Other Ramblings...

Friday, 26 October 2012

Stop the World; I Want to Get Off...

Last weekend, I caught myself saying, 'Stop it!' to myself, quite forcefully, because OCD voice just wouldn't shut up.

I can't work out whether this is normal, or whether this is something else I need to be worried about.  I mean, I knew I was going to say it, and I knew that I was talking to myself - albeit the irrational part of me - but is it abnormal?  Is talking to myself outside the normal parameters of OCD? 

I was in the bathroom and I wanted to wash my face but - apparently - this wasn't what was going to happen.  Apparently washing my face was going to have all sorts of terrible consequences.  I just wanted to wash my face.  I was in a rush.  I find it so frustrating that everyone else in the world can just go to the bathroom and do what they want to, but I have to go through a huge rigmarole before I can even get to that point and even something so simple as washing is filled with guilt and doubt and anxiety.

In other news, my Grandfather is in hospital, and more poorly than he's been for a very long time, for no apparent reason.  This worries me, but it's a measured amount so I'm coping.  My little sister has given up University and come home for this year, since her illness proved to be too much to cope with on top of work and living away from home for the first time.  This worries me: my OCD cycle has been based around her for quite some time now, and I was enjoying the freedom of not living with her.  I'm not quite sure I want to go back there, but not quite sure how I can prevent it, or change how I feel around her.  

However, other things have been better this week: there have been times when I have been happy and times when I can honestly say I haven't been noticeably, stomach-churningly, anxious.  Which, I think, is massive progress.  I'm still miles away from where I was at the end of the summer term, but I think I'm going to get back there.  I hope I'm going to get back there.

So I shan't complain (too much!)...

Wednesday, 17 October 2012


It is a December day and one hundred - give or take - children are sitting in a warm school hall.  The little ones are sitting closer to the front on their bottoms, whilst the older ones are allowed to sit on long wooden benches.  They have come for a treat; the very littlest are performing their Christmas Nativity play and they older pupils are being allowed to watch in exchange for their good behaviour during the week.  I don't think I mentioned that it is a Friday, but it is.

For my part in this story - and my part in this story is not especially important - it is the day of my younger sister's ninth birthday party, for which she will be going bowling with a small group of friends in the evening.  She will receive a pink plastic castle and I will be very jealous.  Whilst sitting in the hall, the headteacher will congratulate me for sitting quietly.

But this isn't about me.

Next to me sits my best friend.  We have been inseparable - ignoring the odd argument - since we were six years old.

It is darkening outside by the time the little ones have finished their play and we all hurry home to spend the weekend becoming increasingly excited about impending celebrations.  There is a sense of festivity in the air, and everyone knows that the next week will feature little work and lots of Christmas.

Fast forward nine years and I am sitting in a classroom, eating my lunch.  I am training to be a teacher and have just started my second Teaching Placement.  The same afternoon, I have to teach my first lesson with this class, who are the same age as I was in my previous anecdote.  My phone simply won't pick up a signal, whichever way I point it.  I switch it off and switch it back on again and it finally vibrates.

It is a text message from my best friend.

Her Mum has died in the night.

I am not sure how these two strands twist together, but they seem to fit perfectly.  Hand.  Glove.

On that evening, my best friend goes home to her warm, welcoming house.  Home to her Mum and excitement and Christmas.

Nine years later, my best friend no longer has her Mum.  She is alone in the world, without the person who gave her life and who made her life so warm and welcoming and full of excitement.

Perhaps, because I remember the first so clearly as a time when we were both so happy.  She was so happy.  And it is as though that time is yesterday.  And she is still my best friend.  And nothing has changed.

And everything has changed.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

In Which Things Happen.

I'd be more specific, but I can't really be sure...

It started on Monday when I was at work.  Mum texted to tell me that my sister had taken herself to A&E and was on her way home.

By Tuesday morning, aforementioned sister had been admitted into hospital and I was a mess.  Anxious; frightened; terrified.

Fortunately, I have a lovely, lovely friend who looked after me, even when I was throwing up because I was so terrified.  She has meant more to me this week than she'll ever know.  Unless she somehow ends up reading this, in which case she knows who she is...

Sister is now on the mend and possibly heading back to University at some point this week.  I am an anxious mess, possibly because the equilibrium I'd sort of started grasping at after the last horrible week has been knocked from under my feet by sister being so very poorly.

I don't cope with my sister being ill at the best of times - most of my rituals, for about four years now, have been in an attempt to stop her becoming ill.  So when she is ill, coping is about the last thing I'm about to do. I can't be anywhere near her, lest something I do precipitates her getting worse.  Which is difficult, to say the least, because - to the outside world - it looks as though I'm avoiding her because she's ill.  I know that I must look like such a bitch.  I know I must have looked like a horrible, insensitive person to my poorly friend who ended up letting me stay the night on Friday.  I would love to tell her why I just couldn't stay at home one more night, but I can't tell her because then, Irrational Brain says, horrible things will happen.

I'm going through another horrible eating thing again.  I promised myself on Monday night that it was time to change.  'Who wants to be thin?', Rational Brain said. 'Who wants to have thighs with gaps inbetween and not fit into a Topshop Size 8?'.

The answer, of course, is no-one.  But Irrational Brain is, as always, shouting at me.

Sometimes it just really, really sucks.

Friday, 5 October 2012


(As an aside, if this is a post title I've used before, I'm sorry - it's obviously a feeling I experience a lot,  It's also late and checking is something I do far too often for me to do it when it's not absolutely necessary..!)

A lot of my posts are inspired by music and, as in Sesame Street, this blog is brought to you by John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John's We Go Together

Tonight, something struck me.  I've always been a very nostalgic person, possibly because often I think it's impossible to remember high anxiety levels properly, and so I tend to think that I was less anxious/compulsion-y in the past - something which most probably isn't true - and therefore miss that time of my life like crazy.

Today is Friday, and this evening I was absent-mindedly pondering which set of Friday nights I was most nostalgic about.  And then it suddenly struck me: I can't be nostalgic about anything more than about the last couple of months because I actually can't remember what they felt like.  I'm finding this pretty tricky to explain but, I think, what I mean is that Friday evenings when I was in the Sixth Form (American Senior year, I think - correct me if I'm wrong!?) because I don't remember what they felt like.  I remember what I did, which has always remained pretty much the same, but I don't know what it felt like to have a whole work-free weekend without any pressures other than homework and so I can't wish, wish, wish that I was back there.

A friend (who has proven pretty invaluable in the past week) reminded me - on the theme of nostalgia - that last year wasn't as plain sailing as I remembered it.  The last couple of days have been really difficult because I thought that I really missed the last year of University, but I think I was viewing them through rose-tinted glasses rather too much, and her 'reality check' has proven really useful.  I went to the first seminar of the new academic year today, and it wasn't awful.  There are people I know in the class, and I don't think any of them are going to bite me...They're not my best friends, and they don't have to be my best friends because I've already got lots of friends, thankyou very much, and just because they're not in my class doesn't mean that I can never see them every again.

So today, I'm feeling more positive.

And where does the song come in?  The lyrics 'We'll always be together', which are repeated quite a lot in the chorus made me think about all the times I've not properly anticipated things changing, or have had that wonderful feeling that something isn't going to end.  I think that's nostalgia at its best!