Lately, when asked how I’m doing I reply “tired” or “I’m not sleeping”. Usually, I lose sleep from being in pain, unable to get comfortable. So, people assume I’m just dealing with the usual.
This is not that, though.
When I was young, 10 or 11, I had my first bout with insomnia. My mother burst into my room, bewildered and in the rarely-seen-without-a-bathrobe-over-it blue nightgown…it was 4 a.m. and I was in the middle of rearranging my bedroom. After that incident, subsequent sleeplessness would result in sewing projects, sketching…or other craftiness. I was careful to be extra quiet, stealthily stealing white sheets from the linen closet (which I would cut and sew into an army of little bunny rabbits).
The insomnia began to coincide with chronic oversleeping…my mother would remark that I “slept like the dead.” Other odd behaviors would result in further declarations that Mamie is “artistic” or “introverted”, and the ever popular “moody”. When I had nightmares I would sometimes sleepwalk (read: scream and run around the house like a wild animal) and remember nothing of it the next morning. But still, nothing to worry about… I was “fine”…everything was “fine.”
The first person I ever talked with about my OCD was my Junior High best friend, Sarah. We had just learned about the disorder in science or health class (this is pre-internet times) and although I would never tell my parents about it, I recognized that I had been dealing with obsessive thoughts and behaviors for at least a few years and that it was not a good thing– oh, and I should definitely hide it.
Sarah accepted me as I was and thought I was funny and odd and wonderful so I did talk with her about some of what was happening. Somehow it turned into a joke, and she even pretended sometimes that she had OCD. I found that comforting, laughing about it made it easier to not worry about. It meant I was okay. We both were okay.
There are probably only about three people with which I’ve ever discussed my particular patterns. Mostly because I’m lucky enough that my “loops” are easily concealed and I’d even characterize them a mostly harmless or hardly disruptive. Plus, it’s personal. Add to that the fact that I feel completely safe with very few people.
The last month or so I’ve had a harder time of it…keeping things buttoned up. I still sometimes have anxiety attacks (GAD) where all my “crazy” spills out. Usually in private, usually. The other day, for example…I kept it together all day and then promptly fell apart during the drive home after work. That night (mid-attack) I spoke with a somebody about it and then felt horribly exposed and guilty. Is there anything more loathsome than spilling your crazy all over an extremely sane friend?
Pathetic. This is why you don’t have any friends, you know.
Actually, I think I don’t have friends for a lot of reasons…one of which is that I don’t want to disappoint anyone, or spill anything on them.
So,writing on the blog about this stuff helps me feel better and that’s why I’m writing about it (I still don’t know why I feel the need to put this kind of disclaimer on these posts – I mean, almost every thing humans do is in an effort to cope with being human…isn’t it?)