My mental health journey has been a long one (you can see highlights of it here), and most of it has been chronicled in the large pile of journals gathering dust on my office floor. Obviously, cleaning is not currently one of my compulsions. :)
The journals in the picture on the right chronicle one of the hardest seasons of OCD I have experienced. I was in college and severely distressed by intrusive thoughts and my inability to stop the resulting anxiety and depression. The excerpts shared below are from the brown journal.
NOTE: I purposely left out the name of my doctor (who is also a family friend) and the city I live in. For reasons why, see my blog's About page.
February 8, 2004I feel so guilty if I make somebody feel bad, that I apologize right away, even if I didn't do anything wrong. I play it over and over in my head and analyze what I said and he/she said. Then I have to tell myself repeatedly that things are okay between us and I still feel guilty.
These are some of my staple fears - I've dealt with them for so long. Will they ever go away??!! ...I still get anxious sometimes over free time. Will it never end?! Why doesn't God make all of this go away? It all comes down to fear in my life - fear of living, weakness, unhealthiness, rejection and people's anger, guilt, and time.
February 11, 2004I feel like I should always be worried about something and feel guilty about it.
February 15, 2004I am still plagued with worry and false guilt. I thought I was getting better and maybe I am. But I still obsess about others being upset with me or mad at me, when I know they are not. It has plagued me the whole night! ... It made my stomach tight, and my throat dry. Ridiculous, irrational fear!
...So, why the guilt and anxiety? I know that it's not true, and yet I continue to obsess over it, thinking that I missed something...I cannot live my life like this! I am living a guilt-driven lie.
February 19, 2004What a journey I have been on. Crazy. I think I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I obsess about stupid stuff. I repeat situations and conversations in my head that I know are not important and I worry that I did something wrong or hurt someone.
But God is certainly seeing me through and growing me along the way. When I am trusting in Him, I can relax and have fun. When I'm not trusting in Him, I am a mess! God is in control of my life. He is everything to me - my Savior and my God. He is the Lord of my life. He is all that I have, and I am clinging to Him right now.
March 1, 2004
It has been a very trying week. I had a near breakdown on Tuesday afternoon, and I came home in desperation. My mom and I went to Dr. ______________'s office on Wednesday and he put me on anti-depressants. Things have started getting better already. He also prayed with me. I had to take this test there that was purely subjective - rate different questions from 1-5. Any score over 30 needed help. I got a 70!!! Dr. ______________ said that we are made of 3 parts - physical (machinery), emotional (our relationships with others), and spiritual (our one relationship with God). He told me that I needed a checkup of each part - a counselor for emotional, a spiritual mentor for spiritual, and him for the physical, He said that the test that I took showed him that the Seratonin level in my brain was low, and the anti-depressants would get it back up to the right level. So I have now taken 6 anti-depressant pills. I never wanted to take something that changed the way I thought. That was the reason I decided against it my freshman year of college. It was so bad this time, and I knew I couldn't deal with it by myself anymore. My parents have been absolutely amazing. God has truly blessed me with them.
March 18, 2004
What a strange semester. It has been truly difficult. After going to Dr. __________________'s office, I lived at home and commuted for awhile. I am so glad that this happened while I was in _____________ and had my parents near me. They have been so understanding and great with this. I have been getting progressively better, but the fears are definitely still there. God is so good. He has been healing me through my medicine, relationships, doctor, and psychologist. He has given me such a big support system.