear right away. The numbing and swelling contiunes, even when it isn't wanted.

It's tempting to numb any kind of pain. But we forget its not so easy to work it out of the bloodstream. We might miss out on a whole range of feeling, all in out need to numb pain.

So next time you reach for your own personal emotional Novocain, try to remember that it doesn't always wear off when you want it too.

Sometimes, you end up drooling with a locked jaw.


Natural Healing - Antidepressants and the Past

I was talking to my friend the other day about girly things- namely expensive lotions.

Stay with me!

Everyone knows there wasn't "Oil of Olay" 500 years ago- just plain old oil.

People survived but I'm sure they were much, much more dry and wrinkled. Now, we live with so many options to alter everything about our appearance. And we can only imagine what our poor ancestors had to endure when they looked in the mirror. If they had mirrors!

But my friend made a good point. She said becuse everyone had to live without skin care, make-up, etc... no one noticed.

And what more, the standard of beauty was totally different. And maybe - just maybe- the natural skin somehow worked to heal itself.

Well as she was telling me her theory on the natural beauty of ages past, I started to think about the natural state of the brain.

Maybe medication, like antidepressant SSRI's is like those expensive lotions. They make things better, improve us- but the standards we have are created by their use.

We have a name for disorder because we have a product to treat it.

But now, like with lotion, have we allowed ourselves to forget the natural way?

I'm not saying I want to retreat into the forest and go all out nature child. But its intereting to think of the role modern advancements in health and beauty have affected what is "normal".

Maybe in the future, OCPD won't exist, but other disorders will. And maybe in the past, humans were in a kind of mental and physical state we modern people can't understand.

Or maybe our ancestors were simply too busy to worry about all that hunter/gathering to worry about skincare!


Balloon Pop - Test Taking and OCPD

On my way to work I saw some balloons floating above the tight grip of a young girl. She was staring at them transfixed by their fluttering beatuy

"Mommy?" She asked to the woman beside her "When can I pop them?"

Yes ballons are pretty, but some people just want to pop them. The promise of little explosion, knowing they are so delicate - that is part of what makes them so appealing!
Of course, once they are popped the drama is over.

All day yesterday I was worried about a test I had to take in the evening. My mind stroked and pulled the string of my worry, freting a little, feeling adrenelinea nd a tinge of fear. The prospect of failure made the who day a little more edgy - and in a way, more interesting.

That test, or many just the anxiety it produced- was my thought ballon.

I tugged and played with it.I pondered my feelings on failure, saw myself the next day- either happy or disapointed. The lip biting aside, the anxious excitement want managable, if distracting. It wasn't substantial or heavy, and I knew it wouldn't last.

Then, as I finally took the test, I felt that balloon pop.

And it felt good.


That One Stain - Mistakes and OCPD

Do you ever live in regret of the past? Like that mistake is some kind of stain that simply wont come out? I know sometimes when I look back, that stain of a mistake is the first thing I see!

Just one ruin a perfectly good shirt, and become the fixation of the entire outfit.

Once I spilled tomato sauce on ym white blouse. I ran to the bathroom, fixated on getting it out. I doused it with soap and water as quickly as possible.

But guess what? It was pink soap. Now the soap was just adding to the stain.

I rinsed and rinsed, spreading the soap and saucing stain. Finally, that on little stain caused the whole shirt to become a soppy, soapy mess. It even dripped on my pants!

Mistakes are like that stain. Sometimes, the more we try to erase, wash and cover up - the worse we make it. This is especiall true if we rush to "fix" something.

The stain is there. We can't undo it. Carefully, we can more forward, dab it a bit - and use a napkin more carefully!

The past is there too- we can only move into the furture with a little more care, and learn to live with a few stains.

After all, no shirt stays white forever!


Comforatble Obsession – Comfort Zones and OCPD

Sometimes our obsessions can sure feel comforting, a behavior that is as easy to slip into as a old pair of ratty sweatpants.

Anxiety and obsession are the OCPD person’s default , and a way to cope when life, work and relationships feel out of our control. The worry cycle seems like the go-to thoughts!

It’s easy, a habit of worry. It doesn’t require too much deep analysis – and certainly doesn’t mean you have to change yourself.

Like those ratty sweatpants, its comfortable. They don’t look very good – but they are the first thing you see on the floor.

What happens when you wear your most comfortable sweatpants- stains and stretched waist – out on the town? To work? On a date? There is something to be said for making an effort, for wearing those nice pants with heel- even if they hurt a bit.

We can change our obsessive behaviors. I don’t have to wash every dish before bed. Yes, it feels good to do so. But how does this affect my life? If I only wear my “obsessions” as my comfortable pants everywhere, its like wearing ratty sweats everywhere.
Sometimes , you don’t want all your stains showing.

So to function, you have to make a effort not to let obsession and worry dictate your actions in life. The world may let you wear whatever you want, but you owe it to yourself to, when the time is right, put forth the discipline and effort to be your best self.

After all, we get one life. Do you want to spend it in sweatpants?


Just a Blip - Emotional Sonar and OCPD

I feel like I have internal sonar system for when people may not like me. It cuts through the waves of emotion my daily life, pinging and blipping off little inciedents, But its not some high-tech, accurate sonar that can pinpoint a canoe.

My sonar is a broken-down throwback to World War I, when a large trout could be mistaken for a German U-boat.

My "emotional radar" works with about the same accuracy.

I'm always assuming the worst, and thinking people dislike me. Well, maybe some do. And maybe there are some hostil submarines in my waters. But mostly- I fortify my defences for nothing more that a silly fish!

I think I started doing this to avoid getting hurt, programming myself to never get my hopes up. Always being on the lookout for hostile forces keeps me from looking in - or reaching out.
So when I notice a glare, a smirk or a sigh - maybe I'll remember that sometimes my sonar is wrong. And if I set off all the alarms everytime a blip comes up, I'll drive myself crazy running from fish!


Thinking and Shopping on Auto Pilot - OCPD and Obsession

Yesterday, the real heat wave of summer hit the East Coast, and with in a whole new line up of wardrobe options. Summer is the time of sweaty walks to work, followed by evening events with my fiance. Long days and nights with too little sleep.

So I find myself donning cute outfits I haven't seen in a year- dresses, skirts, and tanks. I pack up a purse with as many essentials as I can without throwing out my spine. And I set off for my day.

But it seems no matter how prepared I am or together I look - there is always something missing! I find myself obsessing on that one little missing thing - a safety pin to keep my blouse buttoned, some glue for a flappy part of my purse, body spray, hair spray or breath mints.

And so, obsessing pushes me up from my desk to the drug store or deli. It's like I go on auto pilot just thinking of that one thing- and I end up acting out the obession.

Yes, I can usually live without whatever "thing" I simply must have. But I can't seem to think or work until its taken care of.

There are two things that allow me to be myself again and stop the fixation. The first is simply go get it. Get it, and get on with the day.

But then I make this a habit, and feed into the part of myself that can't get things go.

The second option is to stop the auto pilot from taking over. It takes some repetition, but if I think thought how bad I really need that body spray, I start to realize its just a placeholder. The items take on meaning and push my thoughts around because i let them. Sometimes its like my obsessions just need a place to go.

But I can stop the channel. It's hard, but I can press pause on the auto pilot that drives me to that checkout line at the drug store. Because I really don't think my desk at work can fit any more nail files, safety pins, hair ties, or lotions!