OCD is Driving Me Crazy

I have noticed my OCD symptoms getting really bad this week. For awhile, I felt like I was getting control of my compulsions  due to medication. I was not anxious if things were out of place. I did not feel confined to a particular routine. I was also not pulling my hair out which allowed me to regrow my eyebrows. This week, I have been under a lot of stress at work. I have had to stay late in order to get all my work done. Then, when I go home at night, I know that I will have a very similar day the next day. Despite my medication, I still feel extremely stressed. I have gone back to needing a certain routine and for objects to be placed just right. I have also tried to pull my hair on several occasions. I cannot wait for this week to be over. Hopefully then I will not feel so compelled to have things be a certain way. Hopefully, I will be able to relax.

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Everything is Going Her Way

It is sad when you want someone to fail. But sometimes, people are just so cocky that you want them to learn a lesson. The other day, my aunt made the comment that my cousin, who is a sophomore in college, is on the right track of life. She will graduate before all the students at her college that went to the same high school. She even made it sound like her daughter is better than my brother, even though he has changed his major twice.

I know I should not blame my cousin for this. However, it is easy to point out several flaws in her plan of life. My cousin is only a sophomore. She still has two more years of school. Then, she still has to find a job. She is majoring in graphic design. Even though she is extremely talented, I know the art industry can be difficult.

My cousin has taken up photography and has created a Facebook page devoted to her business. She will take family and senior pictures when she is home on the weekends. I think that it is great that she has taken on this job however, I really am not all that impressed with her pictures. Plus, almost anyone can be a photographer today so who knows if that career path will be successful for her.

I guess what really annoys me is that everyone likes to think that their lives are all planned out. I had everything going for me. I graduated valedictorian of my high school class. I graduated Summa cum Laude from college in three and a half years. But then I struggled to find a job.

I know people had high hopes for me, just like I had for myself. There is nothing wrong with that. However, there needs to be a backup plan. There needs to be flexibility in life because it is so unpredictable. It is not like I chose not to find a job right out of college. It is tough finding teaching jobs. It also did not help that I was badly depressed. It is not like I chose to have a mental illness.

Life is difficult. It does matter how hard a person works in life. But there are always those unforeseeable events in life that sometimes sets back hopes and dreams.

Secret Identity

Ever since I arrived at my parents’ house on Thursday, I feel like I am living a secret life. It is not easy living a secret life because I am busy trying to keep my life a secret. Nobody in my family knows about my mental problems and I prefer to keep it that way. I keep my medications in my purse and struggle to remember to take them. I figure in my purse they are safe because I rarely have my purse with me so nobody will find them. I have mostly kept a jacket or sweatshirt on so that I can hide my cuts. However, I do not have to worry about my missing eyebrows because I have my trich under control!

Despite how hard I am working to keep my mental problems a secret, they still are having a way of coming about. I have had to work even harder than I imagined. The other day, my mom noticed the spinner ring I wear to control my hair pulling. She asked where I got it and I quickly mumbled an answer about getting it online. My mom does not approve of online shopping and I have never worn a ring before so I know she wanted to ask more questions but thankfully she didn’t. She does not need to know the purpose behind the ring or that I got it from the trichotillomania awareness website.

Then, yesterday, I had two close calls with my dad. I did have my purse with me and my dad wanted my keys. He picked up my purse and I immediately grabbed it from him because I did not want him to shake it and hear the pills or even worse to open it. Then, later, he got ahold of my cell phone and was going to go through my contacts. I have counseling listed in my phone and did not want to have to answer questions about it.

I know it would probably be easier to just talk to my parents rather than live a double life. However, I know they will not understand. I do not want to have to endure teasing or constant questioning. I am an adult and am free to live my life in secret, even if it is not always easy or desirable.

I am Not a Child

At the beginning of the week, I had not decided whether I would go home for Easter break Thursday after school or Friday morning. I was starting to lean towards Friday morning because I hate leaving at three thirty, running home to get my cat, and then driving for four hours, arriving home at nearly bedtime. Plus, snow was in the forecast for Wednesday and I decided that Friday would be better.

Last night, the call came that there would be no school because of the weather. Personally, I think that they made the decision too soon. It is after eight o’clock and I can hear them cleaning the roads. Anyway, with my excitement of having no school, I decided that maybe I would leave sometime on Thursday. My friend had thought I should do the same thing. I had no idea about what time because I would have to be watching the roads. I immediately called my parents. They did not respond with my excitement. Instead, I got the usual lecture I always get when I am planning on traveling when there is any amount of snow in the forecast.

I got caught in a bad snowstorm once in college. I learned a lot from that experience and do not plan to have it happen again. However, my parents will not let me forget it, despite making some pretty good decisions at that time.

It is extremely frustrating that my parents treat me like a child. I am 25 years old. I have been working full time for the last two years and was also nearly on my own when I was working at the amusement park. I graduated as the valedictorian of my high school class and graduated Summa cum Laude from college. I am definitely not stupid.

Sure, there are times when I still look at myself as a teenager. There are times when I definitely do not act like an adult. However, I have always been extremely responsible and in some ways, it is like I grew up when I was a kid. In the end though, I am 25 years old and old enough to make my own decisions. I personally would like my parents support on that.

A Rough Period

I have been going through a rough time lately. Every day, I find something more that I hate about the town or school and it makes me desperate to leave. The job search is not meeting my satisfaction though and I am very afraid that I will be forced to spend another year in this town.

This weekend, I was so lonely and so frustrated about the job search that I ended up cutting. I have been clean for about two months but the very idea was very appealing to me and I just knew that I would feel better once I did it. And unfortunately, I did.

My OCD medication has been making it very difficult to sleep that I decided that maybe I should just go back to my original dose. For two days, I cut the pill in half. I noticed no change in my sleep. And on the second day, I realized that I was slipping into my compulsory routine and I realized that I should go back to the higher dose.

Yesterday, I became very frustrated when the school decided to cancel my only break because if they hired a sub for music, it would only be for my class. I was extremely angry. I need a break from my students. But because I had noon duty, I spent all day with my students. When I first learned that morning that I would not get a break, I was so upset that I was just itching for something sharp. I knew that I could not cut at school even though I was wearing my jacket so that no one would know. Since I did not feel right about cutting, I thought about using a highlighter to make marks on my wrist but because I was surrounded by students all day, I never had the opportunity. I ended up cutting several times last night.

I had counseling last night. This was my fourth session and I must say that I do not think that it is helping. For the first two sessions, I had to drive to the next town which is about thirty minutes away (in the middle of nowhere though that is very close). But then I got moved to another town for the last two sessions. That town is an hour away. I absolutely hate driving. Then, the counselor said that she was leaving that office so she was going to try to get me back to the first town but she might have to get me in at a town that is even farther away. I told her I cannot drive that far away on a school day because I cannot leave school until three thirty and then I still have to drive back. She understood so I will not have an appointment next week. Since I do not think that it is helping, I am actually glad. I feel like I should quit but I will be going to work at the amusement park the middle of May.

I feel like I should have a better control of my problems and emotions. I especially feel that should be true since I am on medication. After all, I have managed to grow my eyebrows back after pulling them out constantly since Christmas. Before that, I only had bald patches. Now, I hardly attempt to pull at all. My medication has helped my trichotillomania. It has helped the other problems but I still have the bad days. The bad days feel really bad lately. It is extremely frustrating.

I Am Not an Art Teacher!

The art teacher left last school year and another one was not hired. So as elementary teachers, we are expected to do art in our classrooms once a week. I am pretty good about doing it once a week but occasionally we let it slide if something is going on that week. I really hate teaching art because I am not an artist. I also struggle to find projects that my students will enjoy and where I do not have to buy the materials.

At the beginning of the school year, we were told that each student had to have four projects for the art fair in April. We were also told that we had to use special name tags. I am having my students decide what projects that they want to save and then I fill out the tag right then and put a checkmark on my art fair list. However, today, I found out that there are even more expectations. We were supposed to put mats around the projects and the name tags could not be directly on the art.

I am so glad they told me this now instead of at the beginning of the year. I am actually trying even though I disagree with being an art teacher. Now, I get the joy of framing the projects.

I understand that the school is trying to give these students at such a small school the opportunities that students at bigger schools would get. However, something has got to give. The elementary teachers already teach two grades. That means two sets of lesson plans, two of each class every day, and extra copying. It does not matter how many students there are because you still have to do the work for two classes.

I really wish the school would figure out where to draw the line. I already have more expectations than other teachers at other schools. It is extremely difficult. Every day, I find another reason why I wish to find a job at a different school.

School Writing Goal

For the last two years, my school has been working on improving scores on the state writing test. It is a sensible goal but at times, I think teachers are taking it too far. Today, we had an inservice that was mostly devoted to the writing test. The writing test is over for the year.

The English teacher gave us a lecture about the writing test rubric. As I am a teacher that has to administer the state writing test in the elementary, I am familiar with the rubric. I discussed it with my students the day before they took the test. While there are a few points that could be considered confusing to some teachers, I think it is pretty self explanatory and each teacher could interpret it without any guidance. But the teacher made us highlight all over the rubric. I had no idea exactly what we were doing so I just highlighted words that I thought were important. She also had us comparing the three grade level rubrics which I thought was kind of a waste of time. I really thought we should just focus on the grade level rubric that our students would be testing at next. And really, there is not a lot of difference between the rubrics.

I was not in a good mood after the inservice. The teacher presenting has been to a conference that works on grading the state tests so she knows a lot about it. I think that is great. She seems to enjoy it too. The principal wanted me to go last year but I refused because it was over my fall break. I need time for me. He has also suggested that I go next year.

I have told my principal that even though I do administer the test, I also need the teachers before me to teach writing that way it is not new when they get to me. Plus, they are making all the teachers incorporate writing into their classes. That is a good thing. However, I do have some disagreements. I think PE should focus on exercise rather than writing. Already America has a weight problem in general. We do not need our students spending even more time in front of the computers.

As a writer myself, I feel that while the writing instruction is good, if the school puts too much pressure on the students when it comes to writing, they are going to come to hate the subject. Then, they will not realize that enjoyment can be found in writing.

Plus, I believe that the grading of writing is subjective. Writing really depends first on the content and the grammar second. And if the content is not one of enjoyment for either the writer or the reader, than the grade is going to suffer. Writing comes from the heart. We are forcing students to write as an obligation with excessive restrictions.

Friendship Problems 

I mentioned the other day that I had been about to give up on my college friends and then out of the blue one of my friends texted me. We exchanged several messages back and forth. I talked about my cat and then how my hermit crabs had died. After I told her about the crabs, the messages stopped. That was ok with me. I was finding it awkward to talk to her after such a long time. Plus, I am not into having conversations through text messages. Last night, after I had gone to bed, my phone buzzes. It is my friend, asking about how my crabs had died. The text came late at night and I was rather bothered by that. Also, it bothered me that she had waited such a long time to reply. I understand that she might have been at work the first time she texted me but that does not explain the several days in between the last message. I am not sure whether I should be grateful that we are talking or annoyed. I mean, I had been ready to give up on our friendship. Plus, she did not respond in a timely matter.

Horrible News

In counseling the other day, we talked about how I was considering leaving this small town and this state and return to my home state and to a town close to my parents. I had even worked up the courage to ask my superintendent and principal for reference letters. My counselor thought it would be good for me to get close to home. However, I talked about how difficult it would be to leave my friends and have to move.

My counselor suggested taking the application process slow. After all, the deadline was not until April. And since I thought this was the right job for me, I needed to put a lot of effort into the application.

I worked on the application some yesterday since we had no school. I even got up the courage to tell my friends that I was considering a different job so that I could ask for advice on my resume. Today, I went to finish my online application and discovered that the job had been taken down.

I was stunned by the news. I was starting to accept the idea of leaving and could picture myself in this town. Plus, I had already told my friends. The frustration really made me want to cut. I cannot make any promises that it won’t happen anyway. I am just frustrated that after all I went through, my dreams have been dashed because the job is no longer there. I even told my counselor that I did not want to tell people in case I did not get the job but she told me no negative thinking.

I did find another job to apply for that is somewhat close to my parents and at least in my home state. However, I did not tell my friends the horrible news. I am afraid I might start crying. Plus, since I want to cut, they might not be very pleased.

Kim Kardashian Selfie

This week, Kim Kardashian posted a selfie of herself wearing no clothes. Since then, other celebrities have done the same thing. As a Christian, I cannot help but feel appalled. These women are trying to show that they are very comfortable in their bodies but I think there is a definite difference between going outside of your comfort zone to try something new and going against God’s Word. When Sharon Osbourne talked about her selfie, she said that she felt very uncomfortable. That should have been a warning sign! We all feel uncomfortable in certain situations but we also feel uncomfortable when we know something is wrong. And these selfies are definitely wrong.

The Bible has many verses about modesty. Since I work in an amusement park, I have seen a lot of interesting people. It seems that a majority of women (and men) have no respect for themselves or for God. These verses hopefully will serve as a reminder of what God feels about modesty.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20-Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

Matthew 5:28-But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

1 Samuel 16:7-But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

1 Corinthians 12:23-And on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty.

1 Peter 5:5-6Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you.

Romans 12:1-I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.

1 Thessalonians 4:3-4-For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor.

Ephesians 2:10-For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Modesty is God’s Will. There is a reason people feel uncomfortable with their bodies. It is not something that should be overcome either.