Tag Archives: changes

I Hear a Bell

Sometimes when I sit in the silence for long enough I can start to hear a tiny little bell. I wonder what that means?

There are sayings that will tell you that if you hear a bell that it means that someone you are meant to marry is nearby. The issue I have with that is I know who I want to marry and they are usually just close to me in general. So I have decided that I have enough facts to debunk this.

I wonder again if it means that something, good or bad, is coming my way. There are not too many bland and straightforward answers that can provide me with any relief. What happens within me is a jumble of this and that and things that make no sense. It’s all hazy until it isn’t, or something like that.

This bell rings always in the same tone. Small, loud and sharp. Do you remember in school when we had to take those hearing tests? The ones that would send a loud beep into your ear and if you could hear it you would raise a hand, depending on the ear? That is the bell I hear.

Sometimes I wonder if I raise my hand and acknowledge the bell then maybe it will stop. If I give this bell more meaning than what it actually holds maybe I will get it to leave me be. If I humanize the sound in my ears than maybe the sound will become so loud, deafening me for just a moment, until it finally fades away.

I can hear the bell when I am worried. I can hear it when I am sad or mad or even placated. It does not matter when or where I am, the bell is more than that. The bell is almost a beacon now. When I am alone, which is rare, I listen out for it. I want to hear it because it calms me to know that in a world that is ever changing at least I can still hear the bell.

When you type into google “I can hear a bell ringing” it tells you maybe you have ruptured your eardrum. This, like most things, is the WebMD example. You know when you have a headache and all of a sudden you realize you have 3 out of 4 symptoms for a brain tumor? Well I apparently have 1 out of 1 symptom for a ruptured eardrum.

The thing is I am not hearing this bell all of the time. I hear it when I think hard enough, when nothing is around me and I have no other option but to listen for the bell to avoid being alone in my own whirlwind.

As I write this, as I think about all of this, I realize me and this bell are close. We are friends and we are the only two things in my life that are constant. My own self is a constant because no matter when or where or who, I am going to be this same self. The bell in a constant because it rings when I need it, comes when I fear the silence, nothing else has ever held onto me that closely before.

This one is for you bell, and your damn imaginary ringing.

Advertisements

Obsessively Compulsively Myself

OCD is this big broad thing that sometimes means a lot and sometimes means so little. I think it means so much when you know that it is happening, but it means so little when it is in a low time. Media and movies have made it seem like those with OCD are only those who must count to twenty before they leave their houses, or they must turn a light on and off multiple times before they leave a room. For me OCD means not sleeping because I am too worried about something going wrong or having a breakdown when the night or day does not go exactly as I have planned.

The moments when I know I am going to spiral are long and drawn out. They last for hours sometimes days and all I can do is be a passenger to my own mind. I can feel when it creeps up, usually due to something that is going to change and it is so far out of my control. My jaw will clench and my stomach will drop and no matter where I am or what I am doing I need to stop. I must, in that moment, drop what I am doing so I can simply harvest enough energy to panic.

I have ever met someone else with diagnosed OCD. I sometimes wonder if I am the only one in the whole world who has breakdowns because there is a possibility I may be promoted. Do other people feel like the entire day is no longer worth it if they are running late for work or sleep in past an alarm? Am I one of few, or one of many who don’t need to count everything, but have been keeping a running count of my steps since I woke up this morning? I hate math, but I am so drawn to even number that my radio can never be on 17 it needs to be on 20. I will even reach up from someone’s back seat to change the sound level, because it makes me sick.

I am one single person. One person who identifies as female and stands at 5 feet 6 inches tall. A person who somehow is two people because in my mind I am a buzzing mess of things to do and times they need to be finished but on the outside I smile and move along as if nothing is wrong.

Every night before I go to sleep I take a small white cylindrical pill. Sometimes before I swallow it down I just look at it. I look at how small it is and at the thin green stripes that enclose each end and I thank it. I thank it because it was there for me even when I did not want or care for it. It has brought me up and made me sleep. This small white cylindrical pill has done more for my mental health in a year then anything has done in the last 20.

I have OCD and it has been one long year. I have had it my whole life is what doctors say yet I recognize only a one year milestone. One year I have felt so much relief and I no longer wake up in the middle of the night worried that everything I own will stop working. I no long cry because I can’t seem to think one normal thought. I am me and me is obsessive. I am me and me is compulsive. I am me and I have grown for the better. I am me and I will no longer be a victim to my own mentality.

Maybe

I had a bad week. One of those kinds of weeks that seem like they will never end, but not in the ‘I worked so hard this week’ kind of way but in the mentally exhausting kind of way. I haven’t really had an episode in a while. By episode I mean panic attack or anxiety attack, I call them episodes because it can be hard for me to sometimes know if they stem from panic or anxiety.

I feel like my life in in limbo. This semester is coming to a close and I am worried that I will have nothing to do this summer. I have and internship and a job lined up, but the OCD sort of nags at me and tells me that even though I have plans and things to do, that maybe they wont actually happen. Maybe my internship will fall through, maybe my job will end up not needing me. Maybe I wont get the funding I need to do the internship that is unpaid. Maybe, maybe, maybe.

The moment before the episodes start I feel like I am in a tunnel. Like I am in a tunnel that is 100 feet under the water and I also have four winter hats on and three pairs of socks, so that the heat and stress has no place to come out of. As the moment progresses I also feel like I have been stuck in the cold, its like the heat reaches a point that is near boiling and then I get cold. I can’t hear anything around me, all I can hear is my own heart beat. It’s off from normal, but that can be expected. Before I have time to bring myself down I’m crying, nearly uncontrollably.

When they end, it take hours, days, weeks maybe just maybe even months. This is because they don’t ever actually end, they go on and on and on forever with no end and I’m just a passenger to my own like at this point. I sit behind the wall of my own unhinged emotions and I let them talk for me, let them hug people, answer questions and most of all I let them take over. I fall distant even when I want to be present. I want so badly to reach inside of myself, to grab the anxiety and smush it. I want to look it in the eye and tell it that is has not control over me, but I can’t. All I can do is let it run its course, like a cold or a sore muscle.

Maybe I can live a year without this feeling. Maybe I can even go a few months. Maybe, maybe, maybe.

Why I Decided to Give Up Meat.

The idea to live my life meat free stemmed from a multitude of things. There was the slight displeasure I would feel every time I put a piece of meat to my tongue, the fact that being an environmental science major meant I spent most of my time with those who choose to avoid meat, and how I knew I would begin to feel when I cut it out of my life.

At first I decided I would end my mostly carnivorous lifestyle silently, I told my closest friend and she agreed that it was a great idea, and that we could do it together. This was a huge step for me. I had tried multiple times to give it up all on my own, with no prevail. I had been young and unaware that the processes would take more then simply cutting it all out entirely.

Week one was difficult and I almost caved at the sight of the fried chicken my school was serving for dinner the second day. What got my through was that I knew I wasn’t alone. I had someone who had also never ventured to our universities vegan station before. I picked for the first week keeping a rather close friendship with french fries, but before I knew it tofu found its way onto my plate as well as an array of vegetables that had before never been of much interest.

The it came time for a visit home, and the inevitable talk with my household of die hard meat eaters. My mom knew as soon as it left my lips that I was serious. Most of the other times I had told her that I was becoming vegetarian with no reason. This time though I had a list of reasons why this would be better for me. I gave her a list of things that I was now eating and she started shopping. At first she would get frustrated with me because it was hard to decide what I would eat, but one mother daughter shopping trip later she could replaced almost everything my family would eat through a week with a healthy vegetarian option.

I am now about 3 months into the entire processes, and so far not only do I feel better about myself, but there are a multitude of health benefits. I would never try to change anyone by telling them meat is awful, because to make such a drastic lifestyle change you need to be all in it yourself. If you feel pressured then it will never happen for you.

I had wanted to give up meat for years, and now that I think about it I was already on my way for a long time. I had avoided every meat product except chicken, and cringed at even the mention of red meat. I would never expect someone to read this and think being vegetarian is easy, because there are times when all I want is my moms chicken wings, but then I remember why I am doing this. Meat is the main reason for global warming and uses an excessive amount of water. These facts may not change anyone else, but for me, a die hard tree hugger, this was heart wrenching news.

Making a change is never easy, but if you decided on your own to do it, and find a veggie loving friend, then it can really simply be a lifestyle shift rather then a change.