Diagnosis Four: Severe Anxiety

Occasional anxiety is a normal part of life. You might feel anxious when faced with a problem at work, before taking a test, or making an important decision. But anxiety disorders involve more than temporary worry or fear. For a person with an anxiety disorder, the anxiety does not go away and can get worse over time. The feelings can interfere with daily activities such as job performance, school work, and relationships. There are several different types of anxiety disorders. Examples include generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder.National Institute of Mental Health

While some people think of anxiety as an uneasy feeling in the pit of their stomach or the fear they feel when standing atop a high building, severe anxiety symptoms can be much worse and downright terrifying. Symptoms of severe anxiety can create the feeling of a heart attack or even make you feel like you’re dying.Healthy Place

While this is likely the one that I’m most familiar with, it’s also the one that is hardest to describe. It effects every part of my being, and has robbed me of many life experiences, and holds me back from so much.

The therapist that leads my group therapy says it’s clever how my husband and I have worked around it. To me, it’s not. It’s not clever to be forced to plan things based on how many people will be somewhere. It simply feeds into my OCD tendencies.

Thursdays are shopping days. We do the same thing every Thursday- leave the house about 8, get gas and snacks, hit Walmart, Winn Dixie, then home.

Last Thursday I had group. I was torn. I wanted, and needed, to go to therapy. However, I nearly had a panic attack. THURSDAYS ARE SHOPPING DAYS! Was how my mind was screaming at me. The thought of doing anything different made me want to throw up.

We wound up doing shopping as we didn’t have enough gas for me to go, so I avoided a possible breakdown. If something is done on a certain day for so long, doing anything but will hit me hard. I hate it.

School orientation? Nope. Too busy. Concerts? Ha. Fat chance. I have two kids. Both of them are out going, fun loving individuals. It kills me that I can’t do some things with them because I am stuck with this shit. It’s not fair to them. They’ve done nothing to deserve this.

I made it to his school orientation last year, and wanted to bolt the entire time. I just wanted to get the fuck out of dodge.

I miss when I was younger. I didn’t have this problem.

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Diagnosis Two: OCD tendencies

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a common, chronic and long-lasting disorder in which a person has uncontrollable, reoccurring thoughts (obsessions) and behaviors (compulsions) that he or she feels the urge to repeat over and over.National Institute of Mental Health

As many, I thought you either had OCD, or you didn’t. I didn’t think there was an in between. My old therapist explained it that I needed something to control, and I latched on to that. She said that mine wasn’t exactly ‘detrimental’ or a hindrance to my daily life, so she wasn’t concerned.

OCD tendencies mean that you may be showing some of the symptoms of OCD but do not meet the criteria to be diagnosed with the disorder.

She asked when I started this, and I told her I was about 15 at the time. For the longest time I would get teased, as my actions seemed outrageous. To me, however, I can’t do it any other way.

  1. Our closet is divided into two areas- casual and work.
  2. ANY shirt or tank top with a decal of some kind on the front is hung up.
  3. Casual clothes go on black hangers only.
  4. Work clothes on white only.
  5. Both are sorted by color (white, grey, black, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, and tans/browns).
  6. Shirts and jeans are separated.
  7. Our DVDs/books/games have to be in alphabetical order (we once had over 100 and one was out of place. I had to redo the entire thing).
  8. Shirts have to be folded a certain way. I will refold the same shirt as many times as I have to- even if they wind up hung up.
  9. Two plates/bowls of the same color cannot be touching.
  10. I cannot have glasses and coffee mugs on the same shelf.
  11. My cupboards are done just so, and if one thing is off, I rage clean the entire thing.
  12. I refuse to use the hot air blowers in public restrooms.
  13. I avoid even using a public restroom at all costs.
  14. I have a shower schedule that I need to follow (what days, and what order I do things in).
  15. Certain foods cannot touch.
  16. Even numbers only when it comes to volume.
  17. No red soups.
  18. I have to have sugar in my sauce.
  19. Apps on my phone are sorted by what I use on one screen, what’s used less on another. Both in alphabetical.
  20. My make up has to be sorted just so- i.e. my lipstick cannot be touching/with my eyeshadows.

That’s what I could think of. But, so much is second nature to me that I may have missed some things.

While it may not seem like those are major things- they add up. I won’t let people do things because they’d do it wrong. I’d have to redo it for peace of mind. I avoid things like the plague because I know I’ll never get it perfect. Which leads to chaos, which triggers my anxiety, and then I rage clean. Rinse, repeat. It’s exhausting. Everything requires a thought process. And then I get annoyed when I’m nodding off in the middle of the day. My brain is tired, and yelling at me to rest.

“Have you ever just stopped doing *insert behavior here*?” I hate that. I have, and I gave myself a panic attack. It’s not that simple. I’m sure others who really have full blown OCD might scoff at such things, but to me, they are major. They take a great deal of work, making all housework take 10x as long.

I don’t want to have to do things a certain way. I don’t want to be so ‘picky’. I don’t want to watch someone like a hawk to make sure they’re doing things right. But, this has been life for so long that I can’t picture my life without these needs.

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Day One

Today is day one taking Vyvance, and I hope to chronicle my month on it. Some days I’ll forget, others I might write more than once. That’s just how it goes.

But, I should probably give a little introduction here, right?

I’m Brittiny, and I’m a 28 year old wife and mother. I’ve been with my husband for 9.5 years now, and he’s a big part of my recovery. In 2013 I was diagnosed with ptsd, borderline personality disorder, OCD tendencies, and severe anxiety. Then, just last week binge eating disorder was added to that.

I’ve been on numerous medications for my issues. Finally, about 2 months ago, they stopped working. I caved and brought it up to my doctor. I was in a bad place. I was suicidal, I was depressed, I was angry, so many emotions were bombarding me. Simply making it through the day was a struggle.

I was put into intensive outpatient therapy. By far one of the scariest things I’ve done in my life. Also, one of the best. I’ve been happier since I started going, and I don’t feel alone anymore.

We come from all different backgrounds, but can relate to one another because we all struggle. I’m getting help that I should have gotten years ago. I’ll never be cured from some of this. I’ll live with BPD my entire life. Does that mean I’ll always be out of control? No. It’s manageable, but incurable. I’ll have breakdowns. I’ll flip my shit. The war in my head will always be there, it’s just a matter of how bad it gets. I’ll always have an eating disorder. Even if I manage to get to a place where I eat normally, there’s always a chance of relapsing. I’ll always be an addict- whether it’s been days or years since I last cut.

I can’t ask for the life that I feel robbed of, the ship has sailed. All I can do is cross my fingers, and take the leap.

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