Monday, March 17, 2014

Driven to Distraction.....

I took a hiatus. I had to, really. The stress of all that was going on was overwhelming me and although I find writing to be therapeutic, there comes a time when writing it is reliving it and I had already been reliving it over and over and over again. Such is OCD. The broken record that just keeps spinning. Same song, same hitches in the record, same grooves of the needle being etched into my memory. Each time the anxiety and stress reaches the same exact level. Thirty times a day, forty maybe? It was too much and since I aspire to be positive, I just couldn't stomach writing one more post in that constant state of fear. I wanted to be less of a Negative Nelly and more of the usual Neurotic one. I wanted to write again when the storms in my mind had calmed. When my words were more than just jumbled obscenities and the sputterings of a mad woman loosing her ability to function. I mean I am a mad woman but today I am functioning. Sorta. Good enough to write again anyways.

This week I wanted to stop feeling so upset, so tense, so sick to my stomach with anxiety that I did something I learned as a child. Distraction. I was driven to distraction. I actually used my OCD to distract my OCD. Sounds crazy right? (see mad woman above). The truth is that I am used to  the cleanliness OCD symptoms and I know how they work. Sometimes when I am "obsessing" about something, I simply turn that obsession into a different obsession. It doesn't always work but sometimes it does and those few rare times, I am truly grateful when it does. Instead of worrying about all of the crap going on with my son's school or my doctor, I simply started obsessing over the cleanliness of my home. It sounds strange, but the cleaning of those of us that have that symptom, really is just a distraction anyway. We clean to distract the voice from telling us everything is dirty. Same principal, except I was able to obsess about cleaning or sprucing up my home, rather than listen to the intrusive thoughts and stressful mental replays of what else had been going on. And the best part was I did something that both calms me and fills the "cleanliness" need. I painted.

 I love house paint. The smell reminds me of a fresh start. Not just a new color or look but a clean one. No smudges, nor dirt. Everything can simply be painted over and made new again. And I love it. I love the power of just slapping a fresh coat of paint and refreshing everything. It feels on the world. Well, the OCD world anyway.

So instead of sitting around and "ruminating" about the things I am stressed out, I would simply get up and start painting. I have done the baseboards and doors. The oldest child's room. It fills the need of accomplishing things. It makes the house look clean and fresh. It allows my house to finally be u to my strange mad woman OCD standards and most of all, and probably most important, it has distracted me from reliving the pain, frustration, and anxiety of these last few days. I mean painting something is an instant result kind of transaction. Dealing with the things I have been are not. Sometimes it is nice to have an instantaneous result for once. And because of the distraction I was able to go out with my kids and husband and actually enjoy a day out without feeling overwhelmed and upset over things I have no control over. It was simply sublime. And so far this week seems to be following the weekend's happy trend.

So, in conclusion, the mad woman is back. Maybe not any less mad but at least a tad bit less stressed and certainly with a fresher looking house. I am ready to start writing more positively now and I hope you can forgive my little pitty party/distraction/hiatus. I am glad to be back and I hope to be back on schedule.

Neurotic Nelly


  1. Distraction is a good tool to get by! And I do agree with you there that sometimes writing feels like re-living shit over again, which you do NOT want. Glad to hear you're less stressed and all sounds pretty groovy there. I too love the smell of fresh paint. To me it smells like a new start in a new place. Something positive for once. Keep on keepin' on, Lady N. :)

  2. Thank you so much Frankie! I totally agree. Fresh paint smell is the best...kinda like the new car smell but way better. Thank you so much for your support, it means a great deal to me. :)