Wednesday, February 1, 2012


That is how I’ve been feeling for a while—overwhelmed. It has been worse this week for some reason.
I have so many things I want to accomplish, and I feel like I arrived late to the game. I feel like I’m behind, and how in the world am I going to catch up?
I am talking about several things here.
Therapy for OCD is one. I have my first session of cognitive behavioral therapy Friday (the first session with the psychologist was more of an introduction), and I feel like I would be better off today if I had started this earlier.
For so many years, I depended on medication alone and my own little tricks. I thought I was doing OK since I wasn’t washing my hands until they were raw or spending hours checking the stove or cleaning the bathroom like a wild thing.
But in the last year or so, I’ve begun to realize that OCD has been holding me back.
I’m also feeling overwhelmed about the therapy session on Friday because I feel like I should go in with a list of my obsessions and compulsions, and I haven’t done one yet. Procrastination rears its ugly head again.
My writing is also causing anxiety. I have wanted to be a writer since I was a child. But I’ve always had some other job, done something else. Oh, I’ve written a lot, in spurts, but nothing sustained.
I found a note that I wrote in a little journal a few years ago. I still haven’t gone through menopause, but every time I see my gynecologist for my yearly exam, he talks about menopause. This is what I wrote: “I never thought I’d get to the age of menopause without having written a book.”
I’m 48 years old, and I’ve been writing off and on most of my life, and I still haven’t pulled together a book.
There are so many things I want to write about. I want to write about my OCD and depression and try to be a comfort and advocate for others who suffer from these and other mental illnesses.
I want to write about my cats and animal rights. I want to be an advocate for them.
I want to write a children’s book about cats.
I want to write about my spiritual life.
I want to write essays about nature and other things I’m interested in.
With any of these things, I need to research, learn and sit my butt down in the chair.
Overwhelmed. That’s what I am when it comes to what I want to accomplish with my writing. I end up not doing much beyond what I have to do at the newspaper.
I also want to get healthy in body, mind and spirit so that I can do the things I want to do. I know I need to exercise, eat better, meditate more, etc. That’s about as far as it gets.
I don’t mean to moan and groan. I am just so frustrated with myself. I know it’s a good thing that I am even trying. I know that it’s never too late to find some way to accomplish the things you want to accomplish.
I am just afraid that I’ll never do it.
I am taking tomorrow and Friday off from work. I have the vacation time, and I need the break. I hope I can calm down and make some starts over the next four days, and continue on from there.
Do you ever feel the way I do? What do you do about it?


  1. I usually take a break, from everything....and then...I get annoyed with that (and so does my husband because making dinner is one of the first things to go....he he) and I kick it back into gear.

    Don't be too hard on yourself though. Sometimes life just doesn't go the way we planned it. If you really want to write a'll happen. All in good time.

    I say, just concentrate your therapy. Once you have got all your ducks in a row, everything else will fall into place.

    I'm rooten' for you. I'm sure many MANY others are too.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Melanie. You're right--life doesn't always go as we plan it. Sometimes that's a good thing.

      I appreciate your support!

  2. Oh my, Tina, I can't tell you how often I've felt exactly the same way. First, I do want to mention that when I started really fighting the OCD my baseline of anxiety skyrocketed. Everything overwhelmed me. I think this is because we are all of a sudden face to face with our greatest fears. You're undertaking a huge task and it's natural that other things will fall by the wayside. Would it be possible for you to lessen your schedule during this time?

    Please try not to panic about not completing your list for Friday. I had a similar situation. I was supposed to work on creating my hierarchy, but I didn't do it until I was in the waiting room at my doctor's office. When she called me in I think I only had 4 things on it! I started to get down on myself for not following through with the homework, and instead she looked at me and said, "Hey you listed a few things didn't you? Well, then you did part of the homework. That's good." Maybe you and your doc could even create the list together.

    After your treatment, there absolutely will be time for writing books and I look forward to reading some! In fact, you'll be in a much better place to do it with less distractions. According to wikipedia, Raymond Chandler didn't even decide to become a writer until he was 45.

    I'm sending a hug. Take care.

    I sure hope you have some time to rest and relax over the next couple of days.

  3. Sunny, You always know what to say that will make me feel better. Thank you for that. I had to laugh about you writing your list in the waiting room--that is so me!

    I think you're right. I'm facing a lot of fears that have been embedded for so long. It's scary to think I might not be successful. Or maybe it's that being a lot better with the OCD seems too good to be true.

    I will persevere, in large measure because of my wonderful online friends. My husband is also very supportive. I have truly been blessed.

    And thanks for the hug!

  4. Do I ever feel this way... hmm... let me think..let me think...... um..

    YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Quite often, in fact.

    In fact, this entire post reminds me of me, for I have many similar goals to you as far as writing and health.

    Oh, and I feel overwhelmed a lot of the time.

    How do I deal with it all? Well, I'm still trying to figure that out but therapy is helping me tons in this area.

    For now, I try to pull back and not be so hard on myself (that has been a huge progression) and then I work towards my goals the best I can. I also look at how I am already working towards my goals and I acknowledge and honor those things. For instance, a lot of my blog posts will end up in the book I want to complete. So I am working on a book but in a different way than I would have ever thought I was.

  5. Elizabeth, That is a huge progression, to not be hard on yourself. I have a lot of progression needed for that one. I think those with OCD can easily fall into blaming themselves and wondering why they can't be successful.

    I like your idea of looking at how you ARE moving towards your goal. My blog is part of that also. It was huge for me to even start a blog. I had been thinking of doing it for more than two years. I guess it's just hard for me to acknowledge that I'm moving forward, slowly.


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