Ramblings from a sporadic poster


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Posted by Elena on May 9, 2002:
I'm just saying hi. Or actually, I feel like talking to someone and you folks
are good listeners. I'm visiting my parents' place and feeling anxious as usual. I'm still obsessing over my thesis and today I felt a terrible urge to check something about it. Overwhelming anxiety ensued because I didn't have it with me. Then I remembered the copy I gave to my parents and so I gave in to the compulsion. The passages I read seemed to be OK -> temporary relief. Yes, I know I shouldn't do this. It's easy to realize it when the thoughts aren't attacking; hard and painful to resist when they do.

My fears are changing a bit. The old mistakes are still there, whispering to me that I'm a fraud and a liar, but I'm getting new ideas too. John 16's Mom, you mentioned in a recent post that "what if?" is a big part of OCD. At the time I read that, my OCD thoughts were like "what if I cited the wrong pages in my references? what if the pages I gave didn't support my arguments after all?". I have hundreds of references, the thought of doublechecking them all fills me with terror. There are so many, I must have cheated with a few, and what if I do find errors? Of course they will prove that I'm a fraud. I keep replaying my old thoughts over and over, trying to remember what I was thinking when I wrote what. But it's scary too: what if I *do* happen to remember some deliberate cheating? There's more (some other old obsessions are making a small comeback) but that's another story.

I'm so tired, physically and mentally. I keep overworking because being extremely busy seems to keep the thoughts away for a while. On the other hand, my life feels ruined for good anyway, I can't live with this guilt unless I get myself arrested or renounce my degree. So there's no reason to spend energy, which is taken by the mental compulsions anyway. I'm not getting any help from the medical profession either. Is it my curse to look and sound completely lucid and sane when I visit a psych? She doesn't seem to believe there's anything wrong with me (apart from an alleged lousy family and childhood?! HA HA) or that I would need meds, more clinical psychiatry, or whatever. Maybe talk therapy is simply *THE* paradigm in this country. But it's upside down. I'm not having these obsessions because my life is or has been awful; on the contrary, my life is and has been awful because of them.

One person who has been brilliant is my fiancÚ. After learning what this is all about, he has dealt with it masterfully. He refuses to reassure me and when I obsess, he actually does a kind of E&RP with me, saying that I really deserve to go to jail and so on. Thanks dear.

This is not all but it's surely enough for now. I'm not asking for more reassurance from anyone, I know it's not good for me and my mind will end up "but-what-iffing" any rational arguments I hear. I just felt like rambling among people who know about doubts like this. I read your posts more often than I write and I do find this board very valuable. Thanks.
Elena




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