Monday, September 8, 2014

OCD, PTSD and the Fear.

I do everything on purpose.

Not just on purpose as in being mindful.

On purpose because I am afraid. Every day I am afraid. I call it "The Fear". It has a life of it's own. It controls me and everything I do. I don't want it to control me, but the truth is, I need it to control me.

My whole life I have had pain, fatigue, and outright clumsiness. I have EDS.

Everybody has this thing they call proprioception. It is, basically, how your brain knows where your body is in space. It is what gives people graceful movement and the ability to not run into objects. Mine is flawed. I trip over nothing. Literally. It could be the flattest floor ever and I could be barefoot and I would still trip. I could be trying to walk around the door or the pole or the counter and I will run right into it. I could be trying to catch that ball or doing that cartwheel but I will miss the ball and get hit in the head and I will fall during that cartwheel. And get hurt. And then I will bruise and keep hurting and keep aching and whatever joint got hurt will keep hurting and be difficult to use. I am afraid of that pain. Constant (chronic) pain can lead to mental illness.

I remember the first time I ever got hurt. I think it was the Pain that caused the Fear to start. I was less than 2 and had a little riding toy. The head had a point. I bumped into something and fell forward on it. The point jabbed me in the diaphragm. It was so intense that I still, to this day, remember exactly how it felt.

I have EDS. I have an increased sensitivity to pain. Well, to everything. Even the sensation of my clothes on my skin. A breeze that would be refreshing for someone else might be too cold or harsh for me and might actually cause slight physical pain or persistent uncomfortableness. I feel things way more than other people. I can handle a lot of pain though. When you have chronic pain another pain signal is easy to tolerate. Doesn't mean I don't feel it, just that I can ignore it longer. I have a lot of practice. There are some kinds of pain I can't tolerate. Pain in my head. I can not stand pain in my head or my teeth. I WILL cry about that kind of pain. I will beg for pain medicine for that kind of pain. However, pain meds don't work very well for me. I need 2 or 3 times the amount other people do. My body metabolizes the meds too quick or my signal is too great for it. I am not sure. All other medications are too strong and I get too many side effects. My systems are sensitive.  Digestive, circulatory, endocrine, neural, etc.

I don't like pain. I don't think many people do. Well, not this kind of pain. This kind of pain is neither fun nor erotic. It is unending, constant, depressing, and tiring. I do everything I can to reduce my pain. I started doing this when I was young. The doctor calls it OCD. I call it Fear.

I only have so much energy every day. I have to parcel it out. If I am not careful nothing will ever get done. I try to stick to a pretty strict schedule and do things methodically. I do everything on purpose. The way I walk down the hallway, one foot in front of the other, slowly, watchfully, so I don't trip. When I cook, I always clean as I go. It is easier and uses less energy to clean as I go instead of doing it all at once later. Doing dishes, folding laundry, vacuuming the floors are all done in a specific way. The way that causes less pain, uses less energy and does the best job. Everything has to be in a certain spot, stacked just right, and in a certain order. That way I don't waste time or energy looking for things, things won't fall in my head, and I won't twist my wrists getting heavy bowls out of a cupboard that is too high.

I don't engage in contact sports. I don't ride bikes, roller skate, or jog. I don't like moving fast at all. Moving fast leads to twists and sprains, or falls and bumps. I hate having so much pain all the time, being afraid of more pain all the time, and constantly having to think about how not to have more pain all the time.

The therapist says it is PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) because of all the times I have been extremely hurt and injured. They say it OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) from not feeling like I have any control over my life. I say it is just a survival mechanism and the way I have to live in order to remain sane. 

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