Tuesday, October 02, 2007

A thread on another site . . .

I was reading another site I came across this week and a foster mom asked a question about obsessive behaviors. She is struggling with helping a foster son deal with things he is obsessed about. She asked for help, and I gave her a bit of my story. I thought I'd bless y'all with more. . .

When I moved out of my house I moved in with a girl whom I was best friends with from church. She was younger than me and quite disorganized. She allowed me to take care of the house and make things just so. I did all the dishes, the grocery shopping, the cleaning and folding the laundry. I even cleaned and organized her room. She loved it and I HAD to do it or else I would go nuts. She got a good deal out of it, and I got the house into my idea of order. We had many clashes when it came to her irresponsibility and my obsession over having the bills paid on time and it got ugly on many occasions. But we tolerated one another. When she moved out her sister moved in briefly and then I lived alone for severally years until I met Robert.

By that time I was 26. Pretty darn set in my ways when it came to how I wanted stuff and how I thought things should be. I thought that's all it was, set in my ways. But alas, more and more problems occurred due to my inability to deal with changes and things out of order, or the order I had created in my head. To make an ugly story simple, it was not good. I nearly lost my marriage. We went to counseling and the counselor said, I think you need medicated.

I was astounded. She spelled out the issues I had and pointed them out. The obsessions, the ruminations, the stressors were right in line with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I had always thought of someone with OCD as the crazed hand-washing person, or the person who has to check the lock on the front door 35 times before leaving the house. I truly never had the compulsive portion, but when I started taking a clearer look at myself I could definitely see the obsessive part.

I visited my family doctor and she immediately started medication. She said it would take about 6 weeks to kick in, and about 5 weeks later my life took a turn toward calm. It is amazing. Now, I still have things I must do, but it is much easier to deal with now. If I have my mind set on doing something I am going to do it no matter what gets in my way, for the most part. I would've never thought I would be able to handle a sink full of dishes or a messy bedroom floor before medication. Now I can speak in terms BZ and AZ - before Zoloft and after Zoloft.

My doctor encouraged me to go off Zoloft a few years ago to see if I could handle it. That lasted all of about 3 weeks. Not a good plan. That time did however, reinforce to me that I am justified in taking psychotropic meds daily. I can see clearly the familial connection with OCD and my immediate family. My mother and my brother have OCD to different extents. My mother is the cleaner, and my brother simply has to have things just so. The way he eats his food in order on his plate, and cuts his food, and so on cracks me up.

Before, I was pretty opposed to long term medication. Now I see that it saved not only my marriage, but my life.

1 comment:

Yondalla said...

Thanks for the comments, and for sharing more of your story here.