I was going to talk about my time in the facility, but I think I’m going to gently bypass that for now. Instead, I’m going to talk about a session I had with my counselor.
I know – thrilling stuff. Stick with me.
In talking with the counselor, I have been confronted with psychopharmacology. Yes, I am on an anti-depressant right now, but it’s a hit-and-miss sort of thing. The issue I’m having is not so much the depression, but what leads up to it. The thoughts, the trap, the pattern—going from funny fat guy to depressed fat guy several times in the course of a day. Like I said, the anti-depressants work every now and then, but sometimes they don’t. I’m also a diabetic, so I’m learning that the crying jags and suicide ideation might also be my blood sugar crashing. I’m not happy that a lot people make that their go-to reason.
Back to the counselor.
I had mentioned that I was having intrusive thoughts. I picked my words carefully (I’m a writer, it’s what I do) because I wanted to make sure she understood what I was going through. This is not a matter ‘I’m not over you, or the hurt’, it is a matter of ‘no matter what I do—you’re still in my head. Make it stop!’ So, she mentioned drugs, which I told her I wanted them as an assistant, not the end-all-be-all (yes, I still see people drooling and stumbling around blitzed out of their minds on lithium. Yes, I know they’ve come a long way).
So—she whipped out the DSM-V and read to me the diagnostic criteria (cut and pasted):
- Clinical criteria (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition [DSM-5])
For a diagnosis of obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, patients must have
- A persistent pattern of preoccupation with order, perfectionism, and control of self, others, and situations
Yes. I am despairing about not being able to control my thoughts about the situation I have described earlier.
This pattern is shown by the presence of ≥ 4 of the following:
- Preoccupation with details, rules, schedules, organization, and lists
Yes. Early is on time. On time is late. Late is unforgivable. I hate being even four minutes for anything.
- A striving to do something perfectly that interferes with completion of the task
I have re-written chapter five of my current work 3 times because I can’t stand how it’s coming out. I’m still contemplating throwing it out and restarting right now, and my new deadline is end of June.
- Excessive devotion to work and productivity (not due to financial necessity), resulting in neglect of leisure activities and friends
I wake up, try to write 600 words in the morning, go to work, write another 600 for lunch, go to the gym, write another 600 after dinner. If I fall short, I’m in a funk that negatively affects me for the rest of the day. In short, my days are thus: get up, write, work, write, work again, gym, dinner, write. No evening movies. No reading for pleasure. No TV shows. All work and no play makes Jack take an axe to his family.
- Excessive conscientiousness, fastidiousness, and inflexibility regarding ethical and moral issues and values
You follow the rules for a reason.
- Unwillingness to throw out worn-out or worthless objects, even those with no sentimental value
I have shirts from old jobs that I’m not going to throw out. They’re not sentimental. I just don’t throw out clothes. I keep them until they dissolve from my body heat.
- Reluctance to delegate or work with other people unless those people agree to do things exactly as the patients want
“If you want a job done right, you do it yourself.” – I can’t trust others to do the job right. Let me do it and go away.
- A miserly approach to spending for themselves and others because they see money as something to be saved for future disasters
HAHAHAHAHAAA – no. This is the only one I don’t meet.
- Rigidity and stubbornness
If my wife, or my friends read this—they’re going to nod so hard that their head is going to fall off.
What does this mean?
For me, it means it has a name. Names mean power.
I know what it is.
I know what it looks like.
I know it bleeds.
I promise, more writerly stuff next time. Blogging about this might not bring in the fans, but it helps me to process what’s happening.
Next time: My adventures in writing smut.