Saturday, July 31, 2010

My Panic Attack in Vegas

Last year my partner and I and a few friends went to Vegas. I thought the airplane ride was going to be the worst part but it wasn't. Saturday night, I was already upset about something that had really set my OCD off. I was already starting to hyperventilate by the time we left the Flamingo Hotel. We headed across the street to Caesar's Palace. Everyone was excited and in a great mood. Except me. We were going over there to the food court to get a cheap dinner and gamble.

Looking down at the floor in Caesar's Palace, this is what I saw:

I have already told you that I don't step on lines, changes in color or patterns on the floors or cracks on concrete. The floors in the casinos are all a mish mash of color and spirographical designs to keep your eyes off the floors and onto the slots and tables. I, however, am always looking at any walking surface to make sure I don't step in the wrong place. I went into the bathroom and started to absolutely lose it.

By the time I came out, I was crying and trying desperately not to make a scene. I was now having trouble breathing and my heart was pounding. J decided to take me back to our hotel room at the Flamingo. I told her, no, she should stay. I knew how to get back. But, boy, am I glad she came with me. We were at the back of Caesar's Palace and had to walk on that carpet all the way to the front, with me trying not to touch a line. Of course, walking on my toes, my feet were touching lines left and right in the swirling patterns, and I was losing it fast. I felt like Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark trying to dodge the holes in the floor that caused poisonous darts to shoot out of the walls after stealing the idol.

After we made it out of Caesar's, J took my arm and took me down the sidewalks in front. (The photo on the left is definitely not of Vegas. Ha ha!) More lines and it was dark. I told her I could make it across the street by myself, but she insisted on taking me back. We proceeded across the street through a crowd of people, me crying and trying not to look up, 1) because I didn't want to step on any lines, 2)I didn't want people to see me panicking. I figured that all thought I was drunk and had been arguing with someone.

When we got back to the Flamingo, we went in through the Margaritaville entrance. Again, I told J that I could go back upstairs by myself. I was in the middle of a huge panic attack. I really thought I was going to pass out as we walked through this:

Try not stepping on those lines. I was literally walking on my tiptoes by now. And with each line I "hit" I was getting more and more upset. I remember getting in the elevator and there were other people in it. I was so embarrassed for J. But she stood by me, held on to me. She kept saying, "We're almost there. Not much longer." I thought we were in the clear until we got off the elevator on our floor and were faced with this all the way down the fricking hall:

After we got to the hotel room, it took me a long time to calm down. I felt like I ruined her entire night, begged her to go join our friends, but she still would not leave me there alone. Around midnight we ordered room service and watched T.V. And that has to be one of the worst panic attacks I have ever had and I have had many. Do any of you readers have trouble with walking on lines? Let me know. And if so, you might want to stay clear of the casinos when you're upset.

I am happy to say that I found some cool OCD blogs today. Their links are on the right >>>>> so check'em out, would ya?


Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Last Thursday, my boss was stopped in the hall by an attorney at another office on this floor. She said, "I see you've got a new office manager." He replied, "She's been here since August!" When he returned, he relayed the story to me. I responded, "Well, actually, I've been here since July" because I started on July 20th, my daughter's birthday. That's how I remembered. He said, "Well, I guess you are expecting a raise, then."

So long story short, he was leaving town Saturday, so he gave me my raise to put on my post dated August 1st paycheck. Thank you very much, boss!

So he's out of state, swimming, rafting, golfing, horseback riding. What's going on in his head instead of all that? He e-mailed me yesterday to inform me that, yes, I had started on July 20th, 2009, but that was as a contract worker. He didn't actually start paying me a salary until August 1st, so August 1st is my "anniversary" date.

Okay, I have never worked in a firm before. I didn't even know what an anniversary date was. I assumed it was the day you started the job. So all day yesterday after getting that e-mail my mind was caught in another stupid loop with this... he is angry, I was stupid, he thinks I'm trying to take his money.... not to mention that my brain has repeating this song for days:

I got a brand new pair of roller skates
You got a brand new key.
I think that we should get together and try them out you see.
I been looking around awhile
You've got something for me
Oh! I got a brand new pair of roller skates
You got a brand new key

Where the heck did that come from? Haven't heard that song in years.

So when the boss called in at the end of the day, I said, "I guess I can write my old amount on my August 15th paycheck if you want." He said, "I don't know what you're talking about." When I told him I could make up the extra money, he said that he didn't mind paying it this once but in the future to remember that my anniversary date is August, not July.

So that final conversation is going around and around in my head now. On one of the Facebook pages I'm on, a guy was talking about his intrusive thoughts he was having at night while trying to go to sleep. He said that once his brain got in a loop, he would clap very loud, one loud clap, maybe two, and it would break the loop. There are times when I see something, like a spider, for instance, or hear a song, or experience a stressful conversation. I say to myself, "Don't think about this. Red flag here. It's going to go into a loop." And usually, since I'm trying not to think about it, the loop begins. So I'm going to try the clapping thing right when it happens. Have any of you tried this? If all the people with intrusive thoughts in the world would clap to scare away intrusive thoughts, think of all the applause in the world! And think about all the other people watching us clapping for out of the blue. They're all going to think we're a bunch of idiots,; but, hey, don't they already?


Thursday, July 22, 2010

On The Lookout!

I am on the lookout for more OCD blogs to link others to more information and daily life of people living with OCD. So if you have a blog or a link to share, please leave it in my comment section below.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


"Hate" is a strong word, but I hate it when someone I love is hurting. I know this is too short to be a blog post, but I don't know where else to put it where I won't get tons of personal questions thrown in my direction.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

On Repeat Again

Sometimes I think I shouldn't even look for a job. Last night I found a job to apply for, and before I even started writing the cover letter to attach to my resume, I already had my life planned out after getting the job.
J says she always hates it when I am looking for a job because I just cannot let it go. That's usually why I only apply for one at a time. Gives one time to clear before the next endless cycle begins. Just think about what my head would look like if I had four or five of those suckers repeating.

Friday, July 16, 2010

The OCD Project - Finale July 15, 2010

Man, I hated to see it end, but didn't they all do GREAT! For the last roundtable exposures, I don't remember Jerry doing one. If he did, would someone please remind me?

Cody, man, he has really come a long way. He shaved his hair straight down the middle.
Arine had to put blood on her hand from a syringe.
Traci wrote that her son was in the hospital dying from cancer on the cancer cake.
Everyone stuck their fingers into the cake and tasted it, including Kristen!!

There were many things I liked about the finale. I liked that each person was shown a video of themselves at the beginning of their treatment. Nothing quite says "reality" like seeing yourself on film. Kind of like me looking at a photo of myself and seeing how fat I've become. For Kristen especially, they needed to see how far they have come. She seemed to be so discouraged when Dr. T mentioned more in-patient treatment. Wouldn't we all have felt that way? Again, if you go to her blog listed on my blog roll, you will see that she finished her second in-house treatment and did very well.

I was also glad that we could see everyone two months later. Their faces said it all. They all looked so much more relaxed and comfortable with themselves, confident. Cody enrolled in college, was driving, and had a cell phone. I'm not sure what the significance of the cell phone comment was, but it had to mean something special to him.

Arine is feeding the homeless, which is very dear to my heart since I do that, as well, on Sundays. To me, though, she didn't seem very happy. Maybe it was just the mood she was in that day or something else is going on. Or maybe she was feeling discouraged for some reason. She should be very proud of herself. I would not even think twice about riding in a car she was driving!

Jerry, wow, he came so far. Just look at him working on those cars! He acted like a completely different person, looking Dr. T in the eye. He seemed very grateful for the experience.

Traci is letting her son do outside activities, and I was especially glad to know that when her mother got sick, she did not go back to doing her compulsions.

And I am glad that Dr. T did not forget about Kevin. He has done some awesome paintings that are on his Facebook page. Here is also a link to his new website if you are interested. It is still in the developing stages. Click here.

The finale was great, and I can't wait until next season. I hope these six amazing people will go on Oprah or some other show so we can see their progress later on!

I do have a problem with the show that I remembered last night. They keep putting a caption under Liz McInvale that reads "Former OCD Sufferer." I find that very misleading. On her blog on her website, as late as January of 2010, she admitted that she is still struggling. I am not a believer that OCD can be cured but that it can be managed, so I don't like the word "former." Correct me if I'm wrong, but during the show's run, didn't Dr. T say things like "getting rid of OCD"? I just don't think you can actually get rid of it, but, hey, what do I know? That would be another good title for this blog - Hey, What Do I Know?


A Shout Out to My Visitors

Thanks to my followers and also my visitors! In just a little over a week I have had quite a few "hits" on my new blog! Some of you have come all the way from:
Denver, Colorado
Hinton, Alberta Canada
Cork, Ireland
Springdale, Arkansas
Paris, France
Hartford, Connecticut
Mountainview, California
Louisville, Kentucky
Woodinville, Washington
Olathe, Kansas
Odenton, Maryland
New Bedford, Massachusetts
Beaverton, Oregon
Chesapeake, Virginia
Chicago, Illinois
Georgetown, Ontario
Thomaston, Georgia
Seattle, Washington
Pescia, Toscana, Italy
Hampton Falls, New Hampshire
Paris, Kentucky
Milan, Lombardia, Italy
Relax, I don't know where you live. Ha ha!
Don't ya know that checking this new site meter for two blogs keeps me rather busy in addition to the other checking that I do? For each site meter I can look up:
A summary of hits
Who's on at the moment
Traffic predictions, which, by the way, seem to be wrong!
Recent Visitors Seen By:
Referrals - many from Facebook, thank you
World Map - I can also look you up by continent
Location - this tells the city
Out Clicks - have no idea what the heck that is
Entry pages
Exit pages
Then I can check the visits to the page by:
Current day
Previous 7 days
Previous 30 days - not there yet
Previous 12 months - we can only hope
Then I can check the visits & page views (this is supposedly different) by:
Current day
Previous 7 days
Previous 30 day
Previous 12 months
If you're into checking, you might want to stay away from a site meter. It's addictive.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Skin Picking

Here is a book recommended by Dr. David Tolin from The OCD Project that addresses Trichotillomania (hair pulling) and skin picking. Here is an Amazon link for it - click here. I'm still trying to decide if I want to purchase it since I don't have Trichotillomania. Gotta research it more. I have picked my skin since I can remember. Right now I pick my lips, ears, face, and back. I make scabs just so I can pick them. My skin and lips have to feel "even." Pimples, blackheads, insect bites, just a bump on the skin, it doesn't matter. If there's nothing there, I put something there. I have scars. I am going on job interviews right now. You would think I would stop picking. Nope.
My love tells me to stop picking. I look away or hold a book up in front of my face so she won't see; but she knows. Sometimes I will go in another room. Telling me to stop only seems to make me do it more.
Anyway, if any of you read this book, please let me know what you think about it. Until then, I will try to find some reviews on it in all my spare time. Cough, cough.
Nice to see my new visitor. Hello, #4! Please tell your friends. I know some of you are visiting because my tracker tells me so. Another thing to check! I got one on my other blog so now I have two to check! Anway, like I said, I know some of you are visiting but not following, possibly because you don't have a Google account, so the tracker makes me feel like at least some people are reading me.
Found Kristen Love's blog today. She is on The OCD Project. She has a really inspiring blog. It is in my blog roll. Give her a try! I also like the fact that her roommate is blogging once a month about what it is like to live with someone with OCD. Sometimes we forget what we are putting others through. Right now Jerry and Traci are Facebook friends of mine. That's really neat because now I will be able to see how they are long after the show is over. You get interested in these people and their progress, and then Poof! the show is over! Hate that.
Enjoy the finale tonight if you're watching it!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The OCD Project - July 8, 2010

Okay, the finale is next week. I can almost hear my withdrawal. The patients have all come a long way since the beginning. As usual, I am late in writing this recap but here it goes.

First, I just want to say a word about this week's YBOCS scores. Traci is the lowest!!!!! Again, this is not a race, I know, but good job, Traci. Kristen has the highest score but that only makes sense since she started out the highest. More about Kristen later.

Jerry and Cody started out tied for second from highest. Cody's level went up a bit, where Jerry's went way down. I am glad that this did not upset and discourage Cody. Arine appeared to be third from lowest, but I still feel that she appears much more in control of her OCD, anxiety level, and emotions. It may just be because we are given a lot more opportunities of seeing Arine in action over the entire season. Her exposures just tend to stand out in my mind as being the most successful.

And Cody, what was with the hair, dude?

This week Dr. Tolin did home visits. I can imagine that these exposures were the toughest yet.

Arine told Cody and the camera that she didn't want to go home. Having to face the stress of everyday life and surroundings is bound to make OCD raise its ugly head. Home is where the real test begins... the contamination of her house with blood. Blood, why does it always have to be blood? Ha ha. Instead of getting upset or making a fuss, Arine always seems to shrug it off and make some humorous comeback to Dr. Tolin.

I would have cried if I had had to put blood on my new pillows. Good for her for taking the initiative of touching the toilet and plunger and for standing in the dumpster. She couldn't hoist herself up into the dumpster; but, of course, Dr. T found a way! Arine knows what she has to do to beat OCD!

One of my favorite lines from the episode - "I am more than ready to get out of this dumpster. Thank you."

A make-up artist made Cody's face look uneven and deformed. I wish I could find a photo of this. Please let me know if you find one. Looks like he had had a major crash with a concrete sidewalk and let it fester. You could tell this really stressed Cody out. It was hysterical when he asked Kristen to kiss him. Jerry's comments were very supportive.

Most hysterical quote of the episode was from Kristen when Cody asked her to kiss him - "I probably wouldn't have kissed you with a normal face. I would take you to the hospital. I want to fix you." Such a cute answer.

Traci's visit to the cemetary was touching. She had not been there in a long time. She got to do some grieving that she really needed to do. She felt like if she grieved, it's like she was going to be forgetting her fiance. Her crying at the cemetary was coming from deep in her gut. Then she went to her house. She was asked to turn off the faucet and the lights in a way that would kill her son (on and off one time). Her mom looked on in awe as she was able to do this.

Kristen's exposure was to contaminate her apartment with urine. The exposure didn't go so well. Jerry came along to help spread male germs around. Brother Theo was there for support. Gotta love Theo! Wow, what a nice home Kristen has and she had to spread pee all over it. She threw a bit of a fit. Dr. T said that she was taking a mental inventory of everything she contaminated and was going to clean or throw those items away later. Dr. T took her outside so that Jerry could contaminate her home behind her back. I think Kristen can get better but it will definitely take her more time and more perseverance. Dr. T told her that he recommends that she do another in-patient program. I hope she tries really hard in another treatment program and that she has a lot of support from her family and friends.

When Jerry went home, we saw that he had stashed a lot of stuff away to keep from passing it and his thoughts on to other people. For his exposure he actually threw this garbage away. Jerry works SO HARD! He does "the damn program!" Jerry and I share a common fear - airplanes. I cannot stand airplanes. My anxiety level on an airplane probably rarely goes below an 85. I have tried everything except medication for my fear of flying. I am so glad he got on that plane and even happier that he didn't jump out of it! I could relate to all the things Jerry was saying on the plane. "I can't get out. I absolutely have to get out of this plane!" I remember my first plane trip and it definitely wasn't easy. It doesn't get any easier for me; I hope it gets easier for Jerry so that he can go wherever he wishes. Lots of fun trips are missed out on when you can't travel by air.

Dr. Tolin did an amazing job this first season with these patients. He obviously was not able to "fix" everyone. That's just not possible. I've had to learn that as a teacher, as well. And will we ever really be "fixed"? And, do we really want to be? Yeah, on some level, we really do.



Gotta Get Me One!

Love it! The proceeds go to the Obsessive-Compulsive Foundation. Pretty cool! A very concrete picture of OCD. Click here to order one.
Which other patient would you put on a T-shirt? What would they be doing?
I think I would pick Cody's deformed face. Or maybe Jerry holding the knife to Dr. Tolin's throat.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

More On Checking

This is a postscript to my other post below.
The internet has also been a godsend to my checking routine. I first noticed it years ago when I would type an e-mail. I would send it, then check to see if I really sent it. Then I would check it and read it again. I would sometimes read an e-mail about 20 times, day after day, if need be, until I got a response. Sometimes I would re-read e-mails from months and years ago. (I used to save everything.) I have since been pretty good at purging my e-mail box for old e-mails, sent and received.
Then I started my other blog. I would check it many times daily to see if I had any new followers, to see if I had any new comments. Then I started checking my blog roll to see if anyone had posted anything new. Thank God for blog rolls because years ago, I used to click on each blog in my favorites list to check them. That took a good chunk of time because I follow over 50 blogs. Finally, I figured out how to follow people by making a blog roll, which cut down on my checking time. I was in heaven when I got my current job because I am at the computer all day and can check all day long to my heart's content. I pretty much break out into a cold sweat thinking about how I am going to be able to handle a new job where I can't check all day long.
Then along came Facebook, and what do you know, a phone that will tell me when I get a Facebook message, reply to a comment, photo, or post. In addition to checking Facebook from my home and office computers, I still check my phone because I am never certain that it is reliable enough to report all messages.
My love tells me that I am now obsessed with Sudoku on my phone. I admit I play it when I am anxious, which is every day, so, yeah, I guess it is a compulsion of some sort. Still waiting to hear from any of your experiences with checking.

Friday, July 9, 2010

A Work In Progress

I added on to the description of this blog.

It now reads:

A blog dedicated to the retaliation against obsessive, intrusive thoughts and OCD.

I got to thinking, I used to think I had Pure O. But although the majority of my OCD is obsessions, I do have a few compulsions and have had many in the past that have been eliminated through Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. So why limit this blog to intrusive thoughts only?
When I first heard of OCD, it included "checking" for the most part - people turning their lights off and on, locking their doors over and over again, checking their stoves and ovens ten to twenty times before leaving the house. Think Jack Nicholson in As Good As It Gets. I always thought to myself, "I don't do checking." But that is not the case.
A few years back I started checking my cell phone. I would purposely set it on silent and check my phone every 3 minutes to see if someone had called or left a text message. Every few minutes I would glance at my phone's display. Then I got a new phone. The backlight went out after a minute of non-use. So then I had to actually push an unlock button to light the phone up every three minutes to check the phone.
When I would go in for CBT, my therapist would make me put my phone in my pocket or turn it upside down. This went away after awhile because when I left my family, I always wanted to be on guard in case something happened to my girls, so I started leaving the phone's ring on all the time. Now, I find myself back to the phone on silence and the checking has started again. Dang. The way I feel about it is that if something were to happen to one of them, three minutes is not really going to make that much difference.
A weird thing happened to my walking in between lines. Several years ago, a friend and I were walking to the gym from the parking lot. She asked me why I always had to walk on horizontal lines. I really hadn't noticed it before, but she was right. If I missed a line, I would go backwards and step on it. So I told my therapist about it. I don't remember what happened, but after that, now I avoid horizontal lines, cracks, changes in color on the ground, edges of shadows, etc. We practiced for a short time in her office, me standing on the edge of a rug for as long as I could. My anxiety level would always shoot up. We never went any farther because I just don't feel that compulsion is something standing in the way of my life.
Some supermarket tile floors are very stressful for me and the Las Vegas casinos were a nightmare. I actually had a panic attack one night and had to go back to the hotel room.
So as you can see, I am not Pure O afterall, and I am definitely not a hoarder. For more information on Pure O, click here. Are you a checker, a hoarder, other, Pure O, or something in between? Feel free to comment.

Congratulations, Tigger!

Tigger became my first follower yesterday, and since I know her IRL, I will get to personally thank her when I see her Sunday! The more followers I get, the more comments I will get, and we can all learn a lot from each other!

Tonight I plan to watch last night's episode of The OCD Project, so look for a recap soon. I believe it is airing again tonight if you missed it, or you can go the VH1 website and see it there.


What Lindsay Lohan and I Have in Common

Well, it's definitely not our looks and I have yet to be arrested for anything. No, what we have in common is Trazadone. It is one of the many prescription drugs she takes. I have been taking Trazadone for a little over a year now. I started with 100 mg and worked my way up to needing 200. Now the 200 isn't working and I find myself awake most nights. The only thing that has helped is chasing the Trazadone down with 2 tablespoons of Nyquil. I can't do that forever.

The worst sleeping medicine I ever took was Ambien. It gave me what Vickie Shaw would say is Ambienesia. I would simply not remember doing things after I took it. Scary. One night I actually got up, walked over to the computer, turned it on and waited for it to boot up, wrote an entry in my blog, saved it, shut the computer down, and went back to bed. Didn't remember any of it. If I had not seen my blog entry the next day, I wouldn't have believed it. Also, one night I kept seeing faces in the light on the modem. Hallucinations aren't for me.

They tried me on something else for a short time but it caused me to feel hung over. Can't remember what it was.

Several years ago, I was taking Risperdal for my racing, intrusive, violent thoughts at night. I gained a lot of weight while taking it. Okay, the alcohol didn't help any, either. Now, I find my mind races a lot at night, but the thoughts are usually not violent. Last night, I had to make memos in my Blackberry of what I need to write about on both of my blogs. Then when I turned on the TV, Joy Behar was interviewing Carol Burnett who was talking about her new book This Time Together, which reminded me that I needed to make another list in my Blackberry of books that I want to read. Then, of course, that led to another list of the movies I want to see and then yet another list of ringtones I would buy if I could. And around and around we go. Sound familiar?

My father told me that Dr. Oz recommends counting backwards by 3's from 300. I am going to try doing that tonight.

What helps you sleep? Please comment below.



Private Blog

For those of you don't already do so, if you would like to follow my private blog, please e-mail me and I will send you the link. It is composed of my past and present life, before and after coming out in 2008.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The OCD Project - July 1, 2010

I apologize for the delay of getting this recap done.

As suspected, Kevin was kicked out of the program. Okay, he was graciously told to leave.

Pull-of-my-hearstrings quote of the episode again goes to Kevin when describing that all the remaining patients are all in the same boat:

"I want to be in that boat."

The goodbye hugs and well wishes were genuine, but all it probably meant to Kevin was failure with a capital "F."

I cannot believe that they actually let Kevin drive himself away. He clearly looked distressed and angry. He should have been escorted to another treatment facility.

Jerry was asked to hold a knife to the doctor's throat. The other patients looked squeamish. The doctor said, "Just don't sneeze," and that brought a few chuckles from everyone. When asked what his anxiety level was, Jerry replied, "A 20 or 30." Good job, Jerry! Jerry also commented, "It's not me. I don't care. I'm getting better."

The other patients then touched Kristen's face. That brought Kristen back to her whiny self, but even with the whining, she did a good job, I thought. She could have jumped up and left the table, but she stayed and faced her fear. With Dr. Tolin's hands staying on her face, the rest of the group talked to Kristen until her anxiety level went down. I loved the comment (paraphrased), "The longer you leave his hands on your face, you are getting stronger."

An HIV patient was then brought in to the room. Arine could clearly tell he was there for her. He began talking about his illness. I just didn't see where this was going. When people talk to me about my obsessions, it doesn't change anything. You can tell me my obsessions are irrational, but it doesn't make them go away. Just makes me think of them more. However, Arine said his talk helped her and even asked the man for a hug afterward.

Kristen and the good doctor went to a gas station to touch and kiss gas pumps. Cutest line of the episode was Kristen saying, "I'm not going to kiss a gas pump." It must have looked pretty weird to passerbys. Dr. Tolin made an excellent compromise and adjustment by having Kristen put her hand on her chin and work her way up to kissing her hand. And for those of you who haven't seen it, she finally kissed the gas pump. And as a pleasant surprise, all the patients were inside the van cheering for her when she finally did.

The benefit of support from fellow patients is really starting to show.

Later, Cody and Jerry went through the process of getting arrested, right down to the handcuffs, search, a ride in the patrol car, and fingerprinting. They were in isolation cells. Cody told himself over and over again not to do his rituals. That would be really hard for anyone. That's like telling a kid not to scratch a mosquito bite. They thought they were going home after awhile, but then dinner was brought to them. I would like to know how long they actually stayed. I think it would have been a good idea if they could have stayed the night to make it even tougher. I think by now, Jerry seems almost completely cured, and I never thought I would say that. I know that's not the case; OCD is manageable, not cureable, which is sometimes comforting to me because I don't know what it would be like to live without it. Dr. Tolin talked to the patients in this episode about how it is scary to think about life without OCD. He said it is a lot less predictable, but a lot more fulfulling.

Kristen wanted to go in the jacuzzi. Dr. Tolin said only if he could put 1/2 cup of urine in the water. She tried to talk him down to one teaspoon. They finally agreed to 1/4 cup of urine as long as he didn't tell her whose urine it was. Several other patients joined the urine bath. I am totally astonished that Kristen got in. Arine, Cody and Jerry, yes. But Kristen, wow.

After that, Arine was to go driving at night alone with the aid of a speaker phone, the doctor on the other end. She had to count how many people she "ran over" and DIDN'T check on. She got two points for every child. Some of my other favorite lines of the night were Dr. Tolin's after Arine passed some people, "I'll listen for the thump" and "Don't go back and check. He's already dead. There's nothing you can do for him."

Traci was asked to write a eulogy for her son's "funeral." When they got to the funeral home, she had to pick out a casket. She kept telling the funeral home worker, "I'm sorry we're here." When entering the chapel, she commented that there weren't enough flowers. The other patients were in the pews supporting her. She walked towards the back of the chapel, looking like she was going to back out, but she pulled herself together. She got really upset for a long time. Then she seemed "okay" until they wheeled the casket in. Then she upset all over again. Most telling and deep quotes of the night were from Traci, "I have no one to blame but myself." "I deserve everything I got and get." I could have spoken those words.

Next week - the doctor makes home visits and Kristen has to put urine on her clothes.


Arine and the Bag of Bloody Band-Aids

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Here's a shout out to my therapist who may be reading this. "Hi!" They haven't put me away yet, and, no, I haven't taken my medicine! :(

Obsessed - June 28, 2010

Okay, I know this review is extremely late. What can I say? Having no followers has taken the thrill out of this blog already. I made notes about last week's show; but, of course, I left them at home, so I will attempt to write what I remember and add more later if things come to me. So check back all you lurkers if there are actually any of you here.
Last week's show was about two 30-something people, Cindee and John/Graham. Cindee over exercised and barely ate (alone from 3-4 a.m., if any) Graham was an excessive washer, taking about 10 showers per day. He went through three bottles of hand soap in five days.
I probably won't write much; you've probably already seen the episode. This show just isn't as interesting anymore since I have been watching The OCD Project on VH1. Obsessed tries to cram too much into one episode, twelve weeks of therapy for two individuals. I would rather see 60 minutes of one person. And leave out all the repetitive dialogue, would ya? I get so tired of seeing the same scene before the show starts, before a commercial, and then after a commercial. The OCD Project is also guilty of this infraction.
What I found interesting about Cindee's major exposure, walking the treadmill for 32 minutes (where the heck did the therapist come up with that number?), is her physical reaction to not being able to get back on. Her right hand was shaking so much so could barely hold her water bottle. It was neat to see her husband's reaction to this. He never realized how deep her obsession went until after seeing the physical manifestations during the exposure. Other than this one major exposure, we really didn't see much of Cindee until the end when she miraculously led one of her two treadmills out of the house and went on a mini-camping trip with her husband and five previously neglected kids. It was touching to see her eating carrots, playing badminton, and blowing bubbles with her kids. Oh, man, was she ever chowing down on that yogurt or whatever it was at the picnic table!
Graham's contamination issues came from the thoughts that he would do drugs again if he associated with anyone who presently does or did drugs in the past. So he invited a friend over, one who had a shady past and possible present. As soon as his friend left, Graham had to take a shower. The constant scrubbing and reddening of his skin was alarming. He got out of the shower and went to wash his hands, then it was back to the shower again. You could almost feel him trying to scrub the intrusive thoughts away. Reminded me of that scene in the movie Silkwood when they are scrubbing that woman down with steel brushes to get the nuclear contaminant off her skin. After the shower, Graham set himself to scrubbing and decontaminating the entire house, room by room. He even asked his wife, "Did you just come into contact with him a little bit? You should be okay, then."
His daughter, Skye, had asked Santa to make her daddy well and was upset when Santa didn't come through on Christmas.
Graham later went to a jail where he went about touching items of inmates' clothing, a breathalizer, etc. The show ended with him going to a water park with his wife and daughter. He seemed to have no problems with it and is now a surfing dude again.
My gripe about this show is we see very little of the exposure therapy due to time constraints and the above mentioned repetitive scenes. I understand that these people would never be candidates for something like The OCD Project because they are basically housebound; but, boy, I can really see the benefit in the group therapy part of The OCD Project which I will discuss more in that review.
One other thing to note is that when asked about their level of anxiety, Obsessed uses a 1-10; The OCD Project uses a 1-100 range. Not a problem, just an observation. Both Cindee and Graham, when asked about the anxiety levels, often replied 6 or 7, except for during Cindee's major exposure, of course. This leads me back to - why are we not seeing other major exposures on this show?
This past Monday, I forgot to set the DVR for Obsessed. I'm not sure if it will repeat or not. Maybe I'll try to find it online somewhere.

Friday, July 2, 2010